RGM Introducing – Dreams Divide

What made you decide to start the band?

DJ – I was drunk… in all seriousness, I was revisiting the music I loved when I was younger, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, etc. From this, I thought it would be worth trying my hand at making something electronic-based. Gemsy said yes when I asked them to get involved and since we had been playing in bands since we were kids it seemed the perfect combination.

Gem: I was there too. Also drunk! 2009 – we were both approaching the big 30. I’d just got through a bout of depression and was doing a lot of cleaning jobs with my earphones permanently attached to my earholes – strangely enough we were both on the same electronic nostalgia trip.

Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?

DJ: I’m singer/songwriter/composer. It’s just what I’ve always done.

Gem: DJ and I have been mates since we were kids – we were both theatre nerds and we had several bands and stuff together through the years.

Ben: I’m on live bass duties.

Kark: I’d worked with Gem and DJ (and AnalogueTrash) for a few years prior to their hiatus as part of my Beat: Cancer gigs, and aside from that I’ve been promoting, performing, and DJing for about 10 years in various guises.

It’s been a bit of a wild last year, how have you guys managed to pass time and stay sane during lockdown?

DJ: Writing and recording this latest EP mainly!

Ben: Cooking and walks mainly. And A LOT of movies. Bit of music writing here and there but not been as focussed as I would like.

Gem: I feel like a proper fool for saying this when so many people have suffered and died, but the lockdown has actually saved my ass. It made me realise what was really important to me. I teach dance and theatre classes, so we kept that going on Zoom. Everything in my life that wasn’t dance or music was put on hold, so it was actually kinda great.

Kark: Twitch is my lifeline, I’ve been hosting and DJing on shows, generally for charity, for a year now… after not even knowing what a Twitch was at the start of 2020. That and playing with my wood.

How positive are you feeling now we are in 2021?

DJ: I’m not sure. I hope that this year will bring good things to good people. Can’t ask for more than that. 

Ben: Fairly content most of the time, but like most people I think, out of necessity more than anything, you just have to adapt or you’d go loopy!  I’m trying not to think too much about the future and when things will go back to normal, as it’s pointless and you just end up stressing yourself out.

How has 2020 affected your mental health?

Kark: It’s been hard, but I’ve been constantly lifted up by the amazing ways people have fought against it all year: Doof Broadcasts, Isolation Rave streams and just local friends sending unsolicited cheese and beer to each other!

Ben: it’s been tough at times, but I reckon I’ve had it fairly easy compared to many. 

Gem: I fight depression and anxiety, so I have had some blips, but that’s true of any year for me. I do miss hugs. And I miss seeing this lot (the band) in real life!

How are you feeling now the road map has been announced and live gigs can return?

Gem: Excited! Nervous! I just hope we can get back the support for the small music venues and pubs. Support your locals – the trade needs all of us. Just pop in for a pint.

DJ: I’ll be very impressed if it goes back to the way it was before. I’m looking forward to being able to safely get back on stage again, but I hope even more that the small to mid-sized venues, which we have been playing for decades, can survive. With the right kind of support this can happen.

Kark: I’m still very much wait and see, but super psyched to get back out there, get in rehearsal with the band – and get gigging: we need to get bodies back into our local clubs and pubs!

Ben: I would LOVE to go to a gig again. Be around people in a crowd, have a pint in my hand as you’re watching a band, or on the flip side, the excitement of playing for people. I love it. But as DJ mentioned it’s probably not going to be like that again for a while yet. It will be interesting to see how people innovate in lieu of the ‘real’ thing.  Some good stuff will come out of this, no doubt. 

What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on the circuit?

DJ: Going Soft by Sports Team. Love it!

Ben: I’m rubbish at seeking out new music. I don’t know about “on the circuit” but I heard this hard acid techno tune – ‘2424’ by Ben Fraser the other day, which I’m completely obsessed with. It’s about 12 years old I think but it’s new to me! 

What support is out there for new artists in your local area?

DJ: I know that Planet Sounds rehearsal rooms were doing regular showcases at the Joiners, plus the Solent University had some good developmental stuff on the go. I’m not sure on their future plans though, given the situation, but I hope they can get something good going for the future. 

What useless talent do you have/ party trick? 

DJ: Well, I’ve heard from certain authorities that playing music at grass roots level is a useless talent, so I’ll run with that for now.

Gem: Prosthetic eyeball in your pint anyone? I’ve actually never done that. I should.

Ben: Crisp packet origami? I can only do one shape, mind.

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

DJ: Supporting Toyah at the brook in Southampton. Having an audience who don’t know you scream their heads off at you is out of this world!

Ben: The last gig I played – at the Hobbit in Southampton. It was February 2020 I think. Bloody great fun! A month later we were locked down and that was that.

What was the worst experience on stage?

Gem: I don’t think I’ve ever had a terrible experience. I’ve dreamt about forgetting everything and not being able to improvise. That’s the worst.

Kark: I used to be a touring actor and ran off stage forgetting that there was a foot thick column where our usual exit would be. I landed flat on my back concussed on stage, crawled off… then was… very not well.

DJ: Going ear blind supporting Fu Manchu. Got through it but didn’t feel very good afterwards. 

Ben: Nothing has been completely awful in particular. Just an accumulation of minor humiliations and f**k ups, really.

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about? 

DJ: My hobby is making bottle cap fridge magnets.

Ben: DJ is obsessed with stage musicals. Can’t think of any others!

DJ: Yes…Yes I am. I’m also regularly singing musical theatre numbers for the vocal sound check. Who knew?!

What advice would you give your younger selves?

Gem: Three things:

1 – No feeling is final.

2 – Nobody cares that much about what you do and don’t do and you don’t need to justify yourself to anyone.

3 – There’ll be a couple of years when you’re in your mid-thirties where everybody will blame all the world’s pollution problems on individual people who buy ordinary, non-recycled, plastic-packaged toilet paper and Have the Actual Nerve to forget their non-plastic carrier bag, but in 2020 everyone will forget about that because there’ll be a global pandemic and the same self-righteous fannies who yelled at you will be panic-buying all the ordinary toilet roll and discarding their single-use plastic gloves in the street.

Kark: Make the time for your family and friends, you never know when it’ll run out… or they will.

DJ: Learn a trade.

Ben: Try to relax and enjoy life. Don’t be so hard on yourself. 

Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Cant say the virus!) 

DJ: Roman Reigns. Apparently, he’s a great guy in real life but his wrestling character is a massive arsehole.

Ben: My phone keeps randomly turning off mobile data. It’s f**king infuriating. 

I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?

DJ: Our NHS was stretched before this current situation and a 1% pay rise is an insult. That’s the inspiration for Freedom, our new single. It’s got enough classic Dreams Divide to hopefully appeal to our long term fans, but it’s also got some hints of where we’re going next. I roped in some vocal help from Mesh, Rotersand, Faderhead, Vainerz and Armoured Flu Unit, plus all our royalties from all recordings go to the charity MIND here in the UK. It’s out on April 9th through AnalogueTrash on all major outlets. 

How was the recording process given the various restrictions the UK has been under of late?

DJ: No issues there as electronic music is self-sufficient. It’s not like we had to record any live instruments for this one!

What are your plans for the year ahead?

DJ: To see some mountains again would be perfect.

Ben: See friends, go to the pub, get away somewhere in the UK. I would like to rent a camper and do the north coast of Scotland.

Gem: It’d be nice to earn some money. I’m skint.

Kark: See. People. Please.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

DJ: Remember to breathe.

Also on RGM ????