Seb Bailey- Bass/Second Guitar/Second Vocals
Rohner Segnitz- Casio/Keys/Vocals
Kevin Lenhart- Drums!
Ryan Wilson- Guitar
In the summer of 2001, Division Day moved into a house in the Santa Cruz woods without ever having played a note together as a foursome. They turned the master bedroom into a makeshift recording studio that would see the birth of their first EP.
Featuring Rohner Segnitz (vocals, keyboards), Ryan Wilson (guitar), Seb Bailey (bass, guitar, vocals), and Kevin Lenhart (drums), Division Day swings freely between precise arrangement and reckless abandon, following one song’s five-keyboard polyphony (“Hand to the Sound”) with a hoe-down of bare-handed cymbal beating and yelps of pure celebration (“Catch Your Death”). Both live and in the studio, their performances emphasize an infectious, visceral enthusiasm, an out and out joy for making music. This spirit is the common thread running through all Division Day songs, which have been noted by many to be otherwise quite different from one another. Comparisons run the gamut from The Church to The Dismemberment Plan, Doves to Yo La Tengo, Flaming Lips to Jim O’Rourke; this variability is in truth quite accurate, reflecting the eclectic influences the band credits for inspiration (Unwound, African Headcharge, Boards of Canada, and John Fahey, for example). Division Day’s songs are alternately calm and frantic, characterized at times by dense harmonies and sultry simplicity (“Colorguard”, “Dayenu”), and at others by dissonant guitars, frenzied rhythms, and vocals whose sheer fervor barely carries them through the song’s end. Match the lyrical darkness of a more imagistic Leonard Cohen with the furious drumming of Brendan Canty (Fugazi), the elegant basslines of John Stirratt (Wilco), and the supple, atmospheric guitar shards of Nick McCabe (Verve), and you might come close to approximating the band's sound.
Division Day’s 2004 EP, The Mean Way In, was recorded in the summer of 2003 by Alex Oana (N.E.R.D., Kid Dakota) with assistance from Scott Solter (John Vanderslice, Spoon, Mountain Goats) at the all-analog Tiny Telephone studio. Showcasing serpentine melody, warm keyboard tones, swaths of angular guitar, and tumbling rhythms, this six-song EP proves a challenging yet consistently rewarding listen.
In the two and a half years since The Mean Way In, Division Day finished college, moved to Los Angeles, and began to establish themselves in the east L.A. music community. They took up residence in an Eagle Rock rehearsal space, sharing a back yard with Earlimart’s The Ship studio, and played out regularly at local venues including the Silverlake Lounge, Spaceland, and The Echo. About a year ago, they began writing songs for what was intended to be a split EP, but quickly evolved into a bona fide full-length record. Working again with engineer Scott Solter, the band made a series of frenzied weekend dashes to San Francisco, where they tracked and mixed at Solter’s 15th Street Studio, The Bahamas, and Tiny Telephone, again working all in analog. The result was Beartrap Island, an album that is at once cohesive and far-flung, spanning a stylistic spectrum from the steady, dub-inflected grandeur of "Hand To The Sound," to the smoky, heart-string-tugging twang of "Hurricane", to the manically syncopated, gleefully vitriolic gallop of "Tigers.”
Division Day have toured up and down the West Coast, playing alongside such bands as Xiu Xiu, We Are Scientists, Minus The Bear, The Joggers, Cass McCombs, Dredg, The New Amsterdams, and The Velvet Teen. For the month of March, they performed a coveted Monday night residency at The Echo in Los Angeles, followed by an appearance at this year’s Noise Pop festival in San Francisco with The National and a west coast tour to Vancouver and back with San Francisco’s Birdmonster.