Hi Will, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hey, thanks, yeah all good here, given the circumstances. Weird times!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Wish I Had A Pulse”?
Sure, the song is about a precarious A.I. relationship so we thought developing an Interactive Music Video page (at blinkingred.love) would be an interesting way to experience the different elements of the song. We split them up into seven separate tracks so you can tweak the volume of each one and get a glimpse into how the song was built. Also, the sliders manipulate the on-screen lyrics and Natalie Walker’s performance. She’s become the machine!
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Natalie and I were listening to my demo and since the song has a bit of digital vibe to it, we thought it could go into a more ‘techy’ direction. We started jotting down some thematic ideas and we both just happened to write down the phrase ‘Plug Me In’. We were like, whoa! and thought that was a good sign, so we ran with it.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
After coming up with the concept, my friend Harry (laundromat.haus) who is super talented at site builds, started with the sliders and then added the lyrics and the digital imagery. The only aspect we really needed to shoot was Natalie’s performance. Fortunately, since we knew she was going to be digitally degraded, we didn’t need a high end camera. So Natalie just shot a selfie video in a closet with her iPhone. Super lo-fi.
The single comes off your new album Waving At Airplanes – what’s the story behind the title?
I had the phrase floating around as a title for a while. Even before Natalie and Conrad (Merz) were on board. I was attracted to the naive and somewhat fruitless reach for connectivity that Waving at Airplanes portrays. It’s both sweet and a little bit sad. I was so glad that Natalie and Conrad injected that sentiment into some of the lyrics. And Natalie was even inspired to write the title track.
How was the recording and writing process?
Most of the album was recorded in my studio in Los Angeles. Natalie lives in Colorado at the moment and Conrad has relocated to Joshua Tree. I sent demos to both of them and Conrad wrote and recorded his parts at his home studio in the desert. Natalie came out to LA to record her parts. It worked really well for both vocalists. Natalie is a bit more of an ‘in the room’ collaborator, while Conrad likes to take his time and record in his own studio space.
Do you tend to take a different approach when collaborating with someone else rather than on your own?
It really depends on the collaborator. Like I just mentioned, certain people like to work in different ways and as a producer, I’m happy to adapt to whatever suits the collaborator best. When I write on my own, I tend to write and record at the same time. And most of the tracks on my demos make it to the final songs, even if they’re edited or rearranged.
What role did LA play on the writing of this record?
I’m not sure if I could pinpoint a specific aspect of these songs was inspired by LA. It probably gets infused subconsciously. I tend to be more inspired by my direct surroundings, the building, the studio, the instruments in the room and the music I’m listening to at the time. If anything, I would say listening to the radio in the car is the most direct LA influence because it’s very much a car culture out here.
What aspect of humanity did you get to explore on this record?
Humanity comes through mostly with Natalie and Conrad’s lyrics. There are a few pretty obvious themes on this album that are a bit more topical than in the past. 19 Fools is probably the most obvious comment on the current political climate. Pristine Wilderness shows what it’s like to co-exist among the wildlife in the Mojave desert. And We Can’t Change the Channel tackles climate change with Mother Earth as the main character.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Some of the other songs were a bit more personal. For instance Near Enough and Bruised and Beautiful are about being content with what we have. And Window to Window is about a missed connection – two people who see each other, have a strong instant bond and are whisked away too quickly.
What else is happening next in Dive Index’s world?
Well, we’re excited to finally get this album out to the world and hope it provides a little escapism during these crazy times. Since everything seems to be virtual these days we’ve been focusing on more video content so keep a look out for that. And probably some remixes in the fall!