PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
Hey there! Jay Wolff from Divinex here. Thanks for having me! I play lead guitar and do the majority of writing. Divinex is an instrumental progressive metal band from upstate NY, and our music is about riffs and rhythmic experimentation and epic sonic textures and nothing more. Our only goal is to make the 4 or 5 minutes during a song play time as exciting and moving as possible, using no words.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?
So as of writing we haven’t yet announced a release date, but we will be announcing the release of our 3rd studio album and full length within the coming weeks. It’s a natural progression from our prior record, but with a whole lot more poured into production and development. I think you can plainly see a real evolution and maturity in our writing compared to our last record, and there are a few surprises and new elements in this one. Fans can count on an amazing front-to-back full-length experience with another 10+ minute finale song. After the success of our first 15 minute single “Event Horizon” we’ve always tried to write a culminating finale song for each of our records thus far, and this one is no exception. The newest album’s pinnacle moment is huge and culminates the whole record perfectly in my opinion.
WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE?
What can I say, we’re a band about riffs, and this album is a compilation of the coolest ones we could come up with. Sometimes when you play a lot or even when you’re home doing nothing you’ll get inspired for a new idea for a song, and you keep poking at it until you have a finished work of music. A few of those evolved over the years after our last full-length and once there were a few we really enjoyed and were proud of, we started to work on arranging them and adding additional content to create another full-length experience for our fans. I will say it’s probably crazy in this day and age to focus on making a full-length, when attention spans these days aren’t any longer than your average TikTok video, but our music has always been about creating a really awesome experience, and each of our records is written with the front-to-back play time in mind. I think great art is created by making more of the type of art you enjoy yourself, and to me, some of my most memorable and amazing moments in music were from albums that carried my attention the entire way through and led to some big climactic moment. Bands like BTBAM and Karnivool do this so well, but not a lot of bands do that or even think beyond 3-5 minutes of play time. I’m not much of a single guy and usually listen to entire albums when I really tune into music, so our music reflects that.
Our music is written kind of assuming you’ll be there from beginning to end, but we’ve also grown to still accomplish that while also having stand-alone singles as well. Our first record was really experimental and weird until it climaxed and finished out, and we’ve learned to write so that the experience front to back is amazing, but individual songs also work well on their own or as music videos or in media.
CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS? WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
I’m not sure any really changed my life and I’m a huge music nerd so I’m usually subconsciously tuning out lyrics and missing the lyrical meaning of whatever I’m listening to, but I will say I still think Colors by BTBAM was one of the most memorable. I’ve talked about it more in other interviews but it’s a great example of an album that’s meant for listening all the way through, and rewards you with one of the most epic metal songs I know of - White Walls. I guess you could say it changed my life because I’ve focused on making climactic music like that ever since.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER ARTIST?
We just filmed one that is looking awesome! It probably won’t be up by the time this Q and A comes out so I can’t link it, but if someone finds this article later, look for a music video called “Presque Vu” That said, I still think one of my favorite music videos I know of is “Heretics and Killers” by Protest the Hero. The premise is hilarious and badass at the same time, and what they do with the ending is really clever and entertaining. It was probably released so long ago it wasn’t even HD and kids now might hate it, but I liked it.
WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
I’m kind of a gamer so some days I’ll grind on Rocket League or Rainbow Six Siege, but I’m also into bouldering so I hit the rock gym every now and then. I also got really into programming light shows for the band, but haven’t been doing that as much lately since we haven’t played in a while.
DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
What a nuanced, loaded question, haha. It depends on the show I guess. Sometimes when I’m playing often, I feel like I just get used to the whole routine of getting ready for the show that day, and don’t feel nervous, but sometimes I can get into my head if there's a hiccup when we’re playing, or technical difficulties or things like that. Or when I know a tough riff is coming up and I start to overthink it.
Playing guitar is a self-fulfilling prophecy like that sometimes. Like if you’re just having fun you can often blow through the tough riffs without thinking about it, but if you get into your head and know something tricky is coming up and try to prepare for it, you end up just somehow playing it worse haha.
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
I’ll spare everyone from the long boring story, haha but essentially James and I and a few others played together in lots of different bands and tried to start multiple different music projects, and this was the one that finally stuck. We were all part of the band geek and drumline scene in high school, and our music director offered advanced music theory courses, so we kind of took that and ran with it and started making our own music in basements and garages until we kind of figured out what the heck we were doing.Other members have moved on since, but James and I still agree on what is badass and what music sounds good (with some creative tensions of course, haha), so we’ve kept making music
together. Our new members Colin and Eugene are sick too! Both fantastic players.
HOW DO YOU WRITE? - DO YOU HAVE A KEY SONGWRITER, OR DO YOU ALL WORK TOGETHER?
I usually take the lead on songwriting. Probably just because I learned to write music that way and collaborating on making music was always tough for me. When you try to write with people, it always seems like if someone disagrees with a creative decision, they must not understand your vision. So I always found it frustrating to not be able to convey the vision I had, and so the only way I could fully demonstrate my vision was to just write the entire song and then show it to people.
There were also some times I was pissed off and frustrated when an early semblance of a band broke up, so I would go off and write music on my own to keep enjoying playing and then eventually try to form a band around the songs I wrote in between. But my process is generally to start with some cool guitar ideas I come up with and then build the rhythm section around it. I almost always write with guitar pro and jot down the riffs as I go so I can hear it back immediately without worrying about trying to record it, and change whatever notes I want. It sounds goofy as heck but I can kind of fill in the gaps with my imagination. Then I generally keep playing along to the song and enjoying the part of the song that currently exists and usually some idea pops up for the next section and I rinse and repeat. I’ve found the best ideas come when I don’t try to force anything and just enjoy playing along to what I have, and eventually, inspiration comes and the next riff writes itself until the song is done. Sometimes that process takes forever and some of that “inspiration” gets tried, rejected, and scratched, but eventually, I get what I need and the song feels organic because nothing was ever forced.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I hate that this word has become a bit of a meme, but I’d say “epicness.” Plenty of bands are heavy, but few of them really feel epic to me. Songs that build to a climactic chorus or breakdown, long songs that don’t get boring, bands that sculpt their sound to sound absolutely massive, light shows that match every music note so that the song is slamming both your visual and aural senses at the same time (cough cough Meshuggah cough), perfectly mixed metal bands that vibrate your chest everytime the kick drum hits. Also just art that plainly demonstrates thought and nuance. Melodies, where you can tell every note, was intentional and chosen for a reason, rich thoughtful chords, rhythms that are completely unique and don’t fit organically on the strong beats but still somehow feel groovy and natural. Even visual art where every tiny brush stroke creates a bigger aesthetic. Just thought and intention in art. I’ll advocate for a thoughtful artist with hours and hours into a project over something that feels contrived and released quickly any day.
WHAT IS NEXT?
The biggest thing is this album coming out in the next couple months. After that I’m not sure. I do love whole album projects but this one took a lot out of me and James and the band. We have some individual songs we might release as singles just for a breath of fresh air. but we’ll also try to line up some more shows and media to release to support the album.
PLEASE TELL US ANY SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS SO WE CAN SHARE.
Listen to us and follow on Spotify!
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