On Friday Melbourne doom outfit Divide and Dissolved dropped the highly anticipated follow up to their 2017 record Basic. I spoke to the band about the new record Abomination and how it is best received by listeners, as well as the bands up and coming showcase at the worlds largest music industry showcase, SXSW. Abomination can be streamed in full below.
Cool Try: Hey so I’ve listened to the new record and few times now. I was reading the sentence or two below each track title, I’m guessing those were descriptions of what each song is about, but correct me if I’m wrong?
Takiaya: Yeah definitely, we put the song titles and song descriptions there like we’re telling a story and we wanted to narrate it for everyone.
Sylvie: Yeah those are the intentions of the songs, it’s the story of the album.
CT: Yeah, I was just curious because I know a lot bands, instrumental or not kind of leave it up to the listener to come up with their own interpretation of a songs meaning. How important is to you listeners focus on that story when they listen to the album.
Sylvie: I hope that they do. I hope that they do focus on what we’ve written about it, but yeah you know, we can’t control it.
CT: I’ve been reading some conversations you guys have had about your experiences regarding a lack of diversity in the heavy music scene. Is changing the perceptions around the scene who plays heavy music important to you?
T: You know, I think we apparently are bringing up these conversations about what heavy music is supposed to look like and sound like and feel like, but that’s never been our emphasis. We just play the kind of music that we play and it’s very important for us to be out there and to be taking a stand. By us existing, we’re redefining what heavy is, what it can look like and what that perception is.
CT: Yeah, it’s true that by just existing you guys are breaking the mould, there are so many facets of the band, even the music itself that is atypical of people’s perceptions and expectations of what they’ll find in heavy music.
T: Yeah, we definitely care, people always want us to put ourselves in a genre and the only one that has ever made sense to us is heavy.
CT: I was checking out some of the bands you’re playing with at SXSW, and all the bands on that line up are heavy but there’s so much musical diversity and atypical sound, lots of really Avant / experimental artists, do you guys feel more at home at those kinds of shows than with typical metal bands?
T: You know, in terms of us relating to those we share a line up with, when we have a choice we choose bands that we relate to politically and people who we resonate with and it’s never a matter of genre, it’s never a factor. We never confine ourselves to certain bands who play certain genres or perceived genres.
CT: Have you guys checked out any of the bands you’re playing with on the SXSW shows?
T: ……….. No. (Lauging)
S: (Laughing) We actually haven’t gotten any details for it yet..
T: Yeah, we’re not even sure who else is playing on the show!
CT: Oh, the line-up is really cool! Was playing SXSW a goal you had in mind for the band? I know one of you is originally from Texas so I thought it might have been a bit of a home town milestone.
S: Yeah definitely and it seemed like a good opportunity.
T: Yeah yeah and you know if we want get experience in the music industry we need to play shows that are recognised by the music industry.
S: Everything that we do and every show that we play is a part of growing our band and SXSW is pretty exciting cause I think it will the biggest, longest and most attended festival that we’ve played so far. But every show we play, we treat it like it’s going to change our band in some way and we grow from each show.
CT: And just touching a bit on the live show, I know that your show, apart from being incredibly loud, is also be quite a solemn experience, not so much “get crazy and dance” and more “shut up and listen” …
T: We expect and demand silence during a performance. It’s a listening experience.
CT: What sort of venues and performance spaces allow you to best have that experience?
S: We like playing in resonant spaces. If we’re able to be audibly resonant then the performance will be more resonant with the audience. Yeah, we like spatially resonant places.
T: We like enclosed spaces with high ceilings.
CT: And how are you feeling about getting the album out there and into the world?
T: We’re really excited, we worked really hard. It’s just really important to us that we continue releasing music and the ideas behind the music. We feel really grateful and excited that we have the opportunity to do that.
CT: I remember you talking about the first record Basic as being an introduction to the band and the message, is the new record the next part of that, like now people know who Divide & Dissolve is, does Abomination follow directly from that and go deeper into what the band is about?
T: It’s a continuation, I don’t want to say quantifiably that Abomination is the bulk of what we’re about, it’s a continuation and we have so much more that we need to do. It’s just another part of what we’re doing, and it feels really exciting.
CT: Have you guys been working with any producers, or are you completely self-produced? There are so many cool surprising little moments in these songs that seem to come out of nowhere, do they happen in the writing process or in production?
S: It’s intentional and it’s also totally organic and happens in the moment. It’s combination of our connection in the performance and also our intention from writing the music. We’ve never worked with a producer, we like to have autonomy as possible when we’re mixing. The mastering is really important for our music because it is so bass heavy, but like you said, it’s also very diverse, so it’s really important for the record to be mastered well.
CT: I’d really love to see Divide and Dissolve on some festival stages, any chances for that this year?
T: That’s the plan!
S: We’d love to, yeah we’d absolutely love to!
Divide and Dissolve are currently on tour through North America. Stream Abomination below.