By Sue Phillips
Following the launch of new band Degrees, I talked to guitarist Neillo (far left) about the band, the sound, what is happening with his other band Seven Summers, famously left in limbo when front man Matt Cardle entered the X Factor, and the future of both. See more here http://unrealityshout.com/blogs/seven-summers-ice-degrees-fire
Degrees’ triple A single, Eclipse, recorded under the Seven Summers Records label is out now and comprises three tracks: ‘Eclipse’, ‘The Hex’ and ‘Bury the Horses’. Listen to them here http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/eclipse-single/id437273166
Sue – What’s the story behind the name Degrees?
Neillo – There’s no story; just something Patrick has wanted to use for a long time.
Sue – You, Jon and Alex are all in Seven Summers, so we know how well you mesh; but how about Patrick; have you worked with him before and does he have any previous we should know about?
Neillo – He does have previous. He and I have been making music together for ten years. Patrick was also in a band called Lights, Action! and between that and Degrees he has been writing commercially for games and soundtracks.
Sue – What is Patrick’s role in the band; and who else is in the mix?
Neillo – Patrick sings and plays acoustic guitar. Alex plays drums, Jon bass guitar and I play electric guitar. That’s it, just the 4 of us.
Sue – Who writes the songs?
Neillo – We all write. Patrick tends to lead, bringing a verse or a chorus idea which we then work on as a band. It’s an iterative process, where ideas go through several ‘lives’ before we are happy and call it a Degrees song.
Sue – How about the technical stuff. Who does what?
Neillo – The production team is the same as for all our previous material – studio Monkey Puzzle House, engineer Tom Peters, mastering Jon Astley and cover artist Jane Tibbetts.
Sue – What are the key differences between Degrees and Seven Summers?
Neillo – It’s a totally new band, so many differences, the main ones being singer, songs, arrangement/production, name, presentation and how we all fit together.
Sue – So now, would it be fair to say that Seven Summers is officially disbanded?
Neillo -We are leaving it open, but for now Seven Summers is on ice. The reality is that no one has left, no one has joined, but we are doing Degrees and Matt is doing X Factor.
Sue – So, I’ve had a listen to all three tracks, the music is very polished and I can feel myself getting hooked – the first track, Eclipse is pleasantly stuck in my head. Are you working on any more new material to follow this single?
Neillo – Yes; we are writing the first album from which we will choose a live set for later in the summer. We are planning some dates, probably July. How far we go depends on how these tracks go down.
Sue – What is the official release date for the single?
Neillo – Eclipse is out today, Monday the 16th of May on Seven Summers Records Limited and it’s all new, no “back cat” [back catalogue]. http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/eclipse-single/id437273166
[Photograph – Kelly Davey (c) Seven Summers Records.]