Divided we stand
“It’s better than gonorrhea,” 26-year-old drummer Nate Wilkerson quips to alldivide lead singer Dave Zaski during a Sunday evening band practice. Zaski, 23, had been complaining about his sinuses. He said they were affecting his singing.
The band, founded by Zaski and 22-year-old guitarist Kyle Jones, has been around for almost three years. But members have come and gone, with Wilkerson replacing the former drummer, and 20-year-old Mark Zaski adding a keyboard to the set for the first time six months ago.
Self-described members in good standing of the “Anti-Cock-Rock Coalition,” alldivide is a heavy and melodic outfit.
Dave Zaski sings high-range vocals while the band alternates between musical harmony and elephant stomps from a mix of 25-year-old Jared Obregon’s bass and riffs of distortion from Jones’s heavy pick-hand. Transitions are abrupt. Often, Mark Zaski adds to the sound wall with the keyboard, adding a somewhat eerie feel to the slower parts of each song.
Wilkerson, who probably weighs about 140 pounds, rocks the hell out on the skins. His energy level is medically insane.
It’s a purposeful mix of unstable elements.
“On some level, I think we’re a musician’s band,” says Obregon.
As for Dave Zaski’s vocals, he recalls a guy at a show once saying, “You should sing more like the guy from Nickelback.”
“I almost hit that guy,” says Wilkerson.
Dave Zaski focuses more on writing than the sound of his vocals, and he prides himself on his lyrics being influenced more by everyday things, like books and movies, than by girls or lack thereof.
“We spend our time like spare change. And coax ourselves into these set ways,” he sings on the song “Window.”
The band has had conversations with New York’s Gotham Records. At one time, Dave Zaski says, alldivide was more of a scream band because the old drummer pushed for that. Even though the label liked the band, the screaming was a turn-off. But since picking up Wilkerson, they have moved away from the lung-collapsing vocals and are talking again with Gotham.
“We switched over to a more progressive sound, especially with the [addition of the] keyboards,” says Dave Zaski.
“We probably have different influences than most bands in town,” says Wilkerson.
While Jones cites heavy metal bands like Metallica as an influence, Wilkerson and Obregon both played jazz in high school. Dave Zaski brings up bands like Kaddisfly.
Alldivide has been performing live less than they used to, formerly doing four to eight shows a month.
“Reno’s a 21-and-over town,” says Dave Zaski, who thinks Reno’s youth are interested in local music.
The band recorded an EP awhile back but didn’t release it because they’d changed their sound. They plan on recording soon, and releasing a new EP next summer.