Interview with Divine Disorder
Band: Divine Disorder
By: Zaid Mousa - 2014-07-17
Despite not being one of the most popular bands from the Middle East, DIVINE DISORDER are one of the few bands in the region which have worked with Metal heavyweights such as NILE's Karl Sanders, THE KOVENANT's Pzycoma or producer Jens Bogren (OPETH, KREATOR, MYRATH...). Reporter Zaid Mousa talked with the band about their upcoming album, their previous releases and many other issues.
1. Let's start with your band's name. How did you come up with it, guys?
Jassem: I like how the band name is bringing a lot of attention as this is one of the questions that we get asked a lot. I wonder why though. Hehe…
Yousef: It is a philosophical approach. It explains the downfall of what we call "life" as it is the beginning of a newborn system, exercising the mind beyond its limits and redefining the foundations of every law, idea and belief.
Jassem: Well, Yousef and I usually like to come across the concept of contradiction, where the extreme end of something could be, at the same time, the extreme of its opposite. In one way or another, "disorder" is one of those concepts that get our minds busy most of the time. We find it a divine system or sacred order by which we live today. We'd lived by it through the generations before us and we will always do so through the next. It is therefore "Divine Disorder".
2. In 2012 you released your first 2-track single. How was your feeling when you finally published your tracks and how was the fans' reaction about your music?
Mortis: Birds were chirping and the skies were clear…it felt as if nothing could ruin my day…and then Jassem called me late at night suddenly making a bold decision saying that he wants to publish the single now! Well that did it. Being tired after a long day’s work, at first I wasn’t exactly on my best behavior so-to-speak but after seeing the singles published and ready to be heard by everyone…my whole perspective changed. Not just with the band but with life in general. I realized at that moment that this is the first time I was involved in something on an international scale…something that made me feel like I’m finally breaking out of a cage and set loose onto the whole wide world. It was an epic experience…a revelation of sorts.
Yousef: It was an immensely rewarding feeling to release our hard work and ideas to the public. I personally enjoyed finally sharing what ideas, concepts and "feels" were brewing up in my head.
Jassem: It's as if we were born again. We were excited to express our thoughts and ideas to everyone around for the first time in Divine Disorder. And it's how things start usually; stressful in not knowing what to expect, yet exciting because we want to know! We weren't expecting their reaction but it was one of our most and fastest growing ones, especially considering it was our first release. We are looking forward to see what it's like after the release of our full-length album. Really, I can't wait!
3. As you announced months ago, your upcoming album has been mixed by Jens Bogren. How do you feel about this, since it will be mixed by such a great producer, who has worked with heavyweights such as OPETH or KREATOR, and with a leading Middle Eastern band as MYRATH?
Yousef: It was a privilege to work with Jens Bogren and see our work being handled by such a great producer. Having the honor of working with professionals in the music industry has cleared up some misconceptions I may have had regarding the production process and the metal scene. They were all wonderful, hardworking people.
Jassem: The album went through several stages until it reached Sweden (Jens Bogren). Through those stages, we experienced many ups and downs. Our friends Carlos Alvarez and Brett Caldas-Lima, the guys behind the production of our singles, have suggested that it was about time we considered a producer who understands how to make the best out of our sounds; someone like Jens Bogren. And they weren't mistaken. It's by far the best decision we have ever taken. It was an outstanding and unforgettable experience, especially that we got the chance to meet him in person and see the process of production with our own eyes and presence. We couldn't be any more excited! Now we know how Myrath felt.
4. What could you tell us about your upcoming album? How will it sound like?
Jassem: The concepts have been arranged since the establishment of the band. We have worked on the foundation of a full-on epic and poetic narrative. After two years of experiments, we cooked up several materials with enough strong foundations and thought we should gain exposure by releasing singles to serve as teasers for our full-length album, which will be the first of the sequence. After releasing the singles, the band has fully focused on finishing up all the necessary steps for the debut full-length to be ready. We aim to make sure we express as much emotion as possible through the messages we send and the subjects we point at. That requires a lot of experimenting, so we were pacing ourselves and not rushing things up. The album goes through a journey—I like to call it a mental journey—through life struggles, self-awareness, illumination and, in general, about philosophy, science, cosmic adventure and cultural understanding. As for the musical side of things, we always consider the balance of different sounds, the aggression of Metal as the fundamental base and the support of classical orchestration, not to mention all the modern approaches from Ambient, Avant-garde and Electronic music. The album is full of varieties, but all balanced in a formula where it can be easily grasped.
Yousef: So basically it’s an emotional rollercoaster, I'd say, haha...make sure you fasten your seatbelts!
