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Divine Air – The Justice Project
People all across the world are always looking for something worthwhile to fight for. Whether it’s breast cancer, to fight against racism or homophobia, or AIDS awareness, it all depends on what means the most to you. That’s what makes it special, and when we see a band doing such a thing, it brings up hope for the rest of us. One band in particular is bringing attention to human trafficking, not a cause too many of us know much of, and these four guys go by the name of Divine Air.
Originating in Lancaster, PA not too far from Philadelphia, these incredible men are not only making music enjoyable to listen to, but sending a wave of hope and love through the veins of the world, for the men, women and children abducted and sold in the human trafficking business. A cause which is truly heart wrenching. The band, consisting of David Smith on vocals/rhythm guitar, Ethan Patterson on drums, Tim Mohler on lead guitar, and Gordie Barganier on bass, first started creating music in 2011 not sure of the direction they wanted to go in. Although, resembling bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Jimmy Eat World, and Foo Fighters, Divine Air isn’t just your everyday rock band, they have a mission to change lives with their music. Change, impact, and rock are something they are striving toward, and are doing an excellent job.
Divine Air’s EP album titled The Justice Project is not just their album name, but also the name of the organization that they dedicated it to. Each song has their unique meaning while also incorporating a combined bottom line. “We can’t do it on our own but with each other and with faith, we can do more than we can ever imagine possible,” as stated in the interview with singer Dave Smith.
The song “Wanted to Know” was the track that changed the direction of the album. Instead of it being the average love or heartbreak song, it asks the question “will you fight for those who don’t know how to?” You want to hear the sadness and see the hurt, which will be your motivation. You want to know what is happening and now that you do, what are you going to do about it? If there is anything that should be persuasive in the hearts of the world, it should be this. You fight to save the lives of people in need who are having trouble doing so themselves.
“We Will Overcome” is a song that sheds complete light on victims who are sold into sex slavery. It’s about how young these poor children are as they’re taken away from what they know, traded, and sold to become some object. Something has to be done but how are we supposed to make a difference in such a huge problem. Not by guns, not by brutality, but by pure passion and hope. Stand together and show the world that we can make a dent if we try. We understand that there is a lot of wrong everywhere we turn, and Divine Air proves that there is no limit too high to reach to achieve a goal. A lot of the time, fans associate just lyrics with meaning something spectacular. In this case however, when you listen to the movement coming from every track on the album, you will then realize that the beat is uplifting you as well as the lyrics being heartening and inspirational.
I have had the opportunity to ask Dave Smith a few questions to elaborate more on The Justice Project, the band itself, and their future goals. They are one of the strongest and most optimistic bands the world has had the pleasure to be introduced to. Divine Air has worked hard to get where they are now and they do not have any plans of stopping the spread of awareness around to every heart on this earth. Believing in God is a huge part of their lives, which helped prepare them for the climb up the latter in the music industry. Believing in something, anything that will put the pure love and desire in them individually and as a band, is an admirable quality that surely all fans could be proud of. You can learn more about Divine Air on their website www.divineairmusic.com, on Facebook by typing Divine Air in the search section, and even find out about the actual organization on the website www.thejusticeproject.wordpress.com. We look forward to seeing what they come up with next, and if its anything like their album now, it will be outstanding.
Interview with Dave Smith:
Gina: The Justice Project is not only the title of your EP album but the title of a real life organization to fight human trafficking. That is an incredible cause and something that the world should be more aware of. When creating this album, did you do it specifically for The Justice Project? If so, then why exactly did Divine Air choose this specific cause?
Dave: We began making music April, 2011. We took six months just writing and trying to figure out what direction we were trying to go. Fairly early on we knew we didn’t just want to write songs just about girls and puppy love but something that was more real to what we were all going through (not that love songs are a bad thing!). The song “Wanted to Know” was a real turning point both in subject matter and musically specifically the line “will you fight for those that don’t know how to?” At that point we started thinking about supporting something with our music.
Justin and Rawan from The Justice Project were a couple that Ethan (our drummer), our manager and I knew that felt inspired to leave everything behind here in Pennsylvania to go and do what they could to help women trapped in one of the hotbeds of human trafficking in Germany. At that point we started getting serious about doing this for more than just ourselves and I wrote “We Will Overcome” in response to the feeling we have when tackling these huge problems. Feelings like how do we make a dent in something that seems so insurmountable.
So long story short the whole album is written overall about hope and realizing that we can’t do it on our own but with each other and with faith we can do more than we can ever imagine possible.
Gina: In reading your individual bios, you each speak of God very highly. It is great to believe in something that will give you the strength to do what you want to do. How exactly would you say God influenced you in your life to make music?
Dave: It’s funny these days, musicians and artists are mortally afraid to answer questions about religion. Our simple answer is yes we all share a faith in God. They say to write what you know because if you don’t, people will see right through it. There’s a great quote from a guy named St Francis of Assisi who said “Preach Love in all things and if necessary use words.”
We all have our individual stories but mine is this. I worked for a non-profit organization for 5 years in the South Pacific and South East Asia. While there I was confronted all the time with things like crippling poverty and human trafficking, but in the midst of all the bad stuff, I found the hope these people who have nothing share with each other and it just puts things into perspective. Jesus wasn’t here to lead crusades or wars or conquer nations but rather to say this: Love your neighbor as yourself.
We never want to come off as religious or preachy, we just want people to know that no matter how bad things are there’s always hope, and we happen to find ours in Jesus Christ.
Gina: I know a question on the minds of all your fans is does Divine Air have any plans on continuing making music? I’m sure the answer is yes, and if so then are you going to be only doing music for special causes and/or just to make music?
Dave: We absolutely plan to continue to make music! We are currently writing material for a full length album sometime in the near future. We’re really excited about some of the new songs and will be playing some as we tour this summer. We’ll continue to support The Justice Project and there are so many other worthy causes out there. We’re not sure what the future holds but we know we will always be fighting to make a difference.
Gina: Last but certainly not least; is there anything special you would like the world to get from your music? Any special messages?
Dave: There are so many things out there that need help and need a change that sometimes it can feel overwhelming! If there’s one thing I would encourage someone in is this. Take a moment to think or pray, and do something. Maybe it’s helping at a soup kitchen down the street, maybe it’s going overseas to help out an organization like The Justice Project, but if we truly want to see change it starts in the hearts you and I. We’re putting our money where our mouth is by donating half the profits of our EP sales to The Justice Project, not so we can say look at me but to say we can all do our small part to love those around us who need it most. For Tim, Ethan, Gordie and I thanks for listening to our music, and be inspired!
Rating: 5/5 Stars!
Album Name: The Justice Project
Date Released: June, 2012
Location: Lancaster, PA
Genre: Alternative Rock
Band Members: David Smith, Ethan Patterson, Tim Mohler, Gordie Barganier
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