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John Cole

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J.C.: John Cole
John Cole
Vocals/ Rhythm acoustic guitar/ Washboard/ percussion

Another one from a music background. Dad was a great guitarist and got the chance to play and record with some famous people. I grew up listening to the music my Mum and Dad listened to. 1970's Rock - The old school. I guess that's when it all sunk in.

Everyone hoped and probably expected that I would follow in my Dads footsteps and become a musician. I've always played guitar and drums, as far back as I can remember. I wasn't any good, but just enjoyed the whole thing. I'd listen to songs on the radio and play along. It was great, I got to annoy my mum and the neighbours in one hit!

I'd jammed along with friends for years, never really thought about being in a band, or getting one together. I think we just found it cool to hang out and play some tunes. From time to time I'd sing, taking the lead vocal. I never thought or pretended I could sing, but someone had to do it.

Outside of music, I have been a car mechanic for years. It comes in handy when we're going and coming back from Gigs. I've built and rebuilt engines, put cars together and taken them apart - usually asking the owner first!

I love going fishing and shooting with my mates. We're lucky really, being right on the edge of the countryside. Not that far from Reading or London.

I got to be a 'Black Diamond' by accident really. My Mum had known El Zorro for Years and had become friends with Django, through the circle of friends they'd drink with. The band needed a rhythm guitarist and someone to do backing vocals. We met in the 'Pheasant' pub one Sunday afternoon. Had a few beers, bit of a chat and I became the 3rd Black Diamond!

We began practicing around at Django's pad. I wasn't sure at first, because I had always played rock and the bands set was totally different. It was a buzz for everyone - we enjoyed it so I suppose it worked.

'Our Kid' Django plays this 1930's style Gypsy Jazz acoustic, just like the real one did. The sound has the warmth of a Spanish nylon strung guitar, with the bright sound of steel strings. One day I decided to experiment at a practice. I had this Steel strung Electro/acoustic. El Zorro had a spare set of nylon strings, so I changed the strings over and that is what I've been doing ever since.

I do prefer the original songs we play and record. I've a few of mine I'd like to record at some point. Our own stuff is a mixer of all the different bands we like. We don't sound like any one band and no one sounds like us!