We are Father Divine, and we apologize. We are only a band. We are a band that makes music for the sake of personal fulfillment and not commercial success. Hell, it would be nice to sell a record or two here and there but, in the final analysis, so long as our day jobs keep the electricity on, we couldn’t care less about appealing to anyone in order to indulge in the last death throes of the “music industry.” We have been told by those “in the know” about the irregular structure of our songs, about the opaque nature of our melodies, about the tonal harshness of our various instruments, and about the esoteric and often confusing manner of our lyrics. Indeed, our lack of commercial potential has been brought to our attention, we have considered it thoroughly, and have decided to continue to write and perform songs as we damn well please. Good for us. We did have a VP from a major label approach us once with the assurance that, if we signed with him, not a note of our music would be changed. No shit. Two weeks into our courtship with this slob, in a manner befitting a Jay McInerney novel, he went into rehab for a several-thousand-dollars-a-week coke habit and was never heard from again. After that, we figured “fuck pop sensibilities.”
That being said, we do not indulge in completely inaccessible musical masturbation to appeal to pseudo-intellectual, artsy-fartsy types, or to jack off our own egos at the notion of a 22-minute piece for pawn-shop piano and dog whistle. We find this type of crass posturing more offensive than any $.50 or Encunbus or Creeed or John Mayor record. In light of a culture that demands either lowbrow titillation or shameful pandering from its artists, and for our total lack of consideration for your tastes and sensibilities, again we apologize. If, by chance, the only thing that matters to you is musical quality, then, by all means, buy a Father Divine album.
Quite often, many artists feel the need to impose their uninformed and culturally biased opinions on their fan bases in an attempt to appear “socially conscious” and “politically active.” While some sycophantic types enjoy this kind of bullshit, for the most part, fans of music find this sort of thing nauseating, yet simply endure the vapid preachings of a performer during a show in the hopes that “Born to Run is next.” Similarly, nothing is more loathsome and insulting than a band putting out an album whose liner notes and song lyrics read like a first-semester sociology major’s Chomsky-or Rand-induced musings, fit with all the condescending trimmings one might imagine. Sadly enough, fuckheads such as these actually believe their music can change the fucking world. No shit. We, the mean-spirited iconoclasts in Father Divine, have the good sense to know that songs are as useful at effecting social change as they are at diverting the path of on oncoming category-five hurricane. While the members of Father Divine have opinions on a great many things, and while some of the songs in our repertoire could even be considered topical, we have never gotten our kicks preaching to anyone about anything. To quote our previous bio:
“Being neither technophiles nor Luddites, and having neither secular nor ecclesiastical agendas to push, FATHER DIVINE couldn’t give a rat’s ass if the vast majority of mankind finds itself mindless and switched off, prostrate before the TV, the computer, the altar, the analyst, et al. They do, however, find the notion of a world completely commercialized and monoculturistic as appealing as a Michael Bolton rendition of Dead Skin Mask. Accordingly, they do see the fight for “freedom” in all its forms (FREE parking at Walmart, FREE refills at Starbucks, tax-FREE status for Halliburton) as a noble struggle, but not one that should be undertaken by anyone WHO HAS A FUCKING BRAIN IN HIS HEAD. What price cheap sneakers? Conversely, FATHER DIVINE do not shake in their boots at postmodern, fear-inducing bromides such as “peak oil” and the “bird flu,” as these dilemmas pale in comparison when measured up to that most insidious of scourges, HUMAN FUCKING STUPIDITY. While saving the world means as much to them as achieving commercial success, FATHER DIVINE will do their share at this most pivotal of times by making uncompromising, engaging, and honest music to shake you out of your stupor. What you do after awaking is your damn business.”
Pretty cool, huh? Now if you’re looking for some self-absorbed asshole with a microphone and a guitar to tell you how to vote, how to think, or how to regard an issue, you had best familiarize yourself with the Sting or Don Henley catalog or some fucked-up shit like that. Again, for not being a sociopolitical weather vane for you, we apologize. Of course, if lyrical content that is thought provoking without being pedantic or blatantly overstated floats your boat, by all means, dig into what Father Divine has to say.
Lastly, we at Father Divine wholeheartedly reject the notion that music and it’s performance should somehow serve in a subordinate capacity as a backdrop for social cliques or fashion trends; those seeking some neo-acid test or post modern factory scene at a Father Divine show will be sadly disappointed. Accordingly, in Father Divine, one will not find a barometer for style or hipness, as things like cool hairdos, rad clothes, or hip-speak, and words like “indie,” “emo,” or “Williamsburg” mean next to nothing to us and haven’t nearly the hold on our minds that a vintage Moog synthesizer, a Hohner Clavinet, a Travis Bean guitar, or a vinyl copy of Songs About Fucking has. The only attributes one needs to enjoy a Father Divine gig is a set of discriminating ears and a capacity for joy. We also detest the idea that bands should somehow create alliances based on geographics, demographics, or aesthetic similarity to facilitate some sort of collectivist approach to music in order to make a “scene” or “movement.” Fuck that shit. At the risk of offending our friends in rural America, we figure the world has its share of incest—artistic or otherwise—and we just won’t take part. We know very few musicians we would consider friends, and have even fewer friends that we would consider musicians—this isn’t 1990s Seattle, asshole; strap on that Fender Jaguar and boot heroin elsewhere. In the face of unabated theft of intellectual property and an ever-diminishing interest in music in general, it’s every man for himself. Ride on someone else’s coattails into abject obscurity, motherfucker.
Once more, for not serving as a gauge for your personal vogue-o-meter, for not providing a soundtrack to your bullshit-laden pickup monologues, and for not being a team player for the benefit of lesser bands, we fucking apologize already. Now, if you want to hear some good music performed by a group of competent individuals, by all means, come to a Father Divine show. And if you find the experience enjoyable, tell a friend or two. If’n you don’t, tell two or three more—what the fuck do we care…