The Diamond Light: Unironic Rockers
The Diamond Light: (left to right) Ian Ochs, Griffin Young, Brian Stanley
Photo by Dylan Hayes
Dateline, L.A. 2014: Tweeness rules. Experimental indie bands are a dime a dozen.
But the Diamond Light aren't about that life. They're purveyors of good old-fashioned blues rock. And it's kind of refreshing.
They've been featured in Blind Blind Tiger's Speakeasy Sessions, in Nylon Guys playing a stripped-down version on Daft Punk's "Lose Yourself to Dance," and on the soundtrack to Game of Thrones' Jason Mamoa's road-trip thriller, Road to Paloma.
They've got deep roots together.
Frontman Griffin Young and drummer Ian Ochs have been best friends since age 3, and playing together since 13.
Back then, it was in biker bars in New Hampshire, as members of Ochs' parents' band, the Blues Busters. Otherwise they'd be in the family's basement, playing whatever instruments were around.
"Thank god they didn't give a shit what we were playing," says Young. "We'd be jamming on two chords for like 6 hours."
At the time, both were learning drums. "But then Ian got really good and I was like 'fuck this'," recalls Young. So, he switched to bass. When bass lessons took too much time, he switched to guitar. This time, he taught himself.
He notes Neil Young as a major influence: "He can make a few notes mean a lot more than 80,000."
Too shy to sing when Ochs' parents were home, the boys would ask them to go run errands. "They would just leave. They probably went to the bar," laughs Young.
Ochs chimes in: "It was like 2 in the afternoon..."
The Diamond Light's bassist Brian Stanley met Young and Ochs in 2005 in high school and they've been jamming ever since. Stanley studied film in Azusa — he's an endless spring of movie knowledge, especially of Leonardo DiCaprio films.
The group took on their Dharma Bums-inspired name, and practiced in the garage of their manager's house overlooking the Houdini Mansion in Laurel Canyon. They commandeered the space and built what Ochs calls a "carpet wall sweat lodge" where the band has recorded over the last four years, including their most recent EP, Tianna Rd, named for the street the house was on.
After nearly a decade of jamming together, the Diamond Light have perfected their soul-shaking live performance. Catch them tonight at the Satellite.
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