There is nothing more promising than musicians who can deliver just as much as they do on their recordings as they do live. Berklee band Seven Spires is just the theatrical metal band to do it. With their combination of classical style vocals mixed with a metal rock inspired band, they sure are able to sweep you off your feet and into the mosh pit.
All the official members of Seven Spires are students here at the Berklee College of music and they each come from very different backgrounds. Born and raised in Texas, Adrienne Cowan, the front women, was offered a full academic scholarship sponsored by Lolapalooza music festival. She is now studying Pro Music with an emphasis in composition.
Bassist Peter de Reyna also won a scholarship to attend Berklee and is currently in the middle of his second semester. He plays both upright and electric bass in styles featuring classical, jazz and metal.
Guitarist Jack Kosto started studying at Berklee at the impressive young age at 15. He was inspired by one of his teachers Michael Angelo Batio, after seeing him play back at home.
Chris Dovas is still working on his craft as their drummer. At the age of 17 he has plenty of room to grow and will have ever opportunity to do so when he starts attending the Berklee College of Music this Fall 2016.
Tell us where it all began with Seven Spires.
Adrienne: Sure okay. So I came to Berklee in 2013 and I met Jack in my first week in the book store and I was wearing a night wish shirt and we clicked right from the beginning. We have been through a couple of lines. A year ago we settled with Peter de Reyna as our bass player. We had found Chris through some mutual friends. He is phenomenal.
Was their trial and error with names? How was performing as a group in the beginning?
Adrienne: We have always been Seven Spires since our first show in December 2013. That had a completely different line up of musicians. We were opening up for the video game orchestra.t was actually right here in Boston at The Middle East.
Who are your influences behind your music?
Adrienne: A band for example would be Camelot. We use a lot of filming scoring and block buster types such as James Newton Howard. For concepts and lyrics I would say personal experiences and a lot of sailing and demons. But I guess everyone in the band has their own influences.
Pete: I play the upright bass here at Berklee so I am studying a lot of jazz and classical. I also play a lot of orchestral music. So that definitely influences a lot of what I add to Spires and the music I create within the band.
Adrienne: It really shows in his bass part writing as well because they are unusual. They are extremely thoughtful
Now why does it say live drummer on the website? Is it because your drummer isn’t the official Seven Spires drummer?
Adrienne: We have had a lot of drummers and Chris our current drummer is still very young. He is a 17-year-old prodigy. He is absolutely fantastic. It’s great because he still has a lot of room to grow artistically because he is so young. Just from previous experiences it is important to have artistically the right people adding their ingredients to the group. With the combination and colaboration between every member of our band we will have every chance to do that.
Your first EP came out in the year 2014. When do we expect another EP or even an album?
Adrienne: Actually I was just in touch with our engineer. We are going to be shopping this new record to labels such as Nuclear Blast, Napalm Records and potentially Spine Farm.
What was your idea around your first EP?
Adrienne: It is a concept album and it is about a protagonist who has lost his way somewhere. He is guided to shore but this demon who is the ruler of the underworld. She brings him to the Cabaret of Dreams which is a place that you can trade your soul to numb your pain. Eventually if you stay there too long you become desensitized to joy so you don’t want to be there to long. That is sort of the basis of the concept behind the album. It is just about his journey on how to escape.
How was your trailer video for your EP Cabaret of Dreams recorded? Where was the location?
Adrienne: That was produced by Black Ray Photography in my second semester at Berklee. This was very early Seven Spires. Pete and Chris had not been added to the band yet. It was shot right here in Boston. You can see the green line and the church near Copley Square.
Do you have more music videos in the making as a part of your next album?
Adrienne: Yes. We have two music videos coming out that will go along with some of the singles. We worked with Envision Productions who recently wont the New England Video Award. He is fantastic.
I heard some piano and orchestra in some of your songs? Who here in the band plays those aspects of the music?
