Divided Minds Interview with Lead vocalist/guitarist Sean Collins.
By: Declan McKnight
New Album ‘Mood Swings’ is due out April 6th. For download and pre-orders links are below.
RAPMM: Thank you Divided Minds for taking some time out to speak with us at Rock All Photography. Are all of you from the Phoenix, Arizona area? if not where is your hometown?
SEAN: yeah we’re all Arizona natives
RAPMM: There has been a mix of sounds come from your area. Punk, metal being two of the largest. What were you all into when you were young and in high school?
SEAN: We were all punk metal kids. Josh was always a big Blink 182, Silverstein, and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus fan but he has always loved hip hop as well. Deven grew up on Green Day and swears he knows how to play every song on drums (to my knowledge he’s telling the truth). And I’ve always been a metalhead at heart.
RAPMM: How did you all come to your own sound?
SEAN: We all like the same music, but each one of us has an extra genre we like. Josh loves Hip Hop, Deven loves Pop and Rap, and I love Metal and Pop. So we all have the bones of a pop-punk song agreed upon but then each one of us brings in our influences from the other genres we like.
RAPMM: Do you find that your sound is settling into one genre in particular or do you find with each song you write that another influence of some kind is making its way in?
SEAN: We definitely hop around genres. The whole point of our new EP Mood Swings is to explore the dichotomy between the two genres that make up pop-punk. A couple of the songs in the EP are poppy as hell and a couple are thrashy and punk and then some blend the two together. And what we’ve been working on behind the scenes goes even further exploring mixing in hip-hop and such.
RAPMM: Your album cover art for ‘Mood Swings’ who created it? What does it signify?
SEAN: Our Album art was done by Jimmy Breen. It signifies the mind. The derelict interior of the home represents the bad thoughts and the beautiful exterior represents happiness.
RAPMM: It is always fascinating to hear about artist and bands process they go through to create an EP or Album even. Can you describe the process of how this album came together, and what it has meant to all of you?
SEAN: All the songs on the EP were written prior to recording. Josh kicks the process off usually by coming to Deven and me with a verse and a chorus and then all three of us build upon it and add the other verses and bridge and so forth. Then we hired Mike Oliver of Tuff Tones Studios to record it for us. That process starts with a “scratch track” where we record sloppy guitar tracks and my voice for Deven to play along to during the drum tracking process. Then we record bass, then guitar, then lead vocals, then all harmonies, then finishing stuff like synths or violins are added to make it shiny.
RAPMM: Looking back over a project, how satisfied are you all with the final product? Any notes of things you might change or try differently next time?
SEAN: We are more proud of this EP than anything we’ve ever put out. It’s by no means perfect but I believe that that’s the whole point of music. To make the imperfections beautiful.
RAPMM: Spotify and YouTube seem to be the two most important places for musicians to be seen and heard nowadays. What elements did you put together as you were storyboarding for your first music video off the album “Don’t Get Too Close?”
SEAN: The main thing we were looking for production wise for the video was the general vibe. We wanted it to look dark but then have the pink and blue highlights present throughout to give that mixed vibe. We think we nailed it and are really happy with how it turned out.
RAPMM: Certainly most bands are already planning a year or more ahead. What are some things you as a band would like to develop? Songwriting-wise? Instrumentally wise?
SEAN: Josh and I are still both amateurs at best when it comes to technical guitar skill so we’re both focused on honing our respective skills.
RAPMM: Out of this process of emerging what so far have you all found to be the most valuable lesson that you have learned?
SEAN: The most valuable thing a musician can have is an open mind. Getting dead set in one mindset is more detrimental than stagnating. Open yourself to your fellow musician’s ideas. Musicians are generally smart people and they have some bouts of genius at times, it’s useful to listen to them.
RAPMM: Best quote or advice you can think of to give up and coming bands about sucking it up and just work harder than everyone else?
SEAN: Failure is expected. Don’t let it deter you. Everyone fails 10 times before they succeed. The best thing you can do is pick yourself back up, be you, and work harder than before.