Sydney outfit Dividers recently released and launched their new five track EP ‘A Long Winter‘. This week in The Hotseat, we catch up with guitarist / singer Koby to tackle the questions. Expand this post to take a read of his answers and to take a listen to the EP streaming.
Name : Koby
Band : Dividers
Job In Band : Guitar/Vocals
Website Address : www.facebook.com/thisisdividers
Hometown : Sydney
Hometown is best known for : Being the melting pot of Australia and regularly unfairly recognized as our nation’s capital.
Best venue in your hometown : Hmmm that’s a tough one. It’s probably been said a hundred times but it has to be The Annandale. There’s just a real rock n’ roll vibe in that place that isn’t present in other Sydney venues.
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Recently got down to catch Bodyjar on their tour down at Rock Lily. Biggest night of drinking and nostalgia and sing-alongs. Good times.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : A few months ago we took a last minute show at The Annandale on a Sunday night. We were thinking of it as some added rehearsal more than a sweet show to play. There was fifteen bands on the bill running from midday and we were headlining. There was a rotating stage set up where one band would play on the riser at the end of the room and as soon as they’d finish, another band would kick off on the other stage. The band before us had a decent crowd along and – considering our friends/fans have better things to do on a Sunday – we hadn’t brought anyone. We managed to keep the crowd in the room and have a really great set. For some reason that one sticks out for me.
How did the band first come to exist? It’s been a somewhat natural progression. The three of us have been playing together for years, cutting our teeth with our previous band Bagster. When that packed up we didn’t really want to stop playing music so we jammed a little. Due to excessive drinking and a wanton lifestyle, I managed to develop vocal polyps which basically ruined all progress we made in two other incarnations of bands. We had all these songs but had only played them in rehearsal rooms so during my recovery, we just jammed and jammed and refined the songs to a point where we felt pretty sharp on them and then Paulie came up with the name ‘Dividers’ after the Lagwagon song and we kicked off.
How long has the band been going? That’s really hard to say. We’ve been playing together under different names for nearly ten years – since high school really. Dividers as it’s known has probably only been around for a year and a half though.
Any particular story behind the name? Haha, not really. After being in a band called ‘Bagster’ which we named in high school due to having absolutely no idea what to call the band, we wanted to put some thought into it which, again, didn’t happen. I think Paul was talking about listening to old Lagwagon tracks and he started saying that the song ‘Dividers’ was a cool track and that it’d make a good band name too. Ended up going with it.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… Our new release is an EP called ‘A Long Winter’. It’s five songs that I personally am very happy with. We recorded another EP prior to this one that I think we probably rushed into a little – things were a little shaky as a band at the time. This time though, we really took the time to jam everything out, sharpen up everything and have some production ideas going into the studio. I think it comes out on the recording which is always a good result.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? Haha I’d have to say finishing this EP in record time. We had four days booked at the studio and we had to record five songs. Considering how it turned out and how well we had to play in order to get everything done in that time, it was no mean feat.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? My Dad was a pretty serious muso back in the 70s so I always had a pretty strong musical upbringing. I think listening to bands like Supertramp, Blood Sweat and Tears and The Beatles etc. forged an interest in me before I began to listen to any current bands when I was in school.
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? Personal influence I’d say a math-metal band called Sikth. There technicality is just on another level to any other band I’ve heard. Not just as far as instrumentation goes but song structures and everything. Complete head fuck.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? Haha, first band was in high school, I can’t remember the name of it but I know that we played Nirvana and Blink 182 covers at an Italian wedding for $20 each. We thought we’d made it.
Most prized music related item you own? Probably every guitar I own. They’ve all served me well.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? FISHING! I’ve recently moved near the water and Paulie and I have been getting some fishing in on the weekends. It’s been great – nice way to unwind if you’ve had a busy week.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… The friends in other states I’ll be able to catch up with…
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Borrowing gear. I always feel a little bit guilty about asking to borrow gear when you’re interstate. It’s rarely a hassle but I’m always worried if someone has to leave straight after their set and I’m stuck playing through some lame practice amp or even worse, the PA!
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? This is how rockstar I am – probably water? Maybe a feed? After the whole vocal polyp thing, I don’t really drink at shows… at least until after we play.
Favourite place you’ve toured, and why? Every band says it, but it’d have to be Melbourne. Great scene, great people, attentive crowds.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? Probably the first time we played our cover of Daft Punk’s ‘Robot Rock’. No one was expecting that to drop haha – got some bodies moving on the dance floor which was good to see.
Got a favourite song to play live? The first track off the EP – ‘A Long Winter’. Cool parts, catchy hooks. A lot of fun to play.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? Oh definitely! Our most recent show at the Sando – started off the show great then I managed to kick out my guitar cables from my pedals, lost all guitars coming out of the PA. Just as I’d fixed it, Paul broke his low E bass string rendering him unable to play. We managed to go into this interlude section whilst Paul changed his string on stage and finish the set but it was definitely one of our more embarrassing on-stage moments.
Any pre-show rituals? Not really – we tend to warm up now in our older age! Perhaps a cheeky beer here and there, mainly on Paul and Mitch’s part though.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? Finding the time!
Last song you listened to? Fossegrim – Kvelertak
Last album you acquired? An EP by a US band called Corelia. Pretty epic stuff – they’ll be band to keep an eye on.
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? It’s been on high rotation since I first heard it and it’s not really ‘new’ anymore but Kvelertak’s self-titled record was my pick for 2011. Best heavy metal/rock album hands down. You can hear how much fun they have on that record.
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? I’m really digging EMPRA, the new brainchild from Sanjeev of The Suns. We played with them over the weekend at our EP launch and they rocked. They’re like a stadium rock assault on the senses!
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? Well we’ve got some work ahead of us as we follow up our EP launch with some touring. We’ll probably hit some interstate cities, play some shows to some people who haven’t seen us before and generally just keep on having some fun. Our main focus is to write good songs and play good shows. We certainly are ambitious aren’t we?
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? It’s not really an ‘album’ per se, but I think it’d be hilarious if we covered Queen’s Greatest Hits. You can’t go past the orchestration of Freddie Mercury really. It’s be practically impossible to do but it’d be a hell of a lot of fun.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? One Direction. It’d be nice seeing our songs become smash hits because fashionable, good looking English lads with chlamydia are singing them.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Shit that’s really tough. It’d have to either be Supertramp or Tower of Power. Just awesome, awesome acts that paved the way in their respective genres yet don’t really receive the accolades they deserve.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? I’m keen to play The Standard in Sydney. It’s only recently opened up above Lo-Fi off Oxford St. and I saw a gig there a while ago – looked like a sweet venue to play.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? Wow, tough one… it’d probably be guitar slinging duties for Kvelertak or Mastodon at the moment. Big riffage. Love the guitar work in both those bands.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. We constantly have trouble with this HERE let alone overseas. Let’s see, it’d be killer to play with The Dear Hunter and the RX Bandits (RIP) – honestly, we’d settle for whatever we could get.
Got any final words? Yeah we just released our EP ‘A Long Winter’ – it’s five tracks of pretty rockin’ tunes. People seem to be responding well to it so if you’re interested, have a listen over at our Facebook page on the Merchandise tab: http://www.facebook.com/thisisdividers