Music Addiction Magazine
Conducted by Kylee Thompson
Recently I had the chance to ask Louis Tentsos of Diamond Weapon a few questions about their new album "All Heart, No Sleeve".
Diamond Weapon are a Post-Hardcore Band based out of Toronto, Ontario consisting of Louis Tentsos, Jason Bradfield, and Marco Vani and Stephen Maclean.
What inspiration did you have for the name of the new album?
LT: It almost started as a joke – we were debating album titles, and Stephen recommended “All Heart,
No Sleeve” as a twist on the “wear your heart on your sleeve” expression, but he chose it because he
rarely ever wears a t-shirt with sleeves, so the title would be a nice little ode to himself. And at first, we
were like “that’s dumb,” but after a few days and thinking about it further, we were all like “no, that’s
brilliant” and went with it!
How would you describe the sound of your new album to a potential new fan?
LT: We’re very much a throwback post-hardcore band, to era of the late 90s and early 2000s. Bands like
Refused, At the Drive-In, Thursday, Thrice, but with a bit of a punk ethos of being messy and chaotic and
a lot of DIY philosophy.
Could you tell us the backstory behind “Who Survives The End Of The World”?
LT: It’s actually funny hearing how “Who Survives” has touched so many people who have heard the
record so far, because I wrote it as a response to the proceeding track “Only the Cowards.” “Cowards” is
a song about a person who abandoned his life and all his relationships in one place to live alone off-the-
grid. At first he is happy, but after being alone quite some time, he can’t cope with it anymore. He
starts to look back on some of relationships he had before he left and thinks that they may not have
been as bad as he thought – certainly better than being alone. While I don’t think that’s universally true
in real life – there are certainly some relationships that are so toxic, being alone would be much better –
I do think that’s a very human feeling that people feel when they are lonely. So, “Who Survives” was
supposed to represent the other side of that – the abandoned friend, the lost lover. The person on the
other side of the phone call who says “we didn’t have a future together, but I still wish for the best
future for you.”
Do you have a personal favorite song off the new album?
LT: Like all things music, it’ll probably change in a week, but to answer it right now, I would say “Heaven
in the Cold Clouds.” Our bassist Marco wrote the bulk of the guitar parts for that song, and we amassed
them together as a band, and not only is it probably the best musical representation of this album, but
it’s also just super fun to perform!
What are your favorite lyrics off All Heart, No Sleeve?
LT: If I had to choose, I would say “A Harsh Lesson in Vulnerability,” just because it touches on so many
themes in society. It’s about a couple that does anything to survive, including one person getting a job
overseas and having to be away from the person they love so much, but knowing that they will be in a
better position in life because of it. So, it touches on themes of romance and loneliness, but also on
broader themes like capitalism and the cost of living.
How long did this album take to make from start to finish?
LT: In terms of strict recording, 2 months – mid-April to mid-June of this year, and then another month
to edit and mix it. But writing process took a long time. Songs like “Cowards” and “Cold Clouds” started
being written in early 2021, even before our last album was even released. Since then, it was about
workshopping the songs, performing them in front of crowds, and getting them ready for the recording
You just released the video for your single “Science Fiction at the Edge of Existence”. Can you tell us
your favorite moments from the video shoot?
LT: Yeah, because of some changes in our personal schedules, that was actually the first time in about a
month all 4 of us were in a room together, so it was actually just a whole bunch of fun – we got a case of
beers, and got to hang out and shoot a music video in my living room, which was great. Plus, getting to
act like the Gatekeeper was super fun. I grew up playing the Nightmare board game, so acting this out
brought back a lot of great memories.
Can we expect any more videos coming our way soon?
LT: Oh yes – in fact, we’re in the middle of a 12 videos in 12 months YouTube challenge. With November
and December on the horizon, I think it’s safe to say that there will be at least 2 more videos coming!
You have a tour starting in just a few days, what are your favorite and least favorite parts about
being on tour?
LT: Least favourite part would be the stress on the body. I remember going on our first tour – and it
wasn’t much, it was 6 cities in 9 days. But I just remember how exhausted I was as it was happening – I
couldn’t sleep, I was driving all day, I was sore, and then when it was showtime, you had to get amped
up and perform at your best. I was wondering how bands could do that for 2 to 3 months at a time, and
realizing the answer was probably typically drugs.
Best part, though, it just meeting and performing in front of new people. There’s just a cool feeling
about watching people experience something that you made in their own way that really makes me
happy, so I’m super stoked for our upcoming run!
Do you have any plans to come out west on tour in Canada?
LT: I don’t think I’m allowed to say too much about it right now, but let’s say if all goes well – Summer
2024 is a strong possibility!
Are there any bands you would like to go on tour with?
LT: I’m not sure if it’ll even happen, as I don’t think they have another tour in them, but the dream
would be to open up for At the Drive-In, as I grew up listening to them, and just being able to watch
them perform their craft on a nightly basis would be incredible.
What do you feel are Diamond Weapons’ biggest achievements?
LT: I don’t know if it would be characterized as a “big” achievement, but just helping people work
through their negative emotions with our music is what I’m proudest of. So much of the music I listened
to growing up was dark and emotional, and helped me through a lot of the dark times of my own, so we
wanted to make sure that with this band and with this music, that we’re paying that forward. That
people aren’t alone when they feel sad and lonely. We’ve been there too, and we’ve made it through it,
and you can share in that with us.
Lastly, what is the best advice someone has given you?
LT: He didn’t give it to me directly, but Wade MacNeil from alexisonfire once said in an interview that
the money in the music industry isn’t there as much today as it used to be, so artists today need to take
up skills external to music. Back in the day, you could just focus on the music, and you would hire
producers, music video directors, tour managers, and all that stuff. Today, with a third of a cent coming
in per stream, artists need to focus on what they can do themselves to save money. It helps that we
have a very DIY ethos, so we produced this album ourselves, we did the video for “Science Fiction”
ourselves, we booked our own tour. So, my advice would be the same as Wade’s - take up a skill related
to music outside of writing and performing music. Take up producing, take up film production, take up
graphic design. That way, you have something more to contribute to the band and less things you need
to worry about filling externally.
LISTEN / PURCHASE "ALL HEART, NO SLEEVE HERE
DIAMOND WEAPON 'ALL HEART, NO SLEEVE' ONTARIO DATES:
11.09.23 London, ON @ Palasad Socialbowl
11.10.23 Toronto, ON @ Tail of the Junction
11.11.23 Hamilton, ON @ Corktown Pub
11.16.23 Peterborough, ON @ The Historic Red Dog
11.17.23 Ottawa, ON @ Avant Garde Bar
11.18.23 Oshawa, ON @ The Atria