Q&A with New Diplomat

New Diplomat is currently getting ready to release Replaced, their first new material in three years, and they’re already looking toward the future. Replaced is set to release this August, but the band already has bigger and better plans lined up – with a follow-up already planned and in the works, they don’t show any signs of stopping soon. Read more about the San Fransisco three-piece and listen to their new single, “Stay Up” below.

Interview by Dom Vigil

Can you tell us a little bit about New Diplomat for any readers who may not be familiar?

We started New Diplomat in 2011 in San Francisco. Our first EP was received quite well and we found ourselves playing  bigger shows ,getting label attention and having radios spinning our songs. By the end of 2013 the band went on a hiatus mostly due to ” artistic differences.” New Diplomat regrouped in 2015 as a three piece (originally it was five of us) and just played few selected gigs while working on the upcoming record.

You guys are getting ready to release your new EP, Replaced in August – what can listeners to expect to hear in these songs?

They can expect a very different sound from us. We feel we have found a balance and a way of working on our music that has enabled us to really express what we wanted. We certainly hope people will love it!

It has been three years since your last album, In Gold. How do you feel you’ve grown or changed between that release and this upcoming EP?

A lot, absolutely.  We did learn quite a few lessons on a personal and on a musical level.  A big one (for us) is  to just focus on the music, on what we like and what it feels  right , no outside interferences allowed…

What goals did you have in mind when working on these songs? Was there anything new that you wanted to accomplish that you haven’t been able to do in the past?

As far as the songs it just felt very liberating, you know what I mean? We didn’t have a plan for a specific style or else. In general, we want to take the band all over the place, outside California, outside the US, all the way. Too many people haven’t heard of New Diplomat yet and we are here to change that.

What was it like to work with Jeff Saltzman on the EP? What do you feel he was able to bring to the table that you wouldn’t have otherwise done?

Working with Jeff was fantastic. He’s a great producer, no doubt about it. He has an incredible ear for hooks and  nuances … He’d be like, “Let’s try to put that little riff back in there,” and then you go back and listen to it and you just want to cry a little bit cause it’s beautiful. And he does push you to do your best, I mean, it’s remarkable. Stuff like, “Yeah dude, that part is nice, but I think you can do better,” and a few tries later , you listen and go, “Wow! did I just do that? ”

You also just released the first single from the EP, “Stay Up.” What inspired the song?

Stay Up is about being ok after all, about making it through a serious challenge, about not letting anything kill your spirit. New love and new possibilities are always around the corner, we just have to look…

What would you like listeners to be able to take away from the songs on this EP?

We certainly hope people will connect with these songs. As of now , we have never put out anything  that is so honest , we’d love for the listeners to feel that.

Over the past few years, what has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned or the best thing you’ve taken into working on this record?

Well, technically you tend to get better, you learn more about production and balance and frequencies and all that aspect. I guess the big lesson we brought in with us was to just be absolutely true to ourselves. If we liked an electronic sound or a certain vibe, if we wanted to slow it down or play it faster, we’d go for it, without any pre conceived limitations.

With the EP dropping in a little under a month, do you have any plans to hit the road before the year comes to an end?

Absolutely. We are putting together an epic release party here in SF. After that we’ll start announcing tour dates. It’s all been worked on as we speak.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you would like to add?

And thank you for your time!  Yes, there is one thing… As we were finishing up the mixes for the upcoming EP, we started working on the follow up. It’s been coming together very, very well.  Soon after Replaced, we’ll be releasing another one. It’s sounding amazing, stay tuned!