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Music Buzz: Dearly Divided punk band from Oakland moves on up

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More stories from Yousif Kassab

Alan Alda
May 21, 2015
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Music Buzz: Dearly Divided punk band from Oakland moves on up

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Not all art is created equal: That’s the ugly truth.
A perfect testament is Oakland melodic punk band Dearly Divided.
The band, comprised of lead vocalist Jamie Cairns, bassist Brett Matthews, drummer Aaron Bruski and new lead guitarist Doug Young, has seen some trials and tribulations.
When the band initially formed over two years ago, it was a group of guys coming from other bands, each bringing his own kind of sound to the table.
“We were pretty much a mishmash of like three different bands at first,” Bruski said.
It wasn’t until Mathews was in the picture that the band emerged as it exists today. Matthews helped them trim the fat and coalesce their disparate sounds into one unified body.
“Brett came in… and was like ‘You guys need to choose one direction to go in,’” Cairns said.
This isn’t the most obvious image of a band coming into its own. It’s easy to let yourself think that great bands just woke up one day and knew what they wanted to be, but of course that’s not the case.
It’s an arduous process, but the band was better because of it.
“And to Brian’s credit, he didn’t like pout and cry about it, he went home and wrote ‘Chasing Shadows’,” Cairns said about former lead guitarist Brian Manter.
“Chasing Shadows” is a highlight of the band’s debut album.
Ever since the band found that definitive sound to go off of, everything else has fallen into place.
The band found Young through Craigslist, after which he quickly proved himself to be talented, learning the album almost in its entirety in a matter of days.
Young has since become an integral member of the band’s writing process as well. Cairns begins writing his songs on the piano, then comes to the band with a skeletal verse-chorus-verse structure, and the other members help flesh it out and bring the songs to their finished forms.
“Honestly the guys are more responsible for the songs’ arrangements than I am,” Cairns said.
The band just took a huge first step with the filming of their first music video for their song “’89″ which can be viewed here.
Bruski was instrumental in the filming process, bringing in the cameras used to film the video.
Getting signed was its own ordeal.
“We got some offers from labels…but what was being offered to us to give this thing away was pretty minimal compared to what it was worth,” Bruski said.
This led them to start their own record label “45th Parallel Records.”
Surprisingly enough, some of their biggest supporters are not from the U.S.
They’re getting a lot of feedback from Brazil, Serbia and other parts of Europe.
The band recently played its first San Jose show at the Rockshop. Aside from that, they frequently play shows around San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland.
Last summer, the band released their self-titled debut album. The band plays at Thee Parkside in San Francisco on March 22 with Swimmers (formerly Emily’s Army), and the Caravan in San Jose on March 28.
You can also find their album in a myriad of places including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, their Bandcamp, their official site dearlydivided.net and, of course, their record label’s website 45thparallelrecords.bigcartel.com.
You can also follow the band via their Facebook page.

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