From Adelaide Australia, Sonic Divide has been applying its melodic rock flavor to the Adelaide scene for the past 10 years.
A collaboration of 6 seasoned musicians who initially formed for the purposes of infrequently jamming together for pure enjoyment, the band soon evolved into a writing project which culminated in the release of their debut album in September 2013. Labeled the ‘best independent release of the year’ at the time by a renowned radio station in the UK, the album received critical acclaim and regular airplay across the globe.
The band’s video for their hit ‘I Wonder’ was picked up by a US-based promoter and was subsequently featured on multiple TV and online video network platforms across the US. Sonic Divide was chosen to play the main stage of the Adelaide 500 national V8 Supercar race in 2015 along with John ‘Swanny’ Swan and the Zep Boys, with the guys taking a break from the live circuit later that year to begin the process of writing for their second album.
The band returned to the live scene in June 2018 and has since been performing regularly around Adelaide to rave reviews. In August 2018 the band was selected to open for US-based rockers Stryper for the Adelaide leg of their God Damn Evil world tour and received glowing reviews on their performance.
The band has recently finalized its highly anticipated second studio album which will be released in early 2020.
Wayne Holden – Lead Vocals
Wayne’s singing career commenced at the age of six by being handed the lead role in a stage production in St Joseph’s Primary School’s rendition of “There’s a hole in my bucket” and it all took off from there.
The early ’90s introduced Wayne into the hard music realm in providing lead vocals with Adelaide bands Covenant who performed extensively in Adelaide and regional SA and then Spirit Groove a few years later.
Not much happened through the turn of the century, however, Wayne returned to the stage through dabbling in musical theater from 1997 through 2011 and assisting with recording projects for some aspiring Adelaide bands.
“My major influences have been David Coverdale, Ken Tamplin, James LaBrie, Michael Sweet, Russell Allen, Robert Plant, Freddy Mercury, and Tom Jones and I’ve always taken a particular shine toward big multi-layered harmony vocal productions.”
Glenn Johnson – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
With musical blood in his family, Glenn has been playing guitar for a long time.
I used to play air guitar using a tennis racket or saucepan (whichever was handy) when I was about 4… Listening to my big bro Russ on the radio in Mississippi (the band not the US state!)
I didn’t start playing for real until I was about 12. Apart from my brother Russ, my biggest guitar influences were Ace Frehley, Eddie Van Halen, Gary Moore, Steve Lukather, Yngwie Malmsteen, Jack Jones and in recent years John Mayer.
During the late ’80s and early ’90s, I played in “Disciple” and “Mean Street”.
I love playing guitar, but I also love BUYING GUITARS! My fellow band-mates can attest to that. 🙂
Andy Young – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Andy comes from a rich musical heritage – his grandmother played piano for soundtracks to early silent movies when the movies would come to the small SA country towns where the family lived back in the day.
Andy commenced piano lessons at the age of 4 and up until the age of 15 when he got ‘bored’ with the structured curriculum and instead started to work on learning to play by ear. Around this time he also fortuitously received his first guitar, when family friends purchased a property in the Adelaide Hills and found a small acoustic guitar with all 6 strings intact on a junk heap at the back of one of the paddocks. They gave the guitar to Andy, who promptly went out and bought himself a chord book and taught himself to play this ‘new’ instrument!
Andy played rhythm guitar in his first band ‘Crossroads’ during high school, and then went on to co-create the Adelaide hard rock band ‘The Holy Mackerels’ in the early 90’s where he was the band’s lead guitarist. In the mid 90’s Andy hooked up with Wayne in the band ‘Spirit Groove’, this time playing bass. (At the time, Andy & Wayne also hosted a weekly rock/metal radio show together called ‘The Hard Edge’ on the then Alta Mira FM (now Life FM) in Adelaide. Andy remained with the station hosting a rock/progressive rock radio show (Project Eternity) from January 2002 until June 2012.)
After the disbanding of Spirit Groove, Andy always harbored a desire to work musically with Wayne again and luckily for him the opportunity presented itself with the formation of Sonic Divide, where Andy commenced as rhythm guitarist (and part-time keyboardist) until the addition of Evan when Steve switched from drums to rhythm guitar and Andy became the full-time keyboardist! And he is relishing the opportunity to be involved in a musical project with as he describes it, “such a great bunch of musicians and mates that I have always looked up to…”
Ian Slade – Bass, Backing Vocals
Ian started his musical life on the piano as a child, and even wrestled with a trumpet for a while, but finally found his musical home, on the bass, when he turned 20.
The ’80s and early ’90s saw him playing with ‘Soul Agents’ and then ‘The Calling’ and ‘Sensible Shoes’. All of these bands played frequently in Adelaide and around SA, including supports for touring bands from overseas. With ‘Sensible Shoes’ he even spent a month playing in India in 1990!
Since then, Ian has played bass and been a Musical Director for 10 years at Rostrevor Baptist Church, played bass on sessions for several albums, performed as part of the pit orchestra for amateur musicals ‘Seussical’ and ‘The Full Monty’, played bass for the two seasons of the Fringe show ‘Sisters Of Motown’, and performed with cover band ‘Code 4’.
Joining Sonic Divide in 2009 was something of a turning point, with an opportunity to not only play bass but to contribute as a songwriter as well.
In 2011/12 he worked with Michaela Burger (and ‘The Loose Ends’), recording her debut album ‘Breathe’, and performing a number of Fringe shows to support its release.
“Sonic Divide came along at a time when I had not played for over 18 months, and I really needed a chance to connect with like-minded musicians again. The band turned out to not only be a great musical opportunity, but also a very supportive bunch of mates.”
Evan Johnson – Drums, Backing Vocals
Evan has always been around music in some form. His dad was a music teacher, and there was always music playing in the family home. After some moderate success at best with some piano lessons, Evan began to learn percussion at high school. He quickly realized that this was much more his style and has never looked back. He went on to complete a Bachelor of Music at Adelaide Uni and played in all kinds of ensembles and bands during this time. These ranged from pub rock cover bands to original rock bands to jazz combos to classical percussion groups.
Evan continued playing sporadically after Uni, and taught drums for several years. A lack of opportunity and the arrival of kids led to a performing hiatus for a time. The opportunity to audition for Sonic Divide came at a time when he was beginning to get seriously keen to make the time to play again, and he joined the band in 2010.
Playing with Sonic Divide has been a journey of rediscovery in many ways. Rediscovering the love of performing, the stimulation of the creative process and the satisfaction of putting on a great show with your mates. Evan is loving being a part of a talented and creative band, who also happen to be good friends, and plans to keep playing, learning and growing for many more years yet.
Steve Pirie – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Steve had a somewhat reluctant introduction to music in his youth. His parents pushed him through piano lessons along with getting him involved playing tenor horns in the local brass band. His first steady musical gig was playing keyboards in a Chinese restaurant on Saturday nights.
During his university years, Steve discovered guitar, singing, and songwriting. He found some early success in an ‘unsigned’ contest with Australian radio station Triple j in a band called IVI. The bass player from IVI went on to become Steve’s brother in law (now that’s keeping music in the family).
Steve joined Sonic Divide upon returning to Australia after a few years of living in the UK. Originally on drums, he was able to change to guitar and vocals when Evan joined the band.
“The influences most important to me and my songwriting style are U2, Nickelback, Linkin Park, and Jane’s Addiction. I’m always amazed at how much creative energy is present within the Sonic Divide team, with everyone always keen to contribute to the unique sound we produce.”
Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/sonicdivide
The Other Side (2020) CD & Digital – Melodic Revolution Records
Sonic Divide (2013) CD & Digital – Self-Released