Spires – Exploring the New Frontier
by Dave Schwartz
Seven Spires is a symphonic metal band from
the Boston, MA area consisting of Adrienne Cowan (vocals), Jack
Kosto (guitar), Chris Dovas (drums), and Peter Albert de Reyna
(bass). I found Seven Spires in all the usual ways – a PR
announcement detailing their recent signing to Frontier Music lead
to some research and the discovery of a very cool new band. I
caught up with the band while literally on the road traveling from
Phoenix, AZ to El Paso, TX.
DB: Let me open by saying
congratulations on signing with Frontier Music. It’s a big
step and a real opportunity for you to reach a wider audience.
Talk a little bit about how it all came together.
Jack Kosto: Basically our producer,
Sascha Paeth, put us in touch with Frontier Records. We’ve
been looking at labels for a while now and have come close to a deal
a couple of times but we hadn’t really found the right partner for
us – where we felt the deal was a win/win for both sides. The
deal that Frontier gave us was. So this was a pretty obvious
choice for us.
DB: I love that you’re using the word
partner when referring to the label. Today, to release an
album with a label requires a real partnership.
Peter Albert de Reyna: Absolutely.
That’s how we see it and how Frontier sees it as well. They
are the kind of label that we can work with on a very conversational
basis. It’s very refreshing, compared to what a lot of people
who started out as locals bands think of as a label. It’s
awesome when a label can give you exactly what you need and you can
work with them all the time.
DB: Signing to Frontier suggests to me
that you have some music coming out soon. Is there any
information that you can share?
Jack: Unfortunately we can share any
information just yet. We’re still coordinating that
information with Frontier. The most we can say is that we do
have an album coming out on Frontier Music and we will have more
information to announce very soon.
Adrienne Cowan: I can also tell you
that we’re really excited about the album and we’re very happy with
the way the record turned out. And also that this will be
Chris’s (Dovas) very first recording with us. Chris of course
is our drummer. And I’m very excited about that. He is a
wonderful, very musical player. And he’s also a beast!
It’s going to be really, really good!
DB: Well there is one thing that I
think you can share with me. Are you playing any of the new
Adrienne: Yeah, we are playing a
couple of them on this tour just to kind of test them out I guess
and to get some practice playing them live before the album drops.
We don’t want to have to play them later and suck! (Laughter)
Jack: And they have been super well
received. At a lot of the shows over these past two tours that
we’ve done, there have been a bunch of people from 70,000 Tons of
Metal, and ProgPower USA. And so everyone that had heard of us
beforehand, once they found out that we were playing new songs, they
were really excited about it and they seem to enjoy the new ones in
a really big way. So that was super nice to witness the first
DB: That’s very good to hear!
It’s excellent that you’ve received a strong response from the
audience basically right out of the box. So you’ve mentioned
that you’re working with Sascha Paeth. He’s worked with many
other bands that we’re familiar with such as Kamelot, Epica and
Beyond the Black. Talk a little about his approach to your
music, what it’s like to work with him and what he brought to your
Adrienne: So Sascha is a fantastic
human being. We started working with him from the beginning.
Back to our first EP ("The Cabaret of Dreams"), that little demo
tape we put out. He was our dream mixing/mastering guy.
We just cold emailed him and honestly, I can’t believe that he said
he would work for us!
Jack: It’s almost like he a fifth
member of the band as far as the way our overall sound goes.
He’s not afraid to offer his suggestions and advice to basically
make the product the best it can possibly be. So we’re really
thrilled to be working with him again and I hope that we’ll continue
to work with him because it’s such a great time and we have such a
DB: That’s very cool to hear. On
your past releases – “The Cabaret of Dreams” and “Solveig,” you’ve
stretched your legs with a variety of styles. Going back to
the first EP, you mixed a little bit of cabaret vocals with metal
music. It was a pleasant surprise for me. And of course
there is a Death Metal element with some of your music. Talk a
little about how you’re mixing a variety of styles to create your
Jack: We have a vast amount of
influences. We tend to like just about every different style
of music that we show each other – in terms of what we like to
listen to. So we all have many branches that reach into other
genres. But that’s only to say that we have pretty big ears in
terms of what we listen to and what we’re inspired by. So
we’re focused on more of the feelings and the musical context and
some of the tools that can used within composition. That’s really
the primary approach as opposed to saying – let’s make a death metal
song or let’s make a power metal song. This is really just the
way we hear. And during the writing process, influences come
out based on what we’re listening to at the time. So after the
initial steps of getting that stuff out we revert back to who we are
musically and add that into the songs. That’s when the songs
really start to come what they are now.
