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Interview: Spectrum 7

Surrey and Hampshire based electro rock band Spectrum 7 have a bright future ahead of them. Having released their debut album ‘So Silent the Night’ only this week, Spectrum 7 are Xtra Mile recording's newest band looking to invade your itunes playlists. Currently playing shows across the country in support of their new album the band have been very busy of late, however, Matt found 5 minutes to sit down with bassist Sean Shreeve to talk about the band, their past and their plans for the future.

ATP: Spectrum 7 have been around for a few years now in various forms, can you explain the bands journey to the current lineup?
Sean: It started with Jon, my Playstation and myself; we just wanted to do something completely different so we wrote songs to backing tracks I made in 'music'. It worked well but we wanted to expand things so we got original drummer John Williams in and replaced the ps1 with a laptop which just helped beef everything up 10 times. After a while I just felt I couldn't sing as well as the band needed so we drafted in Jason Mirchandani who was a big fan of ours and again it just expanded everything more. John had to leave though because of time constraints and just not being to put in as much time as we needed so we got our long time friend Graeme in. Finally we got our friend Henry in to play 3rd guitar and add extra samples - he filled in for Jon when he couldn't do a show and it worked really well so we just made space.

ATP: You’ve recently added another guitar player to the lineup, what were your thoughts around this decision?
S: We wanted to make things more live than on record - for us it's all about doing something bigger and better than the recording and we wanted someone to actually play the sample parts live - Henry's a great piano player and guitarist so he was perfect for the role.

ATP: I recall you had Guy Davis from Reuben playing drums for the band briefly, how did that come about and what happened?
S: Well after John Williams left a friend of ours called Dan Kavanagh filled in for a bit - He's friends with all the guys in Reuben and so when they split he mentioned it to Guy and we went from there - we're all massive Reuben fans so that was a great honour for us! They're both incredible drummers though. I remember one show the click track for Dan's headphones died and he had to play for half a song without it. When the samples came on over a minute later he was bang on time! We'll never forget that.

ATP: You’ve recently signed to Xtra Mile recordings, do you think this is your chance to push the band to a wider audience?
S: Definitely - we've already had a lot of support from them and pushed the band into places we just couldn't have done ourselves. The deal for the album was great for what we wanted too, they're happy for you to just create something and then you both work out where to go from there.

ATP: Your album, ‘So Silent the Night’, come out this week. What have the first reactions been like?
S: Really positive - we've got reviews in Kerrang and Rock Sound coming up soon but there's been a lot of great webzines where the reviewers have just seemed to have really latched on to what we were aiming for, with a lot of comparisons to bands we love and respect. One review mentioned My Vitriol while others have mention At the drive in and Duran Duran!

ATP: Did the album come out as you had planned?
S: I'll be totally honest, there's always stuff you notice that you'd change - but you have to draw a line in the sand and say "That's it, we're going with what we have" and release it. That sound's really negative but it's really not - I can still listen to the whole album from start to finish after over 8 months of listening to it and I still enjoy it - I guess that's a surefire way to prove you've made something for yourself.

ATP: I know that you get sick of the lazy comparisons with yourselves and Enter Shikari, what bands would you say HAVE influenced your sound over the years?
S: Just really good rock bands and bands that have used electronics creatively.. I wanted to be 65daysofstatic with vocals when we started! We've come a long way since then but we all listen to bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Smashing Pumpkins, People in Planes, Nirvana, Reuben.. Individually we have our different influences, but I'd say those are definitely bands that meet up in the middle for us.

ATP: What UK bands are you into at the moment and what are your thoughts on the UK scene in general?
S: Off the top of my head Hold your horse is, Without Thought, Polar, Streetfight Silence, Get Set Radio, Heights, Kenelis, Overthrow. I apologise to any bands I know if I've forgotten - the thing is though. This scene really has no idea how good it has it - the standard and level of bands around here is phenomenal. Now if we could only break that apathy from gig-goers around here and get people actually listening to music rather than coming to a social event maybe these bands could get some decent audiences! I'd say thats the one problem with audiences around here. There are a handful of people who have the right attitude though.

ATP: What’s the best show you’ve played to date and why?
S: I'd probably say supporting People in Planes at Borderline actually. Most shows are great fun and we've had some great audiences up north but that show was just awesome - a packed show in London with one of our favourite bands, it gave us a real taste for the next level of shows.. I hope it's not too long before we can have that again!

ATP: What can we expect in the coming months from Spectrum 7?
S: Well I've started writing again and we're putting ideas from everyone together at practice - we can't wait to move on again and we're planning a new EP for early next year. We should be touring again early next year too - before all that though we have the second and third singles from the album - We've just finished the video for Serafin which should be out on November 30th, so we're hoping that does well.

Spectrum 7's new album 'So Silent The Night' is available on Xtra Mile Records

Spectrum 7 on MySpace

Matt Buck

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