System Divide’s Miri Milman and Sven de CaluwÃ© Balance Metal and Marriage
Anyone who’s ever played in a touring band already knows how much of a grind it all can be. Now imagine being stuck in a van for many hours at a time for 10 months out of the year with your significant other. Bandmates Miri Milman and Sven de Caluwé know that lifestyle all too well: the two musicians are married and both play in the melodic death metal outfit System Divide.
The band is currently out on its first American tour in support of the ‘Conscious Sedation’ album. We caught Miri and Sven between tour stops to ask them how they balance their marriage with life in a band.
Noisecreep: First off, how did you guys meet each other?
Sven: We met back in 2003 when Leng Tch’e [a grindcore band in which Sven played drums] performed in Tel Aviv with Amon Amarth. The show was promoted by Distorted, which is Miri’s ex-band. We got in touch at that show and pretty much became friends and stayed in touch online through the years. I had some friends back in Israel so I visited often. And Aborted [Sven’s other full time band] played there a bunch of times as well. It wasn’t till 2006 that we got together and started dating. We got married in 2008.
Besides your love for metal and hard rock, what else brought you together?
Miri: Craziness, the fact that we are both graphic designers. We just had a lot of things in common. We’re both silly and we always made each other laugh.
How long did it take for you to start thinking that playing in a band together could be a possibility?
Miri: Sven had a couple of really busy years with Aborted and we both felt annoyed by being separated that often. We also share a lot of musical tastes and Sven did some guest vocals on the last Distorted album. We figured being in a band together could actually work out nicely. We’re blending both of our musical and vocal styles together and it’s sounding great.
We founded the band in the summer or fall of 2008 along with Mike [Wilson] and Cole [Martinez], whom Sven already knew for years and wanted to play with anyway. That’s the short version of our story.
Now that the band is touring internationally, how do you spend your days out on the road? Do you guys tend to hang out a lot together, or do you like having alone time?
Sven: Both. We obviously spend a lot of time together as we are in the van together, at the clubs and so on. Being on tour you don’t really have much privacy or alone time, but we deal with it. It definitely beats the crazy phone calls and long separations.
What’s the secret to being in a working band with your significant other?
Sven: Knowing Kung Fu is a key ingredient.
Miri: Who said it works? [laughter]