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Divorce Culture 

Words and Photos by Amiyah Golden

 

Some things are just destined to be together: peanut butter and jelly, ranch on pizza, J Lo and Ben Affleck (depending on who you ask, of course) and Jacksonville band, Divorce Culture, an alternative-rock ensemble composed of Fleming Island natives Tyler, Brian, Jeremy and Brysen. Despite the irony of the name, the unification of Divorce Culture has produced a sound that fuses together to create a euphonious harmony. 

 

High school hallways served as the initial mediator between Tyler and Brian who belonged to their individual factions at school with Tyler in chorus and Brian in the band. The shared musical interests amongst the two garnered buzz around each other’s abilities.

 

A mundane post-grad life trip to the gas station for Brian was unknowingly the beginning of a rhythmic journey with Tyler. The run-in between the two led to the formation of their first group. As time passed, Divorce Culture was then formed with Brysen becoming a later addition to the group after a search for a bassist circulated.

 

Many jam sessions occurred, creative juices poured and memories were made. Up until the beginning of 2017 when Brysen and a former drummer had to step away. 

 

The name wasn’t feeling too ironic anymore, but this initial breakup was amicable. Brysen went on to pursue their education, and Tyler and Brian continued to write music. 

 

While the band took a hiatus as a whole, the break was used for personal exploration in the world of careers and life changes. Tyler continued to pour into his own artistic avenues under his alias Rokko Cash, combining a fusion of indie style music and hip-hop.

 

Last year, Tyler and Brian linked back up on a casual hangout that turned into a discussion of a potential reunion. That proposition felt even further bona fide after a repost of a Facebook memory from a previous show by Tyler was met with a comment from Brysen quoting: “Round 2?” A group call followed for explicit confirmation. With the greenlight, the “divorce decree” was ripped up and the band reconciled with the addition of new drummer, Jeremy who initially had ties to Tyler as they played and wrote music together. 

 

The transition to unity again was effortless due to their shared bond and solo journeys within music, yet the yearning to co-create never fizzled out. 

 

With Jacksonville having a pretty saturated alternative scene, it can be hard to stand out at times. Divorce Culture does so by paying homage to a sound that can be categorized under the midwest emo subgenre, creating music that make you want to mosh and music that makes you want to stare at the ceiling and soak in the lyricism. It’s the intertwining of their own sound along with stellar storytelling really sets them apart.

 

Inspired by bands including Title Fight, Green Day and Hot Mulligan the group’s ability to reflect influence, while still delivering their own unique flair, garners them longevity, as well as the envelopment of a post-punk sound that’s constructed from unadulterated aspirations.

 

The advantage of four viewpoints due to various life stories, experiences and interests also contribute to the embracive mastery of their catalog thus far. With Jeremy coming from a musical family who raised him on hard-core metal, Brysen taking inspiration from time signatures in math-rock, Tyler having the ability to mesh divergent genres, and Brian taking the reins in educating himself on various softwares gave this band a leg up up due to their well-rounded understanding of music, further strengthening their craft — and the sheer delight they get just from simply sharing their music.  

 

“I look at Divorce Culture as a passion project,” said Brysen. “When I see streams go up, I’m excited to see people listening and enjoying. I’m not thinking about how we can capitalize off of it.” 

 

“This is just how we like to hang out with each other,” chuckled Tyler. 

 

“We would still be doing it if no one was listening,” chimed Jeremy. 

 

The energy that radiates from these individuals is a testament to the humble hunger that’s motivated from creating a connection with listeners, as well as fellow bands in the area and beyond. 

 

While this brainchild was birthed because of their shared fanaticism, it doesn’t discount the heights they can truly reach. Their single, “FM,” has racked up 10,000 streams on Spotify alone with various listeners from around the world. Killer vocals, refined production, intense percussion and timely strums flow into the experience they deliver. Live shows at venues across town such as Kona Skatepark and the Jacksonville Bridge Shows hosted by Jax Punx are always met with adulation from supporters and colleagues alike. 

 

“You can throw us into an indie show or a more hardcore show and it works,” said Brysen. 

 

Putting out quality music isn’t for the faint of heart, especially in a city where local music is supported but not always outwardly. It’s hard work to release your inner workings for potential scrutiny or — even worse — lack of reach. Divorce Culture’s dynamic works so well in Jacksonville’s music scene works because of the band’s ecstasy of collective voracity, that giddy feeling artists get from sharing their creation.  

 

Memories of six-hour practices at Brysen’s parents’ house were shared for a good laugh between band members. These recollections of teenage sagas have certainly contributed

the synergy they continue to nurture. The recent addition of Jeremy was a stroke of fate; he fit in so well one would think he was there the whole time — pre-divorce. The flow of all participants just worked, further supporting their songwriting process, ideas and stage presence. 

 

To keep up with their latest musical journey, follow them on Instagram at @divorceculture and Spotify at Divorce Culture.

 

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