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Jackie & Jessica of Dianthus

Review Zoo Catch up with Jackie & Jessica of Dianthus

Jackie & Jessica of Dianthus

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Hi Jackie, Hi Jessica

Where do you call home?

We currently reside in Riverside, CA. We were born and raised here, and it's been our home since the beginning. We play a lot of shows locally and occasionally in LA and it's not too far from everything. There is also a great music community in our city, so it's been nice living here. -Jackie

When did you start your musical journey and what first got you into music?

Our musical journey officially began at the age of 7 when we began taking classical piano lessons. We really enjoyed the piano and it was our very first introduction to playing music. Fast forward to age 14, we also became intrigued with rock instruments like the drums and electric guitar, and joined a local rock school. We were beginning to hear more rock music at this age and the idea of picking up different instruments (alongside the piano) was a new experience for us. We had friends there that shared new bands with us for the first time and we eventually discovered that we really loved heavy music. The rest is history! -Jackie

Please can you give us a rundown of which gear you use live, and does it differ from what you use in the studio?

As far as guitars, our studio setup is pretty similar to what we use live. We try to keep it this way, so we don't sound dramatically different in each setting. I will record with the same guitars I use live. However, I do have a lot of fun with switching between different amps and effects pedals in order to get the best sounds and tones for our songs. It really depends! On our recent record "Realms", I used my two Charvel Desolation guitars (one in red, the other in black) with EMG pickups. They worked out amazing! However, in recent months my friend Ray Edwards gifted me a Strandberg Boden NX6 guitar and helped put in some purple EMG pickups and it sounds wild! The headless shape is a fun change for me and I'm excited to use this guitar in the studio very soon. Going back to live setup though, I use a Mesa Badlander amp head paired with a Marshall 1960 Lead Cabinet. My pedalboard is pretty simple: Boss Chromatic tuner, Fortin Grind Blackout boost pedal, ISP Technologies Decimator noise gate, Dunlop mini volume, and a Boss Digital Delay DD3. -Jackie

With drums, it's the same gear live and in the recording studio. The kit that I currently use is a TAMA Starclassic Birch/Bubinga 6-piece in a dark stardust looks as gorgeous as it sounds. The rack toms are shallow, making for a great initial attack when struck. The two floor toms provide a greater dynamic when I do various tom patterns throughout our arrangements. I play with Zildjian cymbals, specifically the K Custom Darks. I was turned on to these when using them to record our "Realms" album and now I just have to use them live too because of how much I want to emulate that record's sound live. For drumsticks, I use Vic Firth Esticks and Vic Firth AJ4's. My sister and I also have Ultimate Ears Custom In-Ear monitors for studio and live. -Jessica

Do you ever get nervous before going on stage and how do you deal with it?

It kind of depends on the crowd and venue to determine our level of anxiousness. If it is a huge crowd and we get a nice stage to rock out on, then we are always super amped to go. If the venue is somewhat more intimate, then we do have a little more butterflies. The second we hit the stage at any show, nerves always go away during or after the first song. We try to do our best to completely warm up with our instruments and vocals pre-show so things can go smoothly during our performances. There's nothing worse than feeling tense and not warmed up on stage and performing cold turkey. -Jessica

Piece of gear you wouldn't go without?

If there was a single piece of gear I wouldn't go without (whether studio or live), it would be my EMG pickups! -Jackie

A piece of gear I could not go without would be my Puma Speedcat Ferrari shoes, I use these every single time I'm behind my kit. These shoes are absolutely amazing and I can play double bass so smoothly with them because of how flesh they are with my pedals. They are essential! -Jessica

Do you listen to any other styles of music outside of your chosen genre? If so, which ones?

Of course! Our outside music taste ranges from classical to pop. Also, we love anything from the 80's! -Jackie

Any funny band stories?

I remember during a show I had broken a drumstick mid-song and something funny happened. I was whipping my hair around and head-banging to the music when suddenly my hair got tangled with the broken drumstick. It took a good five to six seconds to untangle it. Luckily, I still kept the groove with my other hand...but boy was that embarrassing! -Jessica

Which songs mean the most to you?

Together, we can agree that the songs, "Into the Light" by In This Moment, "My Curse" by Killswitch Engage, and "A Prophecy" by Asking Alexandria are the ones that mean the most to us. There are plenty others too, but these are the first that come to mind. Each of these songs are so emotional and fill us with inspiration every time we listen. -Jackie

Who are your biggest inspirations?

Our biggest inspirations as a band include Rush, Tool, Children of Bodom, and Ghost. We love the challenge of combining progressive time signatures, heavy instrumentation, and unique melodies to form songs. -Jackie

What are your hobbies outside of music?

Outside of music, we both really love to get out and explore new places and discover new things. We love antique shopping and sometimes gather cool items for our own music videos. We also love doing anything active, such as hiking and walking trails around our area. -Jackie

Favourite bands/artists?

Together, my sister and I share the same collection of favorite bands and artists. There are bands I've shared with her that she now loves, and vice versa. Atop the list of inspirations we mentioned, we absolutely love Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, In This Moment, Eyes Set to Kill, System of a Down, Gojira, Lorna Shore, the list goes on! -Jackie

Favorite album?

One of the first albums that really got me into metal was "The Poison" by Bullet For My Valentine. I love the combination of thrash metal and the melodic vocal hooks in that record. -Jackie

I really dig the album "Masks" by Eyes Set to Kill. The song "Surface" really propelled me to start pursuing double bass. The drum sound is phenomenal and I love Alexia's aggressive vocals. I'm still pretty amazed that we got to work with Steve Evetts, the producer behind that exact record. Jackie and I did our second full-length album "Realms" with him. -Jessica

What do you feel your biggest strongpoints are as musicians?

Hm, probably the fact that we happen to be twins. We just understand each other and communicate so deep on an emotional and musical level. We share the same vision for this band and we always work through things as a team. We both were formally trained classical pianists before pursuing rock and metal, so feel that gives us some leverage when it comes to writing more complicated arrangements. Also, being that my sister Jackie studied mainly rhythm guitar before doing leads, she has developed an ear for where to lock in her guitars with my drumming. -Jessica

Any new releases or anything else on the horizon you'd like to mention?

Yes! We just released a brand new music video for our song "My First Breath". It is out now on YouTube! Our second full-length album "Realms" is available on compact disc, as well as vinyl! We are stoked to also be releasing its companion, the exclusive "Realms" comic book! The world that we created with this album is available in different mediums and we couldn't be happier. The two of us are also excited to be heading back in the studio and working on new material. We are exploring new sounds and are stoked with how things are evolving. -Jessica

Thanks for taking part Jackie and Jessica.

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