Take a deep breath: you’ll never want to emerge from Dives’ psychedelic sea

Dives has been steadily pumping out watery tunes in the psych pop scene over the last year. Next up is the Happy Mag Issue 4 Launch Party at the Botany View Hotel on the 13th of April.

We sat down with Josh, the face behind the name, to talk the industry from his side of the fence, new music and his views on space travel.

dives yeah nah yeah josh

Silky smooth and steeped in personal experience, Dives are one band who will forever wear their heart on their sleeve.

HAPPY: You’re working alongside Yeah Nah Yeah, how has that been and what makes the Dives/YNY relationship stand out?

JOSH: I started the Yeah Nah Yeah label with five of my best friends. This all came about after we threw a couple of warehouse parties in Sydney showcasing a mix of art and music, and we realised we wanted to use it as a platform to push our own music as a collective. It’s been an inspiring and supportive experience for my own music personally. And all six members of Yeah Nah Yeah play in the live Dives band!

HAPPY: Your music is seemingly a sonic stream of consciousness. How do you navigate making music for yourself and for an audience?

JOSH: I’ve realised over time that making music for me is a kind of therapy. Lyrically, I find that expressing personal thoughts, anxieties, fears and aspirations can be empowering. Writing, recording and performing this material immortalises this feeling for me. I suppose it’s a bit of a selfish process because pleasing the audience tends to become a secondary concern, but I think an honest, natural portrayal of myself in the music is an important part of what Dives is.

HAPPY: If you had to choose  an all expenses paid trip to play a gig in outer space or at the bottom of the ocean (which is completely lit up), which would you choose and why?

JOSH: The ocean! They say we know more about the universe than the deepest parts of the ocean… so mysterious!

HAPPY: Can you speak a little to your relationship to Sydney’s live music scene and how you’ve seen it change?

JOSH: I actually started playing drums in bands for a year or two before the lockout laws kicked in, and it has definitely changed in a huge way. There are still just as many passionate, beautiful people trying to make things happen, but the infrastructure for live music is shrinking at an alarming rate. At the same time, event organisers are getting more creative and flexible, groups like Keep Sydney Open are inspiring more involved protests and community engagement, and the bands just keep getting better. I feel like I see more people attending gigs than the gigs that I went to or played back then. My own experience in planning warehouse events through Sydney has been crazy fun, but also a huge F U to the greedy powers at play shutting down the city!

HAPPY: What’s the focus for the next little while… can we expect an EP sometime soon?

JOSH: Yep yep. New single in the works and EP second half of the year. Can’t wait to get it all out there.


Make sure you catch Dives at the Happy Mag Issue 4 Launch at the Botany View Hotel on the 13th of April. Details here.

Watch Tom and Molly talk about Dives, WAWAWOW, Gauci and every other band playing the launch party on The Daily Squeeze: