Diemonds’ ‘In The Rough’ Line-Up Suffers Another Tragic Loss
December 6, 2014
Almost a year after the sad passing of former Diemonds drummer (and later guitarist) Alan “Yeti” Riches, his former bandmate, bassist Paul “Cuzo” Mancuso, has also unexpectedly died.
Tragedy or simply bad luck seems to follow the Canadian sleaze rockers’ former members as half of the line-up that recorded the debut EP ‘In The Rough’, which was released in 2008, are now dead. Only lead vocalist Priya Panda and guitarist C.C. Diemond remain from the debut EP’s line-up and both are still active in the band.
Cuzo played bass on both of Diemonds’ releases, ‘In The Rough’ and 2011’s ‘The Bad Pack’. He left the band and eventually joined Canadian Celtic punk band, The Mahones, in 2012. Cuzo played bass on The Mahones’ 2012 studio record ‘Angels & Devils’, 2014’s live ‘A Great Night On The Lash: Live In Italy’, and the studio record ‘The Hunger And The Fight’, released just a few months ago.
Diemonds posted the following message on their Facebook page yesterday regarding Mancuso’s passing: “We are incredibly saddened about the passing of Paul “Cuzo” Mancuso. There’s no way to describe the loss of his positive attitude and genuine love of rock n’ roll and his friends. Diemonds fans will remember him forever for his time with us and the impact he’s had on our incredible journey. This comes as a massive shock to us. We are gutted. As we prepare to remember the life of Alan Riches in a few weeks, we now have lost another unsung hero way, way before his time. We couldn’t have done it without them. We love and miss you both. Condolences to both families and all who are hurting during this incredibly difficult time.”
The Mahones also shared their condolences on Facebook yesterday by stating, “We are devastated to report that our brother Cuzo, who’s played bass with us on and off since 2012, has passed away. There is nothing we can say to describe our heartbreak. Cuzo and Katie met as teenagers and grew up together, he was our pal long before he was in The Mahones. He was our friend, our brother, a regular fixture at the family dinner table — he was family. We went through so much together, we travelled the world together, we had countless memories, inside jokes, songs, movies, places… everything. We loved him so, so much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his dad, siblings, family and friends. Broken doesn’t begin to describe it. We love you, Paul. We will always love you.”
Neither Diemonds nor The Mahones mentioned the cause of Mancuso’s death.
Riches passed away on December 21st, 2013 at the age of 31 due to complications with diabetes. The talented musician first played drums in Diemonds from 2007 to 2009 before leaving the band and re-joining them in 2010 until 2011, but this time as a guitarist. Riches also played in other bands including Before The Curtain and No Warning as well as working behind the scenes for many groups including Finger Eleven and Three Days Grace.
Shortly after Riches’ death, Diemonds posted the following message, “We are at a loss for words and still in shock hearing about the passing of our brother Alan “Yeti” Riches. Complications with his diabetes eventually got the best of him yesterday. It is an extremely painful time for the family. Words cannot express the gratitude we have for the time you spent with us and the joy you brought to us and our band and our friends. You are the man. Riff in Peace. Love you.”
At the time of Riches’ passing, Finger Eleven vocalist Scott Anderson also shared his thoughts: “Alan introduced himself to me as Yeti. At least I’m pretty sure he did. I honestly can’t remember. Meeting Yeti for the first time is a pretty overwhelming experience. He’s a big guy, of course. But when you add tattoos, bad ass facial hair and all kinds of heavy metal skull ring jewelry, my first impression was: this guy is too cool to work for us. And I don’t mean to say that he gave off that vibe, I just legitimately thought “oh, he’s way too cool to work for our band”, but whenever we could snag Yeti for a tour, we absolutely would. And we were always better for it… On the road, Alan took care of us. He was part of a tireless team that always tried their best to make us look good. Of course he did his job well, but where Alan really came to life was when we had our days off on the road. The road was a fun place with Alan, and that’s how I’ll always remember our time with him. We shopped for music and action figures in providence. We ate in a kick ass steakhouse Nebraska. We shot hand guns in Virginia. We shot nerf guns all over the bus. And we did stupid stuff like that all the time…”
Mancuso and Riches were in Diemonds when the group shot their first two videos for the songs “Highway” and “Take On The Night”. They were also part of Diemonds in December 2009 when the sleaze group played in Shiloong, which has been hailed as the rock capital of India. Diemonds was only the fourth international band at that time to play in that area after the Scorpions, Mr. Big and musicians comprising a “super group”, and the first female fronted group to do so.
Diemonds are currently hard at work putting the finishing touches on the follow-up to their critically acclaimed record ‘The Bad Pack’ which was re-released via Underground Operations in 2012. In its review of ‘The Bad Pack’, Sleaze Roxx declared, “Once I put The Bad Pack on the stereo, it simply blew me away. As of writing this review, I have listened to the album too many times to recall — it is that good!”
The Toronto based band is now comprised of Priya Panda, C.C. Diemond, guitarist Daniel DeKay, bassist Tommy Cee and drummer Aiden Tranquada. The group’s new record is scheduled to be released on April 20th, 2015.
Courtesy of www.sleazeroxx.com