Adrienne: That would be me. I am the pianist behind some of what you are hearing. What helps is that I am a Pro Music Major focusing on composition. For the orchestral parts that you are hearing I am really hoping to get some footage of Pete playing upright bass because dang he looks good doing it.
Pete: We’ve been looking forward to doing that at some point when it is necessary for a long time. That is a very key element in a lot of the image I feel.
Adrienne: There is a DIY video I would love to make for one of the tracks off the new album.
How close would you relate your EP to your live show performance?
Pete: I would say it is exactly the same except for the order we play the songs in. But I would say the energy is brought forth a lot more live then in the EP naturally. But when we play live it is all there more so then on the record. The music is augmented but the message we are portraying stays the same. All were doing when we are playing live is showing listeners what the record is about.
“I personally strive for a larger in life kind of feeling. To try to give the audience a sort of experience that is transporting them away from the club into this world.”-Adrienne Cowan
Pete: We put forth as much energy as possible. I am up on stage breaking my neck every time.
Do you only play original songs or do you add covers into your set lists?
Adrienne: I think we played a cover in a half our first gig. That is really the only one we have ever done. We played the song Rising Force by Yngwie Malmsteen. We also played Symphony Orche Structure by Megadeth. That was mainly because the riff was similar to one of our older songs that we haven’t played in years. We might cover some Camelot in the future.
What are Seven Spires future plans for 2016?
Adrienne: I see that we are probably going to be on the road quite a lot. There are a few things that we can announce at this time but we are going to be doing a midwest tour with a band called Samblant for a month in July. We are trying to do a month-long run down the east coast and then back with a band called Carnivora. We are working with someone who is very influential to the progressive and power metal community. Our new stuff should come out late first quarter of this year or early second quarter.
How does Berklee effect the band? Does everyone being different semesters effect anything because some of you will graduate far sooner than others?
Adrienne: Chris is actually going to be starting Berklee this fall semester. Pete, Chris and I are actually all very fortunate because we were all offered financial aid and scholarships which has allowed us to stay at Berklee which is amazing. This also means that we have to be careful which semesters we take off to tour because we are not allowed to take consecutive semesters off.
Pete: The name of the game is advanced warning and preparation. Another thing is when it comes to school Chris and I try to get a lot of gigs outside of Spires. There is also a lot of work with that which makes it very crazy. Spires always takes priority. I think that we get together when we need to and we rehearsal as often as possible. Hopefully we are beginning to grow outside the local area. It’s not big deal if we are not all in the same place at once. We will get to where we need to be.
Adrienne: That is an enormous relief for me.
Do you have advice for underclassmen who are trying to start a band?
Adrienne: I wrote a bunch of music on my own and knew exactly what I wanted to build. I went and tried to find people who had that same vision as I did. I am able to take most of the brunt of the work. They are able to focus on their studies. Know exactly what you want and don’t mess around. Be careful on how you manage your time.
Pete: Treat it like a professional environment. Exactly like a business.
Adrienne: Remember that you are going to business with people.
Pete: I am very fortunate because as a first semester last year I met a lot of people who had the motivation and the energy but they were lacking some qualities in terms of planning. They were not as focused. It makes all the difference if you are screwing around and if you don’t have a clear plan in your head.
Adrienne: I have planned out basically all the quarters of this year up until half way through the 4th quarter. Think at least 6 months ahead of yourself probably even know a year in advanced what you are doing. Another thing as a metal artist teachers are always going on about expanding your horizons. While I would say that is extremely important and actually I had one teacher tell me I was a 1 trick pony and that I needed to try new things. Well I stuck to my 1 trick and now I am not paying any tuition.
“Focus! If you have that one thing that you do. Just do it! You are here to master your craft. So master your craft. Make your craft is the thing that you do when you wake up until you go to sleep. Stick with it and get paid for it. Eventually if you do something long enough you will exceed if you have the grit to accomplish it.”-Peter de Reyna
To see more amazing live performances like this be sure to check them out at the Palladium in Worcester Massachusetts this Saturday February 13th. Click here for tickets and information.