Diamonds To Dust are a five piece Metal band based out of Phoughkeepsie, New York. Their sound is an amalgamation of Hardcore, Deathcore, Death Metal, Goove, and Metalcore, drawing some of their influences from Suicide Silence, Necrophagist, Pantera, and The Amity Affliction. They are comprised of guitarist/vocalist Barry Hogue, who is described as the brainchild behind Diamonds To Dust, drummer Mel Hogue, bassist/clean vocalist Brandon Whitaker, lead guitarist Brandon Zablocki, and vocalist Christian Roche.
They were featured on the Danny Wimmer Presents Twitch channel for That Space Zebra Show: Battle For The Big Stage, a show on where unsigned Artists can submit their songs for a chance to play on the mainstage at the DWP Welcome To Rockville Festival in Daytona Beach, FL this year. It is up to the chat to vote who gets through to the next round.
Diamonds To Dust were initially featured in July’s bracket, they were put through to the August bracket thanks to chat moderator GothamJenny for using her golden ticket for them after they lost July’s round to Revision, Revised.
Our interview was conducted before the most recent Battle For The Big Stage episode that aired on Monday, August 23rd where the chat voted and tied them against WHIT3 COLLR. It came down to the hosts of the show, Bobby Schubenski, Beez, Josh Balz, and Producer Jake voting on who they wanted to advance with only Josh voting for Diamonds To Dust.
In our interview, they discussed their inspirations, which for Christian include Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence and Phil Bozeman of Whitechapel. For Brandon Whitaker, who shared that he was initially a drummer growing up, learned how to play bass to be in the band, “‘I was actually a drummer growing up and I’ve known the drummer, Melvin, for a very long time, I went to high school with him, played football with him in high school, and one day we were just messing around, I went to watch them practice, it was just him, Melvin, Christian, and Barry. They were like, ‘yeah, we need a bassist.’ and jokingly I was like, ‘I’ll go out and buy a bass, I’ll start learning how to play bass!’. And then that’s how I, like, got in!”
His bass influences include The Amity Affliction and We Came As Romans. He credits his Mom as an influence for his clean vocals, as well as Devin Oliver of I See Stars, and Ahren Stringer of The Amity Affliction.
Brandon Z, who plays multiple instruments and even raps outside of Diamonds To Dust, revealed that he draws his Musical influence from more obscure things that typically aren’t Metal, like Jazz Fusion. He did say that the guitarist who made him want to pick up a guitar was Dimebag Darrell. He also mentioned Muhammed Suiçmez of Necrophagist, Chuck Schuldiner of Death, and Michael Keene of The Faceless as his other guitar influences.
When we talked about their song Corpus Christi, which features a verse in Latin. Christian said the song was written mostly for fun about the Bible’s Book of Revelations. He thought it would be a great fit to talk about the last supper. He had tried to do the verse in English, but it didn’t fit with the vibe. Then something told him to try Latin…Check out the song above!
When we moved onto the subject of Mental Health Awareness and how Music is a therapy and can pull you out of a dark state of mind, they shared the songs and Artists that helped them through their dark times.
Brandon W talked about how Chasing The Ghosts and RIP Bon by The Amity Affliction helped him through losing a couple of friends in High School that he was very close with. He was in a dark place when he lost one of them and said the vibe off of Chasing The Ghosts, especially when you read the lyrics and watch the Music video, has a story behind it. There were times Brandon felt like his friend was still there and he was chasing to get back the friendship. In the Music video for Chasing The Ghosts, he’s chasing somebody he used to know in the woods, but is not there.
For Christian, he said Panic Room by Silent Planet is a song he would play when he was in a depressed state. It is a song about a Veteran dealing with PTSD from events that Christian assumed happened in Iraq. The song goes into detail with how the Veteran deals with PTSD and some of the issues that went on while he was at war that he wished hadn’t, how it was killing him inside.
Brandon Z mentioned Pantera, especially with their later albums like Great Southern Trendkill, he said, “that is some really serious, relatable, emotional stuff. Pantera is an incredible band for sure. That definitely was one of those bands for me where I felt something. That’s what you get from Metal a lot of times, it’s not too emotional.” He continued, “but Pantera makes emotional Metal. It’s heavy and you feel it. Sometimes Phil Anselmo’s vocals, they’re difficult to really hear ’cause of the screams and stuff like that, but when you read along to the song…You can’t tell me you can get through that and not feel something.”
Christian also shared that some of their songs are about Mental Health Awareness, including a new one that will be on their next album they’re releasing hopefully by the end of the year. When the song ‘Silence Is Also Suicide’ was brought up, Christian replied, “That’s actually got to do about suicide, if you don’t speak up and make your thoughts known, if you try to hide your feelings, it could really end up ending in a devastating way. The point of the song is to let everybody know, “hey, speak up.”, don’t try to judge other people maybe from somebody else’s perspective who’s maybe a little more pushy, maybe a little more judgmental whereas, also, on the other end of the spectrum we’re talking about people who just can’t get what they want to say out cause they’re frightened or anxious.”
Christian and Brandon W also shared details about song lyrics they wrote together for a friend’s instrumental project that has deep meaning to them. The song will be called Adapted by RareElements.
They also confirmed they will be releasing a new song and Music video within the next month off of their upcoming album! Watch our entire interview above!