INTERVIEW: Diarrhea Planet
  • TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2016

  • Posted by: Susmita Paruchuri

With a name that evokes such visceral reactions, Diarrhea Planet has had to be pretty damn good to rise to the level they're at now. The garage rock band has come out of the woodwork in full force with their new album, Turn To Gold.

After hearing the Nashville bands name everywhere, I heard Northside Festival Director Dana Keith shout them out in a preview earlier this month as a band the community was particularly excited to see, and after listening to their album non-stop, I jumped at the opportunity to talk to one of the band's guitarist and vocalist, Emmett Miller.



SUSMITA PARUCHURI: I love the bands name, how did you come up with it?

EMMETT MILLER: Do you want the real answer or the fake one?

SP: The real one!

EM: Okay, the real one is that Brent [guitar/vocals] in our band is a huge Scrabble nerd. He won't come right out and tell you, but he's played in the nationals and everything, and to this day his highest score was a bingo playing 'diarrhea' off of 'planet.' And then it was decided.

SP: What was the fake answer?

EM: The fake one is we got in a bet with our buddies. We were both trying to come up with band names, and the loser had to name their band Diarrhea Planet. And we lost the coin flip.

SP: You just released a new album, Turn To Gold, and it debuted on four different Billboard charts. Is this the first time that's happened or did your other albums also chart?

EM: We had, on I'm Rich, we charted with CMJ on ads, we were in the top 200 or something, but this is the first time we featured prominently on Billboard and CMJ and I think we were even up to number 3 in LP sales, which kind of blew our minds.

SP: What was that like for you?

EM: Its an honor, really, especially as a smaller band on an independent label. Its a huge privilege to be able to do that. Our dream was to be able to stay with Infinity Cat Recordings here in Nashville. Theyll always be family, and to grow with the label rather than have to switch over to a bigger label to get that kind of press. It's a huge honor.

SP: You guys have roots in Nashville, do you think being in a city with such a great music scene helped?

EM: It certainly helps with the infrastructure that's there for music. Obviously, there's other stuff going on, within country music. Yeah, there had to be recording studios, and that sort of thing in place, like we couldn't do it without Vance Powell and Mike Fahey over at Sputnik where we recorded here in Nashville.

SP: Turn To Gold, your newest album, was announced with a Buzzfeed feature. How did that happen?

EM: [Photographers] Matthew Ruiz and Chona Kasinger approached us, they wanted to do a piece about us, they ended up pitching it to Buzzfeed, who picked it up. We were pretty pleased with how it came out. That was a lot of fun.

SP: On this album, you brought in more singers, so it wasn't just Jordan on vocals on every single song. What inspired that change?

EM: We wanted to have a more collaborative approach to this album, so we all pitched in with a few songs. I think Evan, one of the guitar players, is the only one who doesn't feature on the track. He has a trio of symphonic power metal songs he's been threatening to write for the past decade or so. So well see if you unveil that on the next one. But yeah, we were just trying to make it a collaborative process. I think it shows the most on 'Headband,' the eight-minute motion track, the odyssey. Jordan wrote the first half, Brent wrote the second a little bit after the noisy part, and we all collaborated on the outro.

SP: Is there anything else that sets this album apart from I'm Rich or your other older albums?

EM: The production, most notably. I think this is the first time the listeners have to pick out distinct guitar parts rather than the typical wall of sound of our previous albums. And we had hinted on it on our last EP, Aliens In The Outfield, which Vance Powell also mixed. But this is our first time the production is really shining.

SP: You guys also give amazing live shows - at SXSW you literally played hanging from the rafters, how did that happen?

EM: Beforehand, I ran into a buddy, and we just scoped out the stage, you know, whats the biggest thing to stand on, what would be exciting for a crowd. I ran into Zak, the drummer for Left & Right, he's a big dude, very tall. The last song, I tried to get up there, I needed a leg up, and he was like 'Hey, I got you!'

SP: And you also have this really passionate fanbase, does the crowds energy also help you when you're on stage?

EM: Absolutely. It's always a big plus when the crowd pushes back. We want to be able to feed off of that energy, it's like a recursive thing. We can feed off of each other. It always makes for a great show.

SP: So you just finished a tour this month and you're going to go back on the road in another month, is that tiring, or are you already refreshed and ready to go?

EM: Yeah, it feels good. I think after going on these long tours, like with Music Band the past couple of months, it feels really good to get into that rhythm again. We took a long break after we went into the studio, but it feels good to be out on the road again.

SP: Are you guys going to be playing more music off your new album this time around?

EM: Yes! I think the focus is going to be on the new record.

Listen to the new album Turn To Gold above and catch Diarrhea Planet at one of their upcoming tour dates

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