Monday, November 10, 2008

A Light Divided

Every band has to start somewhere. I didn't use to be much on seeing local bands perform because all I was seeing was the same old song and dance. Well, that recently changed when I went to the Somewhere Else Tavern in Greensboro, NC to check out A Light Divided. They were at a show in Danville,VA that I attended at Plan B and I only caught two songs and it had me a little intrigued. I actually checked them out on MySpace and I really liked what I heard. I contacted the band and made arrangements to see them the following Saturday.

The band had been together for about a year and was actually members from three bands that combined into one. The show that i was attending that night was actually the first show for new bassist Mike Underwood and guitarist Eric Humiston. I talked to the band before the show to get a little insight into what they were made of. I asked guitarist James Lewis about where the name originated from. "Well, I actually came up with the name. It was the third thing that I had written down. Actually, nobody liked it at first, but we had to have a name that day. It's actually grown on everyone since then."

I asked lead singer Jaycee Clark how she met up with the band. " I was actually driving down from Jersey where I was staying and rehearsing and playing with these guys and then driving back home 3 and 4 times a week and finally moved here."

I was also curious as to the limitations or obstacles of having a female fronted band. Drummer Adam Smith said," There are lot of bands that we know who use it as a gimmick. I mean it has its advantages, but a gimmick can only last for so long. We play what we play because it's what we'd wanna hear if we were in the crowd. It's really hard to define our sound. Sometimes when you do so, you limit yourself as to who you can play with."

"I believe that we would play with just about anyone as long as they believe in us," responded bassist Mike Underwood.

The band's influences include a slew of artists ranging from the Deftones to Killswitch Engage to Atreyu. Those artists plus similar bands including Coheed and Cambria, Kill Hannah, Secret Lives, gaslight Anthem and Trivium are among there artists of choice when it comes to personal listening tastes.

Who would the band love to share the stage with one day? Jaycee was quick to respond with the Deftones! Other responses ranged from Sevendust to Killswitch Engage to Severe Your Ties. During the entire interview, Jaycee was constantly "abused" by her band mates. "Do you see how they treat me? It's tough being the only female in the only female in the band, but I can stand my own against them. They are constantly running around the stage, so I have to be on my guard or I will get run over."

Adam then told me that the band usually takes the month of December off and would be entering the studios hopefully in February of 2009 to start recording the followup to their first CD "Before The Fall" which came out in April of 2008. I did ask them my traditional question of being stuck on a desert island with only one store bought CD, what would it be? Jaycee's choice would be Green Day "Dookie", to which I found out we went to the same show at the Cricket Arena and saw them on the American Idiot tour. Adam's choice would be the Smashing Pumpkins "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" CD. James' choice was GWAR's "13 Ways To Bleed Onstage" CD.

We then went inside as the guys started setting up their equipment. The band went on stage with a furry and quickly grabbed the crowds attention. Jaycee has great vocals that translate very well on the live stage. She is a very attractive woman who gets your attention visually, but she really does have the chops to back it up. I also have to say that James' personality on stage really gets the crowd involved. He can be a bit of a comic, but he really does lay down some mean riffs on the guitar. James is also in charge of "screams" . Adam worked up a fury on the drums as he was drenched in sweat by the end of the first song.

Adam told me that they like to keep their set short so that it leaves the audience wanting more. "There's nothing like being in the crowd and watching a band who drags out their set too long. You lose your audience's attention and they get bored. We don't wanna do that."

The band did hang around both before and after the show to pose for pictures and sign autographs. They had a merchandise booth with a tshirt and their CD and stickers available. I was lucky enough to see them again about 2 weeks later and the show was really hot. The new members definitely seem to have fit in really well. The second show that I saw was alot tighter and the band was really on their game that night.

You should go to their MySpace page and check them out. You can hear a few songs from their first CD there. If you like rock with an edge, you need to check them out. Having a female lead singer is not a gimmick for them, it's a element that works very well. I have to admit that my favorite tracks on the CD are "Just Like You " and "If You Don't Succeed", but their is not a bad track on the CD. I bought it at the first show I went to and it did not leave my CD player for days.

How would I describe their sound? Good question, I can hear different influences in their music. James does a little of the screamo stuff like on some early Hawthorne Heights.....R.I.P. Casey. I think they have a unique sound, it is kinda metal pop, but they can get a little hardcore if they wanna. They play all around North Carolina and you can catch dates on their MySpace. It is well worth the drive and money to catch these guys. I personally think that they are something special just waiting to break free. There is alot of potential there and they seem hungry. Only time and hard work will tell.

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