Starset’s Dustin Bates Explains What Makes ‘Divisions’ So Divisive
Starset are one of the most eccentric rock bands on the scene today. Frontman Dustin Bates likes to refer to the group as "cinematic rock," and that concept has continued onto their latest album Divisions, which just came earlier this month. The term "divisions" holds several different meanings, and Bates recently spoke about them on Loudwire Nights.
"It's based in the 2040s after a third-generation of neural lace takes over," Bates explains of the album's story. Neural lace is described as a thin mesh that is placed in the skull to monitor brain activity. "Basically, people are controlled by something that reads your brain waves and it basically can provide a lot of good and entertainment. You can look at your own memories, you can experience a drug trip or a vacation, but at the same time your mind can be read and you can be sort of controlled."
He continues, "One half of the population has taken on this, what's called a BMI, and the other portion of the population live off the grid, off of the BMI and away from everything. So these two populations live very different lives, so that's the narrative part of Divisions."
However, there is another aspect of the album that Bates describes as "divisive" — its sound. Produced by the frontman himself, he says, "Starset is always gonna be a blend of cinematics and orchestrations, electronics and hard rock. But the way we blend it and the way we go about it is gonna be different for every record."
The vocalist refers to the lead single "Manifest" as one of the band's heaviest and poppiest songs at the same time. He saw comments from people who had listened to it and had polarized opinions because they either felt it was too heavy or too poppy. "I actually have seen comments where people will be like, 'Oh this is just way too heavy for me, I can't get into this super heavy djent guitar,' and other people will say, 'This is too poppy for me.' It's hilarious, actually. But I get it, I understood that that would be the case. So even within the context of that song, it's potentially stylistically divisive," he adds.
Bates beat around the bush when it came to putting the sound of the albums in simple terms, so he had one final comment — "listen to it yourself and decide."
To hear more about the album, find out about Bates' work on the new Saint Asonia album and more, listen to the full interview above. You can listen to Starset's Divisions, out via Fearless Records, here.
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