Vienna trio DIVES on music and more

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DIVES is Dora de Goederen (drums), Tamara Leichtfried (guitar), and Viktoria Kirner (bass), an all-female surf-garage-pop band from Vienna. The three met in 2015 at Girls Rock Camp and formed the band in 2016. They released their debut EP, Shrimp, in 2017, following by their debut album, The Teenage Years Are Over, in 2019. In June of this year, they released a new single and video, “100 Times.”

When did you start your musical career, and what was your first musical instrument?
We met in 2015 at a Girls Rock Camp, which is an empowering summer camp for young women, trans, inter and non-binary youth that include instrument instruction, band formation, collaborative songwriting, and participation in various workshops such as Music Herstory, Mixing Sound, Zine-making, Screenprinting, Image and Identity, and more. Girls Rock Camps don’t require any musical experience and encourage you to stop apologizing, try out new stuff, and take the stage, basically. Eventually, we ended up in the same band during camp, and then the three of us decided to continue meeting at some friend’s rehearsal studio in Vienna to see where it leads. We didn’t have a serious plan or intention to become professional musicians; we just wanted to have fun and get to know a new creative side of ourselves. We were quite surprised how everything turned out after all.

Tamara: My first musical instrument was the piano; I started when I was really young. In the year of the Girls Rock Camp, I started to take drum lessons, and that was the reason I attended the camp. In our discovery phase, we tried out and swapped instruments to find out which kind of music we wanted to play, and somehow I stuck with the guitar. So with my bonfire-guitar-skills, I started to learn how to play e-guitar.

Viktoria: Classic girls musical education: I had to play flute in kindergarten, and afterward, I had to learn classical guitar till I was eleven. I hated it and therefore was really bad at it too. I always wanted to learn how to play the piano, though, but my mom said it’s too expensive and way too loud/big for our tiny little flat.

Dora: I didn’t learn to play any instrument until I was about twelve when my older sister started taking drum lessons, and I wanted to take them too (classic younger-sibling-move). Later I learned some bonfire-level acoustic guitar basics while hanging out with friends in the park and started to play the bass after attending my first Girls Rock Camp and joining the Band Schapka.

Who were the early musical influences that inspired you, and how does that form your music?
In order to find a sound as a band, we got inspired by bands like L.A. Witch, Bleached, Gurr, Hinds, Angel Olsen, Courtney Barnett, and many more. Also, going together to live concerts has always been important and influencing for us.

Tamara: Now, looking back, the soundtrack of Dirty Dancing and the music of the ’60s was a huge influence for my surf-guitar sound.

Viktoria: I still can’t read sheet music, and four years ago, I taught myself to play bass, trying to play, by ear, the albums of Beach Fossils and Shopping. These two bands have influenced my playing style, especially in the early days of DIVES.

Dora: Since I used to play the drums just by myself a couple of years, I particularly liked more playful and melodic stuff like Funk, Latin, Blues, Swing. I only started to really enjoy inventing and playing more straight and driving rhythms once I had a band to play with. That’s also when I started to be interested in (and patient enough for) covering songs I listened to in order to find inspiration for our DIVES sound: PJ Harvey, Gossip, Siouxsie and the Banshees, La Luz, … I’m always interested in mixing up some Genre Techniques and fooling around a bit with details, especially live.

How would you describe your music?
A friend of ours defined our music as “poppy appeal punk.” That’s a nice definition; we would describe it as garage-pop.

How are your songs inspired, and what is your songwriting process?
Usually, we write our songs in the rehearsing room together, and most of the time, it starts with a guitar riff, a bass line, or a drum beat, and then we start to work on it.

Besides playing music, what other hobbies and interests do you have?

Tamara: Playing shows, rehearsing and everything that comes with making music in a band are a huge part in my life now, and sometimes there is no more time left to do other stuff. Actually, it is a dream come true to spend your daily life with music. But it’s weird if music was your hobby and your place to relax and then becomes kind of your job.

Viktoria: Besides DIVES, I have two jobs which pay my rent. So there’s not really time for a specific hobby. But I’m quite into sport (pilates, strength training, because of my back problems), and I like writing. I write for an Interview-Magazine called “C/O Vienna Magazine “… so actually that’s not a hobby but work again. 🙂

Dora: As Tamara said, playing in a band and everything that comes with that requires a lot of the time, but I’m also still studying history and political science, and I’m a member of Pink Noise, the association that organizes workshops and events like the Girls Rock Camp. In my free time, I try to hang out with friends (sometimes also in the rehearsal room) and love going to the movies and live concerts.

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