Sad Division


I had the honor of interviewing Sad Division - a three piece band of Sad Bois from Folsom, California. Read below for the inside scoop!

What is your name and what do you do in Sad Division?

We are Sad Division and we are Jonathan Russell on Ukulele, Deven Tran on drums, Nestor Iwanjoko on guitar, and Nick Weil on bass

Sweet! Do you wanna tell me how Sad Division got started?

Jonathan: Sad Division was started about a year and a half ago when Nestor and I wanted to make an emo rock band where one of the main instruments was ukulele. We chose the name Sad Division and Deven joined right before we played a small show at a local music cafe. Deven: I found out Nestor and Jonathan were starting a band so I pretty much begged them to let me in and then when Nick begged us to let him in how could we say no?

Who or what are your music inspirations?

Jonathan: A huge musical inspiration for me has always been Will Toledo from Car Seat Headrest. He started writing music that he would record and self produce in the backseat of his car and then upload to Bandcamp. Now his band is one of the biggest indie bands around. I love music, and I’ve wanted to make music for a long time and seeing him go from a teenager recording in his car on a laptop to playing on national TV made me see it was actually possible.

Deven: I listen to a lot of things but specifically when writing for Sad Division I draw a lot of inspiration from bands like The Unicorns, Mom Jeans, Comadre, Cap’n Jazz and Tigers Jaw just to name a few. If it’s sad and whiny I’m probably all over it.

How is all of the recording handled for the band’s music?

Deven: For the one single we currently have out right now, “River” the recording was all done by me in my bedroom as I recorded everything in Logic Pro X. Given that I’m poor and don’t have lots of equipment I borrowed a couple microphones and only used 2 mics to record on a 50 dollar drum kit, everything else was straight in. For our upcoming EP we are recording with Nolan Kawanami from Riverwave studios who is way more professional than I am and also just a rad dude. DIY forever

Hey, man, doing it yourself is the best way! If Sad Division was a beverage, what would it be?

Nestor: Korean knock-off Crystal Pepsi

Keen. How you guys still in school? How is it juggling education and music?

Deven: it’s ridiculously difficult for me to juggle school, multiple bands, work, and commitments but the payoff is always worth it and I only wish I could have more time to play music with my friends.

Nestor: I think the real question is do we sleep

Nick: Jonathan Nestor and I have been friends in school together since 8th grade, and then Deven joined our friend group after the creation of our first band, he is a year older than us. We are about to graduate, which will be awesome because we will actually have time to focus on the band. Balancing school and the band is very difficult because all four of us are very hard working and have very busy schedules between working, high school, college, and any other commitments. We have to really work hard to plan in practice time and recording time, our last show consisted of meeting every day during spring break up until the show. Now that we have college schedules, it should be easier, but we keep ourselves busy, so we will see.

I’m right there with ya! Class of ‘18 whaddup! What’s the hardest and the best part about being in a band?

Nick: The toughest part about being in a band is the amount of hard work we have to put in to do what we do, and we don't get paid very much, so there’s a point at which we just work for the thrill of performing and having an audience. Cooperating and writing can be tough sometimes, but this band is mainly just memes and laughs and us having tons of fun. This band means a lot to all of us. The best part of sad division is when people tell us how genuinely awesome our show was and how they had tons of fun. That's us achieving our goals.

Nestor: We have so many different musical backgrounds it is hellish making music together, but the payoff is huge and I personally love how difficult, annoying, and tedious the process is.

What’s next for Sad Division?

Deven: We currently have our EP completely written, just a few touch ups to be made then we get to hit the studio! In the meantime we are just trying to find time for shows, so if anyone is reading this, hook some sadbois up!

Thanks for doing this, you guys, it was a lot of fun and I look forward to hearing new stuff!

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