Filmmaker Turned Musician Nick Diamonds Balances Touring with New Short

Photo Credit: Juliette Cassidy
Photo Credit: Juliette Cassidy

The creative mind is both a blessing and a curse. Those with this mindset can’t deal with normalcy, so you often find them doing arts & crafts to sell on Etsy or designing sets for their local theater. Nick Diamonds does none of those, but does find time to make a short film starring Michael Cera and tour with his latest record, City Of Quartz. He’s been criss crossing around the country for about a month now and had some colorful language to use when asked about how it’s been going. Nick also noted that if you’re waiting for a Unicorns reunion, you’ll be waiting awhile because the likelihood of that is “No with a capital N and a lower case o.”

Other than saying nope to a reunion and dropping some f-bombs, Nick told opened up about his wide eyes, his new album and his short film that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. So keep on keepin on for more from Nick Diamonds.

Kendra: Teenagers are fickle creatures, often not really knowing what they want. So when you were fronting The Unicorns back in the day, were you one of the rarities who knew that was what you were supposed to be doing, or did you have some doubts along the way?

Nick Diamonds: I had stars in my eyes – There was definitely a lot of daydreaming that went into it, and I think probably armored us for the relative success we were about to have. In my experience, doubt only comes later in life. Back then, brashness, hubris and pluck were the stock in trade.

Kendra: Back to the present. You dropped City Of Quartz this year. With I Am An Attic being so well received, was there pressure to put out something similar – or do you write without the critics in mind?

Nick: I wasn’t aware that Attic was well received. It was something I made under very modest circumstances, and released very quietly on my Bandcamp. I think because it came as somewhat of a surprise, it probably got a bit of traction from that, but in my estimation, it was a very quiet affair. I wasn’t under any pressure, and in fact, I knew it would be extremely simple to make a better record. Attic was a very untidy affair.

Kendra: What song off City Of Quartz best represents your current mindset, like at this exact moment that you’re reading this and why?

Nick: Lyrically? I dunno. “Hit the Skids: probably. Touring tends to bring out those kinds of self-defeated feelings. Tour is a grind!

Kendra: Will you take a break after this run to focus on That Dog?

Nick: I’ll submit it to some more festivals, and we’ll release it online shortly, but my plan is to focus on making another one, hopefully before the end of the year. It’s already underway.

Kendra: That Dog is a short film set in LA starring Michael Cera, was his or any of the other characters based on neighbors you’ve had living there?

Nick: No, the film was actually based on a dream I had. It was very vivid, so I woke up in the middle of the night and wrote it down entirely. In the dream, I was yelling at a woman and her dog, after the dog attacked me. I became an animal, just yelling uncontrollably. It was disturbing. I added the dynamic between Tim and Michael, and sort of based that off a friendship with a friend of mine.

Kendra: Did you approach penning the short film the same way you do when you go to write a record?

Nick: Well, I wouldn’t really compare the two. Writing a song is much more fluid and much less linear. I might start with a chord or a melody or a lyrical phrase. With screenwriting, it usually requires that I sit down and write.

Kendra: This may be easy since you likely put music in That Dog, but if you had to make a mixtape that best represented your short film, what five songs would be on it?

Nick:
Asshole” – Beck
Who Let the Dogs Out” – Baha Men
Doggy Dogg World” – Snoop Dogg
Get Out” – Sloan
And probably a song by the band That Dog, whose name I stole for the title of this film.

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