The One Divided brings signature heavy sound to West Michigan

Reed City band mixes 90s hard rock with modern metal influences

The One Divided at their last show at the Sawmill Saloon in Big Rapids.

The One Divided at their last show at the Sawmill Saloon in Big Rapids.

Courtesy of Matt Jankowski

REED CITY — Looking for a sound as hard as nails?

The One Divided, a local band in Reed City and western Michigan, carries a sound reminiscent of the hard rock of the 90s, mixed with modern metal influences. 
 
With Matt Jankowski on vocals, Dan Sturdavant on guitar and backing vocals, Kyle Dent on guitar, John Newcombe on bass, and Randy Quist on drums, the band creates a wall of sound so powerful it “takes the breath away,” according to Sturdavant.

Sturdavant said the area is known best for country and bluegrass, but The One Divided's sound is "a bit louder than that."

Other musicians have tried to introduce a heavier sound to the area, according to Sturdavant and Dent, but The One Divided has made it their signature.

“Not that they're (other musicians) insanely heavy, but that for a small town like Reed City, anything heavy can be risky,” Dent said.

The band has decades of collective music experience and draws influence from thrash metal, classic rock, progressive metal, punk and hard rock.

Their sound comes from putting their heads together during jam and writing sessions and utilizing their specific backgrounds and styles. 

“We've all got so much that we bring to it, that music just kind of forms itself,” Dent said.

The different backgrounds each member has been reflected in their geographic locations.

“We're technically from five different cities. No two of us live in the same city,” Newcombe said.

This amalgamation of sounds and ideas allows The One Divided to be unique and stand out from the crowd.

All members of the band continue to work regular jobs while pursuing their music careers. Jankowski calls it a “weekend warrior.”

“There's a balance to it just like everything else. It's all about having fun. We're not trying to kill ourselves or break families apart,” Dent said.

Given that all members of the band have to assemble from different cities for practice, the band has practices even when certain members are absent.

“Family obligations always come first. That's just the way it works. It's the only way to balance that and keep everyone's personal lives happy and lives happy,” Dent said.

As a musical group that has been played on popular radio stations and played gigs around west Michigan, each member of the band had something to say to inspire musicians trying to make it to the same level.

“You're not a quitter until you quit that and that's the biggest thing, music doesn't ever give up on you. Life is gonna throw a lot of crap your way every day, it doesn't matter what you're trying to do,” Dent said.
 
In terms of sound, Jankowski wanted to remind aspiring artists to be themselves, and take pride in whatever their unique talent may be. 

“Be true to yourself, there's a lot more virtue in being different than everyone trying to fit into a scene. I think there's a bigger flag to be flown when you sound a little bit different than everybody else,” Jankowski said.

Dent agreed.

“You have to be willing to fly the freak flag a little bit and it helps you stand out. It's not a bad thing,” he said.

All members of the band are looking forward to the future and hopefully using their notoriety to try to make the music scene in the Osceola and Mecosta County area a little more lively.

“There's only a couple of things to do, pretty much eat pizza, drink beer, and get into trouble, in a nutshell,” Dent said, in regards to living in western Michigan. 

The band agrees that there needs to be at least one new music venue and that bands need to network more effectively, for the collection of music lovers in the area to become a full-fledged music scene.