The infernal racket conjured by Melbourne outfit Diploid is unsurpassable. Few would be able to handle the chaotic extremities of their sound – an intense conglomerate of all things heavy and antagonistic – with such precision, but the trio make it look easy. The band’s new album, Everything Went Red, is an untiring barrage of brutality, one that proves itself more nuanced than most. Its tracks are short bouts of distilled rage akin to the adrenaline-fuelled realms of grindcore, powerviolence and hardcore punk, but their sound is also informed by the murky undergrowths of noise and sludge.
The band’s sound is a faultlessly coarse affair, backed up by a morose backdrop of pessimistic themes. 2016’s Is God Up There? took inspiration from life’s darkest corners – from Nigel Cawthorne’s book about Josef Fritz, House of Horrors, to biographical crime drama The Snowtown Murders – and Everything Went Red continues this trend.
Infatuated with the band’s devastating raucous, and driven by a wish to discover more about the album’s themes, we spoke to two-thirds of the band for an insight into Everything Went Red‘s twisted textures.
There’s a noticeable increase in noise and sludge textures on Everything Went Red, was this informed by what you were listening to at the time?
Reece Prain: I was going pretty hard on a bunch of different Japanese noise stuff (The C.C.C.C, Merzbow, The Gerogerigegege) and at the time I also wanted to start doing noise stuff for Diploid, as I wasn’t able to do my noise project, Muddy Lawrence, as much as I wanted to. I also had just heard The Body for the first time, and I really dug how they incorporate a lot of different sounds into their songs. We had also changed our tuning after writing Is God Up There? but before we recorded it, so these were the first songs we had written in a lower tuning, and it sounds way better to play slower now.
Despite the influence of sludge and noise, the album refrains from indulging in these genre’s proclivity for lengthy tracks, is this purposeful?
RP: I had never really thought about it *laughs*, but we do try to keep our releases short, Mariam and I have said that we think this record was a little too long.
It’s also mainly an influence from powerviolence, 80s hardcore, and grindcore.
Is God Up There? took inspiration from serial killers, mass murders and death cults, are the themes behind Everything Went Red’s as dark?
RP: This one doesn’t really stick to one theme, some of the songs share themes, but there isn’t one overarching one like IGUT?. A few songs are about personality disorders, death, mental illness and a couple are about personal experiences and feminism. So, probably about the same.
The title of the previous album came from something Josef Fritzl’s son said, where does the name Everything Went Red originate?
RP: We changed the name a few times when trying to come up with something. Everything Went Red kind of relates to the sample at the end of the album, sort of discussing the state of mind one might find themselves in.
Your music seems to draw from the slower-paced realms of doom and sludge as much as it does the more adrenaline-fuelled speed of grind or punk. Both are intensely powerful, but considering their compositional differences, is it hard to merge the two?
RP: It can be hard, the easiest way to get slow and fast together is to go fast into slow, the other way is a bit harder *laughs*. But a few of the ideas we came up with got reworked due to the flow being a bit odd.
The amalgamation of different styles that creates your sound is pretty unique, do you think it’s important to stand out and do something different musically?
RP: We change and incorporate different ideas to not get bored and write ourselves into a corner, we aren’t going to start incorporating straight up deathcore breakdowns or anything, but having an open mind keeps it fun.
I also dig a lot of bands that only really sound like themselves and have changed their style over time. Melt Banana are a great example.
It does make a band stand out, but I don’t think it’s a requirement. It’s kind of nice to not limit ourselves by subconsciously trying to stick to a particular genre or sound.
We assume it’s fair to say that Diploid aren’t a political band, but does the current socio-political climate impact the angry and despondent nature of your music?
RP: Modern human history impacts the anger and despondent nature of our music *laughs*.
There are a few spoken-word audio clips on the album, where are these taken from? Are they chosen to fit with the album’s themes?
RP: This was taken from an old video that I think was used to teach psychology students about sociopaths in the early 1990s. They interview a bunch of convicted sex offenders and brutally violent people in plain clothing and talk about their outward personality and inward personality. It’s a hard watch, but a very interesting one.
It’s used mainly to demonstrate a person’s escalation and how some people manipulate society and exploit their position of power.
As a band, you’ve been fairly outward about your progressive views, especially in regards to feminism, do you believe more bands should follow suit and take a stand?
Mariam Benjemaa: I think bands should. I don’t believe it’s necessary for bands to have to make big political online rants, but rather show [their beliefs] through their actions and through the way they manage themselves within the music scene. Book a diverse lineup, don’t call a female or non-binary person a “sound guy”.
Men don’t realise what shows are like for people that aren’t men, especially heavy/harsh shows. For years, men have used the anonymity of loud noises and cramped crowds to their sexual advantage. For guys going to gigs is like they’re just out seeing a show, for others, it’s the case of risking your safety and mental wellbeing just to see a band, a band that is usually a bunch of dudes playing tough guy down at the pub. All three of us hold so many ladies and non-binary people close to our hearts and they have played huge parts in making Diploid the band it is today.
You guys have made some killer albums and even been able to tour in Japan, what’s next on the to-do list?.
RP: We should have a split 12″ with Young Nats from New Zealand coming out soon. We are also doing a collab release with Biles from Adelaide.
We are also about to do an Australian tour and will hopefully be going to Europe in a year or two.
Everything Went Red is out now on Black Wire Records, Art As Catharsis, Cat Fight, and Hardcore For The Losers. Purchase here.
Words: George Parr