J. Diamond (AKA Animal) was born March 28th 1975 in Phoenix, Arizona where he grew up.
Animal was always drawn to music, and when he was in 5th grade had a classmate introduce him to
Motley Crue. From that moment on he was drawn to hard rock and heavy metal.
At the age of 13 a neighbor introduced animal to bass guitar. Animal was fascinated by the slap
and pull funk style of players like Bootsie Collins. While learning the bass guitar he was told he was
approaching the bass more like a percussionist.
At the age of 14 Animal tried his hands at playing drums. He was heavily influenced throughout
his teenage years by bands like Motley Crue, Skid Row, Van Halen, Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and
Animal became enthralled by the drums and spent several hours a day playing and practicing his
drums. He began playing with several musicians and jamming with several local bands which helped
build his reputation as a rock and metal drummer.
At the age of 19 he was introduced to death metal and black metal. He became fascinated yet
again striving to practice more technical and progressive metal. Bands like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide,
Malevolent Creation, Fear Factory, Sepultura and gradually moved into Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, In
Flames, Primal Fear, Einherjer.
In 1998 Animal joined a friends band that was in its infant stages. That band would soon become
Blackstorm out of Tempe, Arizona. Blackstorm released two albums worldwide. The first, Black Circle
Crusades resembled horror movie music boasting cellos, violins and French horns.
The second album As Black As Thy Candles Burn, was very different showcasing melodic guitar
work, diverse grooves, and resembled a very European metal sound. Unfortunately, the band like many
others fell into conflict ending the project in 2002.
In 2005 Animal moved to Quincy, Illinois where he played with the band Recoil for
approximately 3.5 years. Recoil quickly gained notoriety in Quincy, Illinois as well as throughout the
eastern side of Missouri.
Recoil disbanded in 2009 and Animal went on hiatus. After moving around from Illinois to
Tennessee to Florida he moved back to Arizona in 2017. He tried putting several projects together, none
of which panned out.
In October of 2021 Animal responded to an and for a drummer wanted and met with the guitar
players Rob and JD for an audition. The guys seemed to get along well personally as well as musically.
Animal was offered the position as drummer adding to the line-up of what is now known as ASH TO