Get your minds out of the gutter. The name of Melbourne, Australia band Dick Diver is based on the main character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s beautiful and tragic novel Tender is the Night. And once we get through that, you’ll quickly see that they’re bringing a lovely brand of indie jangle pop that we can’t get enough of.
The band is held together by Rupert Edwards, Steph Hughes, Alistar McKay, and Al Monfont (who also played in another epic band from Melbourne, Total Control).
Dick Diver has three full length albums out, and the latest continues in Dick Diver’s march forward with smart lyricism entangled with addicting melodies. Their music engages in the politics of middle-class Australian youth and criticism on everything their culture represents.
The new album is a beautiful progression from the last two, retaining their distinctive “working class” jangly rock theme with a more solid grasp of self identification. New and old fans alike will all enjoy the album with a newfound appreciation for national identity (or mis-identity) in music you can still bop your head and tap your toes to.
When I saw them play last week in a tiny warehouse in downtown L.A. called Thee Alley, I was mesmerized by their ability to sound clean and on key while still upholding a punk attitude. Their engagement with the audience was endearing as they told jokes, made sure the sound was on point, and even took song requests.
And if all this isn’t enough, consider the fact that Henry Rollins, everyone’s punk rock hero was in attendance during the show. And if you hate Henry Rollins, then take a look at this interview I did with Rupert while they have been touring around the U.S. for further convincing, then kick back with one of their catchy tunes. I suggest starting with “Calendar Days” or “Water Damage.”
What Youth: If Dick Diver was a novel, what would the first sentence be?
Dick Diver: Authoritarians, pug farmers, presidential candidates, gourmands — by hating these things, Dick Diver became them.
How does the Melbourne music scene influence or effect the band?
It means that there is always something interesting going on. It keeps you entertained and keen.
What is one genre that music critics have labeled Dick Diver as that you absolutely hate?
What is a genre? I’m joking: steam punk.
If you could pinpoint a central theme for the album “Melbourne, Florida” what would it be?
Probably time. Age old, I know, but whaddya gonna do.
Where is your favorite place to play in the U.S. and why?
I had a great time in Atlanta. They have the best sound guy in the world His name is Jonny.
What other bands that are up-and-coming out of Australia do you suggest everyone to check out?
Totally Mild put out a very good record on Bedroom Suck Records a few months ago
What is Dick Diver up to after this tour is finished?
Going back to our paying jobs. [laughs].
8. If you could have a motto for this tour, what would it be?
“Dank as fuck, dude”—Asal Shahindoust