September 10th, 2005 | Interviews

Lavender Diamond are Los Angeles’ most revolutionary musical combo that does not own a single pair of cut-off camouflage shorts. Their Cavalry Of Light EP will renew at least a year back into your life. They sat for conversation and salmon salad at the Brite Spot, where patrons kept stopping by to say hi.

Steve Gregoroupoulos (piano/vocals): We used to be Purple Diamond but we lightened up.
Ron Rege, Jr. (percussion): I have a friend who has a band called Diamond Knights–we’re ready to meet and joust!
Jeff Rosenberg (guitar/vocals): We could be Black Wolf Diamond. Cover all the band-name bases.
Becky Stark (vocals): I say the more ‘wolf ’ bands, the merrier! We need more bands! We need everyone to play music immediately! We need proliferation of music–more music, not less! More bands, not less bands! The more music the better–people playing music, people sharing music…
S: Except music in restaurants. I don’t like to HAVE to listen to music. When it’s forced on you. It’s relaxing when you’re not absorbing someone’s ego.
B: But Steve likes to talk about ego. Steve does not speak for the rest of the band.
J: Make it clear all of our opinions are separate, though we have some we agree on.
B: We’re playing the most beautiful music we can possibly make, so that people who witness the music feel vibrations of love. Right?
R: Yes.
J: I wouldn’t want to say I don’t agree.
S: I agree only in a sense. It is the most beautiful within a specific meaning of the word beautiful.
B: When we say beautiful, we primarily mean WILD!
S: It’s not like there’s a scale that Merzbow and the Lavender Diamond are both in, and we’re more beautiful.
B: But we’re interested in discussing the proliferation of beauty.
This is like the manifesto of the Beautiful Panther Party.
S: I wanna be Angela Davis.
J: I wanna be Ramona Africa.
I wanna footnote this for the readers later.
S: Like T.S. Eliot’s notes to The Waste Land.
Tell me the Lavender Diamond story.
B: I don’t know if it’s true, but the way the first diamond caves were discovered was that there was a resonance coming from the caves. You know: sound is matter, matter is sound; all matter has a sound and all sound is matter. For instance, we don’t commonly think of sound as being, but sound is being. The sound of your voice–
Is beautiful?
B: Is beautiful, yes, but it does not exist objectively in your throat. It is an impulse in the fields of consciousness.
J: Are there poppies growing in this field?
This sort of reminds me: Becky, my friend says you’re the Aimee Semple McPherson of the LA music scene.
B: That’s radical–she was the evangelist who started the Angelus Temple! She was like a non-denominational evangelical evangelist! I played Aimee Semple in a play once! And my grandmother was a minister and a contemporary–like a metaphysician–and we have some of her lectures and all of her notes!
J: So that’s a fantastically apt comparsion.
We have a good Lavenderist tract here.
B: We have to work on more documents–’manifesto’ sounds bad. ‘Essays.’
J: We almost have a certain prayer we say at the beginning of our set.
B: That’s true–is this embarrassing? I always say: ‘Congratulations, everyone, for peace coming to planet Earth.’ And we clap and go, ‘Woooooo!’ And then we say, ‘In honor of peace coming to planet Earth, we are really excited to play this show–congratulations, we knew it was going to happen!’ It is kind of a spell–the idea is that we are transforming the space. Everyone saying ‘peace is here’ makes peace BE here–makes it real. If everyone agrees that peace is there, thought becomes language becomes matter.
I feel like I’m talking to a more beautiful MC5.
B: We had dinner with John Sinclair and we really hit it off. I totally felt like we were kindred spirits. I wanted him to be our manager. But he’s old. And lives in Amsterdam.
J: That’s a good place to live when you’re old and political.
Where will you live when you’re old and political?
B: Paris or Taipei.
J: Isn’t the earth just going to be all desert then?
B: There’ll be peace on earth!
J: But also tundra.
B: Well, a lot of people in global organization predict a drastic reduction in the earth’s population–like that Pentagon report on global security that was all about water that said the supply is going to be cut.
J: Well, that was a worst-case scenario.
B: But listen: the thing that is really happening on Earth is that we are experiencing an evolution of consciousness. Discovering a change in humanity where peace is on Earth and war is over–that’s a big evolutionary step. And one more thing about living in America–the main worst lie is that people think their individual lives do not matter. But that is not true–that is not true the same as if I were to say that the sky exists in a plaid pattern. So I think that as people come to realize each life matters and is in reality and in fact interconnected, that’s a major difference in our culture and society, you know? And as that reality comes to light, it would really be a very simple but profound shift.
Is there an easy way to accomplish that shift in about five minutes?
R: Listen to our record!
B: It’s what we DO, dude.