As discussions on mental health, addiction, and immigration in America gain more prominent, nuanced coverage on cable news, Diamond Shake mastermind Matthew Hitchens has lived at the epicenter of all three hot button issues for the past fifteen years.
Growing up in London and playing in bands through his teens, Hitchens moved to Los Angeles seven years ago to pursue a music career for himself. After a few failed projects, missed auditions, personal struggles, and a particularly bad visa experience, he decided to stop relying on other people and make the album that faced his demons head on.
“It’s all about my mental health problems like depression, anxiety, anger, low self-esteem and addiction,” Hitchens says of From Method To Madness, his debut as Diamond Shake. “Each song is about a different one of those issues while also telling the story of making and releasing the album, ultimately ending in failure.”
Dour as that might seem, the resulting album (out November 15th) hits cinematic and ambitious heights in its heaviness. “Let It Die” opens the album with a psych blues stomp, flowing out into a cinematic, string-laden outro. Second single “Into The Fire” lives up to its title, galloping directly into the crucible of his vices and struggles with alt rock aplomb. From Method To Madness similarly aims for the rafters throughout its 10 songs, making every chorus a standout like Hitchens’ life depends on it.
For most artists, that’s a bit of tired hyperbole. For all the visa struggles, addictions, and hardships Hitchens endured to get here, it’s just reality.