Metal couple Sven de Caluwé (Aborted) and Miri Milman (Distorted) are the faces of melodic death crew System Divide but just how do they separate the professional from the personal. I get the lowdown on the multi-national act responsible for 2010′s The Conscious Sedation.
17th February 2011
rushonrock: First of all, how do you both (Miri and Sven) find being in a band together?
Miri: Sharing a business with your family isn’t always easy, it has its ups and downs of course but it’s mostly fun! Touring together, sharing the stage together it’s an unusual experience and I’m happy to be able to have that with my husband.
Sven: It’s interesting for sure, and it definitely helps to not be separated from your other half when you are on the road.
rushonrock: In what ways do you complement each other when it comes to creativity?
Miri: First of all I think our voices work really work together, we create vocals patterns that allow each of us to have enough space to express our uniqueness, we sing together when the riff requires a certain emphasis and we mainly try to bring that intimate chemistry that feels so genuine because we are partners in life.
Sven: I definitely feel a lot of chemistry. Also yes, I do believe our voices and all fit very uniquely together in a way.
rushonrock: You must have been looking forward to touring last year – how was it in Canada?
Miri: It was my first long tour, first time in Canada and first time the band actually had more than one show so it was special in many ways. Touring means putting a lot of efforts and hard work but also doing what you love – being on stage, meeting fans and seeing new places and cultures every day.
rushonrock: Could you tell us a little about the new album name?
Miri: The Conscious Sedation is a state of mind: being unsatisfied with your life without willing to do anything to change it, being focused only in your own bubble and not caring for anything that happens outside, mainly being very apathetic to everything that happens around you. What I love about The Conscious Sedation is its ability to fuse different styles that don’t usually see eye to eye.
rushonrock: When you’re making the songs, does it feel like a natural process to you?
Miri: All the members in the band come from a different musical background, everyone brings his own knowledge and enlightenment into the music of System Divide and together we create that fusion. When we wrote The Conscious Sedation, the process felt natural most of the time, of course there were some parts that needed some adjustments or getting used to for example: Sven had to get used having some soft and poppy clean vocals and I had to get used to some of the drum parts etc, It’s all related to the fact that we’re all coming from such a different musical and cultural background but fortunately we are very pleased with the end result.
rushonrock: Are there any artists that have had a profound influence upon you and what bands are you listening to at the minute?
Miri: As a musician it’s very important to do something unique, you can be influenced by the artists you love and be inspired by them but you most definitely need to keep loyalty to yourself and be yourself, there’s no point to imitate an artist or to try to sound like him, just take the good qualities you like about him and adjust it on yourself, that way you can stay yourself and do something you love. Lately I find myself listening to a lot of different types of music. One morning I feel like the new Dimmu Borgir and the other morning I feel like listening to some old songs from the 80s or Portuguese music. I try not to limit myself with types of music.
rushonrock: Sven, does your work with Aborted represent something entirely different than System Divide?
Sven: Obviously it does, it’s completely different music, concept and vocal wise for me, I am using less aggressive vocals and less gutturals than I do in Aborted, because well, why would I want to sound exactly the same in both bands? The newer stuff will have a lot more vocal experimentation for sure, You can def hear its me but its still different enough from Aborted you know? Aborted is a death metal band, this band is going to be doing a lot more experimenting and paves a lot of new ways for me that Aborted doesn’t have to. I don’t want to turn Aborted into something what its not and it should remain a death metal band and stay true to its origins, System Divide is there to quench the thirst for perhaps more melodic or wider aspects in metal for me.
rushonrock: Does any band take priority?
Sven: No, both are equal, if there is a conflict of agenda then we just take time and both bands discuss simply what is more important at that time for which band. Usually one tour/activity has a bit more priority than the other so it works out without too many problems. We are all friends in both bands so it makes it easy to come to a friendly understanding.
rushonrock: Lastly, what’s next for System Divide?
Miri: We have a lot of plans for 2011. we’re starting with a US tour this month and then some shows in Japan in March and hopefully a summer tour in Europe and the US again. We are open to tour with any type of band.
Sven: Yes, we are also open to sell lemonade at shows, please approach us and give us your money, that is all!