This is our last post in a series of articles featuring the winners of last year’s SAMAs. This time around we met up with Colin Horn, guitarist of Best Metal winners Divides to chat about the change of line-up and fortunes over the past twelve months. Things are looking up for a relatively young band who’ve made an impact across the length and breadth of Scotland and beyond.
Did your SAMA Best Metal win last year come as a bit of a shock?
Quite a bit of a shock that we were even nominated in the first place. Then when it came down to the public voting, that’s when it got a bit uneasy because you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. You’re just not sure if your following on the likes of Twitter and Facebook will vote for you. So, when it was announced that we’d won it took a minute to actually sink in. It was even more of a shock as the bands we were up against – especially The Amorettes who we were watching out on tour and seeing how phenomenal their videos – were very stiff competition and we didn’t think we stood a chance. We were just thinking, it’s a night out so we may as well go along and enjoy it.
Were you surprised at being nominated in the Best Metal category as opposed to Best Alternative/Rock for instance?
I think so. With the genres that we all took influence from it may be fitting that we were nominated for Best Metal. We do have some heavier riffs and we accepted it for that. It was an honour to be in the category anyway. Plus, it meant that We Came From Wolves could win their award for Best Alternative/Rock (joke).
Do you feel that touring and engaging with fans elevated your chances of winning?
I think we’d been a band for around a year and a bit by the time the awards came around but we were still fairly new. Social media is a big help and I think Twitter is a big help. Facebook charging bands to sponsor posts now isn’t ideal. It’s based on the amount you spend too so you could be paying £50 and you get around four or five hundred likes. But, for pushing our name out there Twitter seems to be the best medium out there for us.
It does seem to be a way to engage with fans and not only at a band level but more personal with your own individual accounts.
Totally, it means people can directly get in touch with you personally and that’s always good. If someone tags you in something about the band then you can get back in touch and further the reach.
Will you be attending the awards this year?
I can’t, unfortunately but coming off the back of a tour around Scotland I think everyone is in need of some downtime to recharge the batteries. We’re also planning to attend the Inside Music Awards in London in the next couple of weeks so it’ll be about preparing for that too.
Do you feel you’re geared towards picking up an award at the Inside Music Awards?
Very optimistic and we’re more than happy just to be attending, but these awards are in London and it’s a whole different environment compared to Glasgow. I mean, Glasgow is great and that’s no disrespect to the likes of Edinburgh and Aberdeen but Glasgow is a great music community and the level of promotion, gigs and crowd income is high. It’ll be interesting to see how different it is in London with their level of industry, it’ll be a bit of a head-spin for us.
You’ll be partying hard while you’re down there?
Our friend Grumble Bee (multi-instrumentalist, song-writing producer) is friends with Dave (drums) and Nicole so he was saying let’s get a night out afterwards. It’s an awards show, if you don’t win anything you still get to have fun and make a night of it.
You mention Nicole, things really have changed for the band since last year’s SAMA event. Can you tell us more?
At the point where it all came to a head when Tasha left we were already in the middle of writing the material that we’re playing right now and it was different in terms of feel and even just in rehearsals with the sound we were wanting to achieve. What happened soon after that was Nicole came in for a few sessions then Andy dropped the bombshell that he was moving to Dubai.
Not ideal. Losing two founding members of the band in quick succession, was that quite difficult to overcome?
It was a little like getting back to your feet then back down again but there are no hard feelings and we still keep in touch and he was actually the one who put us in touch with Inside Music Awards so it kind of worked out pretty well. The general feeling once we got the line-up sorted was refreshing. We got to start again and it seems to have pushed it up a notch. Scott’s been in other bands (Andy’s replacement on bass) as well as Nicole and they’d reached a certain point. Now we just want to kick on, push further and onto the next point on the map. We’re not quite sure where that is exactly but when it happens we’ll know.
The first gig with the new line-up in Stereo was only a couple of weeks ago now, how did that go?
It went well, it was really good. It was quite a nervous opening, playing a sell out at Stereo with a brand new line-up was always going to be a challenge. After playing two years with Andy standing next to me and knowing his movements I always knew what it would be like playing live with him…
..Yeah, he’d be pulling his trademark stare down one of the cameras..
Yeah, pretty much. But this time around it was different and there were a couple of bumps but by the time we did our last show of the tour it was much smoother and run a lot better. The reaction from the support that we were given was great. We were nervous about putting on a Glasgow show and getting the bands who we wanted to play in the support slots but it all came together. We also took a risk playing only the new songs and nothing older and we didn’t know what the reception was going to be like.