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Craig Daws of Divine Chaos

We get the low down with Divine Chaos Bassist, Craig Daws!

Craig Daws of Divine Chaos

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Hi Craig, it’s great to have you here on Review Zoo.

So, what’s it like being in the incredible Metal Band “Divine Chaos”?

Yeah not too bad. Ha! Nah it’s great, I’ve known the guys since about 2006 when my first band gigged with them regularly. I stayed in touch and nearly joined them a few times over the years, but never ended up going for it. Their songs were too hard to play! They asked me again just before Covid hit as they must have been desperate, so I went for it. Awesome bunch of guys, ridiculously hard working, and I’ve been a fan of their music since they started, so perfect fit for me personally.

What got you into playing Bass Guitar?

I really got into metal as a teenager and wanted to play, but didn’t want the hassle of drums, and everyone already played guitar so I went for the bass instead. I didn’t realise at the time it was the easy way to get into good bands….

Which is your favourite Bass out of the ones you own?

Definitely my Warwick Streamer LX4. I got it in 2009 as part of an endorsement. They flew me out to visit the factory and spec out the bass I wanted. It sounds incredible and plays amazing. Nice bouncy midrange which works so well with distortion.

Please can you give us a rundown of what gear you use,

and does your setup differ live to studio.

My pedalboard has evolved over the years. I had a Sansamp and various distortions as the core of my sound since about 2006, but for the last couple of years I have been using a Trondheim Audio Devices SkarBassOne. It’s a multiband distortion which keeps the lows clean and compressed and distorts the highs, much like a bass would be processed in the studio. I also use an IR loader after it, and the holy grail of compressors in front, the Cali76 TXL. With Divine Chaos we use an IEM rig, so the pedalboard signal goes straight to our in-ears and also front of house, so we have no need for amps on stage. For larger festivals or if I’m not using the IEM rig in other bands, I have a killer amp setup. Mesa D800+ with Barefaced cabs, the Four10 and a Dubster2, which is basically an 18” sub. The Barefaced gear is insane, it’s a shame I don’t gig with it more often. In the studio, I generally record clean DIs with a Countryman Type85 so that our Producer/Mix Engineer Scott Atkins can process it as he sees fit for the mix. Without the distortion and compression while tracking you can really hear what you’re doing in detail so can make sure you get a clean and consistent DI track. Bass setup and new strings make the biggest difference here.

Pick, fingers or a bit of both?

I started out playing fingerstyle, mainly because back when I was first getting into it I was listening to Metallica and Maiden a lot, so I assumed fingerstyle was the way to go thanks to Burton and Harris. Pick playing always felt alien to me, I tried it for a bit here and there, then would throw the pick away in favour of fingerstyle. It was only after joining Divine Chaos a few years ago that I decided to take pick playing more seriously, as I felt it fit the band’s sound better. Most of my favourite bass players play with a pick, and I always sought that pick tone aggression while playing fingerstyle, so it was about time I got comfortable with it. Now I play whichever I feel suits the band or song. I find playing pick is better for recording as it’s generally more consistent when playing fast metal.

Who’s your biggest influence?

I don’t really have any specific influence, but some of my favourite bass players are Rex Brown (Pantera) and David Ellefson (Megadeth) for their pick style, and Steve DiGiorgio (Testament) and Nick Schendzielos (Job For A Cowboy) on fingerstyle.

Do you enjoy any other genres of music outside of Metal, if so which ones?

Not a great deal, but I do like 70s rock. I also really like Ludovico Einaudi.

The song which has the most meaning to you (Any band/Artist)?

Probably ‘Live For This’ Hatebreed. Jamey Jasta’s lyrics are so powerful. This song always resonated with me. Many of us still doing this have had to make sacrifices along the way, whether it’s job opportunities, relationship break down, or any number of things that may have been put to the side or not nurtured in order to fulfil that lifelong dream/obsession/burning desire to do something that not many people understand. We all need a purpose in life, if you don’t have one then what’s the point? “If you don’t live for something, you’ll die for nothing”. This is the line that hits hard for me in this song. It also took on new meaning when my daughter was born.

You’re stranded on a desert island and can have one album,

which album are you taking?

This is a tough one, but for years it’s been a toss up between Slayer’s ‘God Hates Us All’ or Testament’s ‘The Gathering’

Do you play any other instruments?

Nope, I’d love to learn guitar or piano but I just don’t have the time to commit to it.

What are your hobbies outside of music?

Martial arts and motorbikes. I’m a 3rd dan black belt in Aikido and I have a couple of bikes, a ZX12R for when I want to go crazy and an XJR1200 for when I want to take it a bit easier.

Highlight of your career so far?

Tough to choose between playing the main stage at Download Festival with Sacred Mother Tongue, or touring and hanging with Vinnie Paul when we toured with Hellyeah.

Any funny band/tour stories?

I’ll keep this one safe for work…. Back with my first band Ventflow, we did the usual ‘toilet tour’ that you start out with. For a couple of nights when we were down in the Southwest, we stayed at a holiday park in Torquay. We were touring with our buddies in Buried Beneath, and we each had a separate static caravan opposite each other. On one of the nights our drummer absolutely cremated his pizza, this thing was inedible to say the least. Instead of binning It, we set an alarm for 5am and launched this pizza on the roof of the other band’s caravan. A flock of about 100 seagulls descended and started fighting over this burnt pizza on their roof. The look on their faces looking out of their caravan windows to see what the hell was going on was priceless, we were absolutely crying. The sound inside must have been horrific, not the way to be woken up when hungover on tour!

Thanks for taking the time out Craig, much appreciated

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