Whatever you may think, this isn’t your dad’s vision of bedroom indie rock, maniacally handled through 4-track recorders and set to tape. Or any kind of indie rock for that matter. No, this is something quite different with much more…power. Divide and Dissolve is a duo made up of Takiaya Reed and Sylvie Nehill and has released two albums, first with 2017’s Basic and the following year’s Abomination, both on DERO Arcade. This year, the band released the TFW 7″ single (Saddle-Creek) which expanded on the band’s sound even further. The music on the albums is direct power and sheer fury and will leave listeners thrust into oblivion, bombarded with beautifully dissonant notes as levels are set to 11. I caught up with the band from an undisclosed location to get a little more insight into the band and the music created.
So who are you really?
We are really nice and love organic, gluten-free, vegan food. We also love the Earth, trees, and nature.
What are your (personal or group) aspirations?
We aspire to leave the Earth in better condition than when we got here. Respect our ancestors, people, the Earth, water, and land back.
Where do you currently live and how’s that affected your energy and creative output?
That’s a really complicated question because of Covid-19, but generally, we both live in so-called Australia. Sylvie lives in the bush and Takiaya lives in the city.
The current dynamics of the States and the world in general seems to be much tenser than it has been in the past. You’ve been vocal about oppression, racism, white supremacy, genocide, etc. What measures do you feel need to be implemented immediately?
Decolonization now. Defunding and Dissolving police. Destruction of the carceral state. Land back IMMEDIATELY. Indigenous Sovereignty to be respected and fully acknowledged by colonizers. Recognition and abolition of slavery and reparations. The end of white supremacy. The end of the colonial project and its genocide.
The genre of explosiveness you’re music lies within rock has seemed to usually belong to a “boys club” of sorts. Do you find it challenging to explore music like this being women?
What is gender?
When did you first begin recording and playing live?
We both began recording and playing live for over 10 years. Sylvie started playing drums at 16 and Takiaya started playing saxophone in school band.
What would you like music listeners in the States to know about your music?
There is a lot of intention placed within this music. Our ancestors are very important to us and we demand a Black and Indigenous future. The only way this can happen is if we are without the colonial project and white supremacy. This is what our music is striving for and what we hope to reach towards.
How would you describe your sound and/or the genre it exists in/out of?
When is your next album dropping and how would you describe it to the casual listener?
Thoughts on ‘cancel culture’?
Cancel culture is an ineffective means. It is a relic of the carceral state because it encourages the ideology that people are disposable. Prisons should not exist. Instead of so-called canceling someone, there must be other alternatives even when someone has said something or done something that is utterly egregious. In order to participate in a transformative justice process though, we believe the person who has said or done something has to want to change their behavior and they also need a supportive person or persons around.
Cancel culture is inconsistent, unreliable, and unrealistic. The infrastructure or skill set in order to facilitate another process a lot of the time is nonexistent. People are exhausted and tired and maybe are not capable of holding space, another systemic issue.
The pandemic has changed the way we go about living. Positives or negatives?
There are a few positives and a few more negatives. It’s unacceptable people are dying because of greed, white supremacy, and colonization. It’s unacceptable how these aspects of life are affecting what type of inconsistent care different types of people are receiving.