By Benjamin S. Rossi
11:09 AM EST, November 28, 2012
If there is one thing Days Divide does not want to be, it's labeled — not by the music industry and not by their audience.
They aren't backed by a mainstream production label, nor do they fall under the stereotypical label of a "Christian band." They are Christians in a band, but they do not want to be put in a box. God shines through their music but the message is universal.
After a summer tour in Europe, the boys have returned home to Jessamine County.
In an acoustic performance, their sound can be likened to Edwin McCain with the resounding vocals of Kye Keefe.
But on their newest EP, “One World Apart: Chapter 1,” a five-song studio set with an added prologue, is a taste of the ’90s edge that can be heard ringing from guitarists Aaron Collins and Sam Jones, complemented by bassist Christopher Thornberry.
The band has been making waves for a few years and rode the tides of changing members and strife with music labels as they toured North America and Europe.
Keefe’s passion for music started for him when he first heard the band Creed, who he called “the band everyone loves to hate.”
At 10 years old, Creed’s music and the vocal styling of lead singer Scott Stapp inspired Keefe to pick up a guitar and start playing.
“Originally, I was only a guitar player, but in 2010 we were in Europe and our singer ended up having to go home right in the middle of that tour, so I was kind of thrown into it,” Keefe said. “We didn’t really have a choice, and when we got back I started taking vocal lessons, and here we are now.”
Now in his mid-20s, Keefe has taken over as lead vocalist and lyricist, composing the single off the band’s new EP, “Hold on to Me,” with Collins.
“The whole EP is a story, the way that we’ve told it, and the lyrics are from my personal experiences,” he said. “The song itself is about very insecure dating relationships and how people tend to hang on to each other when they need to be looking for security in themselves.”
Collins was a part of the writing process in “Hold on to Me” and said that he’s a ‘90s kid. He’s been playing since he was 12 years old.
“The first band that I really loved was Bush, with Gavin Rossdale — it connected with me,” Collins said. “Most of the bands that I’ve liked have come from that era.”
With Days Divide, Collins said that they do not consider themselves a philosophical band and have no intention to force their beliefs on anyone through their music. They’re as willing to tour through churches as they are bars and let their music speak for itself.
Collins’ guitar style is complemented by a recent addition and the youngest member of the band, 19-year-old Sam Jones.
“As cheesy as it sounds, Jimi Hendricks, that’s the cliché guitar god to look up to,” Jones said. “A more modern band though is the Red Hot Chili Peppers — (John) Frusciante, definitely Frusciante — Californiacation and Stadium Arcadium.”
From that band’s influence, Jones said he learned a guitarist does not have to do too much technically to create a presence and make a brilliant song.
In Days Divide, Jones said that the message behind the music is the integral part of why he loves playing with the other guys.
Rounding out the crew is a former guitarist turned bassist, Christopher Thornberry.
The most boisterous and humorous of the group, he’s easily identifiable by his 8-inch-long beard.
“I decided to be a man and not a boy; that’s a problem in America these days,” Thornberry said jokingly, stroking his beard. “I took one step forward and said I’d never shave again, I’ll never buy razors again — this economy has been too rough, can’t afford them — and I’ve never looked back since.”
On a serious note, Thornberry said the band never really began and has never really stopped in the traditional sense but that they’ve been playing together in one form or another for several years.
“Every week, every Sunday and Wednesday, for nine or 10 years now; it just became kind of a serious thing with shows sprinkled in between,” he said. “Tours became trips overseas, and it just snowballed into what it is today.”
Days Divide just returned from Germany, where they said they had an amazing experience.
“The music scene over there is not that same as it is here,” Thornberry said. “Here the music industry is just oversaturated, a lot with bad music, but it’s just oversaturated.”
The band is now back in the states promoting its new $5 EP, though they are struggling for funds and all the members have to maintain side jobs.
“We don’t want to be with a label; that’s why we created our own,” he said. “We produced and created our own CD with complete creative control, and “One World Apart” is called Chapter 1 because it’s just the beginning of the story we are telling.”
The band’s newest EP is available on their website, www.daysdividemusic.com.