“You [Aidan Dixon] just posted on your private [Instagram] account, and you said, ‘Who wants to start a band?’ And I was like, ‘Me bro, I’m down,’” Sebastian Landa said. “Then we made a group chat, and then jammed. It was a good time.”
Dixon, Landa and Riff Gordon are three teenagers that make up Bluedive, a pop punk/midwestern emo-inspired band formed in 2021.
The three met at Golden Valley High School, where Landa and Gordon played in the high school Jazz band together. Later on, Landa and Dixon met through a mutual friend, and began following each other on Instagram. From there, Bluedive was born.
They have been playing and recording music ever since, with Dixon on guitar and lead vocals, Landa on bass guitar and Gordon on drums.
The three have a long history of playing music individually, with Landa, 18, playing bass guitar since he was in first grade. He also played saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet in the school band, and has recently been teaching himself guitar. Dixon, 17, has been learning guitar on his own since eighth grade, and Gordon, 16, picked up the drums in seventh grade band, and currently marches with tenors and snares as Drumline Captain in the Golden Valley High School Marching Band.
Some of the musical inspirations behind Bluedive span anywhere from heavy metal bands to classic jazz artists.
“Alice in Chains. Layne Staley is my frickin’ dad. I think we all like Nirvana, but Alice in Chains is my biggest one right now,” Landa said. “Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers is a big bass inspiration to me. There’s a shit-ton, but those are like the two biggest ones right now I think, for me personally. I also really like Ski Mask the Slump God, he’s a rapper which has nothing to do with the kind of music that we like or anything, but Ski Mask is so cool. His attitude and his vibe, I fuck with it.”
“I would say the classic drummers, like John Bonham, Dave Grohl,” Gordon shared, “Even some jazz drummers like Buddy Rich and Art Blakey.”
“For me, I really like Mom Jeans, I’m wearing a Mom Jeans shirt right now. I really like Nirvana, I have a Nirvana strap on my guitar,” Dixon said. “I like Modern Baseball a lot, and Joyce Manor. I actually like a lot of the new scene, too. I don’t think it’s all bad. I also really like Blink-182 and Green Day, so a lot of pop punk.”
When it comes to describing the music that Bluedive creates, the band members were stumped before deciding on a mix of grunge and midwest emo with darker chord progressions that create a heavier sound. Gordon described Bluedive as, “A little bit of everything.”
Bluedive released their first four-song EP, “Bittersweet,” on June 4. The album took about three months to record, and the songwriting took much longer. Some of the songs on the EP like “Hurt Me,” and “Andie” were written in 2019, when Dixon was only 15.
Dixon writes most of the song lyrics for Bluedive, and said he has multiple outlets for inspiration when it comes to songwriting.
“Girls,” Dixon said, initially unsure. “I don’t know, just my experiences and stuff. I just write about life experiences. Or sometimes I’ll write a story, or I’ll have a story in my head, and I’ll put that into a song. It’s kind of like writing a poem really.”
Bluedive played their first live show at Impulse Music Co. on June 26, and are looking forward to playing many more in the future.
“It was really fun, to be honest with you. I just really had a good time. I’m really excited to play again,” Dixon said. “Interacting with the crowd is really fun, and I think just the atmosphere that we created. Especially when everyone is all dancing and stuff and just having a good time. It’s just really intimate in a way.”
As people brand new to the local music scene, Dixon, Gordon and Landa all expressed excitement towards meeting other local musicians through shows in the future. “It introduces you to all these different styles and genres that everybody has,” Gordon said.
One opportunity for local bands to meet and perform is through the City of Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park events that occur in Central Park every summer. The events take place every Saturday in July as well as the last three Saturdays in August. Although primarily tribute bands are seen performing at these events, anyone can apply to be considered by the committee made up of various city staff, according to David Knutson, events administrator for the City of Santa Clarita.
“Between Sept 1 to Oct. 31, they [bands] can send an email to our division, which is AEO@santa-clarita.com, and they’ll submit, we call it an EPK or an Electronic Press Kit, with links to social media, websites, videos, setlists, whatever they have of that,” Knutson said. “Then, once we get through that two month acceptance period, the committee meets in late November and goes through all of them.”
Color Dixon enticed.
“I would definitely be interested in playing one of the Concerts in the Park events. Usually a good amount of people show up so I think it would be some good traction for the band, since we’re still small,” Dixon said. “It would also be really nice if a lot of small local bands also played, because I know our town has plenty of talented musicians who deserve to be seen and heard. I think this event could be key for many small Santa Clarita bands to come together and form a positive community of people who love music.”
There is much more coming from Bluedive in the future. Their first EP was just the beginning as they are currently working on recording their next album.
“We’re really excited for the new sound we have because, you know, it’s been like two years since I wrote those songs [on Bittersweet], and that was even before we were all together,” Dixon said. “So our sound is a lot more complete now. I’m really excited for that.”
Music is more than just a hobby for Dixon, Gordon and Landa. It’s a passion.
“I want to be a musician,” Dixon said. “I would much rather do this, to be honest. It’s not even about being rich, if I can just have a comfortable-enough living, and I can just play in a band, then I’ll be happy. That’s all I want, really.”
Community members can support Bluedive’s musical journey by following them on Instagram for all future announcements. Their most recent EP, “Bittersweet,” is available on all music streaming platforms.
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