DIIV right into the new DIIV with this close look at the inspiration for their new sound.
Stumbling into DIIV’s music, one might be confused by the seemingly-impromptu jump from synthesized surf-rock to 90’s slowcore into slower shoegaze. Their latest album takes a complete 360 from their previous, grungier sound.
In a WBRU interview with lead singer Zachary Smith, Smith said that the change resulted from the band maturing. “We tried to stay true to what makes the band what it is– because the core of it is just four guys on stage,” Smith said. Their new emotional sound stems from the cathartic qualities of distance and wisdom in their lyrics.
Along with DIIV’s sound transformation, their live performance has also taken on a new form. Having previously had more of a “fuck-it” vibe, the band has spent a lot of time working together on this record to create a more cohesive sound that is notable in their performances. The band has made many deliberate decisions when writing the songs that improve their stage sound quality. They’ve also bought new gear and spent more time practicing so that their concerts are more carefully-crafted experiences than the New York underground shows of their past.
According to Smith, the band has also recently developed a better relationship with their fanbase. They’ve realized the personal connection that their supporters have to the band’s musical themes about struggling with addiction and other traumatic issues. This realization comes as a result of their fans’ voraciousness in communicating with the band.
DIIV, truly, has matured and come together as a band through their last album, utilizing the grungier nature of their past to create something more refined and tangible for their consistent fanbase. Coming out of intra-band tensions over drug addictions and who was writing the music, DIIV’s new music reflects their growth as a group. It is slow, emotional, and can almost bring you back to the beach in the summer after sunset.
image by Dani Nelson