The DIVES are a power four piece based in New York. The band is certainly not a pop band, but rather an intrinsic rock n roll band with catchy melodies and upbeat songs based on simple structures and flawless musicianship. The DIVES are a band, despite its age, that has years of musical experience, all of its members have been playing from a young age and this bursts through in their music. I did state that the songs are based around “simple structures,” but this in no way is a reflection of the songs sophistication or depth, which are both rich and endless. The band released an EP Everybody’s Talkin’ earlier this year and they have received strong reviews, both of this recording and their live performances, as they begin to support the EP.
I caught up with Evan Stanley (lead guitar & vocals) and Mike Lefton (lead guitar & vocals) to explore the phenomenon that is The DIVES and to learn a bit more about the bands existence.
How did The DIVES come to be?
“Well about a year and half ago I (Evan) looked to start a band. I had a contact in New York, Bob, who was on the scene and had a lot of connections and he put me onto Mike. He talked about him being a great guitarist and vocalist and that he could write. Well we met and hit it off straight away, it was instant. Now I knew Sergio and Jimmy and so we just got together and started to play. This all then came full circle as Bob produced our ep. You know, it was very organic and it just came together.”
How does the band bring material together?
“Usually with an iphone demo. We have a demo and then send it around to everyone for a listen and to get in to it. Then we jam it in rehearsal and it evolves naturally. For us it is about the flow of the song and we just explore where we can take things and we go with what we like. It is a rehearsal basically, and everyone puts their spin on it and this is how the songs really take form.”
What does each member of the band bring to The DIVES?
“Everyone brings a unique perspective. But we all grew up playing a lot of music and listening to a lot of music. We all push each other to play in to spaces where we wouldn’t normally go as musicians and this is great as we are all better for it. We all interpret from the demo different things and so when we rehearse it, the songs evolve. It’s like playing live, the audience pushes the band and stretches the band with the energy and interaction, and this is what happens in the studio amongst us, we feed off each other.”
Where does the band’s sound come from, do you all have common influences or is it all different sounds coming together?
“It is a bit of both. We have similar influences but you know some different as well. There is pop, rock and folk in what we do. All of this comes together at one point or another. The greatest common denominator is that we focus on songs rather than sections of songs or a sound. For us it is always about the songs and writing songs. I think we all like the idea that we can take everything away and just play acoustically and the song is still there. Because we are so song orientated, our philosophy is that great songs transcend genre. We like to play and create great songs with no boundaries. So we have our influences sure, but it is just about capturing the best song for us as a band.”
You have released an EP, Everybody’s Talkin’, how has it been received so far?
“It has really connected with people. There are no gimmicks we are just a rock n roll band with nothing else. The goal is honesty and sincerity. The thing also is that you can’t fool an audience. An audience will pick up on insincerity so it is just what we do best, and it is fantastic that people are in to it. So it has been received well.”
Is there a full album in picture sometime soon?
“Right now we are just playing live and enjoying it, but there is no shortage of material. At this moment we think we want to just play live and we are enjoying this. But in terms of a full length album, there is no point at the moment, we are putting songs out anyway. You know the market is so different these days and there is no need to just put out a whole album. We can feed songs on line and then people can make their mind up instantly and this seems to work better at this point. But as I said there is no shortage of material and we are writing all the time.”
Is there any chance of The DIVES heading down to Australia on the back of Everybody’s Talkin’?
“We are dying to get down there. It is one of those things that people are welcoming it in Australia at the moment, and this is great. We have always wanted to go there and when the opportunity arises we will jump at it! ”
Evan and Mike are eloquent young men who display a maturity beyond their years, and I think this comes from the fact that they are actually quite experienced musicians at a young age. It is exciting in 2017 that real, young bands, are still out there and trying to break in to the market like The DIVES, and it will be interesting to see where their career leads over the next few years when the word gets out about this band. Check The DIVES out at the following and keep your ear out for them heading down our way hopefully sometime soon.
Interview by Mark Snedden
Get to know The Dives and their EP Everybody’s Talkin’