Tulsa-based band CLIFFDIVER combines elements of various genres to create a unique sound all while adding a saxophone to the mix. In this interview they speak about their single “Cameron Diaz”, discuss upcoming new music, make mention of *NSYNC, and more.
Having made their presence known in 2018, they released their debut EP ‘Small Hours’ which garnered immediate attention and support. In 2019, the band released their follow-up EP ‘At Your Own Risk’ featuring the singles “Are You Still Seeing Graig, the Orthodontist?”, “Cameron Diaz”, and “Lost in Ikea”. CLIFFDIVER have big plans for this year including new music and some touring, so be on the lookout.
Q: Let’s start things out in a fun way. If you could collaborate with anyone, who would you choose and why? Bonus points for obscure and unexpected answers.
A: If we could score some type of Mark Hoppus/Max Bemis duo collab with us, I think that would fulfill most of our desires. A less likely but a just as awesome scenario would be collabing with N*SYNC – their first two albums were beautiful works of art.
Q: You guys speak openly on the importance of mental health. Can you speak a bit about why that’s something that means so much to you?
A: (Joey:) Living with mental illness is a part of daily life but most people struggle in silence due to the societal stigmas. I find that the more I can share and be open with my own experience, the less power it has over me and the more I’m able to help others who are currently where I have been. If you ask me, the world needs a bit more honesty, kindness and vulnerability.
Q: Previously it’s been stated that your single “Cameron Diaz” is about your mental health journey. Is it cathartic to write and sing about, and does it help you to share your experience publicly?
A: Absolutely, it is. I think more people are struggling today with feelings of isolation and although we’re more connected than ever, there are certain things that still make us uncomfortable to talk about. The more we’re able to normalize the mental health journey (self-reflection, seeking therapy, etc.) the more likely those are who struggling will find comfort in the fact that they aren’t alone.
Q: It may be a simple question, but why the title “Cameron Diaz”?
A: The full title of the song is actually “All of My Problems Started the First Time I Saw Cameron Diaz in The Mask” – which sounds like something you might say to a therapist. This song is very much about some of the band members’ personal experience about seeking therapy and how it became a turning point in a lot of our lives.
Q: Did you guys have fun creating the video for the single? Are there any funny stories from the shoot that you can tell?
A: Yeah, it was blast. We love working with Kyle Bell, he’s shot the last two videos for us and is super easy and fun to work with. The actual shooting of this video was also a bit therapeutic itself because our guitarist literally left the band that day, so our band was certainly going through some difficult changes. A funny story would be during the bridge/sax solo, we wanted to have Dony’s hair blowing in slow motion – so we went to his house and got a fan but it wasn’t strong enough to affect his hefty locks. So Matt and Eliot had to end up using a piece of cardboard to fan him while kneeling under him, staying out of frame.
Q: Switching gears a bit, are there any bands that you guys would recommend that may not be on the radar for most people? Maybe hometown local highlights?
A: We’re fortunate to have a ton of local talent in our area. Just a few names that deserve more attention would be Ben Quad, Hazelwave, My Heart & Liver Are the Best of Friends, Mad Honey, Beach Language, When the Clock Strikes, The Noise Estate and Goodfella. We’ve made some great friends in the scene from other areas of the country too. We’re really digging Padfoot, Equipment, Dogleg, Vermont, Origami Angel, I Met a Yeti, Select a Bonus, West Means Home, Short Fictions and Niiice.
Q: A few months ago you guys were on tour. Did you discover any cool places to eat or visit on the road? Any plans to tour more in the near future?
A: I think everyone’s favorite adventure was visiting the Tunnel of Love, which was located in an “adult” superstore in Omaha (you’ve just gotta trust us on this one). As far as food goes, I don’t recall anything that really stuck out to us since we mainly just ate at Taco Bell but what I can say is definitely DON’T visit the Bob Evans just outside of Akron, OH.
We have a good amount of touring plans for this Spring/Summer (with some great bands). Can’t wait to be back in the van and see more of the Midwest.
Q: I saw on your Facebook page where you guys said to stay tuned because there might be new music on the way. Is there anything you can say at this point? Any hints on what you may have up your sleeve?
A: Yeah, we were actually just in the studio this morning. We don’t have any concrete plans for full releases but we definitely are staying busy writing and recording new music and plan to have a new song out in March (and hopefully several more later this year). The title of our next single is “Don’t Settle for a Fountain Samantha, Whenever Your Heavenly Father is Taking You to Safari Joe’s H2O Water Park and Petting Zoo”.
Q: What do you hope listeners gain from your music, whether it’s one stream or coming out to a show?
A: We hope people gain feelings of solidarity, comfort and encouragement from our songs. We aim to make music for any mood or emotion you’re going through, so we just hope you’ll share an experience with us.
Q: Is there anything else going on with the band that I didn’t touch on but you would like to mention?
A: Not really, you asked some great questions, thanks Tiffany! We just want everyone to know that you’re loved and we hope to see you at a show. Feel free to send us a message on instagram, facebook, twitter, or email us – we like making new friends!