This week, we’re introducing the Massachusetts symphonic metal group Seven Spires in Meet The Band. They just released their full-length debut album Solveig. Vocalist Adrienne Cowan, guitarist Jack Costo, bassist Peter de Reyna and drummer Chris Dovas introduce us to their band.
Give us a brief history of Seven Spires.
One fateful day in Boston, four years ago, two immortals crossed paths in a bookstore. He, Jack Kosto, was of many, many notes, and she, Adrienne Cowan, was of darkness and the old world. Such was the birth of Seven Spires, and so it shall always be. With the fortunate additions of old friends Chris Dovas and Peter de Reyna, the family was complete. Though young in countenance, the four were armed with highly specialized training from Berklee College of Music, as well as an insatiable drive to earn that which they hungered for.
In their early years, they shared bills with the likes of Arch Enemy, Apocalyptica, Sonata Arctica, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Epica, The Agonist, Butcher Babies, Amaranthe, Kreator, Huntress, Carach Angren and others. They completely sold out of records, and then ventured to Gate Studios in Wolfsburg, Germany to finish recording their new album with the illustrious Sascha Paeth.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for Solveig.
We actually wrote and re-wrote the album three times! Adrienne, often joined by Jack, sit down and write the initial drafts of the songs together, completing them to the best of their abilities. Then we refine parts together as a band. Unfortunately, Chris joined after everything was already recorded, but we absolutely look forward to having his musical voice on the next album. Everything was recorded DIY except for the vocals on “100 Days,” which Adrienne completed at Gate Studios with Sascha Paeth. The stems were sent to Sascha and Miro for remote mixing/mastering.
What’s the album’s concept?
The concept of Solvieg follows the journey of a lost soul through a neo-Victorian underworld ruled by an ancient demon. To say any more than that would mean spoilers!
How would you characterize its style/sound?
We characterize our style as “Theatrical Metal.” To the best of our abilities, we try to express the profound complexity of the human soul in our musical storytelling by combining many styles of metal to better express the emotions and scenes at hand. We also take influence from other storytelling mediums including theater, film scores and video games, as well as the Romantic era of classical music.
What led you down the crowdfunding route, and were you satisfied with the results?
We decided to crowdfund because there was literally no other way to pay for the type of release this album deserves. We are all working musicians, music college students, or both; and we simply could not afford to break out of our preexisting reach on our own. With the help of our manager, Pete ran the numbers and as a band we discussed this option relentlessly for a few days. With nervous hearts we decided that this was the best way to go, and that if we did it once we would never have to do it again.
We were absolutely satisfied with the results! It was tear-inducing to see the donations roll in the way they did. We never expected to have such a positive response. We have such a loyal family of listeners, and they showed us just how much they care about our work so far. Supporters of all kinds, whether or not they’ve seen us or been involved thus far really showed us love. In return, we will continue doing what we do and giving that love right back to our vast Seven Spires family.
What has been your most memorable Seven Spires live show?
Our most memorable show would have to be about two years back at the Palace Theatre in Stafford Springs, CT. We opened for Amaranthe, and Adrienne actually did a guest appearance on stage with them that night! We had such a great response from the crowd, and we made so many new friends who have kept with us ever since. Of course, most of our shows are exceptionally memorable; that’s why we do it, but I’d say this show just had a little spark of magic to it.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
Since returning from the MetalDays Festival in Tolmin, Slovenia, we have a series of shows booked in the northeast US for the rest of 2017. We had planned to do a two-week tour in Germany following MetalDays, as well as some following U.S. tours with some of our fellow local acts, but unfortunately all of these fell through. That’s the nature of the business, and we are going to keep planning tours until we get out to every location where metal lives.
With many symphonic metal bands being European, have you run into any resistance in landing U.S. shows?
We certainly don’t run into resistance, by definition, but we definitely do get on some interesting bills because of our symphonic elements. I’ve found that it actually makes us quite versatile. We play with power metal, black metal and death metal bands as well as countless other types of bands from hardcore to pop punk. We learn each time we play with different styles of bands whether or not it will work in the future, which I find to be a great opportunity. Our style being such a rarity in the U.S. means that all lovers of symphonic metal can count on us for their fill. There’s never any resistance because respect comes first, rather a healthy dose of variety!
How did you get started in music?
All of us at Seven Spires began as musicians at a young age. Before creating or joining the band, all of us had prior musical training and exceptional playing experience with various groups. We all met in the somewhat solar system-like reach of Berklee College of Music in Boston, which is a good indicator that we found each other based on our common musical goals. We take pride in the fact that we are all musicians before anything else, and we each hone our individual craft relentlessly.
What was the first metal concert you attended as a fan?
Jack: Michael Angelo Batio
Adrienne: Judas Priest
Seen any good movies/DVDs lately?
We basically are closed off from humanity when we are in a good musical place, but here goes:
Pete: That animated post-apocalyptic movie 9.
Jack: Underworld 5, PotC 5, the new Beauty and the Beast.
Chris: Jackass 2, Star Wars Rogue 1, Dumb and Dumber 1 and 2, Hangover 1-3.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Chris: Animals as leaders, Slayer, Warbringer, Dragonforce
Jack: Persefone, Carach Angren, Fleshgod Apocalypse, new Arch Enemy, Sinsaenum – Echos of the Tortured Soul, Sepultura – Machine Messiah, Jeff Loomis – Plains of Oblivion, Carach Angren – Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten.
Adrienne: Insomnium – Winter’s Gate, Vader – Tibi et Igni, anything by Scar Symmetry; I am a massive Per Nilsson fan. Elgar’s Opus 70 is emotionally quite heavy and I listen to that shit like every day.
Pete: Naglfar – Harvest, Abbath – Abbath, Ne Obliviscaris – Portrait of I, Philip Glass – Etude No.15 (still super heavy).
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Visit our website for all upcoming dates, happenings, and to keep in touch!
(interview published August 5, 2017)