Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Divided By Design

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Photo courtesy of Divided By Design Facebook page.

On Aug. 14, 2020, Leeds, United Kingdom-based progressive metal trio Divided By Design will release their instrumental concept debut album entitled ‘Stages To Osiris.’

Inspired by acts like Dream Theater, Animals As Leaders and Periphery, Divided By Design are guitarist Liam Stephenson, bassist Joe Messingham and drummer/percussionist Tom Chambers.

The Music Bugle recently had the chance to chat with the band about the upcoming release and more.

Music Bugle – What excites you most about progressive metal?

Liam Stephenson – The creative freedom of the genre, it allows to employ a really unique and out-of-the-box musical vision. Truly progressive music refuses to conform! If we want sections of the music to be really fast or heavy, that’s fine, but equally orchestral string sections or ambient soundscapes are just as at home in DBD tunes!


Music Bugle – How does having three members affect the group’s dynamic? 

Joe Messingham – I think we all agree it’s a big advantage. With less people, everyone gets a say on the direction and creative decisions in the band. It also gives space in the mix for each instrument to be as complex or as simple as we want. Logistically speaking, getting to venues is a lot easier as a trio as well. We don’t have to hire a mini-van and book out half a hotel when we go on tour!


Music Bugle – How did you guys get your name? 

Liam Stephenson – Weeks of brainstorming until we had a name everyone was happy with. We went through a lot of bad and some outright silly suggestions.


Music Bugle – What inspired you to compose your upcoming album ‘Stages To Osiris’? 

Liam Stephenson – It’s been an idea we’ve had from the beginning. We’ve always wanted to do an album that really pushes the instrumental genre and it seemed a concept was the best way to do that. We’ve released a few singles over the past year and now just seemed the right time to make it.


Music Bugle – What do you remember the most about your first UK tour? 

Tom Chambers – It’s really hard to pick out a single moment. The whole experience of playing venues alongside some awesome bands was ace. One of my favorite memories was Newcastle on the second night. We’d never played to a crowd with that level of energy before and it made for an amazing show.


Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Tom Chambers – Obviously, like so many people, we’ve had to put a lot of plans on hold. We ended up missing out on playing some big shows due to cancellations, which is always a shame. On the other hand, it did give us time to step back and reflect. I think ultimately, it gave us the time to work on the album that maybe we wouldn’t otherwise have had.


Music Bugle – Since you guys pride yourselves on your live performances, what do you miss the most about them? 

Joe Messingham – Personally, there’s no better feeling than playing live! I think with almost every show we’ve played, we always seem to be surprising people. A lot of audience members that haven’t seen us before aren’t expecting an instrumental band to be as “in your face” as us! By the end of shows, we always get some great reactions, which is really special for us.


Music Bugle – If you had the chance to chat one-on-one with one of your musical influences, who would you choose? 

Liam Stephenson – Steve Vai I think, just because he’s got a really interesting perspective on everything from his life to his music. 

Joe Messingham – The members of Tool, to chat influences and approaches. Everything they do is just so unique – what progressive metal band doesn’t look up to Tool?!

Tom Chambers – Nolly Getgood. He’s an amazing producer and I’d love to have a great technical discussion. Also, just to see what he does to relax and pass the time, you know, like, does he play Pokémon Go or something?


Music Bugle – Where do you guys hope to be this time, next year? 

Joe Messingham – This time next year, we want to have played our first major festival and hopefully have added a few more tunes to our back catalogue.


Music Bugle – What’s something people should know about the band? 

Liam Stephenson – What a lot of people don’t know about our music is that there’s often a concept running through it. The album we are releasing is a concept album itself, but you can see conceptual references in our previous tracks with lots of little secrets scattered about for people to find, so without giving too much away just yet, if you go back and listen to our older stuff alongside the album, you might notice the odd “easter egg” or two.

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