Ahead of their second-ever visit to Cambodia, Leng Pleng forwarded a few key questions to the stunning Diana Bailey Band.
Bangkok, Saigon, Phnom Penh… you guys get around! Where you are from originally and, outside of HCMC, where is good to play music in Vietnam?
Diana: I’m from Toronto and Brian’s from Houston. We’ve had a blast playing all over Vietnam, but the crowds at our shows in Hanoi and Da Nang were especially great.
Diana has a stunning voice which stops traffic and conversations. Can you name a few singers and artists who have influenced the music of The Diana Bailey Band?
Brian: We play a sort of pop-soul with a country twang (I’m not great at describing it). The countryish-ness (see?) is probably partly my doing; Diana took a real shine to that sound when she lived in Texas for awhile. But Diana’s been singing this way since she was a kid, so her influences are all over the place. She’s a huge (HUGE) Whitney Houston fan, plus Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, etc is probably where the signing style comes from. We both love Miranda Lambert, the Black Keys, and folkier stuff like Bob Dylan and Odetta, so those all probably have a lot to do with our guitar sound.
Your debut EP ‘Sympathizer’ will be released on a UK-based indie label. Can we expect the stripped-down acoustic sound that we hear at your live shows, or will the recording be a different kind of production?
Diana: It’s a little more fleshed-out than the live show, but we still went for a live/analog sound. We recorded it in a garage in Texas and the producer, Mike Massey, really pulled off giving us a lot of sound with very little to work with. I got to record harmonies for several songs, too, so that was a really fun thing to hate doing.
What’s on the Diana Bailey agenda for this Cambodia trip? Just playing Phnom Penh or will you have a chance to experience the more laid-back lifestyle of the provinces ?
Brian: We’re making this a long trip–three weeks–and playing quite a few shows all over. We’re really excited to play at Show Box and DJ Guesthouse this Friday and Saturday, the 23rd and 24th [June]. Also can’t wait for our gigs at Oscar’s, Tusk, Botanico later on in the trip, and it’s gonna be fun to make our way down to both Bong’s locations on the islands there, and Karma Trader’s in Kampot for a couple shows too!
Our only trip to Cambodia [before this] was a visa run with a show, so we haven’t done much of anything at all and this time we’re determined to make it a real trip. We want to eat everything, drink everything, and party with everybody, so if anyone’s got any suggestions, let us know.
Lastly, and most importantly, if you could mix a special cocktail to serve to your audiences in Cambodia – what would it consist of !?
Diana: A Caesar. Not a Bloody Mary–a real Caesar, Canada-style, with Clamato. I miss unleashing the power of the clam to fight my hangovers.
Brian Armstrong and Diana Bailey – The Diana Bailey Band – will be appearing in Cambodia in June at Show Box on Friday the 23rd, DJ Guesthouse Saturday the 24th, Karma Traders the 27th and 4th, Oscar’s the 30th, Tusk on the 1st, Duplex on the 7th, and Botanico on the 8th.