Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a HUGE fan of the hard rock scene in Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA. So today it is my honor to introduce Nate Atkins, the wonderfully talented drummer of the band Divided!
WELCOME, Nate, to virginiawallace.com! Thank you so much for taking the time to appear today. Can you tell our readers where Divided is located, and how all of you got together?
We are based out of Chesapeake, Virginia. Myself, Nick Youngkins, and Russell Dotson divided after we left another band called unbound. We also had original members. Matthew Gumm, and Richard Hoffman who are no longer currently in the band that formed it with us.
I lived in Chesapeake for years.! So I gotta ask, are you working in military service? Eastern VA is a Naval region, after all. I’ve often seen military service playing hell with trying to get one’s music off the ground.
Yes, I am! I’m active duty Navy. And I have been in for 14 years.
Thank you for your service! I always ask that question, because to me it seems even more challenging than just balancing personal life with one’s music. I grew up watching half the men in my neighborhood disappearing for six months at a time! How do the other guys handle that?
It can be challenging at times but for the most part my band members have all come to understand that. You know it’s part of my job that sometimes. I have to leave but we make it work. Kudos to the boys cuz it’s definitely had it’s ups and downs. But now since I’m stationed on shore duty it’s a lot easier.
I would imagine! What are some of the musical backgrounds in the band? And what sort of influences did that bring to the music?
Nick has a big background in Deathcore, metalcore, and some thrash influences. I would say some of his biggest influences as far as bands go would be lamb of God, suicide silence, power trip, they art is murder, just to name a few. Russell Is heavily inspired by thrash music and was originally our bass player. But after our last guitarist, Matthew left russed up to the plate and took over for guitar. His biggest influences are Pantera, Megadeth, Trivium, and Slipknot. Trent is the newest member to the band as a bass player, and his influences are Motionless in White, Asking Alexandria, Black Veil Brides, Trivium, Avatar. Nate ( myself ) was heavily influenced by thrash, metalcore, deathcore, and death metal. My biggest influences as far as bands go are Dying Fetus, Infant Annihilator, Slaughtered to Prevail, I Am, Power Trip, and Municipal Waste. Currently we have a fill in vocalist. Zachary Tyler. Not sure exactly what his influences are but he is also a vocalist for another band called House Divided.
I’m listening to the singles ‘Greed’ and ‘B.T.K.’ on Spotify. I can tell this music was composed by hard-core metal fans. Stylistically, I’m reminded of one my favorite albums of all time: ‘Into the Darkness,’ by Kittie. When I lived in the area, Hampton Roads had a huge and diverse indie metal scene. Is that still the case?
Yeah, the metal scene’s not bad in the area. We have a pretty decent following ourselves and have recently started traveling outside of our area to Richmond. Which is just as equally as good as far as the scenes go. And here in another month or so we’re going down to Charlotte, North Carolina to play with our boys in the coursing. So we typically travel and don’t necessarily play just this area all the time specifically.
Nice! That’s always good to hear … and I remember going to Richmond for shows, too. Are you planning on expanding your reach over time?
Yes, we definitely intend to extend our reach and travel more frequently. We’re hoping to do a week tour maybe more sometime this year. If not, maybe next year. We did a short weekend run last summer as like a trial and we loved it and we want to do it again.
That takes some dedication. I’ve helped bands pack out after shows, usually because I was the last gal standing at two AM. I’m not sure people quite realize the insane amount of prep/cleanup that goes on even for a modest barroom show! So how do you balance all that with your personal life, your friends and family?
I’ve been super lucky when it comes to that. Ever since I was probably 15 or 16 I’ve been in a band. For at least involved in something musically, and now that my kids are older, it’s a lot easier for me to do the band thing a little more full time. Plus my fiance is super supportive and even travels with us. And is that every show. Which is awesome!
All artists eventually build an entourage after a while, I think. When I release a new book, I can always tell who the first stalwart to buy it will be. And bands are the same way. Back in the day, some of my favorites were ScarZ Within, Bully, Bullistic, and Nemesis, among others. Eventually you figure out who’s married to whom, and who hangs out with that guy and who that gal’s son-in-law is. I loved the sense of community! So is Divided recording new music anytime soon?
Yes, we are actually currently recording with Charlie Roccaforte, and hope to be finishing up our recording soon. We’ve had them recorded for quite some time now. We just have to go through and tweak some things and lay down vocals with our new vocalist whenever we announce him. Now I’m currently in a side project with Charlie myself nick ( my guitar platform divided) and Walter Stanley were called Roccaforte
Oh, Walt and Charlie I know! I was so sorry to hear about Mike. I moved away in 2011. I’m glad y’all were able to move on with your music after such a tragedy! I didn’t know Mike at all, but I bet he’s proud of all of you. So tell us a bit about Roccaforte? I’ve seen videos on YouTube and FaceBook. Juggling two bands must be a lot of work!
I definitely is but we manage it and make it happen. Roccaforte It’s just a side project that myself, Nick, Charlie and Walt have. We play older Scarz songs. Along with a few Nemesis songs. And we have some material that we have written ourselves as Roccaforte. We also have a female vocalist that we will be announcing soon. I also host Virginia Deathfest which is a pretty sizeable event.
DO tell! Where and when are said festivities? Who are some of the bands involved?
June 23, 24, and 25th at Another Round Bar and Grill in Richmond, Virginia, USA.
NICE!!! Save the date, everyone! This looks like a headbanger’s DREAM!!! So before we say goodye – and I do have one last question for you – is there something I haven’t asked that you’d like to answer?
If you’re interested in tickets follow the group page : Virginia Deathfest 2023. There’s link’s for tickets through Eventbrite
Got that, everyone? Get yer tickets NOW! So, Nate, I’ve always believed that every artist – musician, writer, visual artist, actor, etc. – has a duty to help train up the next generation. As a family man as well as a musician, I’m sure you feel the same way. So on that note, what advice would you ofter to a young/new/aspiring musician?
Never give up and practice makes perfect!
Simple yet profound! THANK you, Nate, for appearing today! I’m very grateful, and I wish you, Divided and Roccaforte all the best for the future!
TO LISTEN TO DIVIDED ON SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0AmpmW2PBAABnPa7pkPun2
TO FOLLOW DIVIDED ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Divided757