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Thursday February 28, 2019

the divided line
Photo: Glen Tinsdale

Sometimes, a gal’s just got to get dolled-up, brave a snow storm on a Sunday and head out to remind herself of the awesome live bands her city has to offer.

I recently got to check out Toronto-based prog-rock band, The Divided Line at Rockpile! With their recently released video for their single Deja off their latest album Paramnesia, I noticed it’s not their usual sound, so it peaked my curiosity.

Here is my interview with guitarist, Blair Ryan Barton!


The current lineup sounds great! How did you guys find each other?

BRB: Rez and I have been playing music together for about 8 years now. We actually went to high school together, but we didn’t play music together then. When I started the project, I I got him involved, we had a couple of different band members, then we saw Greg perform at one of my best friends’ stag and he was just performing that night at the bar, so we snagged him up. Our drummer Luke was actually from Rumsfield before, so we were very familiar with him. He reached out to us when he saw we were looking for a drummer, we knew his work and figured he’d be a great fit and things have been going really well.


That drummer’s sick!

BRB: Yeah he’s great!


Like, I was just telling my sister ‘Holy – that guy’s sick!”

BRB: When we play in bars, we don’t even mic him.

{both laughing}

BRB: We can’t turn him down, so…

{both laughing}

I’m digging the new release Deja off your latest album Paramnesia. Your song writing style seems to have changed with that one. What inspired that style for that particular tune?

BRB: Typically, I would do most of the writing, the original writing and everyone contributes to the completion. Usually I would come up with the idea. This one – our singer, Greg wrote- the base

of the song, we kind of wrote around that. It was a last minute song- it actually wasn’t supposed to be on the record. We kind of came up with it a couple of days before we went into the studio and we just nailed it in the studio so it’s like, we captured lightning in a bottle – we like it- we have more like it coming.


That’s rad! What’s your favorite thing about performing live and your least fave?

BRB: I don’t like anything about playing live.

{both laughing}


No, but really!

BRB: Playing live scares the shit out of me. Petrified. No- but the best thing I like about playing live is getting lost in song, you kind of escape that (fear). The thing I’d say I don’t like is it’s not perfect every time. {laughs}


But that’s part of the charm!

BRB: Yeah, exactly. Yeah- I guess if I’d have to choose, it’d be that it’s not perfect every single time and I’m a perfectionist so.. {laughs} So that’s my downfall.


You know- every show has quirks and something different to add to the experience that make each show unique- which could be a good thing!

BRB: Yeah I get it- because if every band can play perfect, then that wouldn’t separate the greats from the decent.

the divided line
Photo: Glen Tinsdale
the divided line
Photo: Glen Tinsdale


BRB: In the past, we would just run through the shows and now we’re working on incorporating different aspects into shows. Right now, we’re working on a light show as well; co-ordinating lights with the music.


With ego boxes and all that?

BRB: Everything.

Whaaaat!? That’s awesome! Looking forward to seeing that! So if you were to go on tour with any artists- dead or alive- who would your dream tour be with?

BRB: That’s a tough one because we all have very different tastes in music, believe it or not. Obviously, people say we sound a lot like Tool, and that’s a common influence throughout the band. Other than that, we don’t really listen to the same bands.

{both laughing}

BRB: I guess we would say Tool, Incubus is a big influence, Finger Eleven.


You mean Rainbow Butt Monkeys?

{both laughing}


I saw them live last year at Sound Of Music (in Burlington) and I was like “Whaaat!?” (laughs) So, what are the highlights of your music career so far?

BRB: The first time hearing ourselves on the radio – it was with a different lineup but in 2014.. you know.. I cried…

{both laughing}

BRB: The first time hearing ourselves on the radio – it was with a different lineup but in 2014.. you know.. I cried…

{both laughing}

BRB: I’ve played music my whole life so to finally get that recognition was great. But I think the thing I’m most proud of would be the release of Paramnesia. Once that came out, it all just fit together. We were all a little worried going into it..


BRB: Because we (this lineup) have only been in a band for like 8 months at the time when we recorded it and some of the songs were really old, and a lot of them are pretty new, like Deja, like I said we wrote it last minute.

the divided line bassist
Photo: Glen TInsdale

Yeah- but that song is so sick! What were you worried about? {laughs}

BRB: I wouldn’t change anything on the record, even the way it looks- I love everything about it. We’re still doing more music videos for a couple more of the tracks, so I’m looking forward to that.


Awesome! So, if a distillery were to make a beer named after the band, what kind of beer would it be?

BRB: Oh, it would definitely be a session IPA.



{both laughing}

Delicious! {in a heavy lisp}

BRB: Something like Detour, with a more citrus-y hops.

Photo: Glen Tinsdale


Oh my Gahd- you’re speaking my language! Holy! There’s this beer I tried like that, Heavy Seas Tropicannon Citrus IPA- it was something like 7.3% alcohol. So good!

BRB: Yeah I love that stuff!

Anything else you would like to add?

BRB: Right now we’re taking care of management- we have a candidate that we feel great about, so we’re meeting with him in the next couple of weeks, setting a game plan- we’re getting ready to record our next album.


Already? Wow! Whaaat!

BRB: Well, we did Paramnesia two years ago so it’s time! We got a lot of stuff to do and it’s just a matter of narrowing it down to the best 6. We’ve got like 20.

(both laughing)


So sick! Well, thank you so much for your time, Blair! I look forward to your future endeavors!

BRB: Thanks so much!

For announcements, upcoming shows in your area, new releases, etc. get social! Follow The Divided Line on their social media!

the divided line
Photo: Glen Tinsdale