[Photo by Dina Regine.]
DIANE AND THE GENTILE MEN
(Diane Gentile, Matt Basile, Colin Brooks, Jason Victor, Alfonso Velez)
Diane had just returned from an acoustic tour in England and began working late nights at a local music venue in New York City. She spent many hours there listening to every kind of band perform. “It made me miss being on stage and kept knawing at me to get on with my real passion.” One of the bands that really spoke to her was The Miracle 3, fronted by renown singer/songwriter Steve Wynn, of the Dream Syndicate. “There was a magical interplay between him and guitarist Jason Victor. It had a certain melodic chaos, that distinct kind that I really wanted to hear on my record.”. She then met drummer Colin Brooks at a show where he was laying down his super soul beats in The Hurricane Bells. She was also inspired by bassist Matt Basile, on stage with a dual female fronted rock band, Mother Feather. “Suddenly I saw before me, my new group.” Alfonso Velez walked in shortly thereafter and became the final addition to this congregation. This is how Diane and The Gentle Men came to be.
Not too long after playing shows to full houses in venues such as Rockwood Music Hall and Berlin in downtown Manhattan, the band soon ended up in a cool new studio built in an old firehouse in Redhook Brooklyn, called Atomic, where Interpol and Mark Ronson had recently recorded. Steve Wynn agreed to produce this first EP to be released through Velvet Elk/One Little Indian Records (Bjork, Dead Heavens, Twilight Singers).
The A-side, “Motorcycle” “was inspired by strumming a warn in 1957 Gibson drinking a glass of white wine and thinking about one of the new local heroes in town, who plays in a couple of bands, Threats/Drowners. B- side “Boyfriend” and bonus track “Wasted Word” were blasted through fast and loose in that instant one-day session.
The record was mixed by Clif Norell, (R.E.M., The Replacements, Bruce Springsteen) and the other tracks mixed by Merle Chornuk (Ryan Adams, Nels Cline), the owner of Atomic Studios.
With this first EP behind her, Diane began opening for acclaimed artists: Richard Lloyd (Television), Steve Wynn, Jesse Malin, Laura Cantrell, Tommy Stinson, Jason Darling, Laura Cantrell and more. Diane and the Gentle Men will finish recording the full album this spring, with Steve Wynn producing. Tour dates in New York, Nashville, Boston, Philadelphia and the UK are being scheduled.
“For years I’ve written songs behind closed doors. I’ve craved for the moment when the writing would go to the players, come alive, hit tape, and gain character, finally reaching that stage, where the songs are no longer just mine.”