So who are "Diviners"?

We are Kevin McGing and Philip Scott from Kildare, John Treacy from Naas

How did you meet?/ How did the band come about?

J. I suppose we met in Haydens in Naas during the 80's. It was a kind of music Mecca for bands of all sorts from the midlands and West Dublin. We all played in lots of different line ups and often ran into each other at gigs and quickly became friends. Kev and Scotty were old school mates and had already teamed up in Back to Scratch and The Love Junkies.

P. John joined one of the many guises of The Love Junkies, and I guess the relationship blossomed from there. The three of us featured again in The Frank Spencers, but that project was cut short as Kev had an opportunity to tour the world as sound engineer with Riverdance. He's multitalented, you see!

K. Anyway, about 18 months ago, we were all back on the scene and out for a few pints, decided to re-ignite the musical aspect of our relationship. So, we got together, decided to write some more songs and do some gigs. The friendship has always been there, and we were always regularly in touch, no matter what was going on in our lives individually. Our friendship is the big gel that makes us work so well as a band.

Tell me the background to production of your debut album?

K. We've all had many experiences of the recording process over the years, and I must say that experience has been a mix of good and bad. These days we know what we want ourselves, and we're confident that we're the best judges of our music. Basically, all we need is a comfortable space, in which we can write and capture the essence of the tunes at just the right time. That magical moment is absolutely vital.

P. Yeah, we found that, a lot of the time, the studio process sterilised the sound of the music; y'know, you're in there with this flashy gear, and instead of just playing your songs you get uptight, feel you have to perform a certain kind of way, and in the end the result is not what you wanted! This time we thought, well, sod that!

J. Kev being an experienced sound engineer is a real blessing, and the whole recording team, total three members, operates in harmony.
We got together in May last year and wrote and recorded the 10 songs on "Diviners", and lots of others, in the following 7 months.

How do "Diviners" go through the process of writing songs?

P. We've never found the song writing difficult. No rules as such, someone comes up with an idea, It can start with a lyric from me, or with a melody, take the song where it feels right to bring it, let it grow organically, and record it.

What/Who are the bands influences?

J. I'd have to give the usual stock answer, in that as a musician, I'm influenced by a variety of all the stuff I've ever heard. However, we're all admirers of lots of 70's and 80's music, from the Beatles to U2; I really like the way Phil Lynott wrote and sang, but at the moment Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Eminem are on my stereo a lot..!

P. Well, I grew up listening to the Beatles and they still influence me, also been listening to a lot of soul/gospel stuff recently..

K. We're in agreement that anyone who writes an honest, direct song is worth a listen in our book. I like that Neil Finn live album at the moment, and I love Ryan Adam's 'Gold' too

Philip writes all lyrics - tell me about the things, situations that you feel are worth writing about - What inspires you?

P. Everyday situations and the people that I live amongst. I like lyrics to be written in real language, using words that we all use everyday, somehow glued together, to move and connect to people.

After all, our song writing is storytelling and everyone love a good story!

The band isn't signed to a record company, then?

J. Not presently - Kevin and Scotty were signed before, and pursuing any record deal, at any price just to be able to say "We're signed" is not the best thing for the band or the songs.

P. With today's technology, you can do a lot of things for yourself, for example, we recorded our debut album and many of the demos leading up to it in our own homes. Our families and neighbours have infinite patience too, which is damned convenient.(Yeah, right!!)

K. We're lucky in that Kildare Community Network and DMG direct have been very helpful in assisting us to set up our website, and sell our CD online over the internet.
Don't get us wrong, a record deal is in no way ruled out, but we're concentrating on building up our own head of steam, and let's see what happens down the road.

What's the strategy for the getting your music to the world?

K. We mentioned that our website is up and running, which helps, but at this point in time not enough people know we exist!

J. Our main strategy is to do it the good old fashioned rock n' roll way of playing live to as many people as possible, as often as we can! We've a good few things in the pipeline over the next few months, including trips to Holland, as well as gigs all over Ireland.

P. We've entered a couple of songs into an international songwriters event in the States and feel confident about that, too.

People have various opinions on the state of the music business - let's have your take on it!

J. I feel that things have never been better, and at the same time, never been worse. There are loads of opportunities to get noticed, with the internet etc., and good live venues such as Whelan's and The Ruby Sessions in Dublin - The Cellar Bar in Galway. However, a lot of the focus of music these days is on marketing and packaging of music- not on the quality of the song, which is a pity. Take all these current releases with samples lifted from The Police or Gary Numan, or whoever. You must admit some of them are pretty thin without the samples. Why not go out and write your own classic??

Does the above apply to the Irish music scene?

P. Absolutely. We admire bands like The Sawdoctors and Aslan for doing it their own unique way. They may not be popular with certain aspects of the Irish Music "establishment", but a lot of punters out there are big fans…
Any band in Ireland, or anywhere for that matter, playing their own material has plenty of hard work to do, but that shouldn't frighten anyone. If you're committed and dedicated to your songs, that attitude will carry you a long way.

Where do you see "Diviners" in 12 months/5 years time?

K. Who knows? We may have landed the "big deal" mentioned earlier, but one thing that's definite, is that the three of us will still be writing songs together. We just enjoy the doing of it so much!!
Perhaps we'll have become the background songwriting talent for some other acts, and have to spend loads of time writing songs together in West Cork or Mayo, or even Barbados (laughs!).

Jaysus, I could handle a little pain like that! (more laughs!)

When can we expect the follow up album to "Diviners"?

P. Believe it or not, I'd say we've a bunch of very strong new songs already that'll be contending for a place on the next album.
We can't help it - we get together for a rehearsal to work on our live set, and the next thing someone pops up with a new vibe or an idea. If we were working against the clock, we'd easily have another good collection ready for next Christmas. As it is, we're more likely to wait until mid 2003 before releasing another album. We've got a lot of work to do in promoting what's already been created. We'll keep on writing and when we're ready, we'll draw the next album from an even bigger pool of material.
An EP release in between times isn't out of the question, either.

© diviners july 2002

Diviners are:
Kevin McGing
Philip Scott
John Treacy