June 20, 2012 2:38 PM

Brooklyn-based band DIIV, brainchild of Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith, was only formed about a year ago and played their first show late July of last year. Smith's lineup is bassist Devin Ruben Perez, drummer Colby Hewitt (formerly Smith Westerns), and guitarist Andrew Bailey.

The band recently donned a new spelling (previously Dive) and released a video for "How Long Have You Known?" (Grant Singer) and will be releasing their first full-length album Oshin on Captured Tracks June 26. DIIV is fast on the rise, touring North America this month and headed to Europe in August.

Smith took a minute to answer a few questions.

Why did you choose to rename the band DIIV? Was it just a phonetic choice?

ZCS: Um, no, not really, it was really kind of arbitrary. I never cared what the band is called, I named it DIVE early on, and the name was definitely part of what inspired the songs, but then I found out the name was already taken. People love to focus on the name change, but it's just a name. Let's move on, you know? The music is what matters really.

How did the transformation from bedroom project to real life band occur?

I always intended for it to be a live band, but I didn't really have the means to put a band together or record in a studio or anything when I first started out. I recorded the songs at home on my laptop, because that's what I had available at the moment, and I was lucky that at least someone thought the home recordings sounded OK enough to be released. But that sound wasn't what I was going for, it is just kind of what formed. The live band sound that I think the new record captures is way more the sound that I had in mind.  

Tell us about the first album.

It's complete, sad and melancholy and happy and ecstatic too. It's a dark record, but I think it's hopeful for the world and the possibility for love and happiness and belonging, even though the world can be such a sad place.  It's a desperate and longing and curious record. Musically, the spirit behind it is punk music, more or less, informed by sonic palettes of shoegaze and structures from German psychedelic music, in a nutshell I guess. It is a document of a raucous live band. There are no chords on the record; the music is all basically single-note guitar interplay.

And the album art?

The album art is a modified print from the Cape Dorset print studio, by the artist Kiakshuk, printed in the 1960s. It was from this period of crazy artistic bloom in Cape Dorset, which is a small Inuit settlement. All of these generations of wisdom and folklore and knowledge of nature and the spirit world were kind of harnessed into an explosion of visual art by the opening of this studio by a European artist in the fifties. The studio still exists. It's in a Canadian government-issued multipurpose trailer. I interpreted the image as a human interaction with a dangerous omen, and there's something playful about it, and sad, and beautiful.

What are some of your favorite lyrics you've written?

"Fuck the world, alien love"

What are some bands you're into right now (even if they don't necessarily inspire your music)?

Shack, Felt, Faust

What's on the horizon for the band?

Writing the second record. Finding a home. Being away from home.

The album release party will be at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn, Saturday, June 23 with sets from Forma, PC Worship, and a Vincent Cacchione DJ Set (Caged Animals/Soft Black).

Interviewed by Tiffany Tso

Tiffany's blog: http://wearevoyeur.com


edited by Patrik Lundberg


Captured Tracks
DIIV Album Release Party
"Doused" on SoundCloud


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