Sometimes a mood, feeling or memory can be condensed into a single album or song. It can be due to overexposure to that certain piece of music at the time of a memory being made, like, let’s say, Christmas, or it can be the result of new music that already sounds familiar hitting on certain emotional chords, no pun intended. And new music that feels old, strange tunes that feel like a lifelong pal, is not necessarily an indictment of inherent quality, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. So goes with The Volcano Diary, a very new band that feels like they’ve been making music for decades.

From the first fetching sounds of this Seattle band, you’d almost think we were still steeped in the classic 90s alternative music era, yet the group somehow manages to paradoxically balance informality and aloofness without wearing out their welcome. The band effortlessly gathers acoustic alt-rock and alt-country staples with a bluesy polish that’s coalesced together with Alicia Dara’s sultry lead vocals. Gorgeous imagery and tender, bittersweet stories give their eponymous debut album a sense of exposed honesty and raw legitimacy that most bands have to fight for their entire careers.

01. Who are you?

The Volcano Diary is from Seattle, Washington. The line up is (me) Alicia Dara – lead vocals and guitar, Gus Palaskas – electric and lap steel guitars, and Dave Bush – drums and percussion. Gus has helped me out in my solo project during live shows for a decade. We had heard about Dave from a mutual friend and finally met him last year. The Volcano Diary just celebrated our 1-year anniversary.

02. What do you sound like?

Electro-acoustic urban wilderness.

03. What do friends say you sound like?

Like the Cardinals fronted by Sia and haunted by the ghost of Jeff Buckley.

04. Full-time musicians or wage slaves?

A little of each.

05. Current band highlight?

Getting to work with Steve Fisk on our debut CD!

06. Favorite decade for music?

1960s and right now.

07. Should music be free?


08. Which 3 musicians would you invite round for dinner?

Patti Smith, Me’Shell N’degeocello, and Lucinda Williams.

09. Preferred tour reading?

“A Visit From the Goon Squad”, by Jennifer Egan and music gear catalogs.

10. Best mood for songwriting?


11. Last record you bought?

Fields by Junip.

12. Five favourite albums?

Grace by Jeff Buckley
The Sensual World by Kate Bush
The Night by Morphine
Scarlett’s Walk by Tori Amos
Rocket House by Chris Whitley

13. Your biggest rock and roll fantasy?

Appearing in Glastonbury.

14. Goals for the next 12 months?

Tour the Northwest, tour the East Coast, make a music video, and write a new record.

15. First time listeners, where should they start?

“Lightning Seed”, “Freezerburn”, “Revival” and “Pacifica”.

The Volcano Diary Facebook page