Hello and welcome to Sentinel Daily -thanks for having a chat! How have the first couple of shows of this latest Divine Ascension tour gone? “hi! You could say we are almost mid way through what I’d like to call a ‘mini tour’. It’s great to be up on stage sharing tracks from our new album. The first couple of shows went really well thanks!”
That’s good to hear. It’s already been a tumultuous time down here in Australia in 2020, what with the bush fires and now the threat of pandemic – Just how big a part to play do you think heavy metal has in helping people escape from their day-to-day concerns, especially in the live arena? “Music provides us with an outlet, whether you are a musician yourself, playing music, creating music or you just love listening to music. There is something amazing about how music can heighten your senses. I think all music has this effect, not just in the heavy metal scene”.
What was the first band you saw live that made you think ‘I’d like to have a go at that’? “This question makes me smile. I don’t think there was ever a particular moment for me. I’ve been on stage singing and dancing since I was three years old. I’ve always loved music, it is a part of me, although i did see Phantom of the Opera when I was young. Maybe that was my moment”.
Tell us the best and the worst thing about the first tour you went on as a musician. “My first long time away from my family and friends was working on cruise ships singing and dancing when I was twenty. The best thing about performing for a living, is exactly that. You get to do what you love every day. The worst thing is being away from friends and family”.
It’s certinly a gruelling life on the cruise shops! So what do you look forward to/dread the most now you’re a seasoned pro? “I look forward to seeing the audience enjoying our music. We certainly feed all of our energy into performances so it’s awesome when the audience gives that energy back to you. The worst thing for any singer to experience is losing their voice. When I am unwell, I have less control over my voice. So being sick is the biggest pressure point for me if I have a performance. I try not to ‘dread’ it though, as psychology and mindset certainly play a huge role and it can be amazing what you are capable of when you set your mind to it!”
What are the key elements that go together to make a great Divine Ascension show? “So much goes into it! Certainly being rehearsed is important. We like to be ready for anything as we have had so many things go wrong over the years, and most things have been out of our control. Once we are rehearsed and ready to go, we talk about staging, movement, costumes, set list order, breaks for tuning and addressing the audience. Then there is sound, lights, support bands working together, promotion, and finally people turning up! It’s not a show without an audience”.
If it can go wrong it will – what tools of the trade do you need with you on tour to ensure everything runs smoothly, even when things do look like going belly up? “We certainly have had our fair share of the unexpected. We have a rack unit which travels everywhere with us, which we preset the levels so everyone has a consistent mix of what they hear through in-ears. We use this both on stage and in rehearsals, and it helps to give us the best chance possible on stage no matter what happens with sound in the front of house. It’s also handy to have (bassist) Jason ‘Macgyver’ Meracis in the band who whips out a soldering iron on cue and can fix anything with a paper clip and an orange”.
An impressive skill to possess! Where would you most like to play with Divine Ascension that you haven’t yet? “We would love to get to Japan, which I think is a realistic goal, not too far to travel, and there is an active metal scene there. It would be awesome to get back to Europe, especially to some of the places we haven’t played yet. If I’m putting together a wish list… South America would be cool. I would love to visit everywhere in the world actually. I just love travel and experiencing different cultures and meeting people from all over the world. Music really is a universal language. My bags are packed, when do we leave?”
If only it were that simple! Now, is there anything else we should know about this current, ongoing tour? “We have been including a mix of old and new songs in our live performances so the audience gets a varied set list with songs from all of our albums. We would love to be able to play everywhere, but we have started writing the new album, so as soon as we have completed the tour we will be straight back into songwriting. We are excited for what is to come”.
And is there anything generally you’d like the readers of Sentinel Daily to know about the band? “We have a another film clip coming out soon, for my favourite track from The Uncovering called Beyond The Line. We’re looking forward to sharing this with everyone!”
Thanks for the chat!
You can Catch Divine Ascension on their ongoing Uncovering Australian Tour on the following dates in April:
4th: Stay Gold, Melbourne (w/ Elm Street, Alkira, Primitive, Pure Envy + More)
18th: The Basement, Canberra (w/ Mattersphere, Saralisse, Taliesin)
19th: Frankie’s Pizza, Melbourne (w/ Hemina, Halcyon Reign, Code Atlantic)