There’s a strong group and work ethic in the rock band Long Time Divided. Consisting of vocalist DJ Beckage, guitarist Paul Terry, Bob Beveridge on drums, Slick the bassist, and second guitarist Dean Toughlian, the Pittsburgh band label themselves as blue-collar musicians, who work hard, play hard, and rock even harder. Beckage takes a break from writing new music to talk about band history, the new album, and the collaborative songwriting process.
Give us some history on the band. What made you guys want to collaborate and make music together?
DJ Beckage: So, the band came together because I was looking for a new band after I dissolved my old band. I had auditioned for a few bands and those auditions had been terrible. I found an ad online from a band looking for a singer and lyricist so I reached out. After playing email and phone tag, I met up with the original line-up of the band, including bassist Bob Beveridg, and at that first practice, we wrote three songs–“Spiders,” “Take Me Away,”[and] “Breaker”–all of which ended up on our debut album.
You guys are working on your second album. How is that coming along? When should we expect it?
DJ: We’re working on songs now and we’re hoping to have an album out by the end of the year. As for how the album’s coming along, I have to say, it’s coming together quite nicely, I think. The new songs are definitely “Long Time Divided” but we’ve changed as a group since our first album so you can definitely hear the changes in the music. It’s so cool to hear that growth.
When it comes time for new material, what’s the recording/writing process like?
DJ: Our process is wonderfully collaborative. Someone might have a whole song arranged or maybe it’s just a bassline, or, in my case, it’s just me humming out a melody, and then we just build the song out from there. The best thing is that there’s no ego in the writing process–no one person is saying, “write this song my way or else” deal–which is awesome because we can push one another to write the best song possible. I can say to any of the guys, “hey, I don’t like this” or “can we try this?” and they know they can do the same.
You guys often describes yourselves as a blue-collared band. What does that entail and how does it separate you from other rock bands out there?
DJ: Well we are a hard working band and we’ve been scraping and clawing for every opportunity since we formed, so the “blue-collar” moniker seemed to describe us well. Plus, we enjoy just hanging out at a venue and talking, laughing, and drinking with the crowd. We’re a no-frills kind of band; Long Time Divided shows up, kicks a** on stage, and then kick back with a few beers.
Give your fans some recommendations. What’s some of the new music you’re digging now?
DJ: I’ve been really enjoying listening to “House of Gold” and “Bones, Pt. 1 & 2” from Stone Sour, “Sonic Highways” from the Foo Fighters, “Trust Fall (Side A)” – EP from Incubus, and a friend of mine’s debut album, “Morgan Erina.” So there’s a nice splash from hard rock to singer/songwriter for everyone.
Are there any pre-show rituals for the band?
DJ: Drinking. HA! Honestly, not really. We enjoy just relaxing before the show. We’ll talk with people at the venue or just shoot the shit at the bar. Whatever. We’re usually just wanting to get on stage and just kill it so we’re more just looking to relax.
Will you guys be doing any shows in Chicago anytime soon?
DJ:God, I hope so. We’re looking to get out west and I’d love to hit Chicago. It’s always a blast to play a new city.
Long Time Divided are currently working on their second album. You can check out their debut and learn more about the band at their website. Make sure to also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.