Interview – Ten Eighty Trees

Ten Eighty Trees are a hard hitting modern rock band with some grunge elements in their music – I recently checked out their song Pathfinder, which I loved. If you liked the track, why not read out interview with them below?

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a song titled Pathfinder, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the track and where can it be purchased? What does the title refer to?

Might I just start by saying thanks for the beaming review of Pathfinder! The title of the track refers to how you have to make things happen for yourself to find your direction in life. I remember feeling pretty lost around the time of writing Pathfinder, and in some of the lyrics I’m kind of telling myself to keep grafting and things will work out alright in the end. Have a listen and interpret it however you want by streaming/downloading it on Bandcamp, Apple Music and Spotify.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

To be honest, I wouldn’t really say it hindered us too much but more lit a fire under our collective Ten Eighty arses. It gave us time to reflect on the journey we’d been on so far to really knuckle down and write a big batch of tunes away from the distractions the outside world can offer. Not to sound too insensitive as I know it was a horrible time for a lot of people, but I kind of have a bit of nostalgia for some aspects of lockdown. For example, having a lot more time to focus on being creative, watching TV, doing my laundry, etc. It made life a lot slower and simpler, and as someone who can struggle with social anxiety from time to time, I enjoyed those elements of it. Some of our newer tracks focus on those feelings so stay tuned for those.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

Again, this links back to why we didn’t struggle as much during the pandemic. We have always written separately and sent ideas back and forth online, hitting the rehearsal space to polish songs off once we’ve demoed them this way. So it was more or less business as usual during the height of the pandemic, then when we could meet up again we pretty much rattled through a double albums’ worth of material in 2 or 3 rehearsals.

For recording we tend to do it all in two studios in the North East. We go to The Old Church Studios in Northumberland and record everything together in their massive space to get that big drum and bass sound, before taking it back to In Heart Studios in Blaydon, Gateshead to overdub guitars and vocals. We’ve found this method of recording retains our live energy as a band whilst injecting a more ‘studio’ sheen where needed.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

Oh yes. No official word on this just yet, but maybe keep an eye on our socials around May time. That’s all I’m saying.

Do you have plans to release an EP or album anytime soon?

Albums and EPs are a funny one for a band in our position, as they’re time consuming and expensive to make and you rarely see a great critical or financial return off the back of them. I watched an interesting clip of the fella from Pendulum recently, who said something along the lines of Spotify has led us down the path of single tracks and destroyed the album – vinyl has gotten so popular now that we’re running out of the resources to create it. So the world gets fucked if you press vinyl and the artist gets fucked if you stream on Spotify. So unfortunately, unless someone gives us a big bag of cash to indulge in our vanity project I can’t see it happening for the foreseeable future. Plus we don’t want to kill the planet.

What/who influences you most as a band? What have you been listening to recently?

The early influences from my teens still run deep I think. Stuff like Foo Fighters, The Killers, Foals. They all still have a massive influence on the music I write. Recently, I’ve been loving the new single Don’t Bow from Sheffield’s PerfectParachutePicture, which is just chocked full of great riffs and hooks. I’d love to do a gig with those lads. I will also not stop banging on about James Leonard Hewitson, who has released some brilliantly groove laden, post-punk pop music over the last year. English Bay by Holly Rees has also been getting a lot love on our Ten Eighty stereo. She’s an unbelievable songwriter from Tyneside and I highly recommend her.

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world? Are you influenced by your surroundings?

So I’m currently living and working in Sheffield, but Michael and Lewis (drums and bass respectively) are based in Newcastle where we’re all originally from. Both city’s music scenes are great and the quality on display these days from bands and artists is just incredible. Those quality levels really help to spur everyone on to create better and better music every time, I think. It’s very competitive but also very friendly, as I think there is a mutual understand amongst musicians these days, that when one of us succeeds we all succeed, as it goes to help put the whole region on the map and spotlight what we have to offer. Also, I think we all just really vibe off what we’re all doing, which is so nice.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

We’ve just confirmed our first festival of the year, playing a new festival in Newcastle called A Stone’s Throw Festival, set to be the North East’s first Coastal Music Trail on May 28th 2022. Absolutely buzzing to be back in our home region for that one, and if you’re going, expect a few surprises form us.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

We aim for a relentless energy from start to finish with the shows we play. We don’t like gaps between songs and like them to feed as seamlessly as possible into each other to keep the audience engaged and their blood pumping. We’re canny loud and noisy, but we do love a good melody amongst all the chaos, so if that sounds like your bag, we might just be your new favourite band.