Though they are not originally from this area, the members of THE DIAMOND CENTER have found their home in Richmond, Va. and sowed their roots deep with a passion for the indie music scene and a new child as well. Formed in 2007 by Kyle Harris and Brandi Price, the band also includes their friends Tim Falen and Lindsay Phillips, as well as a rotating cast of friends. Their most recent album My Only Companion, as well as multiple cross-country tours helped establish the groups psychedelic aesthetic, and they have utilized these stories in making a name for themselves locally as well. Currently Harris and Price are busy juggling their multiple music projects, as well as the life of their almost 2-year-old girl. We spoke with Harris regarding the cult background of their band name, the folklore of their most recent songs, and their involvement with the local music scene.

Can you tell me the origin story of your band name?

Basically, it was a place I used to work at in Athens, Ga. called THE DIAMOND CENTER, and I remember thinking while I was on my lunch break, sitting alone in my truck eating my lunch, that it has multiple meanings, with “center” as a noun or “center” as an adjective, I guess. I always thought, “Oh, that would be a fun band name,” not really thinking much about it. Then a year later, I started this band with Brandi, and we decided to use this name. Then it stuck, the depth of that name.

Was it a jewelry store?

It was formerly, yeah. People send me pictures from all over. I know there’s one in New York and different places. There’s one in, like, I don’t know…Wisconsin or maybe in Michigan, and they have these commercials that are cult favorites regionally in the area, which kind of adds to the ridiculousness of it all.

Your song “Skeleton Key” was recently featured on a Halloween-themed compilation called Nightmare on Grace Street, which features a slew of local bands playing ghoulish songs. How did your band get involved with that?

The folks putting it together, Allison Aperson, Mark Golden, and Kelly Queener, are all really good friends. I play in a band with Kelly Queener called PEACE BEAST, and I play in a band with Mark Golden called THE SHANGRI-LORDS. Allison is just a good friend. She was in HOT LAVA, and we used to play together. They got the idea and asked us to be on it, and it came together pretty quick. I’m sure that like 99 percent of the rest of the bands, we [recorded] it the night before we were supposed to turn it in.

Can you tell me what that song is about?

Brandi had recently read a story about a wealthy, really nasty man who tried to convince three sisters to fall in love with him, and one of them said, “He’s not so bad, and he’s really wealthy. Why not?” It’s some kind of folklore; I’m not sure what country it’s from. So the one sister agreed to marry him, and he said, “You can go anywhere in my house. You can do anything you want, except you can’t go behind this one door. Whatever you do, do not open that door,” and he gave her a key to all the doors in the whole house. So he goes away, and the first thing she does is go in that door. I don’t remember exactly what she finds, but there is something morbid in there. She slams the door but couldn’t get it to relock, and when the man came back he was very angry, of course. He was chasing her around the house, and miraculously her brother showed up and saved her. There is some moral to it, like don’t go poking around, or do? I don’t know. It was loosely based on that.



Are any of your other songs based on folklore?

We’ve got one that is gonna be on the upcoming album. It’s called “Messenger of Wonder,” and it’s loosely based on a story I read. It’s about these mounds that were supposedly located in Oklahoma, and there were these figures at the top and no one could ever reach the top. There were two different figures. There was a headless man that walked back and forth, and there was a woman carrying a lantern. Supposedly, this one guy tried it, and when he got back down, the only thing he could say was “old, old, old.” It turns out to be an entrance to an ancient civilization that still exists. A lot of our songs are based on landscape-type lore. We spent a night or two in Joshua Tree, and that’s what “Bombay Beach” is about. A few of our songs are written about that area. Location has a lot to do with things.

Can you tell me about the new album you guys have been working on?

It’s been a long process. We started it in Fall 2012, and in the meantime, we found out that Brandi was pregnant, so we actually made a human since then. So the trajectory of the whole, writing, band, record shows, everything has changed with a child. But there may be one more to track, a kind of newer song that we might want to include on it, but everything is pretty much tracked and mixed. We’re kind of sorting out who is gonna be releasing it. It will probably be a somewhat local release, but I’m not sure yet. It might be out before the end of the year, or it might not, because if there is anything that having a child will teach you, timing is all relative. The things that you thought were super important aren’t necessarily as important any more. Everything changes.


This Saturday, your band will be playing the Instant Pleasure Festival at The Broadberry in Richmond. What are you most looking forward to about that show?

We’ll just try to get up there and do our thing, and try to open minds and hearts. I’m actually playing twice that night. I play bass in the band THE YOUNG SINCLAIRS, and they’re playing also. We haven’t played The Broadberry yet, so I’m excited about that. It’s Instant Pleasure 2. The first Instant Pleasure Festival was put together by me and Ryan Muldoon. We coordinated it a couple years ago and then let it rest because we both have been busy. I’ve been making buttons for it, and I think they are making limited edition screen printed posters to sell at the show.

Earlier this year, your band played the Fall Line Festival. How did that go?

I had not played at The National before, which was fun, and we got to open for the newly reformed band DEATH. It was fun playing to some people that you might not normally play to. That’s the fun thing about a festival, as opposed to a club show. You may get a few people there to see the other bands and catch you, but it turned out really good.



What are your thoughts on the current state of the Virginia music scene?

It’s definitely healthy. I can’t really speak for all of Virginia, but Richmond is good. I’ve spent some time in Roanoke and some of the smaller towns. There’s some good bands out of Lynchburg. I think it’s just like any music scene. There are some people that work really hard; there’s some people that do it for fun; and there’s some people that just play, and that’s cool too. We’ve been here for about five years now, and there is a ton of talent and creativity, and a ton of interesting people that do it because they love it. Most shows you play you are either local support for a touring band, or playing with friends. It’s just cool that there are a nice chunk of people doing it, as well as bands that tour and travel, which we were doing for a while, but that’s something we put the brakes on with the little one. I’m definitely happy to be here. After moving here, within six months we were fully embraced by the local scene.

For more updates on THE DIAMOND CENTER, be sure to visit their website, “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and Tumblr, and Instagram.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Falls Church, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with friends.

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