Most people know Dustin Diamond as an actor, well known for his role as Screech in Saved by the Bell — but most people probably didn’t realize that he was also in a band.
Diamond was the bassist for the band Salty the Pocketknife. The band’s sound and name were unique as Diamond’s beloved TV character, said Chaos Control. Salty the Pocketknife was usually classified as an alternative metal band, but other reviewers sometimes classed them as experimental.
The band included Diamond, drummer Evan Stone, vocalist Rosebud, and guitarist Scott Ireland. Rosebud and Ireland were previously involved with the band Bug Guts. Salty the Pocketknife got their start in 2000 and released their first album in 2003. Diamond told Chaos Control he and Stone conceived of the band and envisioned it to have a rotating cast of singers and guitarists. For Diamond, the group would be telling stories in songs from one author (him and Stone) but interpreted different ways.
AllMusic called their debut album Salty the Pocketknife ambitious and warned it could be a challenging listen to those who aren’t open-minded. The album features several tempo changes, avant-garde arrangements, and songs that sometimes bewildered listeners.
Dustin Diamond's band was a dream come true for him
Diamond said he had always wanted to be in a band but never really pursued it until starting Salty the Pocketknife. He learned how to play the bass in 1994, and told Chaos Control that he felt the type of music he wanted to make was hard to sell to other musicians. It wasn’t until he met Stone that he figured he should go ahead and pursue that dream.
The band tried not to capitalize on Diamond’s fame, though they do admit it helped get people to notice them. However, Diamond felt his reputation as a TV nerd detracted from the type of music the band wanted to do.
Even though Diamond finally got the chance to make the type of music he liked, Salty the Pocketknife did not last long. According to Gazette Review, the band broke up soon after the release of their first album. The cause: creative differences.
Though their music is may be challenging to listen to, in honor of Diamond, maybe you could pick up Salty the Pocketknife’s album and gives it a try.
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