The Solid Sound of Deep Sea Diver

The Solid Sound of Deep Sea Diver

So, yeah, we're more than a little excited to be working with MASS MoCA at this year's Solid Sound Festival 2017, Wilco's Music and Arts Festival running June 23rd-25th at MASS MoCA. On June 3rd at 8pm in our gallery, come for a screening of the Solid Sound documentary "Every Other Summer" where we'll be giving away free merch + 3 pairs of passes to the festival.    AND we got to interview Jessica Dobson-Mansen of Deep Sea Diver, of our favorite bands who'll be playing this year. If you don't know them, check'em out.  And the interview.
Why and how did you come to form Deep Sea Diver?
I formed Deep Sea Diver as a moniker for my own solo project in 2009. During the time, that I wanted to transition from going under my own name to hopefully broaden the musical spectrum and eventually find a band to collaborate with.  Shortly after starting Deep Sea Diver, Peter Mansen (whom I was dating and am now married to) moved down to Long Beach where I was living and we started collaborating together. It was so refreshing to have someone to work with that had a myriad of influences that were completely different from mine and thats where I believe Deep Sea Diver started feeling unique and exciting to work on.   
How do you feel “Secrets” is different from the band's last album? 
In certain ways, History Speaks was more carefree.  There were no outside expectations involved, just our own intuitive voices to follow.  With Secrets, we very much experienced the classic sophomore shackling of having to fight our own tendencies to overthink songwriting and  trying block the music business voices and pitfalls we experienced from convoluting the album.  Secrets was very reactive…reactive against ourselves, our culture, the music industry.  It’s far more frustrated and has a thick air of urgency.   But even in it’s most frustrated and insecure moments , there is also a boldness to it that feels like an interesting combination.  Both albums were very fulfilling and very hard to make. It’s always a challenge to put something out into the world that is already so saturated, and we always have to ask  “is this worth saying?”.  In the end we felt like it was and remain proud of it.   

If you could pick one song from it for someone to listen to who has lever heard your music, what would it be and why? 
I would choose the song Secrets.  It best exemplifies what we’re all about which tends to be winding arrangements, tight drum and bass, atmospherics, intimate to soaring vocals and lyrical vulnerability.  
Do you prefer the studio or live performances? What do you love about playing live?   
I don’t think I have a preference but here’s what I love about both. When studio time is going well and there is a flow that can’t be stopped, I come alive in a way that feels so unbelieving freeing. Every artists is in search of that pulsating forward momentum that sweeps you up and leaves your ego behind. When this moment comes, it feels like a performance, even if nobody is in the room. When I perform live, I’m always in search of that electric moment that happens when people connect with your music and are fully on board with where you want to take them. Our favorite live show moments are when we get to introduce the unexpected. I’ve started shows in the balcony with a wireless guitar, making people look around the room to figure out whats going on, we’ve set up drums in the audience for peter to hop on mid set, we are always searching for the element of surprise. Live shows are often so uniform and rigid and we love the challenge of trying to break that mold. 
How did you come to play at Solid Sound musical festival this year? Do you feel it is different from other music festivals? If so, how?
We had the honor of being able to open for Wilco at the Filmore in SF last year, and really connected with them.  Glenn, after the show, came up to us and said, “you would be perfect for our festival”.  Of course we were thrilled about the potential, but there is so much built up anticipation in certain potentialities, that we have been left disappointed when things didn’t  work out, so we tried not to get too excited.  But a few weeks later, the Solid Sound folks got ahold of us and said that Wilco requested that we be apart. Wilco is one of our all time favorite bands and we felt so unbelievably grateful and honored to get to play with them again and experience their festival. Solid Sound seems to be pushing in the direction that festivals need to go.  Smaller, more intimate, more curated, less corporate, more about facilitating an experience than just making money and getting as many people in as possible.   

What’s next for the band? 
Writing, Writing, Writing.  What I said earlier of the saturation and abundance of voices in the musical world does really force us to try and write and play and record things which actually mean something.  Sometimes getting to that place can be a challenge, so we are currently in that exploration phase, which is fun but difficult.  

What is your favorite coffee and why?
Our favorite coffee is Lighthouse Roasters in Seattle.  Much of the coffee industry  is subject to trends and fads that whether good or not, they have to play the game of fitting in and appealing to the current conventions.  Lighthouse is great because it has been a fairly untouched independent local business that doesn’t follow the whims of current fads. They  consistently produce great quality coffee according to it’s own standards.  It’s confidence and independence is similar to the ethos that we strive for.    So we love seeing  something that resides in a completely different realm that inspires us to do what we’re doing better and with greater courage.
We couldn't agree more, Jessica, as that is our ethos at No. Six Depot. We can't wait to introduce her to our coffee and have the band to the cafe. In the meantime, make sure to come to the screening Saturday, June 3rd for the chance to win free tickets. And come see us at the festival where we'll be keeping the whole crowd happily and tastily caffeinated.
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