Diamonds Under Fire - World Cafe
It takes a moment of intent listening to fully comprehend how such a powerful sound can emanate from a band equipped with only two members. Fronted by Vanessa Silberman, Diamonds Under Fire energized audiences with an opening performance for the LA-based band, Uh Huh Her, in a World Café Live exclusive. This performance showed us what rock music is all about. Diamonds Under Fire compels you to remember your late 80’s and early 90’s mixed tapes of Nirvana, Hole, Pixies, Sonic Youth, Depeche Mode, Helmet and Silverchair. Vanessa will initally make you nostalgic of your 1990’s grunge rock roots, but right before images of Kurt Cobain and flannel shirts enter your mind, Vanessa quickly leads you into what seems to be her new and authoritative take on our well-known 90’s rock music. This is a rocker group, folks, and once Vanessa starts, you won’t be allowed out of your seat until she is done with you. Complete with rhythmic power chords and almost strategically matching vocals, Vanessa croons to her audience about lost love with soulful rock songs such as “Reverie” and “Binge Thinking”, and then quickly energizes us with thematic melodies such as “Heart Machine” and “Everything Fades To Red”.
The songs “Reverie” and “Wide Awake” personally connect with Vanessa and both surface emotionally during her performances. Vanessa doesn’t hide her life experiences and the trail of broken hearts that together seem to manifest on stage as her eulogy for love. Vanessa tells us, “Reverie is about a few things: being in love with someone and never telling them, feeling completely alone and about doing drugs to fill a void that’s never filled. It’s basically about growing up and escaping your past.” While using rock music as a medium to purge life’s losses, Vanessa also uses it to offer strength and solace when life seems to allow no way out. Vanessa says, “Wide Awake is very personal and [is] very much an emotionally channelled song – it’s about being calm during the storm and about getting through things in life and relationships when you feel like you can’t. It has really emotionally connected with me when I play it live.”
Diamonds Under Fire’s newest release -- “Diamonds Under Fire” -- is a self-produced album, and serves as tangible evidence of Vanessa’s ever-evolving music production. Vanessa tells us abo ut the first part of recording this album by saying, “I started tracking this record at Paul Green’s (the creator of School of Rock) Studio House in Long Island, NY. While I recorded, I had students hang out and observe as well as assist in the recording process – It was such a great vibe and the energy was completely un-jaded and exciting compared to some of the experiences you can come across in an LA studio.” Vanessa reveals some interesting secrets about the recording process of some Diamonds Under Fire songs, “While at Studio House, I wanted a way to involve everyone so I had all of the students sing on a song called “Underground”’. Vanessa also tells listeners that an 80’s hip-hop sample is hidden the song “The One”. “I engineered and tracked the rest of the record at my apartment and at a studio in LA. I basically programmed keys and recorded a ton of lead guitar parts and vocals while jumping on my bed. I had neighbors yelling at me to shut up for a few months. It was fun.” What is also fun for Vanessa, and the rest of the Diamonds Under Fire crew, is touring on the road with Uh Huh Her. Vanessa tells her listeners that sharing a van with Uh Huh Her has been amazing for a variety of reasons. Perhaps one reason is the fun the two bands have on the road, “We played a joke on Uh Huh Her’s sound engineer and woke her with the karaoke machine she bought. The trick is to never fall asleep!”