(Editor’s Note: Diamond Field and legendary BMX guru Bob Haro are premiering the video for their new collaboration, “Won’t Compromise,” on Vehlinggo today. To help us out, Andy Diamond of Diamond Field provides a firsthand overview of what’s in store.)
Diamond Field is releasing their fourth maxi-single, “Won’t Compromise,” on Friday. Today, you get the video early. As with all Diamond Field releases, “Won’t Compromise” features a different vocalist and this time it’s Bob Haro on duty.
What is not so widely known is that Haro has been making electronic music since the ‘80s. Influenced by Vince Clark’s various guises (Yazoo, Depeche Mode, Erasure), as well as OMD, New Order, and the Pet Shop Boys, Haro started out with a four-track cassette recorder, a MIDI sequencer, and synths, and began writing, singing, and recording his own take on synth-pop. In the early ‘90s he released a limited-run cassette as Factor Of One, a name he continues to use to this day, now writing in Ableton Live.
Enter Andy Diamond. Also a BMX racer from the ’80s, he came across Haro’s music on Soundcloud (under Factor Of One). Previously unaware that Haro was also a musician—but a huge Haro fan—Diamond was impressed with what he heard: the ’80s synth-pop vibe, and in particular Haro’s strong singing voice. Diamond sent Haro a message, initially looking for an interview for his radio show, but also took the opportunity to ask if he’d be interested in singing on a new Diamond Field track. Haro was totally into it after hearing the OMD/synth-pop vibe of the song and set to work writing lyrics and a top-line melody.
Excited with the results, Diamond decided the song would make a great first single for the upcoming Diamond Field album. The project’s singles are always accompanied by a bunch of remixes and UK artist Le Flex, D.C.’s Circuit Work, and Milwaukee’s Dashcam were enlisted for the job this round. At the same time, in true ’80s style, Diamond worked on his trademark 12-inch extended mix to add to the release. The single version was mastered by Grammy-winner Glenn Schick in Los Angeles.
‘Won’t Compromise’ Music Video
The last piece of the puzzle was a music video. With Haro and Diamond located on opposite coasts and with busy schedules, the video shoot was delayed until January. Bob flew out from San Diego to New York City for the shoot, with the chilly prospect of shooting outside in late January, one of the coldest times of the year. The main location, a rooftop in Bushwick in Brooklyn, meant the wardrobe had to incorporate something to stop the talent from freezing! Red scarves and gloves were chosen to match the red synths and guitar used in the video, doubling their role with straight-up thermal functionality.
Inspired by the simple ethos of a synth-pop duo “doing their thing,” the video tilts its hat to the concrete grayness of ’80s UK pop, supplanted by the NYC skyline. Diamond looks cold and serious; Haro wishes it was San Diego. But what’s standing out in 25 degrees for several hours when you’ve got a song to rep?
Shot by Ancil McKain (also not a fan of the cold) and assisted by Abigail Gordon of Bunny X, there were lighter moments during the making of the video despite the numbness, as the outtakes attest.
The “Won’t Compromise” maxi-single will be available on Bandcamp and all streaming services on Friday, March 22, along with a limited run of cassettes.