Diamond Rings Says Katy Perry Inspired Him to Put on More Gloss

Photo courtesy of diamondringsmusic.com.

“Now I’m growing older/ I’m getting bolder/ Comfortable in my own skin” sings John O’Regan of Diamond Rings in “I’m Just Me”, the first single and something of a thesis for his disco-fied second album Free Dimensional (out this week on Astralwerks). If cover art and music video are any indication, more than ever O’Regan likes that skin covered in outfits shiny and spiky. The early, 2010 aesthetic of Diamond Rings — the one that accompanied his debut Special Affections — was that of a suburban Toronto high school provocateur: shooting hoops in a silver sequined jersey; wearing football pads and makeup; playing guitar in a leather jacket with a rainbow banner across the eyes, all while delivering legit, homespun dance pop in a decidedly non-camp baritone. It was some kind of button-pushing genius. Now, however, it’s full-speed glam, as O’Regan is working his own hybrid of (get ready to Google, kids) Aladdin Sane, Klaus Nomi, Grace Jones and Thierry Mugler. And he’s working with voguers and jacket-singeing lasers.

A new immersion in house and techno resulted in Free Dimensional becoming a much more club-embracing record [O’Regan co-produced with Montreal whiz Damian Taylor, recently of Björk Biophilia renown], and, he explains, it was a moment at a 2011 Katy Perry show that convinced him to crank up the fidelity. O’Regan has also doubled down on the clear-as-a-bell message in his music: Diamond Rings is more than ever on a mission to spread the gospel of empowerment and being oneself, whatever kind of pop peacock that self may be.

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