Phoenix, AZ rock band Divided Minds talks with us about their album Mood Swings as well as possible tour destinations - Read it HERE
Divided Minds Delivering Music That Expresses Every Mood
By: David Leroux
Divided Minds have been sending out their pop-punk core influenced tunes for a couple of years now and as their fan base continued to increase and their sound spread they were heard by Ross Robey of Rolling Artists and introduced to Greg Long of the We Are Triumphant record label. It seemed everything was pointing itself in the right direction as Divided Minds music along with a solid team in place that their signing was inevitable. ‘Mood Swings’ is their second album with producer Mike Olivier, but first, for the We Are Triumphant label. Their talent and drive along with management, and PR shows they have had a great team of support that has helped propel them forward. Many bands would love this kind of support.
It is quite evident that much more is to come as they continue to work on their songwriting and have just recently been back in the studio with producer Curtis Douglas with more to come in 2018-19. They are a band to watch.
This is now your second release. As a band, do you feel comfortable in the development of your sound compared to your first release?
Deven: Definitely. When we recorded our first EP a few years ago, it was really our first step into actually being a band. We weren’t really sure on how we wanted to sound or the direction we were going. After playing the songs live for about 2 years, we’d figured out what sound we wanted and played them that way live. When we went back into the studio to record Mood Swings, we knew what we wanted this album to sound like and we had a lot more experience writing music and recording songs then before which made the whole thing way easier and let our newly developing sound shine through.
Sean: I feel we’ve definitely learned a lot more about writing songs since Perception and the music has definitely benefited.
There seems to be a little bit of a pattern in your EP names and band name. Divided Minds, Perception, Mood Swings - almost like a pattern of showing diversity. Is this something you purposely planned out?
Sean: I’ve always tried to stick to a sort of theme when it comes to naming things. The band name came first and I’ve always thought that it would be cool to have the EP names and artwork that would follow the theme of mental stuff. For Perception, perceiving is one of the main functions of the brain and the cover art was a Rorschach test. For Mood Swings, it’s like a ‘mental flaw’ that we all experience. Tthe cover art of that is meant to be an analogy for being stuck inside your own head.
How would you describe the album art for Mood Swings?
Sean: It’s an analogy for being stuck inside your own head. The gross, derelict home the little girl is in represents a troubled mind and the beautiful landscape is what the girl wants to experience. But she’s trapped inside her own head, or the house. It also is meant to be a representation of two moods. The derelict house is a depressed mood, and the landscape is a joyous one.
Is there another song off of Mood Swings you would like to do a music video for next?
Josh: I know for sure we really want to shoot a music video for “Elizabeth” because it’s such a personal piece and brings out a lot of emotions for such a short song.
Sean: I would love to do one for “Life’s Overrated” because I think the energy of the song would lend itself to a super dope video.
Have you already begun to write new material for your next release?
Sean: Yes, we have. We’re writing - in my opinion - the best stuff we’ve ever written. It’s gonna be dope!
In time, have you found it easier to write new material on the road, or in the studio? Perhaps somewhere completely different?
Josh: For the most part, we write our music at our rehearsal spot and most of the songs come together quick. But traveling and writing always bring a new dynamic with each stop. It’s funny because most of our choruses are written in the shower.
Was it difficult to choose which songs you wanted to put on Mood Swings and which songs you wanted to - possibly - save for later?
Josh: It wasn’t too hard to pick what songs we wanted. We had a good idea that we wanted some poppy songs and some edgy songs to be on the EP to show who we are. As a group, we were able to make a presentable order for the songs to make the EP speak.
Can the fans expect a Mood Swings tour possibly?
Sean: We’re always looking to tour. There’s no big national tour in the work right now, but I can tell you that we are hitting up Wisconsin, and hopefully Chicago.
“Elizabeth” is an absolutely beautiful acoustic song. Would you ever consider doing an acoustic album with acoustic versions of your songs?
Sean: I’m not sure about a whole acoustic album, but we love writing acoustic songs. We love playing them live, and there will definitely be more coming through in the future.
Which song off of Mood Swings was the most fun to produce in the studio?
Deven: “I Forgot You” and “Life’s Overrated” for sure. With “I Forgot You,” we’d actually had the song fully fleshed out and were playing it live a bunch before we went in and recorded it so we had the song mapped out which led to the song being really easy for us to record. We got to have a lot of fun with it and add little things in like the little A Day To Remember homage at the end of the song. With “Life’s Overrated,” it was the first song that we didn’t have all the parts worked out before we went into the studio so it made it fun being able to come up with ideas and record them professionally on the spot to see how they sounded. It made the creativity flow for the song and made it one of the more technical songs on the album.
Sean: My favorite was by far “Life’s Overrated.” It’s thrashy enough that when I went in to record vocals, I didn’t really have to worry about dynamics or singing pretty. So I really got to just yell it out and let the emotions flow. I also scream in the bridge, and that is the first song I’ve ever screamed on.
Which song off of Mood Swings has been the most fun to play live so far?
Deven: Either “Take My Hand” or “I Forgot You.” “Take My Hand” is a fan favorite in our hometown and it’s always a great feeling to see all of the fans in the crowd get excited when we play it and hearing them sing their hearts out. With “I Forgot You,” it’s super fun because of the energy the song promotes. It’s a heavy-hitting fast paced song and it lends itself very well to jumping and going crazy on stage.
Sean: “I Forgot You” is my favorite. I don’t play guitar on that song live so it’s my only chance throughout the whole set to explore the stage and interact with the fans on the edges of the stage.
Some bands like to play with a little electronic sound in the background of their songs. I noticed a little chime-like sound in “Norterra Parkway”. Would you consider using that more in future material?
Sean: Definitely. In fact, we already have. It’s a great way to add an extra layer to a song and make it hit harder.
Is “Norterra Parkway” an actual street that you used for the song title?
Sean: Yes. It’s the street that Josh grew up near. That’s where he’d ride his bike and park hop with his friends in his youth.
Is there a song off of Mood Swings that really hits home for each of you?
Deven: For me, it’s “I Forgot You” because of the timing of when we recorded it. I had gone through a weird and bad breakup with an ex around the time and I started to really feel the song more than I had before. I feel like it shows in the drumming of the song; the feelings I had. It’s been a while and I’m over it now, but thinking back to recording: that song really stuck out.
Josh: “Life’s Overrated” is such a personal song to us. We individually put so many ideas into the song and always wanted to write a song with a thrashy pop-punk vibe. This song speaks to each of us differently and you can tell on stage; when we play it, our emotions explode.
Sean: “Don’t Get Too Close” is the one I relate to the most. The lyrical themes really hit home for me. I can really be an anxious mess in a lot of situations and that song is really about getting out of your own head and trying to reach out to people.
How would you each, personally, describe your own ‘Mood Swings’?
Deven: My ‘mood swings’ range from the “I Forgot You” feeling of being upset, and to the “Don’t Get Too Close” and “Life’s Overrated” vibes of feeling down and lacking confidence in yourself Then all the way back up to the “Take My Hand” and “Norterra Parkway” vibes of being happy, in love, and being around your closest friends and having a good time. The album and the songs really capture the feelings that we all go through in life very well. I feel like it’s something we all, as humans, can relate to.
Sean: What Deven said. He nailed it.
iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mood-swings-ep/1333793903
Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/artist/4zq1xzOD2RDkK3xaEZBBD5
Evan J. Thomas is a professional photographer, interviewer and writer. You can see his work at www.evanjthomas.comwww.EvanJThomas.com