Catching Up with Canada’s By Divine Right before Their Show at The Ship on Saturday

By Divine Right answered a few questions for us on the new album, on cover songs, and why they go out of their way to come here and play for us

Everyone’s heard that album where Ryan Adams covered Taylor Swift’s 1989 in its entirety, but, did you know Canadian Indie rock legends By Divine Right just dropped an album that covers Depeche Mode’s Speak & Spell (U.S Version) in its entirety? Yeah? Well did you know it’s the BDR album to feature a taxidermy beaver holding a donut?

The album “replaces all the glorious 80’s synth you know and love with the monster riffs of BDR. It’s the only Depeche Mode record to feature founding member Vince Clarke. It’s the only BDR record to feature a taxidermy beaver holding a donut on the cover.”

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By Divine Right are in town this weekend for a show at The Ship with locals Lady Brett Ashley (could be their last show ever) and the magical pairing of Jake Nicoll + Kira Sheppard. They’ll be playing an all ages show the next day too.

Of all the albums, why cover this one in its entirety?

I was a big Depeche Mode fan when I was a kid. I always loved the cool primitive minimalism of the first Depeche Mode record, Speak & Spell, the one Vince Clarke wrote. Vince Clarke of Yazoo and Erasure fame, was kind of the secret godfather of synth pop.

I always thought the cool primitive minimalism of that record would translate perfectly into a BDR record, if all those synth hooks became just totally crucial rock riffs. We tracked it live off the floor, all together in one room – no separation – so it has a real spontaneous garage rock vibe, all the mics bleeding into one another, so it just kinda howls.

It became obvious early on too that part of the fun was singing these cool frank upbeat lyrics about the early 80’s gay club scene. ‘Boys need boys – get together’ is a cool line for a rock song!”

Without even thinking about it, what’s a favourite cover song of all time? Is there another album covering an album in its entirety you’d recommend?

Twist and Shout is probably the eternal cover song. It’s been done so many times!

I’d recommend Cat Powers’ The Covers Record. Great versions of songs by Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground, etc.

You come to St. John’s more than most Canadian artists who just skip us for our limited population and high costs of travel. Why do you go out of your way to come here? 

We all love Newfoundland. When we found out we were playing SappyFest (in Sackville, NB), we knew we had to continue East and come back to St. John’s. So many people we love are there. St. John’s just got so much soul. We’re really looking forward to playing The Ship again. It’s a dream every time.

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