New Glasgow-based band Divides were first brought to our attention when they opened for Vukovi at Òran Mór in April.
It was their first gig as a band and we were blown away by the togetherness and confidence shown by such a young, yet clearly talented bunch.
When we found out that the band would be playing last week at Nice N’ Sleazy in the City Centre we had to get along and meet up for a chat before they took to the stage to kick out some new jams including their lead single ‘Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost’.
Their plans for world domination and to shake that Paramore name tag are laid out in the interview below.
We’d like to mix this up a bit, can you introduce the person to your left and tell us something weird or funny about them.
Andy: Can we swap? i don’t really know Tasha that well..Yeah. Eh Tasha Cowie is our singer and she has an extensive collection of Nike shoes, through her work.
Tasha: To my left is Colin Horn one of our guitarists, who stole me from my last band..
Colin: ..she’s my secret obsession but she doesn’t know that yet..
Well everyone knows that now!
Tasha: Colin came to see me play live with my last band (Surrender’s Not An Option, a heavy metal band) and said he wanted me in his band so he just took me.
Colin: To my left is Dave Maxwell, the drummer of the band and a weird thing about him is, he has a whole family of African Hummingbirds living in his beard.
Dave: To the left of me is David Lennon, our other guitarist. Me and David were both in a pop-rock band (A Day Overdue) and now we are much, much heavier.
You were in a pop band?
Dave: Yeah, a pop-ier band.
David: To my left is our bassist Andy Cook and he lives in Ayr. The Ayr. He lives in The Air, in the atmosphere! (laugh all round)
You’ve not been around together for long, how did you all meet?
Andy: Colin and I have known each other for around three years.
Colin: We played in a band together called Always Read The Label and when I had to leave that band I decided to take Andy with me, I just nick people and through another guy who played with us I got in touch with Dave. Dave knew David and from that we all kind of came together.
So does it feel quite natural between you all then?
Andy: Only the smell of BO, the constant stink of it.
Colin: Aye, coming from the bassist most of the time I believe.
You’ve only been together two weeks but have already released a single, what is it and where can we find it?
David: We released a single called ‘Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost‘. We recorded the track at a place called 45 A-side Studios with Bruce Rintoul who I’d worked with previously on other projects.
That was a quick turnaround; did you feel under pressure to get something out there quickly?
Andy: We just felt as if we had something that we wanted to release and we wanted to do it as quickly as possible.
Colin: I think it was you that pressured us more Andy, wasn’t it?
David: Because we had all been in bands before for around four years or so we sort of knew what the best way to go about it was. Get some songs, create a set, get them recorded, start plugging that and get some shows. At the time we were kinda looking for a gig when we got offered Vukovi. It was a little bit sooner than we wanted because we weren’t really ready set wise [for a gig that size], but as a gig we couldn’t knock back our first offer so we just made sure we were ready.
To be honest, we came along that night and thought you were pretty tight, knowing that you’ve only been together for a short time made it even more surprising. Is there anything else in the pipeline soon?
Andy: It’s all a secret
David: The EP is the main thing at the end of the year.
Andy: I’m away to America; to Michigan for three months. I’m teaching guitar at a Summer Camp so these guys are getting a session player in while I’m away.
So what if the session player is better and the band decide to keep them in your place?
Andy: (sarcastically) I’ve got a contract all ready for before I go that says I have to come back as the bassist or the manager.
With Andy leaving for a few months, do you think that’ll cause any issues?
Colin: I wouldn’t think so. I think the fact that we’re good friends; I couldn’t see Andy not being back. Each one of us brings our own special things to the band so if Andy came back and he wasn’t in it then..
Tasha: ..I think at the second practice I said if Andy left then I’d leave.
Andy: We’ve only played one gig, but we’ve got a strong chemistry onstage.
Our planned question about best gig and why seems rather redundant – sometimes you come across a band who’ve gigged a lot but haven’t released anything but you’re the total opposite.
