By: Ken McGrath
When you’re a brand-new band about to release your debut in the wilderness of music stores, it can be a pretty nerve-wracking time. Will people accept it? Will they like it? Hey, will they even hear it? When you’re in Divine Heresy you can be answer one of those questions very quickly—the last and probably the most important one. They’ll hear about it. They’ll want to check it out and give it a shot. They’ll more than likely really enjoy it too.
Why? What makes Divine Heresy such a guaranteed draw? Adjust your eyes and watch as three figures emerge from the shadows. The singer, Tommy Vext, you’re not going to know, but right behind him is drummer Tim Yeung, one-time Hate Eternal and Vital Remains sticks man. He also earned himself the title of world’s fastest drummer in the fastest feet category in 2006. He hit 872 bass drums hits in one minute. Beside him? That’s Dino Cazares. You might recognize him from his time in Fear Factory. A time that seems like a long-time ago now at this stage—a time before they got really shitty.
Well, Cazares is back. He’s brought a plateful of chunky riffs, and being a big man, he’s got a very large plate. He hasn’t just stomped his trademark staccato playing all over it though. Yeung’s super-fast, death metal clicks and Vext’s Mark Hunter-cross-bred-with-Phil Anselmo-vocals muscle their way well into the mix, lending the album a feel of something familiar yet fresh.
Taking some time out from his preparations before the album "Bleed The Fifth," hits, Yeung opened the lid on Divine Heresy, allowing a brief look inside at the soul of this new machine.
Blistering: Can you give us an idea of how Divine Heresy came together?
Tim Yeung: The band basically came together when me and Dino started jamming in 2005 around June or July. We had written some material. Just me and Dino were working on it. He had some stuff before hand, before I came into the picture, a couple of riffs and some material. Then we got together and worked on some more songs. We’d found our singer, Tommy Vext, through a couple of reputable people in the music industry, he was recommended to us quite a few times. Tommy came in February 2006 and we’ve just been writing pretty much since he came in. We’ve just been working on it and working on it.
Blistering: So was it Dino’s project to begin with then?
Yeung: Like I said, Dino had some material done before he was working with me and Tommy, although at the time Divine Heresy didn’t have a name or anything like that. Definitely there was a lot of creative input from both me and Tommy. Dino started before us, but both me and Tommy had a lot of impact on the material of course.
Blistering: When you first got together did you intend on putting something proper together or were you just jamming?
Yeung: We knew exactly what we wanted to capture musically. We [he and Cazares] both had the same vision. All three of us had the same vision of what we wanted musically and artistically, and as well as all of us coming from different backgrounds that helped the sound a lot more.
Blistering: When Tommy came into the picture, did you ever think it was a risk bringing in an unknown, especially looking at your backgrounds in Hate Eternal, Vital Remains and Fear Factory?
Yeung: Nah, not necessarily actually. I mean, Dino’s background and his résumé is very big and very, very reputable. But in general who had more or less experience wasn’t really an issue. We were more than anything trying to capture, or trying to find, the right people that wanted to take it to the level. Everyone just really had to be on the same page.
Blistering: You mentioned that you have been working on material since mid-2005. You took your time getting around to getting the album completed.
Yeung: Definitely. The writing process took a while. We really took a lot of time with the writing, the song arrangements and everything. Some of the songs were rewritten like three, four times. We’d go back and rewrite to make sure everything was pretty much well-thought-out and everything was worked out. That all the bugs were worked out.