Photography: Luis Kramer
DITZ, a five-piece of vocalist Cal, guitarists Anton and Archie, bassist Caleb and drummer Jack, are a collection of characters. Based in Brighton and regularly playing the ‘alternative scene’ there, they often get lumped in as a hardcore band. Yet, under this first identifiable layer, they are a juxtaposition of different influences, looks, tastes and styles. They mix the hearty appeal of jaunty, satisfying guitar sounds with heavy drum beats, creating a sonic similarity to the likes of Girl Band, Wolf Alice and Nirvana.
Built on pop structures, their songs are quick pulses of energy full of off-kilter noise, stops, starts and descents into amorphous guitar fuzz. Their latest single Gayboy was released on Permanent Creeps Records on February 8th and finds a confrontation that seems to be more about observing and questioning homophobic bullshit, rather than just denouncing it with straightforward punk aggression.
Tell me about Gayboy. You’ve said before that it’s about the irony of being angry at bigots who are themselves products of anger.
Cal: I think it's more that it's ironic that these people are angry in the first place. The lyrical content is almost supposed to be a conversation with the title of the song. I dislike bigots, but I feel like these types of conversations are important. Even though bigotry is learned, people need help unlearning it.
What’s your songwriting process generally?
Cal: The songwriting process is so different every time. I think the one thing that makes it consistent is the vetting that we do before we finally record the track.
Do you find the grunge comparisons fitting, or do you draw inspiration from other genres as well?
Anton: The grunge comparisons are slightly odd… We don't really see ourselves as grunge at all, but I can see why people may think that.
Cal: If people compare us to grunge it's because they've never heard The Jesus Lizard.
Jack: I find it odd. Individually, we draw inspiration from completely different genres – from PC music to dad rock, and I guess we somehow end up somewhere within the noisier side of rock.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Archie: Black Rebel
Anton: DIIV and METZ
Jack: Jethro Tull
How does having a broader perspective of the music industry beyond just being musicians affect the way you’re approaching taking your music forward?
Archie: It gives a broader knowledge of how to keep healthy and have fun. Not getting too lost in the mix, keeping steady.
Anton: Having prior and current knowledge is a big help. It often helps in terms of organisation and pulling a couple of favours here and there, band related or not.
What would you do if you weren’t doing music?
Archie: Arsenal academy reserves. Number 25. I always wanted to be a gardener, did it for years as a teenager.
Anton: A much more successful career in the music industry.
Caleb: Competitive eater.
Jack: I’d be Number 11 for Leeds United Playing left midfield under Marcello Bielsa.
How did you start making music together and when did you realise something clicked?
Anton: Myself, Cal and Caleb originally started the band when we met at uni with Myles. The lineup’s changed a bit over the past couple of years with Looker and Arch joining to become what it is today.
What drew you to Brighton?
Archie: Coffee shops and tattoos.
Caleb: Fucking Shooshh, mate.
Jack: The overpriced rent and graffiti.
Where’s your favourite place to play?
Anton: Pav Tav.
Jack: The Pavillion Tavern.
What kind of visual inspiration do you look to?
Cal: Anything that's not subtle.
And Cal, inspiration in terms of performance?
Cal: Fifty-percent Mark E Smith, fifty-percent Gwen Stefani.
What do you have coming up this year in terms of shows and festivals?
Anton: A little tour with Drahla and LICE in France, finishing up at Transfer Festival. We’re also playing with Spectres at Bermondsey Social Club on 21st March, Washed Out Festival in Brighton and a couple of other exciting shows to come.
And which festivals would you like to play?
Caleb: V Festival.
Finally, wanna recommend me some of your favourite new bands?
Archie: Holiday Ghosts, Mister Lizard, Herdmover, Junodream.
Anton: Cruelty, Egyptian Blue, Demonstrations.
Cal: LICE, Heavy Lungs, Jean Penne.
Catch DITZ live:
21st March 2019 – Bermondsey Social Club, London
12th April 2019 – Washed Out Festival, Brighton
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