1. Can you update us with what is going on with Divine Eve these days?
Hey there, Xan Hammack (Rythym and Lead Guitars/Vocals) from Divine Eve here answering your questions, I hope things are well with you. We are in the process of writing new material for the full length to be released on Ibex Moon, we’re hoping to have around 11 songs or so. We are also rehearsing with our new live drummer Dave Slaughter and getting ready to play out, as Matt Killen (Drums) can’t play live. We hope to be playing around Texas here in the not too distant future. Kyle Severn from Incantation played drums with us on the Vengeful Scapegoat European tour in January 2010, and he did a killer job. However Kyle lives in Columbus, Ohio so we really need someone local in order to be a more active live band.
2. You took a long hiatus for a while, what made you decide to reform the band after all these years? We had broken up and kind of gone our separate ways, I moved to Los Angeles and lived there for quite some time while doing various things but eventually ended up moving back to the Dallas area. After I had been here for a while Michael Sleavin (Rythym Guitars/Vocals) and I ended up getting back in touch after not talking at all for many years, and after several hangouts we decided to get together for a rehearsal and see how it went. It sounded great from the first song we played, so we decided to give it a go. Scott Cooksey (Bass), who was the engineer on the “Vengeful And Obstinate” ep and also played bass on the Vengeful Scapegoat tour, joined up with us fulltime after a while and here we are.
3. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance? The shows we played on the Vengeful Scapegoat tour all went really well. Barcelona, London, and Hradec Kralove were particularly notable although every show was fun and the turnouts were good at most of them. I would say our stageshow is pretty stripped down and basic, we don’t use make up and props or anything (although that’s cool if bands want to) but prefer to just go out and kick ‘em in the face. We have a banner and some amplifier tapestries but not much more than that. Once we start playing more regularly we may develop a few simple stage concepts but there aren’t really plans for that at the moment.
4. Do you have any current touring plans? We should be playing around Texas here pretty soon, and by 2011 we hope to be able to play some festivals and do some touring in the U.S. and Europe, as well as possibly Japan.
5. How would you describe the lyrical content of the newer material?
Our lyrical concepts have always been somewhat varied from song to song and that holds true for the newer stuff as well. On the “Vengeful…” ep for instance, the song “Ravages Of Heathen Men” is about the first recorded Viking raid in history in Lindisfarne, England, while “Vindication” is about vengeance in general but we were actually thinking about a specific group/type of people when we wrote those lyrics. “Grievous Ascendance” is about some people who enter a ziggurat or tomb and consume the flesh of those within in order to become some sort of interstellar/god-like beings, so the subject matter can vary quite a bit. The lyrical concepts of the songs that will be on the full length are still being hammered out but will follow in the same morbid/primal/cosmic fashion as the other stuff we’ve written.
6. Out off all the releases that the band has put out so far which one are you the most satisfied with? Well every band says this of course, but I would have to say my favorite is our last release the “Vengeful and Obstinate” ep…
7. How has the reaction been so far from extreme metal fans to the newer material?
The reaction seems to have been positive for the most part, people have had lots of good things to say about the newer songs. The material we played on the last European tour was mostly older stuff and it all went over well live, so I can’t wait to start playing some of the newer songs live to gauge the reaction to them that way.
8. How would you describe the musical progress over the years and what direction do you see the music heading into on future releases? We have certainly progressed over the years as songwriters, although we have also stayed true to our roots at the same time. The newer material will follow in the same vein as past material, but we definitely do try to come up with fresh ideas and do things we haven’t done before while still honoring the old traditions.
9. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and what are you listening to nowadays? We have always been and still are heavily influenced by bands such as Hellhammer/Venom/Possessed/Entombed/Destruction/Slayer/Candlemass/Bathory/Dream Death etc., as well as some 70’s stuff like Black Sabbath and King Crimson. We still listen to all of these older bands of course. Watain, Gravehill, and Devil’s Blood are some good new-ish bands I can think of at the moment. Personally I’ve been listening to Roky Erickson’s “The Evil One (Plus One)” and The Exploited’s “Punk’s Not Dead” a lot lately…
10. What kind of influence do you feel that you have on modern metal bands?
I guess we may have an influence on some bands here and there…
11. What are some of your interests outside of music?
Things too infinite and primordial to be named…
12. Any final words or thoughts?Thanks for this interview and for your support, it is greatly appreciated. We are hoping to record the full length within the next few months (we don’t have a title at the moment) and have it out before the end of the year if possible, or if not by early next year so keep an eye out for it on Ibex Moon. We will also have a vinyl version of the “Upon These Ashes Scorn The World” anthology (which is our first two ep’s plus a Sodom and a Celtic Frost cover) coming out on Iron Tyrant records very soon so pick that up as well, the first 150 copies of it will also have the “Vengeful And Obstinate” ep included as a bonus 10” vinyl. Stay Morbid…