One of the most exciting new bands on the Victory Records imprint is Darkness Divided from San Antonio, Texas. While on tour supporting In Dying Arms, Darkness Divided made their way to the Cobalt Cafe and unleashed an exhilarating set – featuring songs culled from Written In Blood – their debut for Victory! We caught up with vocalist Gerard Mora just prior to their show to find out more about their impassioned new album, touring across the country with a brother or two in tow, being on Christian band on a secular tour, and other topics of interest. Read on…
Introduce yourself, what’s the most embarrassing song you have on your iPod?
I’m Gerard Mora and I sing for Darkness Divided. I actually don’t have an iPod anymore. I have this really bad Android phone because my other phone broke. I got this one for free. But, I don’t know man. I guess some of the most embarrassing stuff is the stuff I’ve recorded on my own [laughs], like acoustic stuff. Not necessarily embarrassing for me. but i’m sure it’s embarrassing to someone else. [laughs]
Can we expect an acoustic release one day?
Probably never [laughs].
How has tour been going so far, what have been some of the highlights?
It’s been really good. This is the first support tour we’ve ever done as a band. We had some trouble starting off, as we were driving in NJ our van lost its wheels, so we had to ditch our van in VA and get rental cars to start it off. But the shows have been great. The highlight for me was in PA, the PA show we played in Lemoyne. That was a really good show, there was a lot of people there. Kids came with our CD that they bought from FYE during our first week asking us to sign it. We’re a tiny little band in my head so the fact that kids knew about us when we showed up and we’re super far from home, it was pretty awesome experience.
Where do you call home and what is the local music scene like there?
We’re from San Antonio, TX. I love the scene there, it’s really great. We just had a hometown show there, over 500 kids came out. It was our CD release show. We have a lot of really good relationships with a lot of the promoters there. The kids are always excited when music comes through.
How did you wind up singing to Victory?
It was one of their A&R people that used to work for Victory. He was working there at the time, he heard our EP Chronicles that we put out in 2012 and he emailed us one day asking about it. He said it sounded sick and asked us what we had been doing the last couple of years. We were like, here we are. We sent him all our touring history, we had just put out our song “Remnants,” the music video through HM Magazine so we showed them that. I think that was a big selling point because in our opinions, it was miles ahead of what we did in Chronicles. It was leading into where the band was going musically and Victory was into it. That day he called me and asked me how fast we could get to Chicago. We went up there in 2 weeks after that day, it happened fast but it was cool.
Texas here, Chicago there.
It was right before Christmas too, the first week of December when we got that email and then we got there on the 19th of December and we met up with them for the first time.
Was it cold?
It was, it was snowing. We don’t see snow ever in San Antonio. It was forty something degrees. We just wore jackets and stuff, had a good time. Had snowball fights in St. Louis on the way there.
Is there any story or concept behind the title Written in Blood?
Yeah, it’s the idea, if you look at the album cover with the hands and everything, a lot of the theme and a lot of the lyrics for the album are finding hope through suffering. So, a lot of that is coming from the struggles in life. There’s things we go through and feel alone sometimes in our suffering but the concept of the cover and the idea of the album is that there are several hands to represent several different people. The things that we go through as people, other people have gone through before. You can find hope in your suffering because you know that there’s nothing new under the sun. You might be going through something right now that someone else has gone through before and you can help each other out. So we’re called as people to get through this all together, life, our suffering and struggle as one person, one body. We can always find hope that someone else has conquered this problem and that we can get through it ourselves too. Whether it be on our own or with other people or through the love of God, which are several themes that we believe as a band and as we try to portray in the album, through the cover and the title.
“The Hands That Bled” what are the stories behind the lyrics for that?
