- If you think Indy writers are hot, say it loud and say it proud, OK?
Dino Cazares thinks I'm hot.
Even though he has no idea what I look like, the guitarist of Divine Heresy has made a point of telling me several times that I sound "incredibly hot" over the phone. (Note to self: Always conduct interviews while recovering from a cold.)
Eventually I hear about Divine Heresy, Cazares' work in progress since 2002. After a rift caused him to leave Fear Factory (a band he helped create), Cazares was still tied to Roadrunner Records, which wanted him to make "something light."
Little problem: The guitarist's previous work came in Spanish death metal bands Brujeria and Asesino (whose lyrics focused on violence, Satanism and death).
So Cazares asked the label to let him go. Surprisingly, it did.
"I was a free agent," Cazares says, "and I set out to put together a killer band."
He took his time, wanting to find the best guys. In 2005, he was introduced to drummer Tim Yeung, whose projects included Vital Remains and Hate Eternal.
"He's an amazing drummer," Cazares says. "I knew right away he was gonna be the first guy."
Together Yeung and Cazares set out to find an equal-caliber singer. After sitting through a lot of mediocre auditions, Cazares learned about Tommy Vext from Robert Kampf of Century Media Records. Vext, with no prior recording experience, was a new kid, but his brutal, earsplitting style was exactly what Cazares was looking for.
"He can scream, but he can also be very melodic," Cazares says. "He's very well-rounded, and we didn't want any limitations for this band."
Before long, Cazares, Yeung and Vext started recording demos, and they were almost immediately signed with Century Media. Earlier this year, they recorded their first album, Bleed the Fifth. The lyrics deal with a variety of issues including global warming, world disasters and 9/11.
"[These events are] a sign, to open our eyes and make a change," Cazares says.
With no bass player meeting their standards at the time, Cazares recorded the bass lines on Bleed the Fifth himself. Shortly after recording the album, however, Cazares received a phone call from Joe Payne of the death metal band Nile. Shortly thereafter, Divine Heresy had its final member.
Now, the full lineup of Divine Heresy is touring with Static-X, Shadows Fall and 3 Inches of Blood, a schedule that has them performing almost every night. In the next two months, Divine Heresy will headline its own tour, join up with Chimaira for a few shows, and then head to Europe. After a Christmas break, another full tour is on the horizon.
"We're not a commercial hip-hop band," says Cazares. "So, in order for us to sell records, we have to go out and play for people. We're a new band and we're growing strong there's some buzz on us."
That buzz includes exposure on MTV's Headbangers Ball and Sirius Satellite Radio. But, according to Cazares, his band's live shows grab the most attention.
"We need to be out there as much as possible, physically be a presence and win over as many fans as we possibly can," Cazares says. "That's the only way we're gonna grow."
And growing sounds pretty hot.
Divine Heresy with Alabaster Morgue and The Wake of Suffering
The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 day-of-show, all ages; visit ticketweb.com or call 866/468-7621.