Divinex Talks of Music Both Old and the New!

Progressive metal band DIVINEX have an EP and an album with a lot more newer music in the works as well! The band talks of this material and what else they have planned next below.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

So the road to what Divinex is now is a long one but it definitely started way back in high school by a bunch of music nerds. Our original drummer Zach, James our current guitarist and I (Jay) were all heavily involved in the high school music programs like concert band, drumline and over-achiever music theory classes, haha

We didn’t formally organize as Divinex until James and I were out of college, after a lot of short-lived bands of various styles with different combinations of the same members. But when we became “Divinex” at that point, we  totally leaned into the music nerd vibes and experimented with lots of weird time signatures and uncommon tonality early on.

We put out our first EP in 2014, which featured this ridiculous 15 minute long finale track we love called “Event Horizon” which got us some early traction, especially through Pandora where that track would pop up alongside many other big names in the instrumental music world. Shortly after that release we had to part ways with our original drummer so he could move away for college as well, which was when we picked up our current drummer Pat, who used to be part of a killer metal band called Mercia. 

Next came our first full-length which we are still so proud of called “Create. Affect. Repeat.” in 2017, which featured another 12+ minute epic finale track following the reputation set with Event Horizon, and a guest guitar solo from legendary guitar persona, Angel Vivaldi. That was an interesting period of time because James also had to leave the band in anticipation of having his son, Spencer, but still recorded some parts on that record, most notably Parallel Pathways II which had a guitar solo he wrote in it we didn’t want to see get dropped once he left. Jon Davis from Through Lifeless Eyes stepped in for live performances for a number of years before he stepped down to focus on his own band, and James settled smoothly back into the other guitar spot. 

Since then, lots of great memories made including winning Sumerians “Headbang for the highway” competition and kicking of Summer Slaughter tour in Ohio, appearing on Guitar Collective with Angel Vivaldi and Scale the summit, and opening for a number of big names in progressive and instrumental music. 

We’re also finishing up a new full-length we’re so excited about, which will be our 3rd release and should be out by year’s end. This one will without a doubt be our best yet, with some truly great moments and fun surprises included on this release. 

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Haha, to be honest we might have outgrown it a bit, but at this point we are who we are. At the time the band was named, the same group of people had already played together in 10+ bands that all had names we grew to hate. Band names like “reject the masses” and “sideways sofa” (yes, these were actual band names) felt so cool at the time but in only months to years felt silly and cliche. Our goal with creating a band name at that point was to go with a made-up word that had no meaning other than being the name of the band. That way there was no profound meaning to get tired of and it was just a name, the same way you don’t get tired of using your friends names - they’re just names. 

How the word was formed though was loosely based on the idea of “divining rods” which folklore says are magical instruments that guide you to important places or water, which was supposed to be symbolic of letting go and letting something else beyond yourself guide the music writing process.  The idea was that instead of forcing songs by filling them with riffs we logically think should sound cool or come from some chord shape or pattern,, we would try to write them by waiting until inspiration struck and the song feels like it's writing itself, which is something I still believe in. If you get an idea for a song and play along to those 16 or so measures and enjoy that moment for what it is, eventually what should happen next and where the song should go after that point will just come to you, and that’s when you know you’re inspired and you’re writing something meaningful. I still try my best to write that way. 

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Rochester, NY represent! haha. Rochester is an awesome city! Most of the people here grew up in the city or near it, but we do have tons of cool culture and things to do here. The music scene is definitely unique because there’s not really a ton of areas with lots of tourism or foot traffic, so there’s a thriving “underground” music scene where local bands or up and coming touring bands get the same community of devout music enthusiasts to come out again and again, and we’re just big enough where huge national acts will come through too fairly frequently. The local scene has almost everything but there’s a thriving heavy music scene here. I once saw we  were ranked in the top 10 best cities for heavy music at one point by some online publication and I don’t doubt it. Sirens and Sailors is definitely a big name that comes to mind, though they haven’t been as active in recent years, and Such Gold and part of Ice Nine Kills was based here as well. And as far as non-heavy bands, Rochester acts like Joywave and Kopps are killing it at the national level and have been for years

4. How would you describe your style?

We’re probably best described as instrumental progressive metal, but I'll also refer to us as hard rock sometimes depending on the situation, because we’re instrumental and the type of audience that doesn’t like people screaming at them but otherwise enjoys shows can be turned off by the term “metal.”

