DIVINE CHAOS Interview
@ The Underworld, Camden, London
20th February 2015
Interview by Jarod Lawley
Photos by Jo Blackened
South England thrashers Divine Chaos were fortunate to be the only support band chosen to play before Sodom at The Underworld, and about an hour before they took to the stage to find out more about their songwriting, lyrical themes and views on short albums!
So guys, how does it feel to be playing with Sodom tonight?
Brilliant! One of us has actually played with them before, and for any fans of Sodom who haven’t heard us, I’m sure they’ll dig the sound we go for.
Yeah, I think the fundamentals are. It’s a similar sort of blue-print, more riff-orientated metal.
We consider ourselves to be a thrash band and Sodom are too, so yeah.
I can hear quite a variety of influences in your music, so where do they come from?
Well that will probably be just us wanting to play literally loads of stuff. I think it’s pretty limiting if you start a band, for example a hardcore band and then say “oh we’re only gonna have beatdowns” or whatever. We put lots of stuff in there, but we make it work. We like a wide range of stuff, from Pantera to Symphony X to jazz fusion, prog stuff, and we’re never limited to one sound, so that’s where it comes from- just saying to ourselves that if we can make it work, we will.
You say on Facebook your interests are touring, touring and touring. Is the live performance the best way to enjoy Divine Chaos.
I’ve never seen us live, so I couldn’t tell you (laughs). We like touring, I think the reason we say “touring, touring, touring” is because for us, being out there in the venues, in the metal community and meeting the other bands is a whole process that we really like doing. As for seeing us live, I think it all translates pretty well live, we’ve doing this for a fair bit now, so it better be good.
We’ve refined it. We use backing tracks so a lot of what you hear on the album you’ll hear live because on the album there’s lots of synthesizer and different pieces that we’ve bought into the live show. So check us out.
Have you played here before?
We’ve played here a few times now.
Maybe about four or five times!
We’re not too far away from here so when we’ve had opportunities to play we will.
You had a new record out last year, could you tell me about this?
Yeah, it took us a while to get us basically; it was a bit of a work in progress, so it took a couple of years to sort out- tough times. We started writing that around 2008, we got the songs together for that and started working with Scott Atkins who does stuff for Cradle Of Filth and Sylosis and bands like that and went in the studio with him because he’s the best guy we could get to do it and he really supported the band. I think with the album, we just wanted it to be really concise, it’s only nine songs and a pretty direct album. There are a lot of mid-paced tunes, it’s not all like double time and there’s quite a range of songs.
Sodom are obviously masters of being concise and having a blast of eight or nine songs, do you prefer that to bands who do big albums of fourteen songs?
Leaving them wanting more, always.
Also, if you put on an album of fourteen tracks, you know before it’s started it’s going to be a long one and a bit of an effort!
I think in the late 80s/early 90s bands were putting out albums like seven or eight tracks long. With bands like Death, you’d have eight tracks on an album, even Decapitated more recently had like seven, and for us we prefer these albums that are like way more to the point other than just lulling.
Even bands like Opeth, or more doom kind of bands, even if they have long songs they’ll always cut down the number of songs, and even good doom bands will keep a ten minute song concise for doom.
I think if the crowd want it we’ll play for as long as we could really, onstage it’s just a blur. If we had a back catalogue of ten albums we’d be all right, but at the minute we’ve got like a couple of albums of material and we’d like to play that if we have the opportunity to.
On the new record, there’s quite an interesting title and artwork, with lots of pyramids and destruction, could you explain about this theme?
I think looking through the lyrics, which are actually (about 50% of the time) written by someone outside the band, a lot of them are to do with Middle Eastern conflict and war and the historical concepts of war and things like that. So what the artwork is meant to be, with the pyramids, is a vision of the future, so elements of over population, putting things around the pyramids represents no regard for anything sacred, there’s war obviously with Egypt and the Middle East, I dunno but you get what I mean. That’s what it was; elements of everything, so if you’ve read the lyrics through and really got into the album you could probably get that vibe from it. We used Tim Fox to do the artwork and we had our idea for that, we didn’t just say do whatever, I literally drew him a picture of some pyramids (laughs)! Then I got him to fuck around with it till it was right. We wanted it to look like pretty much what we had in our heads as an idea, that nothing sacred vibe.
None of us are particularly politically minded or have got any views about that apart from Benny F maybe. We just think of something extreme and then go with that, that’s the concept of the album. It’s worse case scenario, if we carry on the way we are and don’t fucking change, it’s just an idea.
Is this the modern equivalent of the 80s bands singing about nuclear war?
Maybe, yeah. There was a lot of Cold War stuff going on back then. It’s inspired by current events, and funnily enough, since we recorded the album, so much more shit has happened in the Middle East anyway. So like we said the guy who does our lyrics travels and he’s in Egypt now; he travels to places like Palestine and does a lot of aid work, so that is what started things down that path.
I don’t know, it’s quite hard to write songs that aren’t about war innit (laughs). It would be nice if this album had its own concept and it would be nice if the next album had its own kinda different concept, but war seems to be something we gear towards.
I think it will be practically the same, but then a variation on a theme, if that makes sense. We’ve actually started writing lyrics for our next album, we’ve sort of started messing around with a few bits, I don’t know what the lyrics are about though! They sound pretty much as they did on the first album. So, who knows? You’ll just have to wait.
Have you any other plans for the future?
We’ve got blue-prints for a few songs now, we’ve got plans for a new video, gigs, just getting out there you know? Playing these weekenders and stuff like that. If the right tour came along we’d probably get on it, our idea is to sort of get the weekenders in there and enjoy it that way really.
Thanks very much for the interview; have you got any last words?
Look out for our new album, which will be coming out in, hopefully a couple of years (laughs).
And check out the one now. And come out to some shows.
Divine Chaos on Facebook- www.facebook.com/divinechaosband
Buy new record, A New Dawn In The Age Of War here