Raucous times and roaring escapes: exploring the heart of US rockers Long Time Divided

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Sometimes there is no escaping the lure of a band, whether in sound, presence, personality or whatever. One proposition definitely equipped with that kind of instinctive temptation is Pittsburgh rockers Long Time Divided. Formed in 2008, the quintet has been a persistent rock riot grabbing an enthused and growing loyal fan base locally and spreading further afield. Renowned as one of the hardest working bands on and from the Pittsburgh music scene, Long Time Divided is beginning to stir broader attention. With a new album beginning to boil in the band’s horizon, it felt the right time to find out more about the band, so with thanks to vocalist DJ Beckage we set about exploring the origins, inspirations, and acclaimed live presence of the band.

LTD DJ Beckage - SingerHey DJ;  thanks for talking with us.

Please introduce the band members and give us some background to the band.

Well there’s me, DJ, the lead singer, and then we have two amazing guitarists in Paul Terry and Dean Toughlian. And then we have one of the best 1-2 bass and drum combos in rock with Bob Beveridge on bass and Slick on drums.

As for the band, we’re a hard rock band with a bit of a metal and blues taste mixed in and we’re based out of Pittsburgh, PA (U.S.A.). I always like to categorize us as a blue-collar rock band. We work hard and play harder and we’re really not the “green room” types, you know what I mean? We’d much rather be out having fun with our fans. We had a green room before and it was horribly boring. HA!

Where did you all meet and what did you have any specific intention behind bringing the band to life?

I had dissolved my old band and was looking to join a fully formed band in need of a singer and lyricist and it just happened that the original line-up of the band, including Bob, were looking for a singer. The guys had me audition and that first night we wrote three songs (Breaker, Spiders, and Take Me Away). Everything just clicked. It was great. Later, Paul joined the band so we would have two guitars. Slick came on board after our original drummer just up and left town (weird), and he brought a level of power to his play yet he’s attune to the dynamics of the song and what is needed. Lastly, Dean joined the group, which I think brought a refreshing outlook on the group.

Your sound seems generally described as hard rock yet there is much more in the mix for us. How would you portray it to newcomers to the band in words?

We’re a blue-collar band. We’re the guys you’d want to go with to the bar for a night of drinking and partying. We have a good time at our shows and try to bring everyone along for the ride. Times are tough and we want to be that kick-ass escape for people.

What predominately drives and inspires the lyrical and emotional side of your songs?

I (DJ) typically write what I’m feeling, whether the narrative is about something that personally happened to me or one of my band mates, or if it’s just something I heard or read about in the news. I love bringing a level of honesty to our songs because it gives the listener something to grab hold of and make his or her own.

The textures and melodic flames which sculpt your songs are as imposing as the muscular side of your invention. It suggests songs are carefully and intensely composed. What is the general writing process for the band and do you aim for particular ideas with each song or let them develop organically?

Thanks. That was about as badass a compliment of our music as I have ever heard.

We typically write as a whole group. One person may bring a melody or riff to the group and we just build the songs out from there. I love this because it gives ownership of the song to everyone, which helps eliminate ego from the writing process.

As for our “particular aim,” it goes back to the fact that we want to write music that we want to hear.

You have earned a great reputation for your live presence, highlights so far?LTD 3

I think the highlight for me has been all the big name acts we’ve had the opportunity to play with, like Fuel, Static-X, Soulfly, Jimmie’s Chick Shack, Soul Asylum, and Ace Frehley. Opening for Fuel was my biggest highlight so far. I think the fact that we’ve had these opportunities acknowledges the hard work that we’ve put in to making our music.

What have you in store for the year and fans across 2015?

Well the big thing this year is our sophomoric album. We’re aiming for April to start recording tracks for the new album and I can’t wait. There has been a wonderful growth in all of our song writing skills and I think people will be thoroughly please with the product.

Thanks for talking with us; anything you would like to add to tempt people to check out your vibrant sounds?

Thank you for having me. Anytime I get to talk about how awesome my band mates make me look (Ha!). No, seriously, thank you. We work hard and it’s always a pleasure to have this time to talk about the love for our music.

I want everyone to go to iTunes or Amazon or wherever the hell you–yeah you!–get your music and pick up the Long Time Divided debut album. It’s a helluva rock album and we want all of you to join the LTD Army!

https://www.facebook.com/longtimedividedband 

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 29/03/2015

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