By Luke Buckler
Unbelievably Bad Contributor
Melbourne avant-grind band Diploid are a sincere and assiduous unit – an exemplar of relaxed yet functional productivity. Since 2012, they’ve put out two EPs, a tape single, a 7, a ‘mini-disc business CD’, splits with Canine, Como Regalia, and Lytta, and they’re about to put out their first ‘full-length‘.
Entitled Is God Up There?, its release will be followed by a trip to New Zealand in September and a couple of weekends visiting the cities on the east side later in the year.
UB checked in with Reece Prain (bass/vocals) to see what’s going on.
Tell us about the new record.
It’s our first full-length (even though it’s 17 minutes long) and it has 11 tracks. It’s called Is God Up There?. It’s apparently what Felix Fritzl said the first time he saw the sky after being held captive in a basement by his dad/grandfather for his whole life up until that point.
Diploid is about to play some shows in Australia and NZ. How was your experience the first time in NZ?
Yeah, we are doing a tour of New Zealand in September, and coming along with us is mine and Scott [Mclatchie, drums]’s other band The World At A Glance. It’s four shows and we will be playing in Wellington, Hamilton and two shows in Auckland. Last time went really well. It was our first time ever playing outside of Australia. Every show was great, and it was just a great place to check out. We did more shows last time, and we were able to hit up the south island as well. But this time due to time constraints and money, we are only playing on the north island. It should be great and I’m really looking forward to it. The Australia shows… will be at the end of November and start of December. We will be hitting up: Brisbane (two shows), Sydney (two shows) and Newcastle. We will also be playing around Melbourne throughout the next few months as well.
You toured Southeast Asia last summer, how did the shows there go?
The shows in Southeast Asia were great, my favourite show was probably at Batu Pahat in Malaysia, we played at a great venue called The Wall and it was just a great experience. We got to eat some really great food as well, all of Southeast Asia has amazing food. Every show was awesome, unfortunately, Diploid missed out on playing our Jakarta show though, but these things happen. There are also cats everywhere, which is fucking awesome. It was better than I expected, I thought I would be way out of my comfort zone, but everyone was so friendly and hospitable, it just made it a pretty cruisey and awesome experience. It was our first time in Southeast Asia, but we are very keen to go back. We will hopefully be back there in a year or two. We will probably bring our other band Mt Zero along with us as well.
Do you think touring is an important part of being a band?
I think it’s very important. It gives people a chance to actually see your music, rather than just your recordings, which sometimes don’t really catch the proper sound and energy of the band. It’s a better approach to have people actually know of your band before heading wherever you are going though. Haha. However, it is easily the funnest thing to do with a band, and I really love travelling, so it’s a bit of an excuse to get away from Melbourne.
You put out a split with Lytta from Perth, how did you end up working with them? What’s the go with the spoken-word parts on that record?
Shoshana [Rosenberg] who plays guitar and vocals in Lytta asked us if we were interested in doing a split together. We are all fans of a lot of Shoshana’s previous and current musical projects and then we listened to Lytta’s previous release and we were down! Shoshana then put forth that maybe both bands side of the record should have a similar theme, she suggested loss, and we agreed that would be a good idea. With the release I really wanted to explore what people do when they are going through a period of loss and change, so I posted on our Facebook asking if anyone would want to include lyrics or writings or audio about a period of loss in their life for our next release. I didn’t really think anyone would send in anything, so we asked Mariam’s sister to write something for us. We actually ended up getting two submissions, so we include us speaking parts of their stories. We recorded it onto a cassette tape, and then edited it later on my computer.
Who does the cool cut and paste art, like on the covers of Deterioration and Human?
Mariam [Benjemaa, guitar/vocals] did the artwork for Human, while I did the artwork for Deterioration EP. Mariam is amazing when it comes to visual art, and she heavily inspired me when I put together the artwork for the Deterioration EP.
Is there a place for bands that sing about dumb shit?
Totally, I’ve been in two dumb shit bands, and they were great! It’s more that, do you want to spend your extra time writing about things that don’t really matter a lot to you or hold a lot of interest for you? That’s really the kicker.
Listen to the song “Barrels” and pre-order Is God Up There?:
Catch Diploid here and there:
Sept 22 – Valhalla, Wellington
Sept 23 – Biddy Mulligan’s, Hamilton
Sept 24 – Whammy Bar, Auckland
Sept 25 – Flying Out, Auckland (AA)
Oct 13 – The Bendigo, Melbourne
Nov 24 – The Hamo, Newcastle
Nov 25 – Beatdisc, Sydney (AA)
Nov 26 – Black Wire Records, Sydney (AA)
Dec 2 – Via Studios, Brisbane
Dec 3 – Fat Louie’s, Brisbane