Andy: ..You could say we’re the ‘Polar Opposite’, which is the name of one of our new tracks which we’ll be releasing on the EP! (laughs again)
Speaking of the EP how would you describe your sound?
David:It’s hard to say when you’re in a band to actually pick something like that.
OK, well if someone said you sound like this band or that band, which one would insult you the most?
Andy: I get really annoyed when people say we sound like Paramore. It’s a compliment in a way but we’re trying not to be.
Tasha: I had a few people say that I was trying to copy her style. I think that’s more annoying than the being compared to the general sound of the band, that’s a compliment.
Andy: Don’t get us wrong Hayley (Williams, Paramore singer), if you’re reading this we are available for a world tour, just give us a bell and we’ll sort it out.
On the subject of individual influences, what got you into what you’re doing?
Colin: Funeral For A Friend, Paris and randomly a bit of a personal one is Atreyu.
Tasha: I don’t know if this will shock you but I was going to say Paramore.
David: Aye, that may not sit too well with the answer to the previous question..
Tasha: That’s probably what got me into singing. Paolo Nutini and James Morrison. Band wise, probably Twin Atlantic. That’s why I sing with a Scottish accent.
Is singing in a your natural accent a choice?
Tasha: No, that’s just the way it is. Quite a lot of bands I go to see sing with an American accent but are from Glasgow. I think it’s more of an effort to put on an accent then sing in your own.
Andy: For me it’s Biffy. I used to see Simon (Neil) in Morrison’s all the time and be too feart to go up and speak to him ‘cos I’m such a fan boy. Also Vukovi. I’m a huge fan so it was fun to play with them. I like Fightstar, and a wee bit of Charlie Simpson.
Dave: Anything that’s heavier or makes me move. Traditional, classic music too. I listen to the beat and play along to the vocal pattern. That’s how I make my fills up, by following the vocal. I’ve played in marching bands, you know, céilidh music and all that sort of stuff. It kinda helps when you go to play with other bands to know different techniques.
David: I’d probably say Linkin Park got me going early 2000’s back when I was fifteen, sixteen and then I got right into Muse, proper obsessed with playing their stuff on the guitar. I think it was the Absolution album I just learned all the songs. Those two were the main bands but as I got older I got into other types of music. I was in a pop-rock band so I was listening to the likes of Young Guns and Kids In Glass Houses, bands like that.
As a new band, how tough have you found it to come together and play together?
Tasha: I think because I came from a slightly heavier band it’s hard to adjust. I used to go mental onstage, head banging and all that stuff, just going for it. I do the same, to an extent, but I try to hold myself back a little to focus on my voice this time. So there’s less running and jumping around.
David: We’d played a lot of acoustic stuff [in previous bands] that we couldn’t jump about to so coming to this we can again.
Colin: We don’t really stick with “you’re doing the lead, I’ll do rhythm” in the band. We swap about so it’s not like one guitarist will do the lead.
As a group, where would you like to see yourself a few years down the line?
Colin: World domination.
David: We’d just like to progress. As long as we’re moving in the right direction that would be good.
What do you have in store for tonight? Anything new on the set?
Tasha: We’ve got a new song.
David: Yeah we played it for literally two practices and just thought we’d throw it in there.
Andy: We only wrote it on Sunday.
Very impressive! Plans after tonight?
David: A few more gigs. And, because Andy’s away we’ll be doing a few slower songs it’ll just be stripped back with Tasha and the guitars. Record that, play a few gigs and have an EP ready for the end of the year.
So finally, how are you getting your name out there?
David: Social media. A lot of bands these days will use PR agents but we’ve not found we’ve needed it. We’ve had airtime on XFM and Radio1 without it but for an EP it’s maybe worth doing as you’d want to get reviewed and do some promotion.
Loves getting his gig on but also loves to get behind a camera and capture music in the making. Check out akgphotos.com for more.