Tone Talk with DIVES

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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.”

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
When we first started, we were more focused on learning our instruments and playing with each other; we only knew that we wanted to have distorted guitars and bass, more of a rough tone. After a while, we improved our sound, and it was fun to try out new stuff. With every pedal that we are adding to our pedalboard, our sound changes a little bit, and we are still open to find new sound effects.

Which drums, guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?

Drums: Tama Rockstar Drum Kit with Meinl Byzance hi-hat and signature rock crashes from Paiste, vintage Sonor steel snare

Tamara: At the beginning, I had no equipment at all. I was playing the guitar from Dora and borrowed a few pedals and an amp from friends. Over the last years, I finally have my own gear and am very happy about my sound. I play a Fender Stratocaster, a Fender Twin Reverb, Tubescreamer, Line 6 DL4 (I love the pedal so much although it’s so big and needs to be fixed constantly), BOSS Overdrive, and BOSS RC-30 Twin Track Looper (we started to play with loops and some additional sounds where the Track Looper is perfect for).

Viktoria: Ibanez SEMD200K Bass (it’s one of the cheapest basses, I really really love it. It only has 3,2 kg, is really handy, and has a great sound. Best buying-decision ever! Before that I had a Fender Mexico Jazz Bass with 4,4 kg and I built my own bass with a construction kit in order to create one that is not so heavy—but still, it had 3,9 kg), Fender Rumble 500/ Markbass Mini, and pedals are BOSS RC30 Twin Track Looper, Equalizer, Distortion, Chorus, and Reverb.

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What about strings?

Tamara: I go with Ernie Ball – Super Slinky
Viktoria: As I don’t have to change them often, I don’t really care, to be honest. I use what’s there, haha!

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
Our EP was recorded within four days, and we played most of the songs live together and just overdubbed the singing parts. For our debut album, we had two recording sessions. One in February, where we recorded the first five songs, and then in June was the last session because we had to write three more songs in the meanwhile to complete the LP. We wouldn’t do it any other way now; it was really cool to have enough time for each song, a break where we could listen to the first songs and the possibility to add some changes in the last session. We also recorded the instruments separately, which made it easier to focus on the single instruments and work out certain parts precisely.

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
We have been working and traveling with a sound engineer for one year now. That makes a huge difference for us and our sound, and we are really happy that we found her. It gives us a lot of safety and our sound—also live—a recognition effect.

What does your practice consist of?
Playing and playing every song over and over again, especially when we write new songs 😉 No need to be romantic about that, haha. It needs time and routine to let go on stage and just focus on the performance rather than on the song itself.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Just do it, don’t be afraid, don’t apologize, trust your skills, you are good enough, dare to be confident because the only thing you can do wrong is to not go on stage and share your music with the world. You have as much right to do this than anyone else.

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