By Divine Right

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By Divine Right
Performing at the 2015 Hillside Festival
Performing at the 2015 Hillside Festival
Background information
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresIndie rock
Years active1989 (1989)–present
LabelsNettwerk, spinART, Squirtgun Records, Linus, Kinetic, Hand Drawn Dracula
Associated actsBroken Social Scene
The Meligrove Band
Wooden Stars
Holy Fuck
The Golden Dogs
MembersJosé Miguel Contreras
Geordie Dynes
Alysha Haugen
Past membersMark Goldstein
Brendan Canning
Leslie Feist
Brian Borcherdt
John Hall
Dylan Hudecki
Darcy Rego
Cam Giroux
Loel Campbell
Derek Downham
Colleen Hixenbaugh
Michael Small
Jason Nunes
Stew Heyduk
Julien Beillard
Scott Maynard
Rob Carson
Rob Higgins
Cam Bull
Mitch Perkins
Elizabeth Teear
Rob Covens
Steve Berman
Michael Milosh
Dave Joseph

By Divine Right is a Canadian indie rock band led by guitarist and vocalist José Miguel Contreras.


The band was formed in 1989 by high school friends Contreras, drummer Mark Goldstein, bass guitarist Liz Teear and guitarist Steve Berman.[1] They issued a number of independent releases before signing to Squirtgun Records for their 1997 album "All Hail Discordia".[2] This recording was re-released by Squirtgun/Nettwerk. Bass guitarist Brendan Canning and guitarist Leslie Feist joined the band for their 1999 release Bless This Mess. Canning and Feist later left the band, and co-founded Broken Social Scene.

In 2001, the band released an album, Good Morning Beautiful.[3] In 2003, By Divine Right was one of the only Canadian bands to do a concert tour of China.[4]

From 2001 to 2004, the band's line up consisted of Contreras, Colleen Hixenbaugh, Brian Borcherdt, John Hall and Dylan Hudecki.[5] In 2004, drummer John Hall was replaced by Cam Giroux (who played on Good Morning Beautiful), while Borcherdt and Hudecki both left the band.[6] Hudecki was replaced by Darcy Rego and then Michael Small, both of The Meligrove Band, for tours of the United States, Canada and Britain, supporting Sweet Confusion. Filling in on drums for some dates was Loel Campbell of Wintersleep.

After these tours, the band's line-up changed again, to Contreras, Hixenbaugh and Small with drummer Derek Downham, followed by a September 2006 show at the Drake Hotel (Toronto) that saw the band perform all new songs with Rego, Small and Jason Nunes (The Meligrove Band) under the By Divine Right name.

By Divine Right's next live show was on December 31, 2007, at the Tranzac Club in Toronto, at which the band's new full-time line up of Contreras, Stew Heyduk (of The Golden Dogs) and Mitch Perkins (formerly of Rusty) appeared together for the first time.

In 2007, By Divine Right contributed a cover version of Rheostatics' "Shaved Head" to the tribute album The Secret Sessions, with a line-up consisting only of Contreras and Julien Beillard of the band Wooden Stars.

In May 2008, By Divine Right opened a show for The Golden Dogs at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto with yet another new line up, consisting of Contreras, Heyduk and Darcy Rego returning on drums.

In 2009, Mutant Message, the band's first album since 2004's Sweet Confusion, was released in Canada on the Toronto Arts imprint Hand Drawn Dracula. label[7] The album has José Contreras, Stew Heyduk and Darcy Rego with guest vocals by Jason Nunes and Lily Frost. By Divine Right's first tours since 2005 followed, with a new drummer, David Joseph, and bass guitarist, Michael Milosh. Music videos were released for the songs "I Love a Girl", "Cupid in Oilskins" and "I Will Hook You Up". The band's line up changed again after these tours, with Dylan Hudecki and Darcy Rego each filling in before Geordie Dynes and Alysha Haugen joined in late 2010.

In 2013, By Divine Right released its ninth album, Organized Accidents[8] and, in 2016, its tenth, "Speak & Spell".[9]


Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • José Miguel Contreras (1989–present)
  • Geordie "Spaghetti Arms" Dynes (2010–present)
  • Alysha Haugen (2010–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Mark Goldstein (1989–2000)
  • Steve Berman (1989–1991)
  • Elizabeth Teear (1989–1993)
  • Rob Carson (1992–1994)
  • Scott Maynard (1993–1996)
  • Cam Bull (1996–1997)
  • Brendan Canning (1999–2000)
  • Leslie Feist (1999–2000)
  • Brian Borcherdt (2001–2004)
  • Colleen Hixenbaugh (2001–2006)
  • Dylan Hudecki (2001–2004, 2005, 2010)
  • John Hall (2001–2004)
  • Cam Giroux (2001, 2004–2005)
  • Michael Small (2004–2006)
  • Darcy Rego (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010)
  • Loel Campbell (2004)
  • Derek Downham (2005–2006)
  • Jason Nunes (2006)
  • Julien Beillard (2007)
  • Mitch Perkins (2007–2008)
  • Stew Heyduk (2007–2008)
  • Michael Milosh (2009–2010)
  • Dave Joseph (2009–2010)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Southbound". FasterLouder. Archived from the original on 2015-09-14. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "CD REVIEWS: By Divine Right, Garbage, Machine Head and many more". Chart Attack, October 02, 2001
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3] Archived September 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Dix, Noel (2006-01-01). "By Divine Right's Fresh Faces Carry the Essence". Archived from the original on 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ [5]
  9. ^ [6]

External links[edit]