A Night With Bloody Diamonds

At what point would a band say to themselves that they’ve made it?  How many albums would they have to sell, or how much money would they need to make?  If you are at the point in a career where you’re living in a small apartment, just getting by but playing 200 gigs a year would that qualify more or less than a band playing 50 shows a year and living in bright spacious areas?

We all know that the answer to those questions is one that cannot be answered with fact.  Now that’s not saying that one could not argue their point based on some facts, but truthfully the answer is all based on ones train of thought.

Consisting of Jake Seaward (guitars) Sara Elizabeth (vocals/organ) Kristen Wells (vocals/bass) and Kyle Smith (drums) Bloody Diamonds is a four piece band from Halifax, Nova Scotia who seem to have a decent grasp on what it means to make it.

“Being a touring musician full time versus working a day job and only being able to tour a small part of the year is what, in my mind, is really what it means to make it,” Seaward says.

Working jobs that allow for constant flexibility when it comes to scheduling is a must have, not only in the daily lives of Bloody Diamonds, but also in any band that plans to tour.  Being able to book a group of gigs on short notice not only allows the band to gain more exposure, but it also helps pay the bills.

“Working in a deli might not be the best job in the world, but if you get a better job you can’t just up and quit to hit the road. I can book off months at a time and still come back to a job, which is rare but cool, ” says Seaward.  “I could get a better job, but waitressing let’s me tour for months at a time and still come back to a job,” agrees Elizabeth. “And if they won’t give you the time off to tour, you can always quit.  There is always going to be a call for that kind of work no matter where you go, it’s just cool that what we do now allows for us to take off,” says Seaward.

Beginning on the NSCC campus in 2011, Bloody Diamonds began as an amalgamation between a band which Jake was playing guitar and Saras solo acoustic career.

“I needed a band with riffs and Jake needed to stop singing and find an established singer,” jokes Elizabeth.  “It just worked that we both had what the other was missing musically.  It was really what we both wanted to do, so it just kind of happened and we’ve never really stopped since.  Some people have come and gone but it was never due to a conflict within the band, but rather a conflict with actual work.  With me and Jake we’ve always just kept with the thought that we can just find another job so let’s tour,” Elizabeth says.

By sticking to the brand and the name that is Bloody Diamonds, this foursome has been able to maintain the focus on the task that is in front of them.  Branching out into side projects is something that Jake or Sara have no intention of doing.  This way of thinking has allowed the group to form a tight knit group who have an idea on the image they wish to portray and the style of music they not only love, but love to create.

“The reception where ever we go has been pretty good when we’re on the road,” Seaward says.  “It seems as though the tougher job has been breaking into the Halifax scene but that’s just how it is.  Maybe we’re not part of a certain clique or scene, but we just need to push through.  Guys like Josh Hogan (from Red Tentacle) and Neil Spence (from the radio station, Live 105) have been supportive of what we do and that helps, but it’s still not easy at all,” finishes Seaward.

“Starting out, some of our shows on the road have been so tough to play because people didn’t come out, but because we’ve kept going and came back to those same spots we now have a fan base,” replies Elizabeth.  “The problem is that you can’t give in after that first gig because you’ll never play again,” says Jake.  “Our first show in Montreal was terrible, from a fan perspective, but our last show was packed which makes it awesome.”

In this day and age with the ever changing music scene, bands need to become more creative and more hands on with the plans.  Managing themselves has allowed Bloody Diamonds complete control over where they play and how often.  The last tour, which took them from NFLD to Ontario was driven in a newly acquired van and spread out over 21 dates.

“The shows themselves are only getting better,” chimes in Elizabeth.  “The more we get to play means more people get to hear us, which lets word spread so that we can come back for more.”

With a sound that can be best described as dirty, rock/blues, Bloody Diamonds find themselves in a genre which you won’t find on any top 40 station.  Darker tones that you find  throughout 70’s blues metal are littered all over their first release They’ve Got Secrets and continues over into their newest music which is currently in the works.

“We’re always hesitant with our description because I still don’t really know the best way to explain it,” Elizabeth says.  “Dark, bluesy, rock with some goth sounding undertones might be how it sounds but we never planned for it to come out that way.  We just wrote rock songs that happen to have a dark kind of feel to it.  What’s funny is that we get a lot of people asking if we are influenced by Black Sabbath and Led Zepplin but to be honest were into a more modern rock sound.”

Jake says that band like Jack Whites side project, Dead Weather might be a good place to start when looking for influence but you can also learn a lot from local acts such as Cousins.  “One of the biggest inspirations I have right now is the band Cousins.  They have got to be the hardest touring band in the area and to see how they keep doing it so consistently.”

Consistent is something that these two members of Bloody Diamond strive themselves on.  Prepare yourself properly before shows and the rest will just fall into place.  It’s no secret that hard, consistent work is the key to any type of success.  Both Jake and Sara are well aware of this and it’s slowly starting to pay off.

With a newly signed endorsement from In Tune Guitar Picks, (that’s right you might be able to snag a custom Bloody Diamonds pick at the next show), this foursome will take their show on the road with six gigs in NFLD.  After that it’s a one off show during the Halifax Pop Explosion and in late November you can find the band touring through Quebec and Ontario to help promote their latest EP, “Monsters.”

Bloody Diamond Tour Dates

Oct. 16, 2013 – Corner Brook, NFLD, The White Horse Lounge

Oct. 17, 2013 – St. John’s, NFLD, The Levee

Oct. 18, 2013 – St. John’s, NFLD, CBTG’s

Oct. 19, 2013 – St. John’s, NFLD, Fred’s Records

Oct. 19, 2013 – St. John’s, NFLD, CBTG’s (5PM AND 10PM)

Oct. 25, 2013 – Halifax, NS, Casino Nova Scotia (Halifax Pop Explosion)

Nov. 2, 2013 – Saint John, NB, Pepper’s Pub

Nov. 21, 2013 – Quebec, QC, Scanner Bistro

Nov. 22, 2013 – Ottawa, On, Avant Garde

Nov. 23, 2013 – North Bay, On, Raven and Republic

Nov. 24, 2013 – Oshawa, On, The Atria

Nov. 25, 2013 – Peterborough, On, The Red Garnet

Nov. 26, 2013 – Toronto, On, Sneaky Dee’s

Nov. 27, 2013 – Hamilton, On, The Doors Pub

Nov. 28, 2013 – London, On, The APK

Nov. 29, 2013 – Windsor, On, Villains Beastro

Nov. 30, 2013 – Montreal, QC, Turbo Haus

About the author


Jeff is one-fourth of the group that makes up HAFILAX. His usual ramblings can be read right here on the website. If reading isn't your thing, he also hosts the Basement Tapes podcast.