18. september 2008
Calle: Violent Divine got together in 2005. How did you guys meet?
Mike: We actually met way back in the 80's. I think Gus, Q and I met at a recording studio where I was working in the mid 80's. Q and I have been in bands together or traded places for each other in other bands. Gus and I played together in several bands in the early 90:s so the three of us has quite a long history of rock ’n’ roll and late night parties.
I first met Klaus when he recorded an album in the studio I was working in – I think it must also have been in the early 90:s, but Klaus, Q and Gus has been playing together in different bands throughout the years since then.
Klaus Divine Gus Divine Mike Divine Q Divine
Calle: What got you into music in the first place?
Mike: I’d be lying if I didn’t say girls. Secondly there is of course the music. We grew up to expressive bands like Kiss, Mötley Crüe, The Sweet, WASP and all that – bands with great songs and a larger-than-life attitude. From my perspective it’s a guys’ dream to be in a band and tour the planet. We all want to show off – honestly. But, on a more serious aspect, there is always the joy of creating music together – that certain vibe in a band when all the little pieces just seem to fit. It’s something that is purely Divine.
Calle: Who are your biggest influences?
Mike: In the beginning of Violent Divine we would count most 80:s glam rock band as an influence, but I don’t think that’s really fair since we all have a very wide and cross genre type of taste in music. For example, besides hard rock, I like lots of bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, Manic Street Preachers but also Ministry, Mudvayne, Marilyn Manson and lots of other bands that genre-wise are very far from what Violent Divine is. I know Klaus is into some severe groovy funk but also progressive metal, Q likes of course heavy guitar driven music and Gus - besides his passion for Mötley Crüe – also has Coldplay in his record collection. So there you go. Violent Divine is a true hybrid of all that.
(Photo by: Dace Seja)
Calle: Name 3 “older” bands and 3 “newer” bands you would recommend?
Mike: OK older bands…
Thin Lizzy – another one of my true loves – a huge influence
New bands, at least compared with the old band I mentioned…
Calle: How do you write the songs in Violent Divine?
Mike: Usually Gus come up with a song where he’s already recorded all instruments and vocals on his home PC, so we can get an idea of song. Then we try out the song at rehearsal and if we think it sounds like Violent Divine, we continue to work through the guitar-riffs, the bass-line and the lyrics/vocals until we’re happy. It’s a very smooth process where Gus is actually providing a framework for the rest of us to be creative in. And besides, we’re not patient enough as individuals or a band to just meet, get a couple of beers and jam it all out. I don’t think we would be very creative that way.
I think we’re very much concept-driven as a band and as songwriters. We always try to figure out what is missing or what we need at that precise moment. It’s like what would be a great type of song to open a live gig, or what different types of songs do we need to make and album. It might sound a bit academic but I think it’s a great way to approach the task and a good way to get the thumb out of your…
Gus - The main song writer
Calle: Where do you find the inspiration for the songs?
Mike: Without surrendering to some notion of social realism or prog – I’d say LIFE! Fortunately life comes in different flavors each day – some days are for partying – some days are for fighting your inner demons – and mixing that all together makes it quite interesting. But musically speaking it’s like we want to make albums that we ourselves as rock fans would want to buy – we want to be a band that we our self would stand in line for at the venue and get the merchandise and all that. OK that was not musically speaking – but it’s like if you listen to any of your favorite bands or albums it’s like, Hey I want to make a song like that, I want to catch the feeling or the vibe in that song…. Eh am I making any sense here? What I’m saying is that good rock music is an inspiration in itself. We too want to be superheroes.
Calle: Your first album “Violent Divine” from 2006 was released in
Mike: Yeah...definitely so. It sure was a kick start for the band. I guess there are things you could have done differently but the honest truth is that, looking back a few years, I wouldn’t change a god damn thing about the first album. It was, and still is a bunch of great songs performed with a furious energy. I’m really proud of that album. We’re probably the most impatient band in the world and would love to release a new album every six month or so, but unfortunately the business don’t work like it did when the Beatles were making it big.
Calle: How far are you in the making of your second album and when can we expect it to come out? And do you have a title yet?
Calle: The sound on your first album is a combination of the 80’s rock scene in
Mike: First of all it’s still Violent Divine and the sound sort of origins from how we play, I use that statement to annoy sound engineers and producers but seriously we still have the same influences, maybe the songs are a bit on the darker side of life, at least lyric-wise. We also had great help from our producer – who’s name I’m not allowed to reveal just yet but he really refined the sound of Violent Divine and made us come out with more edge than we could ever hope for. I’m really anxious for this album to come out.
Calle: If you could choose one song you wish you had written, what song would that be?
Calle: They rock scene seems to be “big” in
Q Klaus Mike Gus
(Photo's of Q and Mike by: Dace Seja)
Calle: What’s the most fun experience your have witnessed on the road or at a gig?
Mike: Generally, meeting and partying with fans and friends. You meet som many nice people when you’re on the road it’s fucking amazing. Hell I can’t figure out one single thing that’s more fun that the other. Going on stage, meeting people, spreading the gospel of rock. We just love every second of it.
Calle: Do you or the band have a “special thing” you do before going on stage?
Mike: I think we are a bit different as individuals before going on stage. I like some 5 minutes of solitude, Klaus is always yelling “nu jävlar”, Q is warming up his fingers and Gus is constantly checking his make-up… something like that… and a few beers.
Calle: What can the fans expect from Violent Divine when you play live?
Klaus on stage Q on stage Mike on stage
Gus on stage
Calle: What’s the best concert your have been to yourself?
Mike: Ohh my god, that’s another hard question. Eh… Skid Row was amazing (yeah with Sebastian of course) Ministry, Manic Street Preachers, Henry Rollins, Ramones,
Calle: Where do you see Violent Divine in 5 years?
Mike: Still doing what we should, on tour supporting the new album.
Calle: If you could put together a dream band of your own heroes (not including anyone from Violent Divine), who would be in that band?
Mike: Oh… Tommy Aldridge on drums, Robert Trujillo on bass, Zakk Wylde on guitars, Robert Plant on vocals… do we need a keyboard player? Eh… Darren Wharton (yes, from Thin Lizzy)
Calle: If you could record a song with a dead singer/musician, who would that be and why?
Mike: George Harrison since he seemed to be really laidback – and a very great guitarist.
Calle: What’s the best advice you can give to up-coming rock bands?
And now some questions outside music:
Calle: What was the first LP/CD you ever purchased?
Mike: Can’t really remember if it was It’s only rock ’n’ roll by Rolling Stones or Give Us a Wink by The Sweet
Calle: What is the latest LP/CD you have bought?
Mike: All Hope Is Gone - Slipknot
Calle: What do you do when you’re not playing music?
Mike: I study political science. I’m too busy with the band to have a regular job.
Calle: What’s the first thing that comes to your mind if I say
Mike: The good life. I lived in
Calle: How would you describe the other members of the band in only five words?
Calle: Any last words for the fans?