Interview: Ten Eighty Trees | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Blossoming from the grey industrial outskirts of Newcastle-Upon Tyne, BBC 6 Music favourites Ten Eighty Trees have recently released their sixth single, Superbloom. The band, who take their musical cues from the San Franciscan big beat psychedelic sounds of The Oh Sees, Ty Segall and 1990s garage rock giants such as Pearl Jam and Blind Melo, have earned a reputation for infectious alternative rock anthems and visceral live performances. They are looking to take a bite out of the ‘jaded UK rock scene’ and this latest offering, a rip-roaring psych-rock anthem clocking in at just over the four-minute mark, definitely has teeth. We catch up with the band to find out more.

Where did the name Ten Eighty Trees Come From?
The name comes from something a friend of mine said to me while tripping on magic mushrooms at Glastonbury one year. I asked him if he was okay to which he replied “Yeah, I’m seeing isosceles grass and Ten Eighty Trees”. The second part just had me buckled with laughter so much and I figured it would make a pretty good band name. 

How did the band form?
We were all doing the same music course in different years at university. I knew Michael (drums) from the year below me quite well and he introduced me to Lewis (bass) who was the year below him. We all hit it off pretty much straight away. It’s rare that you find people of similar interests that, equally, share the same ambitions. I feel that shared ambitious streak prevents us from falling out over trivial things that often lead to the demise of many other bands. We just so happened to strike gold with Ten Eighty Trees. 

Why do you think the UK rock scene is so ‘jaded’?
Because people are set in their ways as to what they think rock is and that is white men playing loud guitar music for other white men, recycling the same subject matter and chord progressions for the next generation whose dads have exposed them to Oasis. 
The fact that a band like Idles is being touted as the adrenaline shot British rock needs right now says it all really. Now I believe Idles are probably the most important all male rock group at this moment in time. However, they’ve done this by tapping into the zeitgeist of what it means to be British under the ever growing shadow of Brexit. Musically it’s raw and abrasive, though hardly groundbreaking. I feel for UK rock music to reclaim some of its past glory it is paramount that it begins to start living sonically in the present rather than the past, experimenting and predicting trends much like it did as the forerunner for popular music in the 60s.

I’m in no way saying Ten Eighty Trees are the answer to rejuvenating rock music. but hopefully we can be part of the solution. We are aiming to address the current social and political mood within our own unique guitar-led way. 

What is the latest Single Superbloom about?
I’d been reading about a rare phenomena in the deserts of California where blossoming wildflowers occurred on such a scale they could be seen from space. I liked the idea of something so tremendous and vibrant finding a way to thrive in such a barren inhospitable place. I already had a riff which sounded like a space rock version of something that might sound track an episode of Planet Earth and thought this would provide the perfect score to these lyrical themes of perseverance through hardship. I liked the idea of these instances of the ‘Superbloom’ signifying the pivotal moments of change we experience throughout our lives where everything seemingly falls into focus, justifying our time spent slogging away to achieve our goals in life. 

Superbloom represents arguably one of our most hopeful and uplifting songs to date, leaning heavily on more psychedelic and spacey qualities to put across its positive notions of tenacity in the face of adversity.  

What does the future have in store for the band?
We are playing in Sheffield this weekend as part of their Tramlines festival which has always been a great show for us. After that it’s time to start working toward the end of the year when we have a number of releases and huge shows in the pipeline. Be sure to keep a Ten Eighty ear to the ground for that. 

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