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The Dives Singer? He's Paul Stanley's Son

"We’re a rock band," says Evan Stanley, frontman of New York band The Dives. "But it seems like so many rock bands out there now look the part and have that vibe, but don’t have the songs to match. For us it always starts with the songs."

He's right. Songs are everything. And The Dives have them. Examine the band's debut EP Everybody's Talkin' for evidence and there's plenty, as the melodies tumble and trigger thoughts of everyone from The Who and The Kinks to Elvis Costello, Squeeze and Big Star. The band clearly know their way around a melody. And that's not all. When you ask Stanley about other New York bands worth keeping an eye on, he tells you to re-focus, saying, "for now, let’s keep all the eyes on us," and you realise he might just have the personality to carry this off as well as the songwriting chops.

Perhaps that's not surprising, because Evan Stanley's dad is the Starchild himself, Kiss legend Paul Stanley. Personality runs in the blood.

The Dives are currently supporting Kiss on their European tour, and have a headline show booked at London's Water Rats on May 29. Classic Rock caught up with Evan and the rest of the band — guitarist Mike Lefton, drummer Jimmy Meier and bass player Sergio Ortega — and asked them to tell us how they got together.

How did you find each other?

Mike: We all knew a guy and he thought we should meet. We did and it clicked. All of us loved hanging and playing and we couldn’t stop. We all have the same passion and the same goals, so it just worked.

Sergio: We’ve all played with a lot of different people, but when this group got together it was clearly something different. There’s an energy and a collective focus I’ve never felt before. We all wake up and go to bed thinking the same thing: “The Dives.”

What are you doing that’s different?

Evan: We’re not concerned with chasing trends. We make the music we love and that we wish we heard more of. There are no gimmicks, no backing tracks, no backup dancers. It's just us. What you see is what you get: loud guitars and catchy songs. Jimmy: Yeah, bands these days seem to spend so much time on everything, but rehearsing their songs. With all the technology available, it’s too easy to rely on editing things to get the sound you want instead of putting in the time practicing. We are constantly trying to outdo our recordings live and make each show better than the last.

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