Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

How DITZ found their flow

11 June 2024, 14:00

As a seasoned live act with the ferocity and grit that go hand in hand with their unique harebrained concoction of sounds, it's all about continuing the graft, no matter the cost, for Alcopop! Records-signed rock five-piece DITZ. Steven Loftin hears the band's story ahead of their set at SON Estrella Galicia's micro-festival in London.

For nine years or so, DITZ have been toiling away. After attending a METZ gig in 2016, the Brighton-based band decided the time was now.

"After watching those bands we thought yeah, let's just do that," vocalist Cal Francis nonchalantly recalls. It's the same approach they'd to apply to every avenue DITZ would explore; constantly unapologetic whilst relishing in every opportunity.

Eventually getting a gig nine months later, with guitarist Anton Mocock taking on promoter duties thereafter ("The only reason he's a promoter is because if someone were to put us on, he was the only one that could do it," guitarist Jack Looker laughs) the quintet's fate was sealed. Completed by bassist Caleb Remnant and drummer Sam Evans, DITZ is a project that was established in stolen moments. It wasn't until a post-COVID world that they found their way to being a seasoned touring band and seizing every chance: "I don't think at any one point, we sat down and were like let's have a group chat and let's make this band our lives," Looker explains. "We got offered gigs and would almost say yes to every gig. Just before COVID we got a booking agent and I think we were probably worried that she was going to get rid of us so we took everything that would come to us...and that's how it happened."


As the miles clocked up, so did their intrinsic nature. Chuckling they're now "a lot tighter than we were by a fucking country mile," Looker says, it's led to the eternal gift of the graft. Nodding that "Our whole life revolves around playing gigs and going on tour with each other," it's a state of being they're relishing in. Although, Francis reckons they're also more selective these days: "There were a few tours where it was really random, just for the sake of touring. We would play in places like Winchester or Swansea – Swansea is hard to get to, to play to not many people as well," the pair laugh. "We do it with a bit more purpose now. We're flying out tomorrow, we've got our first ever Polish show, which I'm looking forward to," Francis explains.

It also means they're tried and true realists. Be it in their state of being – "I mean, we bicker a lot…like any family," says Looker – or Francis' aggressively pacing lyrics and performances. Either way, they're aiming for the jugular with their jagged-edged guitar lines. Often hand-brake turning into tsunamis of sound, the Brighton quintet contain the kind of prowess that only being a band for time can manifest.

Poster Soundhood Hackney portrait

Francis and Looker are currently in the throes of juggling work and getting ready for an upcoming run of shows, including a slot at SON Estrella Galicia's micro-festival at Two Palms and Paper Dress Vintage in London this week. Having been deep in the recording of their forthcoming second album, DITZ are a band that refuses to stand still. They're also rather adept at rolling with the punches, or in some cases, unleashing them on the stage to the point that audience members clock an unbound tension, as Francis says to Looker: "Sometimes you're playing guitar and you're pissed off it does get a little bit more physical," they say. "I remember somebody came to the merch table in Hamburg once and you were in a foul mood that day. They were saying about how they loved how he likes to throw the guitar around," Francis nods to Looker. "They thought it was so physical but I just knew you were just pissed off."

It's this tension that bristles through every aspect of DITZ. From that sound of theirs to the live show, to their inter-band relationships, it all collides to form what the quintet are now, but more importantly, they understand each other and respect their differences and place in the grander DITZ picture. They're the seismic result of their colliding and fractious influences. Being a five-piece, there's more than enough opinion and taste to go around, which culminated in their 2022 debut The Great Regression, released via Alcopop! Records.


They refer to The Great Regression as a "miserable recording." Having bounced straight from touring into a gruelling recording schedule, it compounded into a project that rollicks while sucker-punching from every angle possible. But, putting the DITZ puzzle pieces together, between their frenzied frolicking in the live environment to crushing their influences together with the surety and unbridled creativity of a toddler mashing their food together, it's an equilibrium they cherish. "We've got to this point where we let everybody have their own personal stamp on things and discuss how it meshes together," Cal explains. Jack adds: " I think we're fortunate that we don't (sound like anyone else) because we're trying to constantly cover another band."

"I think with most really good bands as well, you can tell what each member has brought to the table," Francis says. "That's the reason why I think it's better to let each band member have their own influences," they continue, "And do their own thing, because that way, you're way more likely to come up with something original – not that we're the most original band in the world, because we've all got similar tastes as well. There's a lot of things that we all agree on."

However, they refer to The Great Regression's follow-up also as "A pain in the arse," Looker shakes his head solemnly, "Like a proper pain in the arse." Francis adds: "I think it's a pretty good second album...doing this one has given us a way better idea of what we're going to do with the third one now." Without giving too much away – though the pair readily spill the beans on what's to come – it's shaped them into a stronger band than before: "There were teething problems that we didn't have with the first one that we that we did on this one that we're now I think better equipped to deal with," Francis says. As the punches fly, DITZ get stronger it would seem.

In terms of ambitions for the group, it's a varied response. Looker offers the most atypical with, "I've always wanted to be in a huge band and doing the headlining Glastonbury cliches and all that." But, the road they see the most appealing is that of the likes of cult-indie Scots, Mogwai. The longevity is more appealing than the instant gratification according to Looker: "Doing it for years and years and doing cool shit," he opines. "Having a pretty sick career and getting number one like 20 years after their first album released, that'd be pretty sick," to which Francis wholeheartedly agrees.

They're certainly a more confident band these days, even when that realism seeps in: "I'm still not very confident," Looker says. "I think a few of us maybe not so much. But we're definitely more comfortable in than we were five or six years ago." For Francis, it's a slightly different point of view. "I always get nervous when we haven't got any shows or something," they say, "because I just walk about the place." Referring to being on stage as "A preferred state of being," it's where they feel most at home, even as the stages are getting larger, having just completed a support cycle with IDLES on their recent run.


"We've got to know each other a bit better as well over the last two years, because we've spent that much time together in vans, and on the road – we're more a part of each other's lives than we ever have been before," says Looker. The pair say the only thing that's stopping them from being a non-stop touring band is the need for work. Victims of the industry ("Music's just making money for other people," Francis shrugs), DITZ is a creative collective working together with the sole aim of keeping the wheels turning.

Reflecting on how being a road-worn band compares to their initial vision, and even further back to their childhood starry-eyed ambitions, the pair drop another healthy dose of dream-laden realism. For Francis, they offer the fact that they "Thought I'd be a couple more albums in by this point," with a bit more cash in the bank. But, regressing slightly, as well as getting to clock up the albums – as long as they're all "different from each other," – it's about taking DITZ global, as they say, "money doesn't really matter," to which Looker concurs. Adding, "I think we're all quite grounded and fairly boring," Looker laughs. "My partner says I'm programmed to suffer because I'm such a realist. I think we all have that opinion?" he asks Francis. "We all pretty much know how it is," they laugh. "I think it's easy to say maybe we're getting jaded, but we're's just we know how it is now and it's fine. As long as we can go and play some shows, we're content."

Ditz plays the second day of the Son Estrella Galica Soundhood festival at Two Palms in London on 14 June 2024. Find out more by following Son Estrella Galicia on Instagram.

This feature is part of a paid partnership with Son Estrella Galicia.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next