I welcome you to Metal Invader with wishes for a good new year, full of creativity and health. On the occasion of your forthcoming visit to Thessaloniki, I thought it was a good opportunity to exchange some thoughts about Diviner. First of all, are you all alright? Are you getting ready for your appearance at Eightball Live Stage?
Thank you very much for the invitation. Happy New Year to you and your readers. We feel ready and looking forward to performing for the wonderful audience of Thessaloniki.
With which words would you describe Diviner in order to introduce the band to an audience that’s still unfamiliar with it and especially in order to convince the crowd to support you on your gig this Saturday?
We are a Heavy Metal band that’s rooted to the classical era of the genre when it comes to the way we write songs, but with a lot of modern elements in our approach of sound, orchestration, production and an overall effect that exudes a fresh air and a timeless aesthetic. But the best recommendation for the audience is to listen to our two albums to get in touch with the essence of our music, thus forming their own opinion.
Whose idea was the creation of Diviner? How was it realised, given that you were all already involved in other music groups and projects?
The idea of the band started with my personal need to re-introduce myself to the metal genre with something new. I shared it with the guitarist Thymios Krios with whom we are childhood friends, companions for decades and at some point n time we had created the band called InnerWish. Thymios was happy to help, we wrote songs together again, we liked the material and we thought it was worthy enough to be publicly displayed. This is how Diviner’s first spark was born. The rest of the band members came a little later.
What were your initial goals as a new music band, what goals have you already achieved so far, and how would you describe your current state?
The original goals were to express ourselves simultaneously both as fans and as composers through Heavy Metal, which is the music we were most connected to while growing up. And of course to perform our songs live for the crowd, given the opportunity. These goals have not changed to this day. Whatever the crowd’s response, we have a certain way of composing music, which is nonnegotiable.
A few months have already passed since the release of your second full-length album, “Realms Of Time”, so I think you have a more complete picture of the crowd’s response. Judging by my own peeps, “Realms Of Time” became really popular over time. What’s your feedback?
We are in the same wavelength; the reception of this album was intense in all our shows so far, it’s mirrored in the sales of the physical copies and the acceptance of the material on online platforms. So overall we are very pleased and warmly thank the people who support us in any way.
The first single of the album (title track) seemed to have – especially lately – an explosion of views on your Youtube channel, which I think is indicative of the confidence the audience is showing you. Is the support of the crowd the main driving force for a band?
The truth is that the appeal of “Heaven Falls” has exceeded our expectations. It was, of course, the single that our label ‘pushed’ with very good advertising to promote the album. But the momentum of this particular video, which led into a high amount of views on YouTube right away, to our surprise and our label’s of course continued unabated even after the end of the advertising campaign. As of today it has exceeded the 500,000 views, continuing at a steady pace upward. I think the immediacy and the identity of this song played a very important role in that. Surely, a lot of people became familiar with the band this way, but that’s not everything. In my opinion, the driving force of a band is its artistic concern, its consistency and sincerity towards its serving art and its target audience. Diviner is a band whose music is not for the supermarket and tourist listener who listens to a whisper, but for the hard-core musicians who will listen to our entire album and travel with it communicating with our philosophy. So they will connect with us following us on our musical journey and this relationship is that most magical and wonderful of all. These fans are the real spine that supports you.
Comparing your two full length albums, I would say that “Realms Of Time” has shown a general improvement at all levels. Would you say that Diviner has now acquired their own sound? Is this really the music that expresses you (in the sense that time matures people and situations).
I don’t know if the band has a personal sound, we try and wish it well, but definitely with the second album our synthetic character became more clear and distinct and we showed that we are a band that wants to write beautiful songs with essence, with a beginning, middle and end. On this basis, “Realms Of Time” is a record that went one step further, even though I adore our debut and wouldn’t change even a bit. Beyond that, every album is the band’s “photo” that always expresses the moment it’s created, which you hope is good!
The music streams that have influenced the composition of your music are many, at least in my opinion. On one hand, I would like to ask you how can a band filter each person’s musical background and channel it into a musical expression that represents each member.
Certainly there are a lot of influences from the whole metal spectrum, however it’s a difficult task to filter out the different musical trends of each. Nonetheless, when there is a shared vision, faith and commitment of each member to it and basically human communication, then there is understanding, direction and things are simplified for the better.
Secondly, this “collage” of ideas has led to a universality of your music that has as an immediate effect of appealing to people of different musical choices. Am I the only one who sees that or is it actually true?
