that I could have some backing vocals. I love a power
trio, but for me, when I'm doing all the vocals and
playing bass, I need help with the vocals sometimes. So
we had backing tracks and nothing worked! When we
left rehearsal, I was like 'Man, I'm not sure that we have
a show, we're about to go and play and everything is
like.
.. horrible!', but sometimes when you have the worst
rehearsals it makes for the best shows - because you're
not in your comfort zone and everyone is on their toes.”
Nevertheless, the shows were warmly received, unlike
the weather that followed them across continental
Europe throughout January. Audiences took Divinity by
surprise with their familiarity with some of the material
she performed. She takes up the story. “The audiences
were great everywhere. When we talked about doing the
shows, I hadn't put out a new record since
The Roxx Boxx
Experience
in 2012. I didn't get an opportunity to go to
these places with that album or with
Ain't No Other W ay
back in '03, but I was thinking 'Maybe no one will show
"i GREW UP IN A REALLY
M U M HOUSEHOLD.
ALTHOUGH NOBODY PLAYED
AN iNSTRUMENT, MUSiC WAS
ALWAYS P
l a y in g
"
up!', and I went out there and people were excited. So
that was really encouraging: people were coming out and
having fun and everybody left feeling so good. That was
the thing that I dug most.
“People were buying the CDs and they were jamming
and having a good time, and that's hard when you're
playing songs that people don't necessarily know. We
don't have that big hit on the radio so it's not like when
we start playing that people can sing along. But when
we played the new single, 'We Are', people were starting
to sing it. When we would break it down and people
would sing the chorus, it was like 'Wow, you guys know
it already', but it moved them to do that. People would
come up and say 'Man, I really feel good, you lifted up
my spirit'. The best compliment I had was from a guy at
the last show we did. He came up to me at the end and
said 'My father-in-law is dying, and you just lifted me
up so high to where it doesn't bring me down now'. That
was pretty special.”
So let's wind back a bit. With such a passion for music,
would we be right in assuming Divinity was surrounded
by music from an early age? She nods, saying: “I grew
up in a really musical household. Although nobody
played an instrument, music was always playing. All
the Marvin Gaye tunes, Luther Vandross, Anita Baker,
Parliament and James Brown, Prince, Michael Jackson
and Janet Jackson.
.. My mum was into hip-hop in some
weird way, so I would go through her albums and her
box of tapes and I would find Slick Rick, Biz Markie and
Doug E. Fresh, all these hip-hop records. At the time I
wasn't a bass player but I wish I had been, I would have
listened to those records totally differently. All those
0 2 4
BASS g u itar m a g a zin e
bass-lines! So when I decided to start playing bass,
a friend brought me two CDs,
A Show Of Hands
by
Victor Wooten and
The Sun Don't Lie
by Marcus
Miller. I was like 'Really? What are these guys doing?'
Once I picked up the bass, I went back to listen to all
the stuff from my childhood and tried to learn those
bass-lines. I knew all the lyrics, and all the words to
loads of songs, but I didn't know who the band or
artist was, so when stuff came on the radio, I was
singing along but listening too.”
As for anyone starting out, the options available
when buying your first bass were not lost on the
young Roxx. Go with tried and trusted or opt for a
slightly flashier number? We've all been there, as
Divinity can attest. “I went to the music store and I
was like, 'I gotta get a Fender'. That's what everybody
thinks, you gotta get a Fender first. I picked one
up, it was heavy and not that interesting looking, a
black and white Fender and I was like 'Yeah, that's
cool, nothing special'. Then I saw this sparkly red
Washburn.
..” She bursts into laughter: “Man, that bass
looked cool, so I picked that bass and that was my first
bass guitar. I don't know what happened to it, I may
have sold it or given it away, I really wish I hadn't
done that - but I carved my initials into the back of it
so one day it might come back.”
Nowadays, she has the backing of Warwick HQ,
with a custom shop at her disposal. That relationship
began when the ever-genial Jonas Hellborg
introduced her to Warwick amplification a few
years ago. “I was walking through NAMM and Jonas
approached me,” she recalls. “We had met before
through Victor Wooten: he was like, 'Hey, come and
check this amp out'. I went and played through it, and
I liked it. I wasn't with a company so I was like 'Yeah,
I'll play that amp, great, I'll take it on tour with me', but
I wasn't playing Warwick basses at that point. Then
they invited me to the factory and I loved the way
they felt, so we started talking about what I like about
basses. They were really, really willing to work with
me and get me what I wanted and needed. They were
attentive: companies I had been with before kind of
ignored me and didn't care about what I liked and
why, but Warwick did that. [Warwick owner] Hans-
Peter Wilfer was so caring and funny and we clicked
immediately. I went through a bunch of different
basses, because I was looking for a bass for my own
character on the instrument: I think most bass players
go through that. Play a bunch of basses until you find
one that you can really express yourself through.”
Did a specific model grab Divinity's attention from
the start? “They have so many great basses but the
Streamer appealed to me,” she answers. “This bass
[Divinity's white Streamer Stage II]. oh my God!
This is my favourite sounding bass: I really feel that
something has happened between me and this bass
guitar where I really come out of it. I know how to
dial in the sound that I want exactly and it feels great
when I'm playing it. This white one is a bolt-on and
I really like it - I can feel, and hear, the difference
between a bolt-on and a thru-neck. My Infinity is also
really cool but I feel like I'm still getting to know it. I
describe it like this; some basses wrap around your
body, and some basses you have to try and wrap your
body around it. For some reason, every time I pick this
bass up, it melts into me, and I love that.”
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