Listen to the entire interview HERE!
The rising rock band gives an inside look at welcoming fans into their spooky world.
Goth horror band Dark Divine— comprised of vocalist Anthony Martinez, guitarists Jason Thomas and Robby Lynch, drummer Triston Blaize, and bassist Jarret Robinson— is the picture of contentment, a contrast from the skin-chilling world of tension, expertly supplied controlled screams and clean vocals, and spooky aesthetic that makes up the group’s discography. Excited as they sit down to discuss their upcoming EP Halloweentown, out on September 30th via Invogue Records, on Zoom with Substream, the band is grateful to be where they are in their career. “When we started out doing this, we didn’t expect the response to be as good as it’s been. We were just a bunch of friends writing music and really enjoyed the horror genre and the metal genre. For all of it to come together the way that it did, it’s been absolutely surreal. says Lynch.
Formed in Orlando, FL in April 2021, the hard rock band shot to virality after appearing in the open verseTik-Tok challenge hosted by metalcore outfit Motionless in White. However, Florida’s rock scene is responsible for the band’s composition. According to Lynch, all of the members were “local to the Orlando music scene” — Lynch hails from Tampa and is the only member who’s not in that area’s scene— and “we decided it would be cool to set up a supergroup of local musicians. One day at practice, we realized we decided to mesh the two (horror and metal) together as we’ve seen it be done in the past with other bands. It was a golden opportunity to see what we could do with it.” Showcasing horror in a theatrical manner is more than a part of the band’s artistry. It’s specifically Lynch’s thing: he jokes that the band has to “calm him down” as he’s the one member who has ideas that aren’t in the band’s budget. In addition to releasing their debut EP, the band went on tour— a first for some members of the group— with post-hardcore group Famous Last Words this summer.
In these highlights of the band sitting down with Substream, they discuss the inspiration for their new single “Run Away”, achieving viral fame, and more.
On the inspiration behind their latest single “Run Away”:
Martinez: “I definitely, like with anybody, have past demons that are constantly— you’re sitting down and doing nothing at your house, and all of a sudden a thought pops into your mind, like some crap that may have happened to you or involves you, and you feel scared, that’s the sort of feeling I wanted to personify as someone being chased by thoughts, past demons, or past emotions. What better way to vividly describe that than a person with a chainsaw?
In a lot of social situations, it’s a nightmare to have a crazy emotion pop into your head out of nowhere.
Lynch: Anxiety is the saw. (laughs)
On touring with Famous Last Words:
Martinez: I can’t speak for everyone because it wasn’t my first tour as an artist at all, but I know that it was definitely one of the greatest show experiences I’ve ever gone on. I’ve been to shows where you have a couple of people in the audience who know you. This is the first time where we saw people from different states, from different towns that knew us. That’s the first time I’ve experienced anything like that.
Blaize: I know Robby [Lynch] hasn’t been on tour, that was his first tour as well. I had been on a tour back in 2017. It was so long ago—I was fresh out of high school— and it was one of those situations where it wasn’t a smart decision to go on tour, financially and everything. We didn’t have much of a reach. But it was a great experience in that it did help me understand the process and what to expect. So, coming into this tour, it was nice to have an idea of what it would be like. But it ended up being a way better experience because we had a better team, we had great people. As Anthony was saying, it was such a shock to go to all these cities and see people singing our songs. [It was great to see] some people that we know on social media who we message all the time and meet in person, to connect with people. It was just an amazing first-time experience and it just gets us excited for the future because if it’s like that from the get-go, I can’t imagine [what would happen] as we progress.
Lynch: Going on tour, especially with this being my first tour ever, it was really cool to see the support that we receive online through all of our social media. But then to actually see it in person is to the point where we even had people driving hours on end just to come to see us, meet us, and support what we’re doing, that’s a feeling that can never be replaced. That was probably the best part about going on tour. Also, getting to hang out with my buddies all day. We get on each other’s nerves here and there. (laughs)
Martinez: I’ll also say that we’ve been anxious to play live this entire time, ever since the debut of “Halloweentown.” It’s been a good year in the making, this live show. So to finally put it on stage and finally see it come to fruition is such a gratifying thing. We worked our asses off behind the scenes so now we can finally put some stuff into the light and show people.
On how Tik-Tok and social media have helped their rise to fame:
Martinez: We definitely started to really gain traction on TikTok. Before that challenge, one of our videos, “The Fear”, that kind of started to blow up a little bit, and people really responded well to that. We’ve always gotten compared to Motionless In White in general. Also, the music content is similar. So, we share a lot of their fans and when that challenge came out, it was a beautiful thing to be able to participate with someone who I consider an influence. It allowed us to broadcast our stuff to people who I definitely think would like us. That challenge definitely spread Dark Divine’s name. I think it’s at 1.2 million views right now, and that’s all [made up of] people who like that music or feel. I’ve always said that whether I win this competition or not, I think we’ve already won in terms of broadcasting ourselves to an audience that definitely likes that music. It’s been amazing and has opened up so many opportunities for us. TikTok is the reason we got signed, the reason that we’re involved with the people we are now. It’s an amazing tool for everyone and has made a community out of our fanbase.
On what fans can expect from their upcoming EP:
Martinez: It’s gonna be comprised of some songs that you’ve already heard and some songs that haven’t been heard. It’s gonna be a combination of spooky imagery surrounded by some emotional concepts that can be taken to heart. I definitely think some of the unreleased songs houses that imagery wrapped around deep, meaningful content. Hopefully, there’s something for everybody. We definitely cover a lot of bases as far as what people could listen to. Some people like this more than that [weighing options] and that’s what we want, some variety.
Blaize: With the horror movies and stuff like that, there’s some spooky stuff we do. But, we’re also big fans of movies in general so Anthony’s really good at conveying emotions as well. Some of these emotions you feel in “Hereditary”, there’s a deep depression type of vibe and we incorporate not just the visual aspect but also some of the feelings that you would see in those types of films as well. The EP really ties in with our spooky imagery with a layer of emotional depth underneath it.
Lynch: With the EP coming out, the one thing I’m ecstatic about is almost every song, regardless of what we were aiming for, we stayed true to ourselves. As artists and musicians, you may want to appease others. That’s kind of what you’re there for. But we continue to appease ourselves by sticking to the eerie style design that we’ve been going with and I think that stands out very much throughout the sound of Dark Divine. I think that when you hear our songs, you know it’s Dark Divine. So, staying true to who we are and our sound as musicians and as a band is going to be my favorite part of this EP release.