The Great Divide
By: Laura Claffey

The Great Divide consists of Mike McClure, Kelley Green, JJ Lester, & Scotte Lester. They have a sound that can only be described as: the Great Divide. Find out what this Oklahoma group is all about!

The Great Divide

CIO: For someone who's never heard the Great Divide, how would you describe your sound?
GD: Rock & roll, man! That's the hardest question for us to answer. The best description I can come up with is heart felt, rock & roll, honest. It's pretty much based around guitars, lyrical integrity. It's not really based around fiddles or steel, or anything like that.

CIO: Your single, Outta Here Tonight, who wrote it?
GD: I did (Mike McClure).

CIO: What's the story behind that?
GD: We were playing Lubbock, TX. Some friends of ours, called the Groobees, were a band at the time…regretting those tattoos! They invited us over to the house to party with them. We went out on the back lawn, & stayed up until the sun came up. It was a night off. It was fun because if we're out, we're usually on the road & at home, we stay home. It was fun being out, celebrating being alive. We were playing guitars sitting in the yard.

CIO: For the video, where was that filmed?
GD: We went to a little town called Lockhart, TX. We wanted to get a small town because the song is about getting out of a small town - about the angst of being stuck in a small town.

CIO: What are your favorite songs on the CD?
Mike: I like Floods, just because it's more the direction I like to hear. It's kind of a U2 type song in a way. I really love the lyrics. It was at a time when I was kind of down & was still able to inject some hope in my being, so hopefully it will get into somebody else.
JJ: Floods is probably my favorite song on the album. The song Straight Off Into You - I think Mike did a really good job writing that song. I like Outta Here Tonight, too.
Kelley: I have a lot of favorites off the album. What comes to mind is the song Ain't About to Fall. I know Mike's been accused of having an attitude when he wrote it. I like a song with attitude. I like to feel a song.
Scott: Wildflower is probably one of my favorite songs. It evokes a lot of emotion from several different people. It fits a lot of situations, not just literally what the words say. The imagery in the song moves people. The other 2 are Blue Skies & Straight Off Into You because they're full of hope & optimism. Then there's another 8 which I'm really fond of...

CIO: How did you all get together as a band?
JJ: Scott is my brother. We're from Stillwater, OK. Mike & Kelly had moved to Stillwater to pursue their college careers at Oklahoma State University. We all met there.

Laura with The Great Divide

CIO: What do you do when you're not on the road?
GD: We try to be with our families. Like Mike said, if we're out on the road, we don't really get the chance to go out like people on a normal basis would do. When we go home, we don't want to go out - we want to be with our wives & our children. Spend some time with them & try to get balance back in our lives - the normality of a home life & the un-normality of being out on the road...or vice versa.

CIO: Jessica Doyle sent in: if each one had to pick, who's your favorite new artist and favorite older artist?
JJ: For me, my favorite old is Willie Nelson. There's a new band out called Train that I really like.
Mike: Old artists, I like Willie, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, that sort of thing. There's not a lot of new artists in country that are tripping my trigger.
Scott: As far as old artists, Willie Nelson is a big hero of ours. Merle Haggard is one of my favorite artists. There isn't anything on any of his records that I can't stand to listen to. He's someone I really respect.
Kelley: He's not always considered an older artist, but Steve Earle. Willie, Waylon, that era. New artists…country…I'm not really a big fan of any of them. I like some of Gary Allan's stuff actually.

CIO: Michelle Lynchesky wanted me to ask you what's the most memorable thing a fan has ever done?
GD: There's a fan that liked the song Wildflower. The person passed away & put a line from the song on their tombstone. That's a pretty big compliment right there!

CIO: What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
JJ: '92 through '96. We've been together for 9 years. If we screw up on stage - somebody unplugs a guitar cable or whatever - what are you gonna do? You fix it & go on. I guess the one I think of is when I fell off my drum stool.
GD: Too drunk to sit on a stool…he could play like wildfire, but he could not sit down!

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