That one was cool because me and our guitar player (and my brother) Christopher collaborated on lyrics. For the most part I write a lot of the lyrics. But sometimes he pitches some ideas, so the idea is – the chorus says “my salvation was written in blood.” We believe in a love of Christ and a heaven and that everyone is open to salvation because Jesus Christ paid the price on the cross. So, that song is portraying that, but at the same time, there’s some lyrics in there that hint at when people are doubting or maybe not understanding. At the beginning it says, “they tell me divinity knows why my pain overflows.” That idea is, I’ve heard about God, if you dont know him or understand his love and you’re going through something. It’s like, man, how can there be a God when I’m suffering here? How can there be a God when I’m going through something, wouldn’t God fix that for me? Wouldn’t God make this path better? It’s like a little bit of a struggle going on in the beginning, but its the realization later on that God paid the price for us to have this hope and love that will get us through the struggle that we’re going through. Maybe we don’t see it all the time, and it doesn’t make sense in our head but everything happens for a reason. That’s what we believe. Through everything we’ve ever gone through, it works out. We can overcome the struggle and get past whatever we’re going through. We believe that because Jesus Christ loves us and that there’s this love in our life that helps us get through what we’re going through.
What’s the best / worst part working with your brother in the band?
I actually have two brothers in the band, [laughs]. I have a guitar player brother Christopher and the bass player Joseph, we’re all a year a part. Honestly, it’s a lot more good than bad. That’s weird, because every time someone asks me that question it’s like, oh I bet you all fight all the time. But, it’s an awesome experience. I guess because we’re so close in age we’ve always been really good friends growing up. To me, I don’t think I could ever be in a band with anyone else. They’re awesome musicians and awesome people. So they’re like my best friends in a non-cheesy way. But of course the bad things is, sometimes you have those moments where tensions get high. You know how to deal with them – because we’ve been living together all our lives except for the few years that we’re different colleges and stuff. You know what you have to say or bring up or do. It’s not necessarily easy when tensions get running, but for the most part we’re reasonable to an extent. We can get passed it. Whether it be a few little awkward times in the van for a bit, then we get over it. It’s probably more awkward for the people who aren’t brothers in the band. They have to deal with our little brother beefs whenever they do happen. Everyone is close,. It works out well.
If you could open for any band either now or from the past, who and why?
I feel like that’d be a different answer from everyone. I’ve always thought it’d be the coolest thing ever to play with Killswitch Engage. That’d be sick. They’re awesome and a lot of their music – I feel like we’d fit well on a bill with them. I know our guitar player Sebastian, is a huge Slipknot fan and I think that’d be his dream come true. He’s going to miss Slipknot when they come through our home town. They haven’t been there in so long, we’ll be on the road. For Chris, I know it’d be A7X. It’s different for everyone but Killswitch Engage would be the coolest ever.
Some of the bands you mentioned aren’t Christian bands, how do you feel about touring with bands who aren’t Christian bands?
That’s a big reason why we do what we do. We want to be on the road with – nothing against playing with Christian bands or anything, but as a band we try to have an open invitation for people who might be going through something. When we play with non-Christian bands, we want to be that light, that positive message in the night. It’s cool to be able to go on tour, we’re on tour with In Dying Arms right now and they’re great dudes. We just live two different lifestyles. It’s been nice to meet kids at shows that necessarily would not have come to a Darkness Divided concert because they’re not into what we talk about but they’re hearing it anyway. We’ve been meeting a lot of kids on this tour that have been like, hey I liked what you said on stage or I liked your music a lot. What’s it about? So, it’s not like – we’re not trying to be over-shoving or anything like that but when people ask about it, we invite them to talk to us. That’s what we want to do, we want to be as much in the secular world as the Christian world. We don’t want to preach to the choir.
Any messages for people who are reading this right now, who should check out your band?
Thanks if you’ve already checked out our band or picked up our CD. Obviously we couldn’t do what we do if it wasn’t for people supporting us. Thank you so much for being a part of this ministry. If you’re ever going through anything, don’t be afraid to message our band page, we love talking to people or add the members individually. Hit us up, we’d love to meet new people. We love helping people. Don’t be afraid, come hang out with us at a show, come talk to us online and hopefully we’ll see you soon.
Editor Notes: This concert was presented by Two Hearts Shows at the Cobalt Cafe on Canoga Park! Thanks John McCrary!
Darkness Divided is:
Gerard Mora – Vocals
Sebastian Elizondo – Guitar/Vocals
Christopher Mora – Guitar/Vocals
Joseph Mora – Bass
(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)
Darkness Divided on Facebook