THE GREAT WIDE DIVIDE, An Evolution, 5 Questions:
THE GREAT WIDE DIVIDE | An Evolution
Being an artist is an evolution. It takes years of work and collaboration to find a sound you are half-way satisfied with. The world hears this music as perfection, but the artist is always on the lookout on how to make it bigger, better, and wider.
This is is the consistent journey Tony Bernardo was on, while Daniel Scott had seemingly hung up his music industry days. During an unlikely meeting, they produced their first album under the name Zeroes. Now they are The Great Wide Divide, another notch in their musical evolution. They have a collection of songs they worked on previously as Zeros, RESET, and are currently working on new music.
HAUS had a chance to catch up with Bernardo and Scott on their previous work, creative process, and how their meeting was a "fortunate accident."
1. You said The Great Wide Divide was a "fortunate accident" on your website. How so?
Daniel: One summer day a couple of years back I heard Tony singing in my back yard. Well, not quite my backyard, but my neighbor's backyard. I was taking a break from music. I wasn't doing it professionally, I wasn't writing or producing. I was enjoying a whole other area of my life, but Tony's voice intrigued me. He was doing a house concert for a bunch of soccer moms and old guys yelling our "Freebird" and Lynard Skynard. I went over to the hedge line and peeked through. Then the owner of the house ran up and invited me over. We hung out later that evening for a couple of hours and talked about music and a little bit of everything. I was really apprehensive to do anything, but his voice just intrigued me.
Tony: I was definitely looking for someone like Dan, but I never expected to find it there. It was my brother in law's house. He came up to me and told me there was this "producer guy" here. I was like "Oh boy, who am I going to find in a backyard?," but as soon as Dan started talking to me I could tell he was real. So in a sense, it was an accident. I was looking for it and he was not.
2. You both live in different states. How do you collaborate across distance?
Tony: Yeah I live in MA and Dan lives in PA. It ends up being a lot of independent work and then sharing it with the other. It's cool because what happens is it give you a chance to flesh out and pull your ideas down. Then the other person gets to hear. I'll send Dan something I'm working on and it may only be halfway there and then Dan will do something and send it back and there it is. I also end up driving down a lot because that's where we keep the recording gear.
Daniel: At the time Tony had a place in Massachusetts and DC and was traveling back and forth. For the first 10 months, Tony and I would be in the same room two or three times and week. We got Tony a mobile recording setup so that when we would work on ideas together he could continue later.
3. Pick one song from the album. What is the story and inspiration?
Tony: "Machines and Magnets" has a cool story. Dan and I don't really say what a song is about. It's more fun to interpret it. A lot of times we just write in a stream of consciousness and we're just interpreting it too. "Machines and Magnets" is a really good case of that because it was written instantaneously. The original inspiration was...I was eating a pomegranate. A pomegranate takes forever to break open. Then after I had it open, I thought about how it wasn't a pain, it was kind of fun. So in the original chorus, I was singing pomegranate, not machines and magnets. The song then became about how technology replaces a lot of our basic human needs and interactions and what we lose in that trade-off.
Daniel: For me, It's a song called "The Hour (That Changed The World)." I wrote that song about 10 years prior to meeting Tony when I was still living in LA. I was actively working as an artist and producing. I was really going after the record deals. I was in a whole different universe back then...Lyrically, I wrote that song right before I walked away from the music industry, it was one of the last songs I wrote. It was at a time in my life where I had everything. I was dealing with top people in the industry, etc. Then I just came to a point where I realized it wasn't about me. I was a father and I was neglecting a lot of personal relationships in my life. Then one day the lights came on and I walked away from the industry. Now, years later, Tony took the song and rewrote the music and melody and now it's a different sound we created together.
Tony: I've never really heard that story from Dan. That's cool.
4. Who are your biggest influences both musically and professionally?
Tony: It changes so much over time. You know your sound has obviously been influenced by other artists that inspire you. That's inevitable. Some of my favorite music to listen to is Motown stuff. One of my favorite songs of all time is "Stand By Me." Then, on the other hand, I grew up listening to U2 and loving their albums and obsessed over Radiohead and stuff like that. I think what I get most inspired by is the work we do with other artists...when we work with them we end up reflecting on what it is we're about and what we do. It's in those moments you get to see or experience externally what the learning process over the years has been. I started playing when I was 12 years old and Dan started playing very young too. So it's always interesting to work with new musicians and new people to see how they respond to the approach.
Daniel: For me, there are two aspects. Coming from a producer/ mixer standpoint I really like Greg Wells. He's really been making a name for himself the last couple of years. Then there is another guy, who was actually my mentor, Paul Lanny. He is gigantic. He started off his career getting tacos for Van Halen on their first record. He started as a producer and his first big album that put him on the map was a Megadeath album. Paul has worked with everybody from Megadeath to U2 to Snoop and Dre and Rickie Lee Jones to Bowie. When I was in LA I was overwhelmed and intimidated. I came from the New York side of things. I was signed at a very young age to RCA in New York and I knew professional stuff, quote unquote. Then I got to LA and none of those connections followed me. I was a nobody. I was ready to come home in two months...Paul gave me the confidence and validation to stay. He taught me how to be an artist in the studio.
5. What can we expect next from The Great Wide Divide?
Daniel: You can expect a new single and also a video for "Machines and Magnets." The live show is ready. We are starting to talk to promoters and tour management. Basically, it's a new single, a new video, shows, followed by another new single, video and more shows. Then in the next few months, we'll probably put the whole album out.
Keep up with The Great Wide Divide's new projects and shows here