Violent Divine Interview

1. Do you feel like your past plays a part in motivating your efforts?

Yeah definitely! It’s the eternal question once stated by Dee Snider: What do you wanna do with your life. Do you want to stick with your shitty but safe job or do you want to keep doing what you love most in this world. Music has always been a persistent part since I bought my first Sweet-album, so I found out that it’s useless to resist. This is what and who I am. Maybe it’s all part of some working class obsession about getting away from it all, I don’t know. Anyway, whatever reasons buried in the past, they sure keep me highly motivated.

2. Do you feel your music and your efforts coincide with one another?

Yeah I do. If I’d been a content and happy character I might have been in a happy top 40 band getting stinking rich and famous. But I’m not unfortunately. Violent Divine is a band full of raw energy and I think that is very much present on the new album and I know there is an audience out there who can testify about that energy on-stage as well.

3. Is there a message you carry within your music that you want to express to your listeners?

I get that question from time to time and the funny thing is that I never thought of it in that way. Violent Divine is a band driven by it’s ambition to play good rock music and to, more or less, satisfy our own taste in music. We don’t have a certain political message but if our way of “doing it” contains a message it might be something like “stand up for yourself” “stand out from the crowd” and “don’t let anyone tell you things can’t be done”. Sounds a bit like a Kiss or Twisted Sister anthem, don’t it. 🙂

Violent Divine

4. What is Violent Divine doing differently on the new album “In Harm’s Way,” to warrant the attention of some of the younger kids who are just getting into heavy music now? Do you feel you’re a logical progression for kids to get into the way most people get into metal and hard through the more popular bands?

Hey maybe this is our mission as a band, keeping kids away from the top 40 rubbish. I think that if someone is seriously interested in music, that person will go explore the depths of that certain genre of choice. Violent Divine might not be at the deeper end of the spectrum since I believe the band appeal to a wider audience, but if possible we’re happy to lead kids onto the right path 🙂 “In Harm’s Way,” is of course harder, darker and much more personal than the debut album. I think the strength of “In Harm’s Way,” lies in its honest form of communication between the band and the rock fan. In a way that is a logical progression because as your taste in music mature, you will crave more substance from your favorite music and hopefully start to reject the meaningless superficial noise that’s pushed on people by the majors.

5. Violent Divine helped push the band to a higher level through “In Harm’s Way.” Being that extreme music is catching a lot of attention right now, do you worry that this record might just maintain your current fans as opposed to gaining a number of new ones?

I never had that worry actually and as far as I’ve seen the current fans are still there while we gain new fans day by day. And besides I don’t think the music of Violent Divine is that extreme. Violent Divine is more of an expression of the musical climate of our times, that the borders of different genres are dissolving and that there really are no strict rules anymore. I mean for a rock fan like myself it is very much ok these days to both like Slipknot, Marilyn Manson and Slayer, while at the same time love The Cure, Depeche Mode and Manic Street Preachers, and I can allow all of these great bands influence my own music. In that way I think rock and roll hasn’t been so vital since Elvis.

6. Being where you’re at in your career, where you’re able to draw a large crowd, do you ever come across shows where you feel like you’re playing for a group of people who are just staring at you, acting almost like they have no idea who you are? If they still happen, how do you handle boring live shows?

Well crowds are different and that’s just part of the game. They differ both in age and I’d say in nationality but that’s just two sides of the coin really. I mean I do enjoy performing in front of a small crowd just as I enjoy the bigger ones. It’s like a choice between pepsi or coke. You must also remember that Violent Divine is first of all doing this for our own pleasure and with that in mind, we always enjoy ourselves on stage and we’re just trying to invite people to join in on the fun meaning I never yet experienced a boring live show. It’s all about your own passion and attitude about it.

7. As the years have gone on, it seems like there are bands few and far between who are satisfied with their labels. What is your take on labels in general, these days?

I think you must see how labels have changed in the last ten years or so. Very few bands get signed and out of those who do, very few will get that big budget. Most bands that succeed do a lot of things themselves since you really can’t rely on the label to do it for you, and I think that’s an interesting development since it also reduces the power that labels formerly had on music. Today it’s much more up to the individual artist or band if you’re gonna make it and the Internet is the main tool that we can all use. You still have to go on tour of course since playing live is what rock bands do. As a band I think it’s important to be aware of the label’s changing role so you don’t get too high expectations. And besides it seems like print CD’s are giving way for digital downloads and if that becomes any bigger it will be more a question about cheap distribution than high printing costs for CD’s and that might just be the true revolution in the biz.

8. How did such an odd name come to be?

Naming your band must be one of the most anxiety-filled things that you do as a band. I mean you have to live with your decision for the rest of the band’s existence and even longer than that if you make records. In our case, while aimlessly googling for ideas, Gus found a blog by a British prostitute called Violet Divine. Unfortunately another band already nicked that so after a small brainstorm Gus came up with Violent Divine. I think it’s a great name because it allows you to play with words, it’s a sort of polar expression and it’s very much open for personal interpretations.

9. Your lyrics are obviously quite interesting. How do you feel when that seems to be lost with some listeners whom only seem to hear the aggressive side of the music being played?

I don’t think I care a lot about those things. I write lyrics mostly for my own mental health and people who mind about lyrics will anyway interpretate them from their own points of view, life experience and so on. In that way it’s certainly impossible to get any message through that is 100% accurate. Besides, rock lyrics like any lyrics are supposed to be open for individual interpretation. That’s the beauty of the game really. So it’s also perfectly fine if a rock fan prefers to just focus on the melody or the guitars or any other part of the band… Gus’ sexy ass for instance 🙂 You’re all most welcome to the Divine any way you want it.

10. What do you think is the most harmful thing happening to the underground music scene right now, and what do you think could curb that?

Maybe the fact that it’s still hard for a band to get gigs and that a band might think that it’s enough to be on MySpace or Facebook. Bands need to meet their audience in flesh, blood and beer to prove they’re form real and you can’t possibly prove shit on the Internet. I’d like to take the opportunity to praise all those rock fans that come together arranging club-nights and gigs for their favorite bands in their home towns. You mean so much to us bands and we couldn’t thank you enough. Keep up the good work and devotion.

11. How has the current tour been going? Any highlights?

Well we’ve just started off actually and will be touring throughout most of the year so there’s a lot to look forward to. Trash Fest 2 in Helsinki/Finland in mid March will be a blast as always. We also look forward to do the major biker party in our home town. We haven’t done a show here for two years so that will be a massive party.

12. What does the immediate future hold for Violent Divine?

Well as the album just have been released there are lots of interviews and PR-activities before we go on tour, but it’s also part of the game. We’re also rehearsing the show to get everything armed and ready.

Violent Divine

13. What is the one thing that you would still like to accomplish with Violent Divine that you haven’t yet done?

Lots! Reaching out to more rock fans. I’m convinced that they’ll like the album as soon as they get a chance to hear it, just as they’ll love the band as soon as they see a show. The world is a huge arena and our Divine aim is to fill it.

14. Is there any song that sticks out as one where you knew “In Harm’s Way,” was going to be the album that it became?

Personally I think it’s the general tone of melancholy that is present in every song on the album. Some say it’s that way up north in Sweden since it’s so cold and dark. But it’s really hard to pick out any songs since I think all 12 of them together makes up In Harm’s Way.

15. Thanks for the time and such a great record.

Thank You! Happy you like it!

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