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10 years of Father/Daughter - an interview and playlist with Matt Berry of Happy Diving

Posted on June 25th, 2020

Listen to Matt Berry of Happy Diving's curated mix here!

Father/Daughter Records: How'd you first hear of / begin working with F/D?

Matt Berry: Before F/D I had never worked with a record label. Happy Diving put out a song from an EP we had recorded to share with our friends and F/D caught wind, got in touch and made it all happen for us. We were clueless with regards to music industry stuff but Jessi took great care of us. We did that cassette release and then later that year put out Big World.

F/D: How'd you meet the rest of your bandmates?

MB: We were all scattered around the East Bay at the time. We met through the small music scene that existed in our part of the bay, Newark, Dublin/Pleasanton, San Ramon Valley, etc. Our previous projects started to fall apart and our common interests in heavier, guitar centric stuff brought us together to start HD.

F/D: What were some inspirations for some of the songs on the record?

MB: We were all quite young when we started the band, around 18-19. Ascending from childhood to adulthood played a large role in the material. We really didn't know better than to try and emulate our favorite bands at the time. Older groups like Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine but also modern acts like Milk Music, Tony Molina, Ovlov and California X. We had serious intention with the band but it was mostly just a breezy and fun time, writing music, practicing and hanging out.

F/D: What was the recording process like? Any super memorable moments?

MB: Recording was probably one of the best parts about being in Happy Diving. We did every record at The Atomic Garden with Jack Shirley back when he was based in Palo Alto. I haven't had a recording experience like it since. Being on a budget forced us to really hone things in before we got to the studio. When we were there we would do one or two takes of a song and call it good. Big World was recorded in basically one day. I could never do that now. It's a very tired phrase but things just seemed easier back then.

F/D: Any favorite F/D albums thus far?

MB: Well I must give a shout out here to Lisa Prank and Who is She? as those are now my housemates.

F/D: What've y'all been up to since?

MB: Happy Diving has been on hiatus since 2016 but we've all kept busy. Mikey and Sam have a TON of projects. too many to list but their main projects are New Circle and Toner, respectively. Sam also runs a record label called Smoking Room which has put out a lot of cool music. We had a rotating cast of guitar players over our short stint as a band. Our original and longest standing guitar player, Matt Yankovich, now plays guitar in Just Friends. Kevin Prochnow joined the band as our third guitar player somewhere down the line; he also plays in Just Friends. Our friend Will Anderson did a short stint in the band, he now has a group called Hotline TNT. As for me, I have two main projects, Big Bite and The Berries.