The War Inside My Head: An Interview with Diploid
The War Inside My Head interview series is back with another complete music geekout featuring some of the best, brightest, and most interesting voices in the contemporary extreme music scene. Today is something of a treat, a triple-treat in fact, seeing that we're featuring all three members of the chaotic wonder that is Melbourne's very own: Diploid. For the better part of a decade this fearsome threesome has been combining equal parts grindcore, hardcore, noise, and basically the entire kitchen sink into an emotional force of prowling menace and hurt. They're relentless, they're as sharp as a very sharp thing, and, on top of it all, painfully and blissfully human. Their most recent release, the unrelenting and beautiful I Am Yours. And I Am Here Again is just another potent and fucked up high mark in a discography that's basically impeccable already. So nothing gives me more joy than to present this interview with Reece Prain, Mariam Benjemaa, and Scarlett Shred.
BUT, this would be a great time to remind everyone of our brand-new charity compilation MILIM KASHOT VOL. 3 that features some of my favorite artists, a ton of amazing music, and all for a good cause. So just do it.
As always, check out our various interview projects and other cool shit. And if you'd like to keep abreast of the latest, most pressing developments follow us wherever we may roam (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and now also a tape-per-day series on TIK TOK!), and listen to our shitty podcast (YouTube, Spotify, Apple), and to check out our amazing compilation albums. You can support our unholy work here (Patreon), if you feel like it. Early access to our bigger projects, weekly exclusive recommendations and playlists, and that wonderful feeling that you're encouraging a life-consuming band musical habit. Be well, and on to Diploid.
Mariam: The first album I ever bought with my own money was Green Day’s American Idiot. I was 12 years old, I’m sure I used birthday money to buy it. I got it at my hometown’s local electronics/CD store. I listened to it through my walkman in the car all the time, I think I went back and bought Dookie a few weeks later… tragic.
Scarlett: My parents worked for a record company when I was young so I actually had a lot of Cds and tapes before I ever had to cough up my own money for any. I think the first album I went out of my way to buy was probably Korn's Life Is Peachy which I got at second hand record store for 5 bucks.
Mariam: There was a lot of Chuck Berry, Bob Marley and Micheal Jackson in the home. Both my parents have an interest in music, always putting on something that had a good rhythm to dance to. We were a camping family, much of my childhood was spent in the back seat of an old Nissan troopy. The car had 3 different CD’s on rotation, two were Australian rock mix albums and the third was The Very Best of John Williamson. INXS and Midnight Oil made a perfect soundtrack for driving through the Simpson desert or winding through rainforests in Northern Queensland.
Scarlett: My mother and father loved The Pixies so I was listening to The Pixies' Surfer Rosa before I could walk. Pretty much been listening to The Pixies my entire life. Nirvana's In Utero blew my tiny mind in primary school! The production and rawness had me hooked. The drum intro to "Scentless Apprentice" is peak Dave Grohl drumming, and Steve Albini's production! I've definitely worn out a few copies of this one over the years.
What two albums taught you the most about making music (mixing, production, performance)?
Mariam: I was a huge Slipknot and Korn fan throughout my early teens, this was also when I first started to play guitar. I don’t think I realized it at the time, but I was definitely being influenced by the electronic and noise aspects from Slipknot’s self titled album and IOWA, the way samples and vocals were mixed in amongst the rest of the band.
What album relaxes you or centers you the most?
Mariam: I absolutely fell in love with Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising. Almost every song on that album is perfect ("Movies" drags a bit and "Mirror Forever" is a little ho-hum). The instrumentation is just so lovely and Natalie’s meek but powerful voice is stunning.
What album would you recommend from your local scene?
Scarlett: I'm a jaded 34-year-old trans woman from Lutruwita (Tasmania) who grew up in the Naarm based punk scene and what it taught me in the long run is…that I dislike scenes thoroughly. Some good folk but also colonizers, clout chasers, rich kids, bootlickers and technocrats all around! So I'm gonna recommend an album that doesn't fit that scene at all but is still held in high regard. One that breaks the mold, has no three chord D-Beat riffs or boring breakdowns! ESP Mayhem's Bloodsportswear! Synthgrind chaos that doesn't give a fuck about you or yer hearing! Not the album you need! The album you deserve!