INTERVIEW: EVAN STANLEY & MIKE LEFTON FROM THE DIVES

HG: Hi is that Evan?

ES: Yeah, Evan here and we got Mike here as well

HG: Hey, I’m Hollee – I’m from South Australia, how are you?

ES: Very good, nice to kind of meet you; very nice to phone you.

HG: Very nice to talk with you on the phone.  So, you guys have just released an EP – “Everybody’s Talkin’” That’s so cool. I was just listening to it the other night and I think it’s really awesome. What’s the response been like?

ES: Thank you! Luckily so far it’s been, it’s seemed to be received really well, which means the world to us. I  mean, we’ve put a lot of time and sweat into making it and really worked hard to capture what the band is all about and then put it out there and the most you can do is hope that it connects with people and it seems that it’s starting to so we’re just thrilled, you know. It’s a really nice thing to hear that people are getting into it.

HG: Yeah, that’s awesome. Have you been selling it when you’ve been – you’ve just come back from a tour, is that right; from the UK?

ES: Yeah we just got back from a week of shows in the UK and, you know, two days after we got back, we’re back at playing in New Jersey and New Hampshire and all around and actually we’re almost, I think we just sold out of the first run of the CDs so that’s a pretty awesome feeling, we definitely didn’t think that would happen that quickly, but we got them in the day before we left for the UK and now they’re all gone.

HG: Yeah, that’s amazing. That’s awesome. Yeah, when I was listening to you the other night with some mates, we were just thinking like yeah we’re hearing lots of 70’s; bits of early Van Halen, TREX, Bowie and even like a bit of Elvis Costello in there. Is that the type of music that’s shaped you guys or am I completely wrong?

the-dives-600x350ES: You know, we listen to a ton of stuff, I think we’ve all gone through different stages of bingeing pretty hard on one artist or another, but at the end of the day I think we all come back to the basics. I mean, The Beatles, The Who, The Stones and you know Zeppelin. It’s the guys with the songs, they’re ridiculous musicians, but they always play for the songs. Those songs are ones that are just stuck in your head and just pretty timeless and undeniable. So, you know, we kinda listen to everything and it adds a little bit of freshness to what we do hopefully but at the end of the day you gotta go back to the classics.

HG: Yeah absolutely. Now you probably hate this question and you probably get it heaps, but I’m just gonna ask it anyways. So with Paul Stanley as your dad, has he been supportive with your musical career or has he been embarrassing, or anything like that?

ES: Nah, he’s been entirely supportive. I’m very lucky that he’s beyond supportive as all of our parents are really which is, you know, that’s asking a lot to tell your parents “yeah, I’m a go into one of the most precarious job fields out there, hope you’re cool with that” but they’re all, super, super supportive. Thankfully as a kid he never pushed me towards music it was a very natural thing which I think it has to be. To really fall in love with something it can’t be forced on you, soI came to it on my own a little bit later. People seem to think that I came out of the womb with a Les Paul around my neck, but that didn’t really happen. I stumbled onto it when I was maybe 10 or 11 and lot of that was by way of my best friend so it was really a natural progression, but he has been very supportive throughout; all the bands parents are, you know. We’ve had parents at every show; they will stay up late and come out and see us, it’s very sweet.

HG: That’s awesome. So you’ve been on the KISS Kruise and I know you’ve supported KISS. Have you had a lot of support from the KISS fans?

ES: Yeah, it’s definitely an interesting sort of dynamic, especially at first just because you know, there is certainly an interest amongst them because of the association but doesn’t necessarily mean they’re inclined to just like us, I think they’re a lot more discerning in that, which, hey, good on them, you need to decide for yourself what you like and what you don’t so  I think everyone in the KISS Army are say, interested but, you know, we had to win them over and hopefully we’ve done that we seem to be getting a lot of good feedback from them and it seems that they’re really starting to latch onto it. It’s not without having to show them that it’s something worth latching onto. We’ve put a lot of time and a lot of effort into really crafting a show that’s fun and worthwhile, you know! We get up there and have a blast and hopefully everyone there has the same.

HG: Yeah absolutely. Can you name some other bands that you’re looking forward touring with or wanting to tour with?

ES: At this point, we’re happy to get out there and play as much as we possibly can. I think growing up all of us had a lot of British influences and still a lot of our favourite music is coming out of there, whether it is Cat Fish and the Bottlemen, Blossoms, Artic Monkeys, you know it would be really awesome to get to play with some of those guys but that being said we’re just happy to play. There’s nothing better than getting up with three of your best friends and turning it up loud and playing songs you love, you know. We got into this because we loved doing it, we’re happy to do it wherever whenever we have the chance.

HG: Yeah awesome. And do you guys have specific gear or favourite brands of gear and equipment that you use? Do you have an endorsement or anything like that with any companies?

ES: We do. Right now the biggest common gear is Mono Guitar Cases and Bags, I mean they’re great guys, a great company and they take care of us so we use all of their gear. And then we all have gear we love. Serg is a Hartke artist, so bass amps; our drummer Jimmy is endorsed by a company called Hendrix drums. And we have a friendly but certainly unofficial relationship with Gibson, we use all their stuff and they thankfully have soon to take note and they actually really liked our stuff which is great. Unofficial but we love their stuff and hopefully the feeling’s mutual. We all use a lot of different stomp boxes and whatnot; we’re gear nuts! But for the most part it’s Gibson, Hendrix Drums, Hartke Basses and Mono Bags. And Carlino Guitars makes all our straps; we’re always trying to one up each other with our strap designs!

HG: I did see some pretty cool ones actually, from some of your pictures.

ES: Eddie Carlino is the man, I mean, his work is just second to none if you can just think it, he can make it. I mean, I remember, he made a Dives strap with our logo and arrow on it and then the guys loved it so he made Mike this rose strap which is ridiculously embroidered with this rose and vine design and then he made Serg’s strap with his nickname on it and these studs and like a two toned leather and he asked me, “What would your dream strap be if you could just make any strap”.  I had seen he’d made a strap with these Swarovski rhinestones, they’re particularly bright they’re just reflect light like nothing else and I thought,  it would be cool if those could be made into lightning bolt straps but they were leather lightning bolts. I thought, you know, make a lightning bolt out of rhinestones, so that was a bit harder to get a design that was legible but he did it and that’s what I use at every show. It just bounces light off it and it’s just so cool. He’s the man; shout out to him because he’s always hooking it up.

HG: That sounds awesome; I’m going to have to look him up. Alright, I think I’m gonna get cut off in a sec so one more question. So do you guys have any plans on coming to Australia or are you interested at all?

ML: Look, we definitely want to its kind of number one on our bucket list of places to visit. We’ve been to the UK we’ve played, we’re gonna play all over the States in August so hopefully the next place we hit is Australia – we’d love to visit there.

ES: I’m not really looking forward to another New York winter so maybe we can get out there and enjoy your summer we can get a little bit of a break from nightmarish hell that is New York in January.

HG: And you can get this heatwave of dry Australia ridiculous heat; 120 degrees.

ES: Oh it’d be great.

HG: Yeah, you can hang out at the beaches and stuff. Well I think you’d have a lot of people, myself included who would definitely come to see your shows. So yeah, hats off to you guys.

ES: Thanks so much.

ML: Thank you!

ES: Seriously, thank you for taking the time to listen. It means the world you gave it a shot and you took a minute to chat to us as well.

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