Diving Bell Interview - February 2014

by Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt

Diving Bell

Give us a brief potted history of Diving Bell…

Ben: Diving Bell started in late 2012 from the dregs of a previous band Nick (drums) and I (guitar) were in called Fair Weather Fiends. We found a shared interest in Minus the Bear, odd meters and (at least for us) demanding parts to play. After determining that Nick could not realistically play bass parts on a keyboard with his left hand while drumming with the right, Kieran (bass) slipped into our well lubricated fold quite easily, adding a significant amount of volume and a variety of noise. In fact we still refer to Kieran as ‘Nick’s left hand’ – this is often misconstrued to have a sexual meaning by fans however (who we refer to as 'Diving Bell-ends'). This is only partially based in fact. Singing is handled by the standing members of the band apart from the falsetto which is provided by a prepubescent boy we adopted after Madonna got bored of him. We'd probably describe ourselves as mainstream dancey garage prog.

The ‘Mannequins Fall’ EP has an impressive range of musical diversity and some incredibly complex sounding song structures – how on earth do you come up with this material?

Nick: Generally two methods; one person has an idea which is discussed, played and chopped around until it meets our approval OR no one has any idea what is happening but using a majority rule we can settle on an arrangement. The main battle is trying figure out how to refer to parts with terms such as verse and chorus when vocals and lyrics are normally not written until after everything else. ‘Icarus and the Radiator’ for example has an intro written by Nick, a chorus by Ben, an outro by Kieran. The verses and in between bits were written together, because the song was getting a bit straightforward! The short answer though is a lot of arguments, practice, disagreements, sodomy, practice and alcohol.

Lyrically the ‘Mannequins Fall’ EP is an intriguing beast to decipher. What are the main lyrical influences / themes running throughout?

Ben: Childhood thought control, military history, musical revivalism, the apocalypse, Greek mythology…..and a certain home based convection heater. Sometimes though, when song subjects get a little dark, I like to lighten the mood with fashionable news topics of the day like paedophilia. Heavy themes are always more interesting however and like I always say, "All songs lead to Hitler one way or another."

If each member of the band had to use one word to describe Diving Bell which word would they choose and why?

Kieran: Schmokin' (Blows smoke from two imaginary pistols).

Ben: Turgid.

Nick: Stormy.

Do you feel part of the Bristol music scene? What other local bands do you feel a kinship with?

Kieran: There are so many great local bands around Bristol, it's difficult to single any out. We particularly like the Hysterical Injury and Doctor Nut though. Also, any bands with a girl singer I like generally! We were big fans of the sadly now defunct dance pop sensation We Start Party's too - in time their genius will be recognised. They shall be sadly missed.

You’re teaming up with LMS local favourites Artscare to launch the release of the ‘Mannequins Fall’ EP @The Golden Lion, Bristol - What can we expect from this hotly anticipated show?

Nick: Unpractical poncy boots, burlesque dancers, an accordion player and Ben’s gear probably failing again at the worst possible moment.

Diving Bell

Tell LMS a secret…

Nick: I play guitar more than I do drums.

Ben: I play in AADGBE tuning for every song.

Kieran: I survived the 1958 Munich plane crash and helped England win the World Cup.

What do you ultimately hope to achieve with the band?

Ben: If you want to see the future of Diving Bell imagine Frank Black (Black Francis) all bloated, bald and screaming Spanish. Due to my gradual weight gain and the encroaching male pattern baldness of our rhythm section, we estimate that we have two years to become famous before the shallow public (and music publications) condemn us to playing weddings and covering 'Summer of 69' in local pubs filled with the cream of Bristol's snaggle toothed locals. We therefore hope to quickly write, record and play as many great songs as possible. Virtually no one can financially support themselves being a musician nowadays unless you can cook and eat Facebook likes, but we love the idea of arrogant musos in twenty years’ time sharing our music with their geeky friends.

Catch Diving Bell live: Artscare Presents

‘Mannequins Fall’ EP Launch Party

Thursday 20th March

Golden Lion, Bristol


< Back to previous page