Choosing Veggie Sausages Over Acid

16 March 2015 | 9:55 am | Steve Bell

Dick Diver take us through their recording process.

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Melbourne jangle-pop collective Dick Diver seem to adhere to the adage ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Following the success of their 2013 second long-player Calendar Days, the band decided to once more team up with long-time production cohort Mikey Young and decamp to a rural locale -- this time a shed in Apollo Bay, having headed to Phillip Island last time -- and just let their individual talents and collective chemistry tell the story. For third album Melbourne, Florida they did add some flourishes to their palette -- piano, synths and horns liberally colour the album’s sound -- without straying too far from the distinctive Dick Diver aesthetic which has served them so well.

"We just treat it as a holiday with all of our friends."

“I think we really let the songs go where they needed to go,” reflects drummer/vocalist Steph Hughes. “We did go up with a bit more equipment this time, and Mikey brought a bunch of synths that we wouldn’t have chucked in the older stuff, so there was a bit of mucking around on them probably more than other times, when we haven’t absconded far from the original ideas that we came up with on guitar and drums. We didn’t have a super different idea for what we wanted it to sound like, but we wanted to add more this time -- we’ve got two great mates that we can pull in to play sax and trumpet, and they’d been playing with us live for the last little while, and I had heaps of ideas about that sort of stuff. Personally I was super-stoked about the horns! There was just that idea of adding a bit more to it, because maybe we’re getting a bit more comfortable with that, and Mikey’s a pretty awesome person in terms of encouraging [that diversity]; I think we have the same ideas and ethics about recording.”

And Hughes believes that recording in rustic surrounds is as much about personal enjoyment as it is musical benefit.

“We just treat it as a holiday with all of our friends,” she laughs. “We just treated it as a bunch of time off work, and while I’ve recorded in the city before with Boomgates -- and that was great fun -- I think you’ve always got to have a serene sort of location, so you have that holiday vibe. We have all this time off work, everyone’s cooking for each other: it’s just an awesome holiday. We all work and have day jobs, so when you go up there it feels pretty calm, and we also felt pretty prepared with what we wanted to record. It wasn’t like, ‘Let’s go up there and fucking get really freaky’ or anything, we kind of know what’s going to go on and anything we muck around with is going to be really organic and easy, not like going to the bush and taking heaps of acid to lose our minds. It was like a cool holiday: there was a rope swing, and we made veggie sausages and burritos, it was great.”