Interview With Divine Empire
Interview By Anders Sandvall
Here is an interview with Jason, lead vocals and bassist for death
metal masters Divine Empire. We talked about about the band's new album,
"Nostradamus," and little bit about the band and what their future looks like.
Where in the USA are you based?
Do you all live in the same city?
No, Duane lives in Texas with his girlfriend.
Why are there only three members in the band?
Destiny, I guess. We're happy as a three piece. We've had guitar players jam with us,
but they just couldn't keep up, or put 100% percent into it. Most people are impressed
with how much sound comes out of the three us.
Why has it been so hard to find a steady drummer to the band?
Let's just say it's hard to work with people who lie, stab you in the back and betray
you. Now that all the drummer drama is behind us we're very much focused on the music,
we're very fucking ready, we're ready to support NOSTRADAMUS & already working on the
next CD, this time there's no stopping us.
How did your current drummer end up in the band?
I met him 2 years ago at the Milwaukee metal fest.
Are there any plans of taking in another guitarist?
Not really. We're a power trio. We're the Rush or ZZ Top of death metal! (haha!) Unless
somebody killer comes along who can keep up with us and commit 100%.
How do you think that the band has developed through the years?
I think we've matured and progressed with each CD, and have developed into the killing
machine we are today. I think we can hang with the best of 'em.
How has the band developed music-wise between the albums?
"Redemption" was fast and extreme. "Doom To Inherit" had a lot of groove.
the next level and has a bit of both & more variety to our style, but very straight to
Who writes the music and lyrics?
J.P and I write the music. I write 90% of the lyrics and J.P. does the rest.
How does it work when you write material? Who does what?
J.P brings the weed, I bring the pipe, and Duane brings the lighter. We get all stoned
and bring whatever songs or riffs we have to rehearsal and put them together.
Are you inspired by any other bands?
I'm inspired by all kinds of music in general. I'm inspired by many bands. (the bands
that I like the most) It all depends on my mood. I can be inspired by Slayer or Rush one
day, or Lynard Skynard and Kreator the next day.
How much have you toured?
I've been touring on and off since 1990.
Have you only toured in USA?
Many times, I lost count. I've been to Europe like five times with the band I used to
play in. (Malevolent Creation).
Are you going to do any touring on your new album?
Absolutely. We have some gigs coming up. We're ready to support Nostradamus.
Are you going to take on the whole world?
We have a couple of shows in March in the U.S. check out the 'Sun -n- Steel' fest.
(www.metalfest.com) In May we're flying to South America to play Colombia and
Venezuela, then we fly to Europe to play a show in East Germany called "FUCK THE
COMMERCE" festival. After that we're touring across Europe.
Why has it taken so long time to follow up your previous album from 2000?
We went on a two year hiatus after Doomed, searching for the right drummer for us. We
had many auditions, and Duane was the first to click with us.
How did you come up with the name, "Nostradamus?" Does it mean anything
special to you?
I envisioned it in one of my dreams. It was influenced by all the fucked up shit going
on in my life and in the world around me, and 9/11 and the war for example; seems like the
end of the world sometimes.
How long did the album take to record, including writing the material?
The whole process (writing and recording) took about six months.
Are your lyrics about anything special?
Yeah, Aggravated Battery is a true story about a fight I got in a lot of trouble for. A
man assaulted me with a knife and I defended myself, leaving him lying in a pool of blood,
and then taken to the hospital to get 125 stitches when I was done with him.
Is there anything on the album that you're not too satisfied with?
Naw, I'm very proud of it, and ready to work on the next CD. Nostradamus is just a
taste of what's to come.
Are there anything you're especially pleased with?
Yes, the opportunity we have to play in Europe, which we are looking forward to.
How would you describe what kind of music you play?
Death Metal, but not typical. Our style has a lot of variety to it. People say we have
a Euro sound to us. Music to beat up people to.
What was the response from the fans/press on your previous album?
Very good, everyone was saying that we had established our own sound and style on
Doomed, unfortunately we were unable to tour for it.
Have you read any reviews on this new album? How has the respond been on this one?
Nostradamus is getting a very positive response so far. We've gotten a lot of good
reviews. In most of the interviews I do, the interviewer has heard the CD and raves about
it before questioning me, which is very cool.
How big of a fan base does the band have?
Enough to get us on some great tours and festivals.
How was it to work with a producer?
Our producer/engineer Jeremy Staska rules. He practically reads our minds and helps us
achieve the sound we're looking for.
Do you have any plans on producing yourself?
I'm not that good at the technicality of the controls, but I have a great ear for how
things should sound.
How does the cooperation with your label work?
Good so far. It's great having Century Media/Olympic supporting us and helping our
dreams come true.
Is there anything you would like to say to the readers out there?
Yeah, check out our website www.metalasylum.com/divine. If you see us remember a friend
with weed is a friend indeed! See y'all on tour!
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Right On! Metal!!!!!!!!!
Thanks to Cindy, Century Media Sweden for the help and the promo pics of the band.
Band Website: www.metalasylum.com/divine
Label Website: www.centurymedia.de