Adrienne: Yes, it’s less about making
a symphonic metal album and more about expressing whatever it is the
songs are emotionally, and then using different genres to color
that. For example, we like to use death metal elements to
express serenity or kind of a bleak sadness the way Finnish metal
bands do. Other times there will be this apocalyptic, almost
like emptiness, loss, anger or grief where we tend to use more black
metal elements to really highlight that. And especially live
it comes across a lot more I think.
DB: I think it’s cool and I recognize
the level of talent it takes to reach across multiple genres of
music, pluck key elements and create your own unique sound.
Using each genre to color your music or set an emotion is very cool.
Adrienne: Thank you.
DB: And continuing with songwriting –
for those who don’t write music, perhaps they aren’t as aware that
in some instances the songs kind of lead their own way.
Occasionally the song develops down their own creative path that the
writer simply follows. Usually the writer takes the song and
alters or develops it with a destination in mind and other times the
song won’t let you. It’s going to be what it’s going to be.
Adrienne: That’s very true.
Often when Jack and I are writing, we’ll think that a song is going
to go one way and then it starts to develop its own personality like
a little child. You’ve just got to let it be whatever it wants
to be otherwise it doesn’t fulfill its potential.
You’re also stretching your legs a bit and getting out on tour.
You mentioned MetalDays, 70,000 Tons of Metal, and ProgPower USA.
And of course you’re out on tour right now. Talk a little bit
about having the opportunity to hit the road as a band and bring
your music to your fans.
Jack: I feel that as a band, we have
been lucky enough to have a really good balance between festivals
and tours over the past couple years. And once we started
doing some of the festivals like ProgPower and 70,000 Tons, we
really started being asked when they would see us next. At the
same time we were really itching to hit the road and break out of
the regional area that we were normally in. The response on
tour has really shown us what we thought it was. And that is
that there’s a demand to see us all over the place. The fans
have really caught onto our music and the image of our production.
And we tend to connect with people pretty easily when we’re out
performing because the people who like our music and want to
approach us are the people we can really relate to in the first
place. So over all the response has been amazing. Every
tour and every festival that we’ve done allows us to make
connections and friends that still keep in touch with us. And
at every performance someone brings another person or friend we end
up being just really, really happy with all of the performing
experiences we’ve had. We hope to be able to continue to do
this and having a label like Frontier behind us makes all of that
possible. For us, there’s less pressure on the touring aspect.
We can just get out and play the songs and that’s what really
DB: With signing to Frontier and the
anticipation of your next record, I expect that you’ll be getting
out and touring more in 2019.
Adrienne: We have a few east coast
dates coming up in March. Beyond that we’re still planning
everything out. It’s a little bit tricky because I also sing
for Sascha’s band Avantasia and will be going out with them for a
few months. Right now we’re trying to balance their school and
touring schedules. As soon as we know more and are allowed to
say more we will let everyone know.
Jack: And we definitely will be
hitting the road again in 2019 besides our dates in March. You
should expect that we’ll hit a significant amount of the road…
Adrienne: All of the pavement!
Jack: Yes, all of the pavement.
So there is stuff in the works and that’s primarily because we get
really sad when we’re not touring. We miss each other a lot.
(Laughter) We look forward to getting out and doing it all
again. And so the dates we’re doing in March are…
March 1st in Boston, MA at Wonder Bar
March 2nd in Montréal, Quebec at Le Piranha
March 3rd in Albany, NY at Polly’s Hotel
March 4th in
New York, NY at Alchemy