Number 9: Dive, The Divide

Dive, The Divide plays like it was recorded in a garage covered in surfboards and old motorcycle parts. Maybe during a house party that migrated to the garage for more beer and a slide show of the most recent road trip to Baja or Death Valley CA.

JR Watson is the creative genus behind Dive, The Divide. When he isn’t shooting film on his Super 8 Handheld, he’s hanging out in Ventura CA, exploring his musical talents and recording on a “busted out screen desktop iMac with tape over the camera / microphone on an older version of Garage Band”. Its safe to say this week we cover a band that doesn’t overthink the process of musical expression.

An Enjoyful Trip to Death Valley – Shot by JR Watson. Music by Dive, The Divide “It’s Too Good” & “Maybe, Maybe”

I had originally discovered Dive, The Divide while scouring the internet for motorcycle culture and films. There’s an aesthetic to vintage bikes that in that particular moment fully captured me and forced me to purchase my own vintage Honda. Perhaps an act of rebellion towards myself for taking my first real job.

Regardless, Dive, The Divide was there through that life transition, providing a powerful reminder you don’t always need to have your shit together. That in those moments of uncertainty, perhaps the best course of action is taking the spontaneous trip to the desert to soak up those fleeting sunsets that all too often burn unappreciated.

Seams of shy is a collection of 12 songs written and recorded by JR Watson and friends. Pick up your copy of the album here.

Check out JR’s visual creative work here! Personally, I’m a huge fan of his photography & films. Instagram: @stuburnfools

Interview Q&A’s pasted below

1. Tell us about Dive, The Divide and its origination. Where does the name come from?

so “Dive, The Divide” came about a couple years ago after playing music with a group of friends for a couple years under the name “Doubt Aplomb”. That band stopped performing so I had always recorded my own work but never as a more live recorded style of sound. I basically pulled from different friends and would record my guitar along with them on drums at the same time and that’s how it has a more live sound because basically we would just jam, record it on a busted out screen desktop iMac with tape over the camera / microphone on an older version of Garage Band) and then I would add all the rest (vocals, bass, other guitar / sounds, etc.) – the name comes from feeling like I was in an in between in life at that moment (a divided point) and I had been feeling weird about it all so I just decided to “dive” into this “divide” and that’s when it stuck.

2. Where do you call home and how long have you been playing/writing music?

Ventura, CA is definitely my all the time daily home base for the past 8 years, but Texas will always be home seeing that’s where I’m from and where my entire family is. Music tho for me never really became a thing until about that same time (8 years ago). I’m a filmmaker / photographer and saw a rad show by my friends band “Birdfeeder” and ended up documenting them for about 4 years or so which being around them I started picking up instruments and just taught myself over time. I’ve never had any formal lessons, just played till my fingers hurt everyday and would come up with my own stuff just through hitting strings and finding the sounds I liked.

3. I had originally discovered your tunes through a short film shot with friends on a road trip to Death Valley CA. Complete with motorcycles, beer and an incredible sense of adventure. Do you draw inspiration from these experiences in the writing and production process?

filmmaking and making music videos has always been the funnest thing for me as a visual artist. Especially shooting on film (super 8) as it comes off very true and raw and gives you a sense of being there and makes you feel real with what your seeing and hearing. I always just hit record and basically freestyle it with the vocals and see what comes out. That particular album has so far been my favorite all around musically, lyrically, and recorded. I think I was just actually feeling a certain way then and it came across in the music without thinking too much and that’s what I really like about shooting with super 8 because it’s like a home video you see from parents 40-50 years ago- and when you add your own music to that, there’s no way you could be lying to yourself or anyone else- it’s timeless to you because it’s 100% your own creation and I think that’s rad.

4. Finally, when can we expect new tunes and possibly live shows?

bummer to say but there’s currently no live shows and I haven’t even been playing lately. I broke my hand pretty bad a few months ago from a motorcycle accident and had to have surgery with a few pins put in holding my thumb straight. I strangely picked up playing keyboard without a thumb while in a cast and did record a few songs that I’m going to put out on an album but just not sure when. Recording is and always will be something I’ll do until I die. I think it’s a good way to heal for yourself whenever your feeling certain ways. Music is so amazing and it’s so rad that you can pick up these things that make sounds, piece them all together and vocalize what your thinking / feeling and it makes you feel a way that you can’t always explain words

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