Interview – Diving Station

Ever feel that things are spinning by too quickly and you’d like to just stop, contemplate and enjoy the moment? Then you’ll appreciate not just the sentiment behind Diving Station’s new single Film but also its soothing, multi-layered mix of emotive vocals, melodies and atmosphere. George and Sean tell us how it all came about, what’s coming next and give a shout out to some other great artists, venues and people who’ve helped them along the way…

Introduce us to Diving Station – who’s involved and how did you get together as a band?

George: Hello! We’re a band made up of Anna McLuckie on clàrsach and vocals, Sean Rogan on guitar, George Burrage on bass and Barney Kimberley on drums and vocals. We came up with the term ‘harp-driven dream pop’ and it seems to have stuck for now! Each member is originally from a different corner of the UK (Edinburgh, Manchester, Reading and the Isle of Man) but we all met whilst studying music in Manchester, bonding over similar influences such as Bon Iver, Radiohead and Bombay Bicycle Club. From then we started writing songs, doing gigs around Manchester and here we are 4 years later!

Your latest single Film has just been released – what’s it about and what’s the reaction to it been like so far?

Sean: Film is a story of struggle and frustration in a world that moves so fast we’ve no time to reflect on and deal with our own thoughts. The reaction to it has been wonderful, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support, especially from the likes of BBC 6 Music and Introducing, it means a lot! This is the quickest turnaround between writing and recording we’ve ever had, so it’s exciting that some of our fans that have watched us live haven’t even heard it yet, but they seem to like it so far!

You’re based in Manchester, much lauded for its music – what’s going on there currently that we should know about?

George: Manchester International Festival is happening again next month. The line-up of music and art is incredible so I’d encourage anyone to attend. Sounds From The Other City Festival in Salford is also fantastic, as well as Dot to Dot and Manchester Jazz Festival, all of which took place in May. There’s always so much music to see from a ridiculous amount of good venues like Band on the Wall, Gorilla, YES, Eagle Inn, Fuel Cafe, Deaf Institute, Dulcimer, Albert Hall and many more. Through studying together, we’ve met some great bands like Paige Kennedy, Cosmo Calling, HAZY, Sylvette, Darcie and Porij.

You’ve toured across the UK – any special venues or standout memories?

George: We recently played a gig in Leeds at the lovely Hyde Park Book Club. Our friends Heir organised the night, colourfully exhibiting local artists around the venue, and we were on the bill with Caro. They’re an exciting band and we were lucky enough to have them support us at our EP launch earlier that month.

Are You Listening? is a great charity festival in Reading. We were on early but there was a big crowd that seemed passionate about finding new music throughout the day. We also had some downtime and managed to sneak in a country walk which always helps.

What’s the hardest thing about trying to make your name in the music business and what or who has helped you on your way?

Sean: I think the hardest thing is simply making yourself heard by those that can help you move forward. To reflect on what we said about our latest single, the world moves so fast that we can release a song, get a super enthusiastic response from our audience, then feel like we don’t even exist a month later. Staying on people’s radars is tricky, and I think someone that’s helped us a lot with staying in people’s heads is our artist, Amrit Randhawa. The aesthetic he’s created across our recent releases is so distinctive, and he taught us a lot about building a visual world around our music, something which we’d probably have left behind.

George: Brighter Sound’s mentoring programme has given me so much invaluable advice on the music business from industry professionals and musicians I admire. Ryan Paul and the BBC Introducing in Manchester team have also been incredibly supportive since our last EP Feather Mouth was released.

And what are you up to for the rest of the year?

Sean: Festival season is just kicking in and we’re super excited to be off to Glastonbury to perform on the Toad Hall stage, as well as Bluedot, Tramlines Fringe and EskFest. After that, we’ll be releasing another single, along with a headline gig at YES in Manchester and a short UK tour surrounding it. Outside of that we’re still writing away, and forever trying to catch up with recording the backlog of songs we’d love to share with the world!

Listen to Film now and follow Diving Station here

Photos © Oliver Pringle
Film artwork by Amrit Randhawa

5th June 2019