The Divine Horsemen have risen again with Chris Dejardins and Julie Christensen joining forces to stamp out a great heartful of sound with the new release of Hot Rise of an Ice Cream Phoenix on In the Red Records. The new release is the first by the Divine Horsemen in 33 years uniting the irresistible force created from Desjardins and Christensen that marked the band when they were in full force from 1983-87 performing alternative country folk roots punk powered music that was eclectic and intense with an energy and fuel each had off of another with a powerhouse band behind them.
With Chris D and Christensen on vocals the Divine Horsemen include guitarist Peter Andrus, Steve Berlin on keys, DJ Bonebrake on drums and Johnny Ray on bass. Ray replaced Robyn Jamison who was murdered in 2018 when attempting to save a girl in the street being attacked by a meth junkie.
Chris D. has not only fronted the Divine Horsemen and the Flesheaters, has been a novelist, film maker, writer, and A&R rep and in-house producer at Slash Records/Ruby Records from 1980-1984, involved in shaping early seminal works of such artists as The Gun Club (“Fire of Love” LP), The Dream Syndicate (“The Days of Wine and Roses” LP), The Misfits (“Walk Among Us” LP), Green on Red (“Gravity Talks” LP) and The Lazy Cowgirls (their debut album on Restless Records). He taught film genre and film history courses part-time, commuting to San Francisco from his residence in Los Angeles, 2009-2013. His latest is the long-in-the-works non-fiction GUN AND SWORD: An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980 from Poison Fang Books, published in the spring of 2013.
In mid-2018, we had myself, Julie, Peter, Robyn, and DJ Bonebrake on board. But then Robyn was murdered in July when he went to the aid of a woman being attacked by a violent sociopath on the street one night. He was in a coma for several weeks, but the consensus of several doctors was that he was brain dead, and that led his next of kin to decide to take him off life support.
Needless to say, we were all in shock. Peter and I had gone to see him once in the hospital when we first heard the news. Julie couldn’t come out to L.A. because she lives in Nashville now. Then Johnny Ray – who was a friend of Robyn’s and was the Flesh Eaters’ drummer on Ashes of Time – and I were there the afternoon they took him off life-support. Peter, Julie, and I couldn’t even think about continuing trying to play music within a couple months’ time, so we all agreed to postpone it, to start working again after the Flesh Eaters’ tour ended. By the beginning of that year, I’d told Peter and Julie I wanted to concentrate on recording a new album before doing live shows again, which is how we’ve worked it. Luckily DJ was available.
|“There were 13 tracks on the album and it is a double vinyl album with a gatefold cover that opens up and it will be on CD as well It took a while to get the vinyl because it was pressed in Europe and a lot of labels have been having a real slow down with vinyl even before the pandemic and vinyl there has been a resurgence and it has become as popular as CDs The Flesheaters album that came out in 2019 on Clockwork records We have so many friends who are In the Red Records and by the time we got back from them it was like August. I don’t know it is like I think there was a renewed interest happened and in 2018 we all got in touch again and I talked to DJ when he was playing the limbo in the Flesheaters and of course he is the drummer for X was playing drums. There was this homeless guy on meth attacking a woman on the street and Robyn tried to rescue her and ended up getting a —/crowbar in his head and …. I don’t know what is going to happen with live shows. We have a live show tentatively planned for October in Palm Springs which a lot of LA bands tend to do. Shows in Palm Springs in the desert in that area. We have new material and we have not recorded it yet but we are hoping to record it in January of 2022, and another Album in January and we are going to try to continue to do music but it is just the live situation is difficult because of the pandemic and the variant that is coming out now. DJ takes notes and is so conscientious about everything he does. He takes notes about what he is playing and what patterns he is doing, and I have never seen a drummer who does that.”|
The new LP kicks off with the new single “Mystery Writers and is filled with new originals and some old songs including “Handful of Sand” which was the last song Chris and Julie performed together before breaking up.
“In May, 2019. Peter and I co-wrote “Mystery Writers,” “No Evil Star,” and “Stony Path” together. Julie and I co-wrote “Barefoot in the Streets.” Julie also co-wrote “Falling Forward” with her friend Lathan McKay. There are two other relatively new songs, “Any Day Now” and “Strangers” that were written and previously recorded by Julie’s Nashville friends, Tim Lee, Susan Bauer Lee, and Johnny Duke. “Mind Fever Soul Fire” and “Love Cannot Die” were both written by me back in 1995, and were recorded in significantly longer, less dynamic, more folk-rock flavored versions for a completely acoustic solo album called Love Cannot Die, released by Sympathy for the Record Industry that same year. It’s probably my most obscure record. I was never totally happy with the production on the album. I wanted to re-record more rocking electric versions of the songs.
I’ve always, along with probably 90% of every other working musician, had the spectre of “making a living” looming over my shoulder. Thank god for my family and friends. It was a miracle that, despite still using drugs, I was able to continue doing music, though it was not under the Divine Horsemen name. It always has been a fact that Divine Horsemen can’t exist without me, but also cannot exist without Julie. We had fused into one musical entity, and the creative tension in our vocal styles and slightly different approaches to music proved to be so distinctive, that one without the other seemed impossible. “Handful of Sand” was the only older Divine Horsemen song we re-recorded. I’ve always thought it was one of our best. It was understandably not promoted and pretty much disappeared. The outside covers we’ve done on this new album are “Ice Cream Phoenix,” originally by Jefferson Airplane, Patti Smith’s “25th Floor” and “Can’t You See (You’re a Lame Motherfucker)?” by Robert Downey Sr./Charley Cuva that was performed in Downey’s film Pound.`
Hot Rise of an Ice Cream Phoenix delivers a powerful fistful of raw sound from the Divine Horsemen as Dejardins and Christiansen shine with there patented sound and intense vocals that rise to new heights on this release. 13 tracks including new and old songs from the Divine Horsemen plus some cover tracks that round out the LP to a blissful collection of music. Do not miss out on this music. Hot Rise of an Ice Cream Phoenix will fill your senses with intensity and energy from a band that is definitely worth your attention and one I cannot get enough of! The Divine Horsemen rock with a vintage sound you will get hooked on and keep coming back for!