- Ryan Drever
- 26 August 2009
Divorce are a Glasgow-based five-piece that sound as brutal and menacing as their live shows and brilliantly grotesque artwork would have you believe. Dissonant, brazen and relentless, their songs are a mix full-on rhythmic assaults, jagged guitar noise and yelping cries of rebellion, battered out with power and style. Divorce don't do things in half-measures, as one listen to their new 10" will testify, and with Glasgow now bursting at the seams with dozens of noisy bastards, the band are steam-rolling their way through the local scene, ready to pounce on unsuspecting territories further afield. But it's not all grisly and uncomfortable, as all five Divorcees - rather nice folks - will tell you themselves:
How did you meet/form the band?
VSO (bass) and Andy (drums) have been friends for quite a few years and have played in numerous Glasgow bands, but most of the band met through mutual friends at clubs, gigs and parties. The band formed after we all met up and realised we all had similar musical interests.
How did you decide what sound you wanted to make?
We knew we wanted to make loud music, but the end result is just how we play together. We didn’t set out to stick to any genre conventions. We all have diverse music tastes individually but we have enough in common to give the band a clear direction.
Every facet of the band, from the sound and performance right down to the artwork. is disturbing and brutally in-your-face. What motivates you creatively? Are you all ok?!
Aye, we’re fine! It’s the more normal, ‘regular’ bands you’ve got to keep your eye on! A painting of rotten teeth on the front of a record cover is much more eye-catching than a random sepia-toned photo of an old barn door or whatever. We’re drawn to arresting images and styles simply because they’re more interesting, but we’re not taking anything too seriously - we use them because it looks mental and we all like mental!!
Would you consider this band to be an outlet, or cathartic even, rather than simply some people playing music together?
Well, VSO has quit punching lumps out of random walls since we started, but Hillary has turned into a nutcase, so it’s swings and roundabouts. It would be impossible to play music as loud as we do without it having some kind of cathartic effect, but we’re not on stage channelling any undiagnosed mental problems into our performance!
What do you look for in a record or performance?
Anything generally with lots of good ideas, enthusiasm and lack of pretension.
How did you get involved with Optimo?
Some of us have been trying to break the side of the DJ booth when they play ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac, or been crashing through shelving units while bubblin' sick and not going into our jobs on Mondays for quite a while now! We really like and respect Optimo’s attitude and music policy and we were really honoured to be asked by them to do a record.
Is there a track you love playing the most? If you could play one track to someone that you feel is a good example of what you’re all about, what would it be?
We all think 'Early Christianity', the first track on our 10", would be the best introduction to Divorce. When we got that song together we really felt we’d nailed whatever sound we were aiming for.
How has the response been to your live shows generally? Do you even care?!
We do care. If there was a constantly negative reaction we wouldn’t want to play that often. When we played at our 10" record launch, people totally lost their shit; moshing, crowd-surfing, the works! There’s no denying we respond well to that.
Do you have a favourite place to play?
We’ve played at the Captains Rest a few times and have really enjoyed it, Dougie is a great sound-man and they’ve been really accommodating. We also like any opportunity to play anywhere unusual. Last year we played the Transmission Gallery’s Xmas party, which was great fun, people where just less inhibited and we love getting a chance to make a noise somewhere that doesn’t usually host our ‘sort’!
Do you feel in any way connected to Glasgow, in terms of a musical community?
We have a lot of friends who play in bands we like and sometimes we’re lucky enough to play with, but that’s about as far as a sense of ‘community’ stretches.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
We’re all really excited about playing our first gigs in London and the south of England very soon, as well as more Glasgow shows with awesome bands like Part Chimp, Teen Sheikhs and The Ergon Carousel! There’s also plans for a split 7" with a great European band called Jailhouse Fuck, but apart from that we’re taking it easy.
Divorce play The Captain's Rest in Glasgow on 6th September.