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Old 08-20-2006, 03:44 PM   #1
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killing spree records interview w/ JJ from vile/divine rapture

brand new interview w/ JJ!

1. What's new with Divine Rapture?

Well we're going to be recording the new record titled 'Revolution'. We just need to get schedules straight and mobilize everyone because we're all in various other bands as well.

2. How and when did Divine Rapture begin?

It actually began sometime around '95 but then we took a short break and reconvened around '98 to do our first record which was self-titled. It was just me and Mike with a drum machine. After that Babak joined the band, and we played with a few drummers including
Brian Deal (Polterchrist) and Justin DiPinto (Mortal Decay, Malevolent Creation...). In 2001, we recorded a 3-song promo at Erik Rutan's studio. He had just started and we were his first client in that building. He introduced us to Colin Davis (Vile) who mastered that promo. During that whole time we played with the likes of Deicide, In Flames, Mortician and other bands and did a lot of festivals, compilations and splits. We were on a Morbid Angel tribute called Tryants of the Abyss alongside the likes of Zyklon, Vader, Krisiun etc. It was released by Hammerheart (Europe) and Necropolis (U.S.) records. Then we did 'The Burning Passion' and signed to Listenable Records. And that brings us to today.

A couple of interesting DR facts:
1) we were the first band to play Milwaukee Metalfest twice in the same year in '99.
2) We played MM 2000 with two drummers.
3) We played MM 2001 with no drummer. Also it was funny because Vile was on right after us that year.

3. Can you tell me a little bit about each Divine Rapture release?

The major releases are:

"Divine Rapture"
'99 Self-Titled debut
Tracked, Mixed and Mastered by Justin Madax, PA
This is an early version of DR with totally different song writing than we have today. It was just me (guitar, bass, music, drum programming) and Mike (vox, lyrics, art). The second half of the record is the songs from the first half played backwards. People always wonder why we did that and I say 'BECAUSE IT RULES!!!' If you take the second half as a NEW record altogether and think of those songs as brand new songs, they are pummelling! Listen to the second half as if it were a new record. There's also a hidden meditation track and a music video that we produced ourselves. It's for an early version of 'Black Moon Harvest'.

"Promo 2001"
Tracked and Mixed by Erik Rutan ; Mastered by Colin Davis
We went to Tampa FL to record this at Erik's first incarnation of his studio. All 3 songs from this promo are on 'The Burning Passion'. The line-up was Mike: vox and art, Me: lead and rhythm guitar and bass, Babak Davodian: lead and rhythm guitar, Justin DiPinto: Drums.

"Tyrants From the Abyss: A Tribute to Morbid Angel"
Tracked and Mixed by Ron Vento at Nightsky Studios, MD ; Mastered by Babak Davodian at Transcending Music Studios, NY
We recorded a version of World of Shit for this album. We added a lot of DR elements to it and beefed it up. We always try to create something new with tributes instead of playing the exact same thing you would hear on the original record. The bands on this record included Zyklon, Vader, Krisiun, Angel Corpse, Diabolic, Behemoth and others. It was released by Hammerheart Records (Europe) and Necropolis Records (U.S.). It was licensed from Hellspawn Records (Sweden). The line-up was Mike: vox, Me: lead and rhythm guitar, Babak Davodian: lead and rhythm guitar and bass, Justin DiPinto: Drums.

"Together As One: A Tribute to Death"
Tracked, Mixed and Mastered by Babak Davodian at Transcending Music Studios, NY
We recorded a version of Pull The Plug that sounds very different from the original. There are new harmonies, new solos and blasting and I'm very proud of the music itself. I think it's a fitting tribute. It was released by Mondongo Canibale (Spain). The line-up was Mike: vox, Me: Lead and rhythm guitar and drums, Babak: Lead guitar, Ryan Moll: Bass.

"The Burning Passion"
Tracked by Ron Vento at Nightsky Studios, MD ; Mixed and Mastered by Babak Davodian at Transcending Music Studios, NY
This is the greatest of all the DR material so far. If you're going to check out anything, check out this one. It was released by Listenable Records and exclusively distributed for Listenable in the U.S. by The End Records. The song writing is much more open on this record and includes a mix of black and death metal as well some swedish influences. At least that's what the reviews have been using to describe it. The line-up was Mike: vox and art, Me: Lead and rhythm guitars and drums, Babak: Lead guitar, Ryan: Bass. There's some additional keys and guitar synth I performed on this one too. Go to either or and check out the review from Moonzine Brazil. It's freakin great!

ON THE WAY!!! This will be an even larger step in the direction of DR with a mix of progressive death and black metal, new age as well as brutal death!

4. What are your major influences?

I listen to a lot of different styles of music - mostly jazz and death metal. I'm not really into anything in particular right now. I got Sirius and have been listening to the jazz and metal stations. I don't know how long I'm going to keep that though because the sound quality is poor - too compressed. My style is constantly changing because I keep trying to push myself so I guess the influences change (if you want to call them influences). Revolution is going to have a Divine Rapture feel, but will sound a lot different than
The Burning Passion.

5. Has anyone in Divine Rapture been in any previous bands? Any current side bands/projects?

Wow did you open the flood gates! We've all been in a variety of projects. Myself and Mike play in Vile ( now. We've done two tours with them and Colin has expressed interest in doing more tours as well as the next album with us. I play lead guitar in that. Mike has his own techno/industrial/experimental/death metal project called Azure Emote ( Ryan has been playing guitar in a band signed to Relapse Records called Rumpelstiltskin Grinder ( Babak has been playing bass in a North Jersey metal band called Randall Flagg ( and has been creating a few other projects as well such as Deeve (on which I play drums). If you check my website,, all my projects are on there. I play drums for a North Jersey band called Mourning ( I sometimes play live drums for a grindcore band called XXX Maniak though I haven't played with them for awhile because I've been on tour with Vile. I play drums and write on guitar for a top-secret black metal project. And of course I play lead guitars in Divine Rapture (me and Mike's baby). I'm also an endorsee of D'addario strings and Dimarzio pickups.
Mike has an artwork business called Visual Darkness ( where he does layouts and art for cds, shirts, logos, banners, etc. He's done a few things of note including the last Mortician album and the last XXX Maniak album.

6. Will you guys be touring or recording soon?

Yep, the album 'Revolution' is on the way!!! Hopefully end of this year.

7. If you could tour with any 5 bands of your choice, who would you pick?

Cannibal Corpse, Dimmu Borgir, Strapping Young Lad, Scarve, Hate Eternal or Morbid Angel. I'd like to tour with more than that though!

8. How would you describe your sound? How would you describe your live show?

I'd describe it as very open and very full. Also, there's a lot going on musically without being a mish-mash of riffs. It reminds me of what some of the classic rock bands were able to accomplish. It's not technical for the sake of technicality (Damn I hate that word because the metal realm uses 'technical' in a very strange fashion). It's music!!! It's beautiful Liquid Energy!!

9. Besides playing brutal music, what do you do for fun?

Beach!! Being from the Philly area, I have access to the whole Jersey coast. Eat new foods I never tried! Love odd foods from other cultures. Educate myself in things I'd like to learn. That's fun for me! Other than that, everything else I like to do (travel to see and understand different cultures and play guitar and drums) is all tied in with my musical life.

10. Any final comments?

Yeah check out That will have the most up-to-date info on all of my endeavors. Also don't forget that the 'REVOLUTION' is on the way!!!! SEE YOU ALL AT THE VILE AND DIVINE RAPTURE SHOWS!!!
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Old 08-21-2006, 05:36 PM   #2
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Good interview !

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