Zach Cole Smith is grappling with extremes. Three months ago, his dreamy Brooklyn band DIIV released an excellent Captured Tracks debut, Oshin, melding bits of new wave, C86 indie-pop, and Krautrock into one of the year's best records. Now out on the road, the long-time vegan and self-described "routine-based person" is once again immersed in the chaos of tour life: entire days in the van, living out of a suitcase, constant partying. "When I lived in New York, I ate the same meal twice a day every day for a year," says Smith, also a touring guitarist for Beach Fossils. "I woke up at the same time every day and went running. But on tour, everything gets thrown for a loop."
It was during that Brooklyn year that Smith started DIIV, which essentially became a house band for all of the city's illegal warehouse venues and smoky DIY spots. They were quickly plucked up as tour mates by bands like Best Coast and Wild Nothing, but they've stayed true to their grassroots ethos.
"[Last time] we were in Boston, we played fucking Royale and then went straight from there to a house show," Smith says. "I think that really says something that I've always intended to be true about the band — that we can play a big venue or a small venue. I think the house shows are more true to our roots and our spirit. And the big venue is more of our aspiration."
It's all part of the same quest for equilibrium, one that plays out beautifully on Oshin's 12 tracks, as Smith's guitar-oriented songs mediate between the light and the dark, the harsh and the ethereal. "It's important to have a balance," says Smith. "To have yin and yang in your life."
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SEE THEM LIVE: DIIV + WILD NOTHING + BLONDS | BRIGHTON MUSIC HALL, 158 BRIGHTON AVE, ALLSTON | SEPTEMBER 20 @ 8 PM | 18+ | $15 | 617.779.0140
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