Six Questions With... Paper Diamond

Six Questions With... Paper Diamond

Welcome to the latest edition of Six Questions With..., a regular short and sharp interview with a live music figure. Email jhanley@nbmedia.com if you would like to take part or recommend someone for inclusion. 

This week's Q&A is with electronic music pioneer Paper Diamond.

What was your first job in music?

It's funny because music has really never felt like a job for me. I started playing the violin when I was four years old, then started playing the guitar, bass, drums, and piano when I was twelve. That’s when I started going to the studio on weekends to record. I started being in bands in high school. I guess the first actual job as a musician was in my first band Numa Trio. We hit the road really hard when we were eighteen years old. I think in 2006 we did 226 shows.

How long have you been in your current role?

I’d say about three and a half years, because that’s when I moved to LA. Before that I had been touring - living on tour buses and flying everywhere for about a decade prior to that. Since I’ve been in LA, I’ve been able to really re-focus and figure out what my contribution is to the forward movement of music.

What is your favourite thing about working in the live music industry?

The community. Music for me has always been about the community and coming together to celebrate life. I feel like it's cliche to say it's the universal language, but honestly I’ve gotten to see that world and meet so many lifelong friends through music. Most of the people I surround myself with I have met through music.

What is the one thing you would like to change about the business?

Hmm, I think nowadays it’s a little too much about social media in general. I think people are concerned about how many plays you have on Spotify instead of how the music makes you feel. I’d change it so the music would be able to stand alone, instead of having to do crazy shit on the internet to get noticed.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Everyday that I get to wake up and create I’m grateful because it’s the only outlet that keeps me sane and happy. I’m constantly forever grateful I can wake up and work on music and art. In terms of shows and stuff, the highlight has been playing Red Rocks and international places like Japan, New Zealand and Thailand. Being able to see my friends progress and build lives out of being artists makes me really stoked. I used to manage Cherub and seeing them succeed has been awesome. Working with my friends Big Gigantic and other musicians over the years - helping them move forward has been super rewarding.

What's the best gig you’ve ever been to?

I would say for my shows, it goes back to playing Red Rocks. Japan was something else. Big festivals like Lollapalooza, Electric Forest, and Coachella. In terms of electronic shows I’ve seen, Bassnectar just crushes it. It’s funny because I’ve known him for such a long time and still to this day I’m like, wow he really just goes so hard in making sure that his music and visuals are on point. I definitely have a lot of respect for him. Another show that jumps out - this is a funny one - but my friend got me tickets to see Beyonce at Dodgers Stadium. We were standing on the side of the stage and I looked right next to me, and I was standing right next to Floyd Mayweather. One more, I saw a Kendrick Lamar show recently. That had a special double meaning for me because another producer that Ii work with his group is named Bekon. and he did only interludes for the Kung Fu Kenny stuff for the Kendrick show so on top of being an amazing performer, knowing that my friend and partner made music for that show was crazy to me.

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