Mortis: Imagine a dark mountainous region, thunder and lightning far as the eye can see…a couple of bad-ass looking dragons ready to devour anything in sight, a very heavy and slightly chipped sword and no shield! The dragons have spotted you and a battle of epic proportions has begun…now…you need something to listen to while kicking monster mutant dragon ass, don’t you? There’s a part for every scene! When you kill a dragon, when a dragon bites your middle finger off and you’re cursing in agony, when you beat the crap out of a dragon, and when you finish killing the damn dragons and enjoy a well-earned smoke while riding off awesome and victorious on your motorcycle!
5. What do you expect from your fans regarding your new album?
Jassem: I would hope they would read through the lines hehe! I can't really expect anything for now so let's see what's in store for us!
Yousef: I hope they'll enjoy every riff, and every drop of blood and sweat we planted into the album. I also hope they'll enjoy the story and concept behind the album.
Mortis: Too bad there aren’t any damn dragons to slay while listening to the tracks.
6. Despite checking your Official Website and your Facebook page, I couldn't find any news regarding live concerts. Have you ever played a live performance before? And if so, where did you play?
Yousef: That's a really good question. Some of us had performed live on stage before but right now there aren't any plans for live performances, mostly for reasons beyond our control. I need not mention our region's issue with live performances but, as we did with our music, we could always aim outside. The world is a big place with unlimited opportunities.
Jassem: Divine Disorder hasn’t stepped on stage yet. We're fully devoted to working on enough worthy material, perfecting it and then at the right time, letting it all out! The way it deserves.
7. On your first single, you had the chance to work with Karl Sanders from NILE and with THE KOVENANT's Pzycoma. What could you tell us about having them featured on it?
Yousef: To work with Pzycoma was a childhood dream come true for both Jassem and I so we were really honored. He was a really nice and helpful guy and so was Karl Sanders—nice, down-to-earth people. It was a very pleasant and memorable experience.
Jassem: Although things were carried out online mostly, it's safe to say Karl Sanders is one of those guys you never get bored around. For a guitarist who is ranked among the Top 100 guitarists of all time, It's hard to believe how nice, humble and friendly he is. Being around him makes you feel like a true metal warrior. Pzycoma is my childhood idol as a guitarist, composer and one of the founding members of The Kovenant (one of my all-time favourite metal bands). You can imagine how excited we were to feature him on the tracks. Their cooperation didn’t end with the singles’ tracks; it's just the beginning. There is more ear-pleasure of their work in the album!
Mortis: Only a ginormous 10-headed pitch black dragon with scales of steel would be challenge enough for this awesomeness!
8. I would like to ask you about your opinion about the Metal scene in the Middle East in general and in Kuwait particularly. What could you tell us about this?
Yousef: This is a debatable subject, as there are different and unstable waves of challenges. Metal and rock music in general are still growing in the Middle East but sadly at a slow pace since, generally, the idea of metal and rock music isn't very well-grasped in the region. Many assume it goes against the culture and beliefs of this society. It is only a musical preference and I hope the people behind such assumptions would take the time to accept and learn about the endless preferences and hobbies that are being practiced by the thousands and millions everywhere.
Jassem: It's quite clear that things here in the Middle East aren't like the West. Things are quite challenging here and that can easily put down many bands regardless of their talents. Being in a more strict society, the kind that doesn't like to risk exploring new or different ways of life, can be very frustrating, not to mention the lack of support as you have to build yourself on your own without the local press/media support. I'm afraid the metal scene in general is taking another shape, I can't say bad but obviously different, and I can easily say that I don't really get it at times. This goes for both sides, the musicians and the audience. Generations after generations affect how one creates or perceives art. How they deal with it shouldn't always be positive but I believe I have seen more passion in the past.
Now, as metal musicians who truly want to express themselves in such a hard and challenging field, we will find one way or another to make our sound reach out higher and wider around. It's a challenge that we promised ourselves won't put us or even slow us down!
Mortis: It’s a slow and rather demotivating process but I believe that in good time, things will improve and no longer shall one hide away the music and culture one truly loves!
9. If you want to add anything, go ahead!
Yousef: I wholeheartedly thank everyone who supported Divine Disorder through good and hard times and I thank you Jorzine folks for this lovely interview. To all the metalheads and music lovers, rock on and keep your horns up!
Jassem: We have come this far with the help and support of those who believed in us and granted us their true support and for the love and passion of Metal! We couldn't be any more grateful! The effort that has been put into the accomplishment of our upcoming debut album is dedicated to our loyal supporters and fans! And to everyone who's fighting their own battles passionately! Stay Metal and stay heavy!
Mortis: It has been a good journey so far but ahead lie many challenges! I’m optimistic however as I’m quite sure that the best is yet to come. I have yet to see commitment, hard work, and dedication as such that has been seen from my fellow bandmates! In plain English; my bandmates are awesome! NOW FIND ME DRAGONS TO SLAY!!!