Conquer Divide Q&A
1. Introduce yourself with your name and what you do in the band.
Kiarely – I’m Kiarely, and I sing clean vocals in Conquer Divide.
Kristen– My name is Kristen, I play guitar, and I am one of the founders and main songwriters in Conquer Divide.
2. Where did the band name Conquer Divide come from?
Kristen– The band name probably has different meanings for all of us. In my mind at least, it was partially about taking on the music industry. Its definitely been an uphill battle getting people to take us seriously as musicians, and many still don’t. They won’t believe it until they see it more or less and are quick to assume we are studio magic, which is a farce. The other side to that coin is the struggle we’ve endured even putting this band together. I’ve discovered it’s nearly impossible to find girls who not only like this style of music, but can play it, and play it well. Which is why after years of searching, we came from four states and two different countries (US/UK). So that’s where the name comes from. We are some of the most determined girls you will ever meet.
3. What first made you want to be in a band?
Kiarely– I’ve known my entire life that I wanted to be a performer. The first time I went to a rock concert solidified that for me. I knew I wanted to be on stage, looking out at all the faces and having an impact on an audience. But before CD, I did mostly solo stuff, and it was very nerve-wracking. When I heard about the band, I knew I HAD to do it because I would have a new family to share the stage with, instead of taking on the challenge alone. We all help each other grow, not only as musicians, but as a family.
4. Was your family supportive when you first started out?
Kiarely– I will admit, my mom was a little skeptical at first, mostly because she was nervous about me leaving New York to be in a new place with people she didn’t know very well. Once she met Kristen and Joey and heard our first song, she was extremely supportive. My dad has been doing music his whole life, so he was nothing but excited from day one. Once the initial jitteriness was gone, my family has been nothing but supportive of not only my decision to join the band, but my choice to start a life on my own in a new place as well.
Kristen– I come from a musical family, my dad and brother are drummers, my mom plays guitar, keyboard and sings. It was always around me growing up. They approved to an extent, but never really understood or cared for the screaming aspect, and thought that was best ‘left out,’ haha.
5. What were your first impressions of each other in the band?
Kiarely– The first time I met Kristen I was super nervous!! We had talked to each other a lot online before we actually met in person, so even though I felt like I already knew her, I was a little worried that it would be awkward once we were face to face. Luckily, it was totally cool, and we actually clicked right away. I met Sarah the next day, and she was so outgoing and straight forward that it felt like we had all been friends for years. Honestly, it was a miracle how well we meshed together! When I met Suzie, I was less nervous, because I had already been officially accepted into the band at that point. But because she is such a beast with her vocals, for some reason I had it in my head that she was going to be super scary! But she is actually a very soft spoken person! When we had our momentous meeting of all of us in the same room together, I finally met Tamara! I knew that she was a little more reserved than the rest of us, so I was more worried that she wouldn’t understand my humor and maybe think I was just weird, haha. Izzy joined around the same time I did, just over a year ago, and she is super funny! We actually all got a long so well, I don’t think it could have gone any better.
6. What was it like working with Joey Sturgis, who has worked with tons of influential artists such as Asking Alexandria and Of Mice & Men?
Kiarely– Oh my gosh! I was TERRIFIED to meet Joey!! I was super familiar with his work, and I knew he was a total perfectionist. He has a crazy ear for good music. Working with him in the studio is so awesome because of that though. His drive for that perfect sound is the total opposite of intimidating. He has a way of making you strive to be better when you work with him. One time, we were recording one of our songs and I asked him “Do you want me to do this in falsetto, or should I try to do it full voice?” I will never forget what he said to me: “I know you can do it. Don’t TRY to do it. Just do it.” Since then, every time we are working on music, I hear Joey’s voice in my head, saying those words. He is not only amazing at what he does, but also at pushing all of us to constantly be better. Working with him is truly an honor.
7. Who are some of your musical influences?
Kiarely– We all have totally different musical tastes. My biggest influences are Demi Lovato and Hayley Williams. I also love Fall Out Boy’s earlier albums, as well as Say Anything and Head Automatica. A few others that really help shape the way I sing and write songs are Tyler Carter, Envy On The Coast, Sleeping With Sirens and Katy Perry. I pretty much like all kinds of music, so I get inspiration from tons of places.
Kristen– There are so many, but a few include A Perfect Circle, 30 Seconds to Mars, August Burns Red, Parkway Drive, Between the Buried and Me, We Came as Romans, Tool, Deftones, and I also love the new Dayshell record.
8. Who do you think it would be cool to collaborate on a song with?
Kiarely– I would love to work with Kellin Quinn or Tyler Carter! I love both of their styles and Woe, Is Me and Sleeping With Sirens were really the first bands in this style that I listened to. I also think it would be super awesome to work with Devin and Andrew Oliver, because they both have great voices, and I love the direction that their music is going in.
9. What is the funniest or weirdest story about how a song came about?
Kristen– I don’t know if this counts or not towards your question… but as our album is still in the works, we haven’t picked real names for some of the songs yet, and we have one with a ‘working’ title called ” How many girls does it take to write a breakdown?”. We also got a lot of comments like ‘that’s a strange looking kitchen’ on our studio updates, so we joked about naming our album “From out of the Kitchen.”
10. How do you know when you’re completely done writing a song?
Kiarely– We all have different expectations for each song. Once we’ve all gone through the song over and over and worked out any kinks, we come to a unanimous decision about each particular part. Once we are ALL completely happy with it, we are done with the writing process! Then we take it over to Joey to have it officially recorded, mixed, and mastered, and then FINALLY it is complete!
Kristen– Adding to what Kia said, I never truly feel like a song is done. I’m a perfectionist, my own worst critic, and always feel like there’s room for improvement. But obviously we cant work on stuff forever; thats when I have to take a step back and hand it over to our producer for finishing touches.
11. Individually, what do you think your biggest strengths/talents are that you can contribute to the band?
Kiarely– I think my biggest strength is my writing. I have been writing lyrics and melodies my whole life, and I think that really helps. Kristen and I usually write together, and she is an amazing lyricist as well. Between the two of us, we usually come up with really cool stuff. When I write something and send it to Kristen, she puts tweaks on it, and I do the same when she sends me stuff that she’s written. It’s a really cool system and so far it seems like it’s working very well.
12. What has been the most difficult obstacle you’ve had to face as a band so far?
Kiarely– Our biggest obstacle as a band right now is the distance for sure. Luckily, we will be fixing that problem very soon with our last three members coming out to Michigan with us!
13. Anything else you’d like to say?
Kiarely– We are super excited to get this album done and start touring so we can show everyone that we are more than just studio magic. We hope people will keep an open mind when it comes to us. We are real musicians, and we are ready to blow y’all away!