Interview: The Pop-Punk Boys of Divided Minds Prepare For Next Week's EP Release
Pop-punk is home to some of the most beloved acts that graced our teenage road-trip playlists and recur in the background of our forays into first loves and first anxieties. Based in Arizona, the guys of Divided Minds are providing the soundtrack to these inevitable moments.
Back in 2016, the guys released their debut EP, Perception, and caught the attention of major label We Are Triumphant. Since then, Divided Minds has toured the regional circuit, opened for electro-pop singer-songwriter BØRNS, and is now getting ready for the release of Mood Swings, their second EP, dropping next week. To prepare for the new record, the guys have been dropping singles off the EP for the last few months.
The first single off Mood Swings is "Don't Get Too Close," a warring alternative track that features quick bursts of pop-punk rhythms, aggressive crescendos of percussion, and scream vocals so raw you can feel the anger, the resignation, the resentment that went into it, a kind of therapy for the soul howled into the ether. The guys released a music video for this track, a high-powered gig that tracks the band delivering a killer take to an audience of loyal listeners.
Divided Minds' second single off the upcoming EP is "Norterra Parkway," a sweetened nostalgia-based track dealing with young love. Lines like "We are not that far from the world becoming ours" slice through steady percussion and deep rhythms that join together for a growing swell of energy.
The third single off Mood Swings is "Take My Hand," released just last week. Here, Divided Minds offer the perfect recipe for their pop-punk tendencies: fast-paced lead guitar lines, uptempo drum beats pulsing continuously in the background, wailing vocals, and quiet moments when the arrangement turns minimalist for reflective rhythms to slow down before the alt-rock rhythms gain speed once again.
With just one track left to be revealed on Divided Minds' upcoming EP, releasing April 6th, we can tell that Mood Swings will be riddled with angst, powered by passion, and built on heavy pop-punk arrangements. To learn more about the EP and the Phoenix music scene, we chatted with the guys. You can read the exclusive interview below and connect with Divided Minds on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The Music Mermaid: First, can you tell The Music Mermaid a little about yourselves and your music?
Divided Minds: We are Divided Minds, a pop-punk band from Phoenix, Arizona. We’re just three kids trying to make our dreams come true.
TMM: Describe each other using just three words each.
DM: Josh - creative, determined, chill. Deven - smart, dad, car. Sean - analytical, wired, checkers.
TMM: What is the music scene like in Phoenix and how has it influenced your music?
DM: The music scene in Phoenix is very competitive for the most part but once you find your niche, you'll find some of the most supportive, creative people you’ll ever meet. We try not to let the scene influence our music. We do what sounds right to us.
TMM: How has your music evolved since releasing your debut EP, Perception, back in 2016?
DM: Our music has evolved so much since Perception -- we’ve learned so much about songwriting from people we’ve had the chance to work with. The themes have matured a lot with Mood Swings [the band's upcoming EP]. We’ve also experimented with different song structures and rhythmic stuff.
TMM: Can you talk a little about the production processes behind your newest singles, “Norterra Parkway” and “Don’t Get Too Close”?
DM: Well, the whole process starts with the songs. All three of us helped write them and then when we were happy, we went to Mike Oliver of Tuff Tones Studios who will record the songs for us. He runs a studio out of his house in San Tan Valley and does an amazing job!
TMM: You guys released a ridiculously cool music video for the latter -- can you tell us about that experience?
DM: Our manager hooked us up with this super cool, super secret studio in Arizona. We went to visit the place like two weeks before filming to scope it out and we fell in love with it. The guy that owns the place has filled it with the coolest, weirdest stuff we’ve ever seen -- there’s even a mini skatepark in the back! After that, we scheduled a time and invited a bunch of friends to be the audience. The videographer was Jacob Reynolds, who did a great job! Halfway through filming, Josh went to do a guitar flip and his strap broke. He ended up throwing his guitar behind him and breaking a couple of the lights on set.
TMM: Your upcoming EP, Mood Swings, is dropping in a few weeks. What can fans expect out of this new project?
DM: The EP title describes the feel of the album perfectly. We’re combining some of the prettiest songs we’ve ever written with some of the most punk. We’re all very proud of what we’ve put together and we know everyone’s going to love it!
TMM: Who are three musicians you guys think the world needs to hear ASAP?
DM: Us! Just kidding, but definitely our buds from Promise to Myself, Fake a Home, and Outsiders. They’re all incredible musicians who deserve more credit than they get.
TMM: What has been your most memorable musical moment so far?
DM: Definitely opening for BØRNS at Tempe Marketplace. We are so grateful for that opportunity and experience. It was truly awe-inspiring to us.
The Music Mermaid: Finally, what’s next for Divided Minds?
Divided Minds: We’re currently recording more music as Mood Swings is being released and we’re looking to tour around the Southwest this summer to get to some of the fans who’ve never seen us live before.