Div Kid is a Portland pop/rock three-piece with its heart set right and its eyes on the prize. Creatively, the group is in full fire hydrant mode, churning out track after track in a local studio, with more sessions on the horizon in the fall. Div Kid knows the realistic uphill climb a young band faces, but pushes on knowing it just might hit it at the right time. Connecting with the community, with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground, the members bust big guitars, perfecting their pop vision.

GO caught up with Ty Drown (vocals and guitar) prior to the trio’s gig opening for Will Gattis at 9 p.m. Friday at the Big Easy in Portland. Find out about the EP, check dates or stream Div Kid at www.myspace.com/divkidmusic

How did Div Kid come about?

Div Kid started off as a project. I was in L.A. with my old band (The Fizz) and after that fell apart, I contacted Stefen (Samuals, drums) to see if he wanted to start a recording project. We grew up playing music together, so he was my first call. From there, it became more serious once we found a permanent bass player (Matt Shardlow).

As you’re recording this EP, are you learning more about the band’s identity as time passes? Or did you guys start with a clear vision and the EP is only the execution?

We started out as a four-piece, and about nine months ago we became a three-piece, so things had to change. We like to try new things — it keeps life exciting. I have massive A.D.D., so there are always 13 or 14 different ideas at once bouncing around in my head. Usually, it comes out all slurred together in a cute little mess. Stefen and Matt come up with their own ideas, clean it up and make it pretty. 

You’re making a video for “Careless Day.” Where and how are you going to distribute it? Does a young band need any and all types of media to generate buzz these days?

Well, does anyone know someone who works for MTV? No? We’ll probably do as much as we can on YouTube and other social networking sites to see if we can get it into a pair of million-dollar hands. Yes, a band is one of the hardest ways to make a living, because we are a dime a dozen. A CD has become just a business card. People want a visual too. A band needs to take the next step and make a video too. It will prove that you want it, that you really believe in your art.

How is life as a trio? Do you guys want a bigger sound, or does it help staying lean and mean?

It’s more challenging being a trio now. It’s much less forgiving. If you mess something up, everybody knows. There’s nothing to hide behind. But it would be cool to have a nice B3 organ sound in the mix. 

Once the EP is finished, what’s next? Traveling the world? A warm-up tour on the local circuit?

We all would love to do a little East Coast tour with a couple local bands for a few weeks. In December, we are going right back into the studio to record six or seven more songs. We have a bunch of material back-logged and want to keep up with it.

What’s Div Kid’s best memory from 2010 so far?

One of our highlights every year is the annual Rusty Rocket Foundation show, which benefits local music programs and students that are lacking sufficient funds to achieve their potential goals. For me, those values were instilled from my father when I was a kid. I know that when Matt joined the band he was coming from the band State Radio, which has a very socially-minded conscience. He jumped right on board with the idea, and since then it’s become a major priority to give back to the community whenever we can.

What Maine musicians do you look up to? With whom would you want to collaborate?

There are so many great musicians in Portland. I personally like to find bands I’ve never heard of before, like Will Gattis; before a few months ago, I had never heard of him. But after a show we played together, I’m a fan. Great songs! Portland has a big list of hidden gems! Grand Hotel, Tony McNaboe, Holy Boys Danger Club, Brenda, there are so many!

Describe the EP in five words or less.

It’s going to be called “Colors” based around emotions, so happy, sad, euphoria, pain, love. 

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.


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