The week after rap-rock meets nu-metal pioneers Linkin Park gave up on making rock music and sold their souls to the cash-rich lure of pop dross, it’s hugely refreshing and relieving to hear a band pledging their devotion to real music.
Joe Turner, lead singer of Tennessee rockers Divided We Stand, told us: “We want to stay true in our songwriting by playing our instruments in the studio and by not auto-tuning our vocals. Live we actually play our instruments and sing instead of lip syncing, which most mainstream music does. They auto-tune and program their tracks because they can’t really sing and play.”
The quintet of Turner, drummer Mike Russell, bassist Randy Krouse and guitarists Phil Zimny and most recent addition Jake Wilson introduce themselves to the world as “five brilliant song writers from different ends of the spectrum… setting a new standard in the music industry.” They share a common goal to create high quality music that musicians and music lovers alike can love, and to make the world a better place in the process.
With this in mind, we asked Joe to describe what UK rock lovers are missing out on. He said: “I think we fuse key elements from different styles of music and blend them into a unique sound. We are a high energy band with solid driving rhythm, clean meaningful vocals, and beautifully layered dual-guitar dynamic.”
Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Well you’d be right, this is a superb band that makes big, infectious rock. Basically, awesome musicians producing brilliant music.
A blindingly brilliant example of this band at their finest is Breathe Me In, the opening track from 2013 EP Deception. The song comprises every component of an awesome rock song, huge vocals mixed with massive, fast-paced guitar riffs and an epic guitar solo. Check it out for yourself in the video below:
Latest single New Era opens up with a funky little guitar riff that leads into a meandering verse with the riff in support. A diving guitar solo begins in the background then bursts into life throughout a big chorus. Joe’s vocals are big and powerful throughout with some superb guitar riff in support, particularly in the haunting mid-section of the song that winds into a huge guitar solo. Check out the cool video below:
The band’s sound has been moulded from a huge mix of different musical influences, with their collective favourite bands ranging from Avenged Sevenfold, Fear Factory and Deftones to U2, Poison The Well and All That Remains. Joe said: “We have all been in past bands with very different sounds. It makes it harder to write because of all the different viewpoints but we have very good songs to show for it.
“Randy was in a few really heavy metal bands prior to this. Phil and Mike started off playing for their churches and then found other projects later on as their talents grew. Joe started busking while he was in the military and then found some other artists and bands to perform with. Jake has played in various projects as well. We all grew up around music and its our life no matter what direction it takes us.”
Divided We Stand remain unsigned, despite offers that fail to top what they can do for themselves. Joe explained: “The music industry is changing and with streaming music, internet, and the digital age, physical copies are a thing of the past. Record labels thrived off record sales so with the death of physical copies they can’t offer capital on the front end of a deal anymore because there is no guarantee they can make their money back without these record sales.
“Music streaming is a blessing and a curse. For established artists streaming music is the wave of the future and has all but killed CDs and physical copies of albums. For unsigned, unheard artists it makes it harder to make money because you can’t even give away CD’s anymore and streaming music doesn’t pay as much as selling physical copies, so there is this trade off. You can stream your music and get your music on so many different sources that you couldn’t before the dawn of the internet, but you can’t make as much money as selling your physical merchandise. It is a very interesting time for the music industry and times are changing.”
This talk of the changing times is clear from the band’s work ethic. In addition to all working jobs, if not multiple jobs, and having families they play around 70 shows a year and have their eye firmly set on overseas tours if the right offer comes along.
If you love real music played by really talented musicians then Divided We Stand will be right up your street. Joe’s vocals are huge, there’s awesome guitar riffs throughout their music and some huge drumming to keep it all going. So go and check them out on Spotify.
The band put a hold on a couple of new tracks due to Jake’s arrival, but look to have a busy 2017 lined up. A new EP is expected soon, along with recording a video for the lead track, they’ll be on tour in the US next month, followed by a few shows and recording later on in the year.