Ditz: “Playing live is the heart of the band”

Brighton-based noise-rock mavericks, Ditz, had big plans for 2020. A rapidly-growing fan base, summer festivals and a massive support slot with Idles meant the year look to be a good one. Unfortunately Covid put a considerable spanner in the works, but that didn’t stop Ditz – An EP under their belt, new tracks written and now a return to the stage for Live is Alive, the band have worked hard to keep momentum in thes bizarre times, comments lead singer Cal.

How did you come to be involved with Live is Alive?

Well, as a band and as people we’ve known everybody at The Hope for ages, it’s kind of like our local. Then obviously with each venue putting bands forward, as soon as we heard the Hope wanted us to play we were immediately keen. Keen to support the event and also just keen to play a show, as I’m sure so many bands are.

What are your thoughts ahead of the show?

It is going to be interesting to see what it is like. It is the kind of capacity that you’d expect somewhere like The Hope, but just in the Brighton Dome. I am curious to see what it is going to be like both playing and just from an audience perspective – to see if it works for everyone and if it becomes something that can happen more often. Bands have obviously been struggling to play shows in whatever form, and a lot that have taken place with social distancing have all been outside, so it will be cool to see how one works inside.

Also, a few of the bands we are playing with we have played with before, so it will definitely be nice to see some familiar faces, see some people we probably haven’t seen since before lockdown, and just see that Brighton community come together again. 

Going forward do you think these kinds of events could start happening more often in Brighton?

I could see things working in places like Chalk or maybe Concorde 2, but with such a reduced capacity it is just not going to be viable for a lot of venues, which is why something like Live is Alive is so interesting. These local showcases in bigger venues could certainly keep happening, but in terms of the touring cycle, I don’t think that will be viable for a while.

How has lockdown impacted the band?

Well, obviously a lot of events have been moved back to next year, like 2000 Trees which we will now be playing next summer, so a lot of work at the moment is all about rescheduling these shows, festivals and tours. It’s great that these things are going to be coming back, it’s just a bit later than people may have originally thought, but it’s positive nonetheless.

We had some shows booked that we were really excited to play, like we were going to be supporting Idles at a one off show that would’ve been the biggest set yet for us, so these not happening has obviously been annoying, but these things have happened to the everyone in the industry, so there’s perspective.

We released our 5 Songs EP in July through Alcopops Records, which was cool, it was good to have something come out from those first few months of lockdown where everything was all Zoom calls and stuff like that. Since then we’ve been able to get back into the practice room with the relaxing of lockdown measures and we’ve been able to crack on with working on a full length, which is exciting. It’s a positive that we have been getting stuff done at this time for sure, even when it was writing on our own and sending MP3s to each other and finding new ways to bounce ideas off each other.

Have you got any plans for the (touch wood) return of live music?

Well, with the new songs we want to be able to take them out on tour, to shows with us, so seeing how live music evolves in the next few months or so will be crucial. Our music is live music. That is our main arena, playing live is the heart of the band, so it is hard to think of releasing an album for example and then not being able to go play a bunch of shows, that’s what we are all about, that’s what the band is about, bringing live music to people.

When it comes to our live shows the barrier between the audience and the band is quite blurred, there’s a lot of interaction, being on the floor, being in the crowd, people rolling on top of people so it will definitely be a new thing to be playing at The Dome to a distanced crowd for sure.

We are potentially going to be playing some newer tracks at Live is Alive which will be interesting, seeing how they translate live but also live in these new settings, so yeah, looking forward to it, interested to see just how things are going to work, but excited nonetheless.

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