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, bassist Liz Teear and guitarist Steve Berman. They put out a number of independent releases before signing to Squirtgun Records for their 1997 album All Hail Discordia. This recording was then re-released by Squirtgun/Nettwerk. Bassist Brendan Canning and guitarist Leslie Feist joined the band for their 1999 release Bless This Mess. Canning and Feist later left the band, and have both been involved with Broken Social Scene.

In 2003 By Divine Right became one of the only Canadian bands to do a concert tour of China.

From 2001 to 2004, the band's lineup consisted of Contreras, Colleen Hixenbaugh, Brian Borcherdt, John Hall and Dylan Hudecki. In 2004, drummer John Hall was replaced by Cam Giroux (who played on Good Morning Beautiful), while Borcherdt and Hudecki both left the band. 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 lineup changed again, to Contreras, Hixenbaugh and Small with drummer Derek Downham, followed by a September 2006 show at the Drake Hotel in Toronto that had the band performing all new songs with Rego, Small and Jason Nunes (the entire Meligrove Band) under the By Divine Right name.

By Divine Right's first live show since 2006 happened on December 31, 2007 at the Tranzac Club in Toronto - at which the band's new full-time lineup 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 of Rheostatics' "Shaved Head" to the tribute album The Secret Sessions, with a lineup 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 Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern with yet another new lineup, consisting of Contreras, Heyduk, and Darcy Rego returning on drums.

Mutant Message, the band's first album since 2004's Sweet Confusion, was released in Canada in 2009 on the Hand Drawn Dracula label. The album features José Contreras, Stew Heyduk and Darcy Rego with guest vocals from Jason Nunes and Lily Frost. By Divine Right's first tours since 2005 followed, with new drummer David Joseph, and bassist 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 lineup shifted again after these tours, with Dylan Hudecki and Darcy Rego each filling in before current members Geordie Dynes and Alysha Haugen joined in late 2010.