Brian Tatler: Diamond Head got heavy metal up to speed

Brian Tatler
Brian Tatler (Image credit: Getty)

Brian Tatler says Diamond Head inspired the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) bands to adopt a faster, aggressive edge to their music.

The guitarist and founder of the pioneering metal outfit says his love of punk rock fuelled the band’s DIY attitude – and taught him that you don’t have to play “like Ritchie Blackmore” to be a rockstar.

When asked how Diamond Head influenced the NWOBHM movement, Tatler tells Loudwire: “I suppose we took things further in a speed way. I always said that I really liked punk rock.

“I was 17 when punk exploded in the UK. It was very aggressive and raw. It was very fast, and it sort of left behind a lot of the prog bands of the 70s. I picked up on that.”

Tatler says it was listening to John Peel’s radio show in the 70s that made him want to become a musician.

He adds: “It made me think you haven’t got to spend 15 years in your bedroom learning to play the guitar to the standard of someone like Richie Blackmore.

“I thought, well, here you’ve got someone like Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols who is on television playing three chords. I though, ‘I can do that.’ It gave me a big kick to kind of get out there and do it for ourselves.

“I suppose in a way I think I must have – well, not just me, but the new wave British heavy metal bands – combined some of the influences of the great bands of the 70s and mixed it in with this DIY punk attitude – where you make your own record, promote your own gig and kind of blend it until it’s something new. It’s almost like you’ve invented a new style.”

Diamond Head are currently touring in support of their latest self-titled album – including an appearance at Bloodstock Festival.

Diamond Head tour dates 2016

Jun 08: Solvesbord Sweden Rock, Sweden
Jun 18: Daun Der Detze Rockt, Germany
Jul 30: London Barnet Rugby Club, UK
Aug 12: Bloodstock Open Air, UK
Aug 18: Bilston The Robin 2, UK
Aug 19: Swansea Sin City,UK
Aug 27: Andalusia Skull Of Metal Fest, Spain
Sep 01: Southampton Brook, UK
Sep 02: Nuneaton Queen’s Hall, UK
Sep 03: Milton Keynes Craufurd Arms, UK
Sep 17: Storm Crusher Festival, Germany
Sep 22: Dublin Fibber Magees, Ireland
Sep 23: Belfast Voodoo, UK
Sep 24: Limerick Dolans Warehouse, Ireland
Sep 29: Norwich The Waterfront, UK
Oct 04: York Fibbers, UK
Oct 05: Glasgow O2 ABC, UK
Oct 06: Edinburgh La Belle Angele, UK
Oct 07: Aberdeen Moorings Bar, UK
Oct 08: Sheffield O2 Academy, UK
Oct 09: Islington O2 Academy, UK
Nov 02: San Francisco Slim’s, CA
Nov 03: Los Angeles Whisky A Go Go, CA
Nov 04: Las Vegas LVCS, NV
Nov 05: San Diego Brick By Brick, CA
Nov 10: Austin Grizzly Hall, TX
Nov 11: Houston Concert Pub North, TX
Nov 12: San Antonio Korova, TX
Nov 13: Dallas Trees, TX
Nov 17: Sellersville Theater, PA
Nov 18: Baltimore Fish Head Cantina, MD
Nov 19: Red Lion Chance Theatre, PA
Nov 20: New York Marlin Room at Webster Hall, NY
Nov 21: Rochester Bug Jar, NY
Nov 22: Montreal Katacombes, Canada
Nov 23: Ottawa Brass Monkey, Canada
Nov 24: Toronto Garrison, Canada
Nov 25: Westland Token Lounge, MI
Nov 26: Chicago Tailgators, IL
Nov 27: Milwaukee Metal Grill, WI

It's Prog Jim, But Not As We Know It: Diamond Head

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.