By Divine Right's Fresh Faces Carry the Essence

By Divine Right's Fresh Faces Carry the Essence
Two years ago, when asked what to expect with the new By Divine Right release, Jose Contreras said it would simply be just another BDR record. The founding singer/guitarist was accurate — on Good Morning Beautiful, all the elements are present, including the stunning songwriting, classic guitar riffs, and Contreras' own unique and soulful vocals. "It's completely uncensored," declares Contreras when speaking of his band's fourth release. "I didn't censor anything that came out of me because it didn't sound like the right thing to do at the time. It's like a wild garden and it's not like ‘I'm only going to grow these plants' or ‘I'm only going to sound like this.'"

Even though you'll recognise Good Morning Beautiful's familiar elements, listeners will also notice a progression of sound added to the ingredients that made Bless This Mess and All Hail Discordia melodic gems. "I think it's a logical next change," Contreras explains. "By Divine Right isn't a genre. It's not like you could choose one song or even three songs that are going to describe what we're about." Even finding three songs to sum up Good Morning Beautiful would be a task for anyone, for it's a brilliant collage of sweet love songs, optimistic pop hooks, and full-on rock'n'roll all bundled together. "By Divine Right isn't even about headspace," he adds. "It's a heart-space, or a soul-space. This record transcends and rises above form. The form is irrelevant."

One of the key ingredients to By Divine Right's musical elevation is a completely new line-up joining Contreras in blessing the masses with rock. Gone is founding member Mark Goldstein on drums, and enter John Hall, Dylan Hudecki, Colleen Hixenbaugh, and B2, swelling By Divine Right into a five-piece outfit. "Right now I have the most amazing and enthusiastic band," says Contreras, giving much praise for their pure energy and eagerness to build. "They're my equal as people as well as artists and musicians. They're willing to help me fulfil my vision. We want to survive a year of touring and the re-entry period of the studio that so many line-ups haven't survived."

The name of By Divine Right has had many faces come and go, but Contreras has always been the one to carry the flame and bear the song-crafting duties. With Good Morning Beautiful he's started to let light from other songwriters shine in, something he's always wanted from the beginning. "I listened to my first demo from 1989. It's been 12 years and By Divine Right is still going, and it's the same spirit. I make lots of other music, whether it's really experimental or non-form. By Divine Right is a rock and roll project with no boundaries or limitations," he smiles. "It's like a telegram service from whatever spirit has been visiting me." You can change the face or feel of By Divine Right, but that spirit will always shine through.