Melbourne’s Diploma will launch of their debut EP, ‘The Cost of Clarity‘ this Friday, May 26th.

The energetic five piece punk band pull their members from Australia, Canada and New Zealand and take influence from the likes of Moneen, Clowns and Kitsch.

The Cost of Clarity‘ features six tracks exemplifying what Diploma stand for; unique, uncompromising aggressive music with brutally honest lyrics.

It was recorded and mixed by Gareth Leach at The Song Lounge and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege.

To find out all about it, the band took the time this week to answer our On The Record questions.

Take a read of their answers below, and if you are in Melbourne, head along to The Bendigo Hotel this Friday where they are joined by friends Postscript, Gladstone, The Beggars Way, Angry Seas and Good For Wednesday. CD’s will be available on the night. Doors open 7:30pm and a tenner gets you in.

Tell us about the release title.
This record was a long time in the making. There were a lot of ideas both musically and lyrically that didn’t make sense so got lost on the cutting room floor. I think as a band we were really working towards something, at times not really knowing what that thing was. The title really was our ‘ah-ha’ moment when we realized yeah man, this is it. If you really want to live a virtuous life there is a cost associated. So many people love to tell others how to live their lives, or signal to the world how humanitarian they are, it’s so far from authentic.

Tell us about the artwork.
If you look closely, the perspective of the camera seems like it’s being shot by a child looking out into the world, a world it can’t really understand yet. There’s something interesting in the child’s view of a world from a moving car. It’s removed, and naïve. The photo was taken by a friend we know back in Canada, Andrea. Two of us are from Canada so I suppose it feels a bit like home too.

What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
We’ve printed a run of CD’s which we will release at the launch on May 26th. We will also be making the album available for purchase on bandcamp as well as streaming it on all major digital distribution platforms. We are in talks with a rad bunch of guys in another Melbourne band about releasing a vinyl split.

Who will it be released through, and when?
We’re putting the EP out ourselves. We’ve had some label interest, but are holding out till we hear back from a few more.

Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
The sound of The Cost of Clarity was really impacted by having it mixed and produced by Gareth Leach at The Song Lounge. It’s funny when we approached Gareth about recording us he was apprehensive about working with a punk band. I think he was just over the whole skate punk thing. We had to convince him that wasn’t our sound or what we were going for. In the end he loved the project and compared us to Attack in Black, which made the two Canadians in the band swoon. We were also stoked by the mastering work done by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege.

Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
The Cost of Clarity isn’t a concept album. It’s main objective was to be brutally honest. So many bands sing about odd hypothetical situations you know they are not involved in or overly sentimental romantic situations that are fun to fantasies about, but are just that, fantasies. We aimed musically and lyrically to treat the EP as a form of catharsis for our failings, hopes and personal histories. So in the end there is a lot of us in this album that is out there in the open. That vulnerability, that’s where we want to connect with listeners.


Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
The diversity in what we were listening to is one of our strong points. We all listen to a wide array of musical styles. So while composing it’s great to have the songs pull from one style to another. The guitars are a perfect example of this. You can really hear it in Fake Tan, a song that takes a couple spins to get your head around.

Were there any albums you were referencing in the studio to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
As soon as we found out Gareth knew Attack in Black: Marriages, we went with that as a guide.

Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
Curse These Metal Hands is the one track on the EP we don’t appear on. The keys were written and performed by Gareth Leach and the background chatter was recorded at Hurley’s Pub in Montreal, unbeknownst to those now on the track.

When it comes to naming the tracks, is there any particular approach or process to it all?
Ya, naming the tracks is quite important to us. The references need to have meaning to us even if they are not understood by the listener. The one we’re asked most about is our single End and End and End (then die). Which is really just about how life goes. End one thing and then do another, end another and so on till you die. The first track was initially named A Young Mike Tyson, but due to it being macho as hell we changed it to just Macho. There’s also a Peep Show reference in there for any avid fans.

Any memorable studio moments?
I saw Shannon drink an alcoholic beverage with sugar in it and nearly fell off my chair. There was also a lot of talk about Bryan Adams and figure skating.

Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
There are 2 tracks that didn’t make the cut we have put out in the past as really rough demos. I’m sure they will get a run on our next album, as they’re bangers.

Anything else you want to say or about the release?
We’ve managed to get some of Melbourne’s best live acts to join us for our launch on May 26th at the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood. For us they aren’t all just great bands but ripper dudes, so it’s not just a celebration of the EP but also the relationships and connections formed from doing something we love.



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