I’m glad that you see it this way and that’s a great honor for us. I wish people would hear that as well, especially because I get frustrated when labeling music with certain genres, or close-mindedness, or even disruptive relationships among peers tag along . It’s the most beautiful thing for a band to present “universality”, even though this sounds heavy. I would at least like to think that Diviner play a classic and timeless Heavy Metal, with open antennas and a tone that doesn’t belong in any particular decade of the idiom but sounds traditional without being “retro” and fresh without being meaningless or sophisticated “modern”.
Is your music composition process collective? Do you all help with something to sculpt the structure of your tracks?
Most of the basic ideas start with me as I usually work bringing a complete synthetic structure from start to finish, oftenly accompanied with the lyrics as well. Other times a track comes from a guitarist’s structure or riff which we will together work for it to evolve with harmonies and melodies. In any case, the centralized ideas of all of us enter a phase of filtering, collective work, enrichment, orchestration and pre-production, so the end result that comes out represents the band and the character of each individual musician. In the end of the day the only goal for the tracks is to be actually listenable (hahaha)!
In order for a band to chart a course, one must move away from the retro-mania of the past, but also the stripping of its character by modernity and that impersonal feeling. I think Diviner can stand in the golden intersection between these two poles. What is the recipe to achieve balance on the sidelines?
I totally agree with you. This is our aesthetic approach, as well. We don’t like the retro-sounding stuff or the impersonal dome culture of the so-called modern times. But still there are no recipes. Diviner balances very spontaneously in a metal spectrum that on one hand is adorned with aggressive heavy / thrash riffs, darkness and ruthless headbanging tempests and on the other melodies, pompous adrenaline chants, atmosphere, epic feeling and nostalgia. Everything is beautiful, everything is music and everything is metal that we all like, so there is no reason to censor our inspiration. We just let it lead us. At the end of the day what is left is the immediacy of the music and the beautiful songs. And believe me, that’s the hardest task.
It is difficult for a band to lack a certain message, a reason for doing all that. From the simplest to the most complex messages. What the case with Diviner? What are the main themes of your lyrics and what do they serve if I can use this expression?
We are a band that is very interested in the essence of the lyrics and whether our audience is connected to it. Diviner’s themes mainly have to do with our deepest philosophical or existential concerns, the discovery of world truth, the origins of the world, the Universe, our struggle for spiritual ascension against our own decline and evil, and often dense stories of fantasy, literature and mythology. So the only appropriate type to express such meanings is Heavy Metal. It has the magic, the atmosphere and the ability to film them. In this light, for me, Diviner is an extension of my personal pursuits that I want to share with the outside world!
Nowadays, the most important source of information and advertising is the internet, as opposed to the past and the difficulties it held. As Diviner, have you taken advantage of the internet and its platforms to spread your musical passion?
I think the internet is a double-edged knife. On the one hand it gave each band a chance to spread their music freely, on the other the plethora of free music diminished their interest in meaningful search, resulting in audiences and musicians being mesmerized by ephemeral impressions, fireworks and easy / light commercial music product to the detriment of quality content. As for Diviner, I think the kind of music we serve has a specific, selective and very ‘suspicious’ audience towards that one hit wonders, so the internet has certainly helped us communicate easily with the crowd as they know what they’re looking for. We are also fortunate to be part of a small but consistent foreign label that promotes our material very well on all well-known online platforms, YouTube, Spotify, Facebook etc so even in these difficult times our music reaches those who need it. But in general, the comfort is that metal bands have always had supporters who are faithful and dedicated, supporting us emotionally by buying our albums, vinyls, merch and helping us survive and record in times when discography has become expensive and luxurious.
Let’s elaborate on today! What should we expect from Diviner’s live performance in Thessaloniki?
Expect a very loud live show, with a best of playlist from both of our albums and some more surprises!
What are the next steps for Diviner? What does the future hold for you – at least as far as we can foresee it?
In the immediate plans are some upcoming concerts in Greek territory to continue promoting the album, some summer festivals and a mini tour abroad this coming fall. After that, the band will start loosely songwriting-releasing a new album next month for the whole of 2020 with the goal of launching a 3rd studio album the next year.
Thank you very much for your time, but also for your immediacy and honesty. Would you like to send a message to our readers?
We thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk to your readers. We wish everyone a happy year, with health, even better music and, above all, sincerity and compassion.