We’re instrumental, so to keep things interesting there are definitely a lot of fast and showy technical riffs, a ton of experimenting in uncommon time signatures and melodic structures, and lots of dynamic transitions where different parts of the band will grab your attention, or the mood changes entirely to draw you in. Being instrumental, you have to do a lot more to keep the listeners attention, but at the same time there’s this freedom you have in writing songs when the band doesn’t have to support a vocalist, where anything you want can be the focus at any time. 

We also tend to focus more on entire albums and long experiences than individual songs too. Our most recent songs are a lot more digestible as stand-alone bite-size experiences than our older stuff, but we’ve always put all of our music out with the focus being on the entire EP or album being its own experience, of course capped by a super long finale song, haha

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

So our first release was an odd little EP called “Movement” which is way longer than usual EPs at around a half hour, where there are only 4 songs and the 4th one is the entire second half of that half hour  haha. That song is the “Event Horizon” track which was our first hit I mentioned earlier, and that record is all over the place haha. We were leaning into the extra beats and atonality HARD so it’s really experimental, but definitely has a lot of great moments. 

In 2017 we released our first true full length called Create. Affect. Repeat which really came a long way from where we started. We got a feature guitar solo from Angel Vivaldi, a beautiful acoustic track, more songs that were more digestible lengths, and a finale track called “Immortalize” which I truly love to death and I think was a great sequel to “Event Horizon” in terms of finale tracks. There’s a great, shall I say, “surprise” right at the climax of the album, a huge 2 minute double guitar solo, and I think it’s the best singular piece of music written to date. That whole album makes for a fantastic experience played front to back, and each song still works in its own right, which is something “Movement” didn’t quite do as well. 

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

Sure do! As of writing we’ve just secured the final pieces needed for our 3rd record, which is something we’ve been working on for a little over a year now. Most everything had been recorded but we just got a super talented guitarist to do a guest spot, and we had this idea to let fans sing on our album,  and we’ve just received all the separate recordings and have been working on getting them ready to be in the track. We’re not yet sure of the title and release date but definitely by the end of this year we’ll have an amazing new full length out. We’re really proud of this one and we can’t wait for our fans to hear it!

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

We’ve got a couple local things in the works for fun but we’ll be trying to get back out on the road much more following our CD release show to get some additional ears listening to it. These days with the album still in the works I’m still a bit creatively tapped out to put together tours and road shows but that chapter will be coming real soon!

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

That’s hard to say. We do this mainly as a passion project so we don’t have any tangible benchmarks to meet like X shows a year or getting signed to a record label. All I know is that we’ll continue to play shows and find other ways to get people to listen to us online, especially the new album when it's out. 

I’m also a huge nerd and like to program entire light shows for live performances, so I’m sure in the near future I’ll channel my creative juices into creating a new light show to perform with us while we play. It’s always fun to see a light show come together that’s synchronized to the music. It’s like an entirely new dimension to the songs, and makes for one hell of a live concert. 

One last mention on that subject is that holy heck did this album take a lot out of me. I think after this I’m going to veer from having to make all of our releases be this big, ambitious thing and experiment more with recording singles, maybe collaborating with vocalists or other guitarists more. It was definitely a weird feeling holding on to awesome songs that are pretty much ready to be released while we wait for the final pieces of a full-length to come to fruition. It would be such a huge weight off to focus on making 3-5 minutes really awesome and releasing a sweet single and moving onto the next thing. We’ll still do longer releases in the future, but I think the next step will be experimenting more with shorter releases. 

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Both albums are out everywhere so listen on whichever streaming platform you choose! We also have plenty of merch and signed CD’s available from divinexofficial.com or bandcamp.com/divinexofficial. “DivinexOfficial” is actually our handle on almost everything so definitely find us and follow us on social media too!

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Great question. I’d say probably that “wow” moment where everything just comes together and you know you’re at one of the climaxes of the song, or especially a climax of the album. I think what really converts the curious listener into a true Divinex fan is when you’re listening through a full album for the first time, and after 30+ minutes of listening you suddenly realize you are at the apex of the whole record, and you know it because it culminates everything you heard until that point perfectly and feels like a huge release and beautiful moment (or so we hope, haha). If not that, then at least remember some of our nifty guitar riffs? haha

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