Expressing themselves through catchy power-metal tunes, Divine Anger is a metal group from another dimension. We spoke with bassist Barry Ross about the Divine Anger’s debut single ‘Behind The Wall’, musical inspiration, treasured possessions and future plans.
OSR: Divine Anger is a group with band members from different countries. Did your various cultural backgrounds influence your music?
Ross: Yes, we all come from different corners of the world, but as far as our music is concerned I would say that cultural influences only play an indirect role. In fact, our songs are very much influenced by other bands. Luke loves German heavy metal bands, Misaki grew up with Japanese power metal, etc.; but I would differentiate the whole thing even a little bit further.
We’ve all had our phases of devouring the albums of our metal heroes and being totally absorbed in them. When we compose, this has a huge impact on the structure, the arrangement and the overall sound of our songs. Interestingly enough, I would see the lyrics and the message a little bit separately.
I also have to add that the music scene in general and the metal scene in particular look different in our home dimension than they do here. Maybe we can deepen this some other time…
OSR: What is the concept behind ‘Behind The Wall’?
Ross: ‘Behind The Wall’ is the first single release from our debut EP Guru of Hate. It deals with the darkest chapter of German history and the song ‘Behind The Wall’ tells the touching story of Anne Frank and her family who had to go into hiding in a back building in Amsterdam.
Since the topic is, of course, very close to our hearts, we wanted to bring it across as directly as possible; therefore, we chose first-person narrators with changing perspectives in the lyrics. The music is, of course, a high-energy ride to do justice to the intensity of the theme. Anne herself is quoted with the wish that her story is told over and over again. We were very touched by this and hopefully, we made a small contribution with our work.
OSR: Did you face challenges when creating ‘Behind The Wall’?
Ross: Frankly speaking, yes. What has occupied us for a long time is the question of how exactly we want to tell the story in order to do justice to the topic and dedicate the appropriate space to perpetrators and victims within the song. If you give too much space to the dark side you run the risk of sending out the wrong message. If you give the victims too much space you may unintentionally present them as too weak. Finding the right balance here was not so easy, but we think and feel that in the end, we succeeded.
Musically, this is being reflected a lot in the vocals and the overall arrangement. Many experiments finally led to the version you can hear now with ART3M’s alternating clean and growling performances and the layering of them in the chorus. All in all, the most important goal for us is to evoke empathy in the listener. We hope that the song will have this effect with many people.
OSR: Who inspires your music?
Ross: In terms of inspiration and message, I would say the human potential. The lower end is set; the upper end is unlimited.
Luke and I are the two songwriters in the band and what unites us the most and what drives us the most is human nature and what it can create. We can’t stand injustice, abuse of power, manipulation and all the other lowly behaviours that people, unfortunately, produce when they live compulsively. To put this mildly, this makes us angry and our music is the constructive and legal way to deal with this anger. This also has a lot to do with our band name.
Of course, we all have bands that have influenced our music taste strongly. We all have different role models. ART3M’s all-time heroes are System of a Down. J.J. loves Falconer. Luke, Iced Earth. Misaki’s role models are the Japanese power metal veterans from Galneryus. Damon worships Arch Enemy and my metal gods are Helloween.
OSR: Why did you decide to form Divine Anger?
Ross: Luke and I have been making music together since our school days. We were and are just buddies who get along well and love metal. We founded Divine Anger together to put our love for power metal in the centre of our lives and to infect as many people as possible with this enthusiasm. Over the course of time, some tracks have been created and we have met great comrades-in-arms who share our values. Our current lineup is my family and I hope we will grow together more and more in the future.
OSR: If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?
Ross: 1. We wish for making metal known and loved by many more people, especially the young ones. We firmly believe that our music has more to offer than most people realise – metal is more!
2. On the way there, we wish we can form a caring, fun and engaging metal community full of lovely metalheads.
3. We wish we can find a way back home soon. How is not clear yet, but before the dimension jump we were doing a gig on stage and the energy was really strong. We are guessing that is an important clue.
OSR: What is your most treasured possession?
Ross: Due to the extreme circumstances in which we currently find ourselves we have to rebuild everything here. We have practically no more possessions at the moment, even the instruments are borrowed from our producer Fabian and his network.
OSR: If you were rich and famous, how would you spend your time?
Ross: We love what we do so, all in all, we would continue with what we already do: making music. With more resources, we would certainly travel much more to see, hear and meet metal legends around the world. We also have the desire to one day open a school of metal to pass on the love for this fantastic music to the next generation.
OSR: What can we expect from Divine Anger in the future?
Ross: Oh, we hope a whole lot more. We will create more catchy songs with deep and meaningful stories behind. After ‘Behind The Wall’, we will release two more singles and next year our debut EP Guru of Hate will be published. All this will be accompanied by awesome music videos and visuals – so stay tuned!