Tramlines Interview with ‘Seven Tors’

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With a mixture of folk and pop-y dance music, Seven Tors are – to use one of their own puns – “Torrific”. With a shaky egg for a band mascot and with music that you find your feet moving along to, they are bound to go well with the beautiful acoustics in Sheffield Cathedral. Francesca Rolle, Social Sheffield writer, talks to Nic, Jen, Tracy, Emily and Dave about making it onto the official Tramlines line-up.

Francesca: Nice easy one to start with, what’s your favourite venue to play in Sheffield?
Seven Tors: That’s not an easy one! Well, we play a lot of gigs at the Red Deer, that was our first gig and so we go back there quite a lot, it’s a personal one that. It feels like a homecoming gig whenever we do it.

F: What would be your dream venue or festival to headline?
ST: Festival has got to be Glastonbury, aim high!

F: So how did you form as a band?
ST: Well Tracy hit on Nic in a pub. No, she didn’t but they exchanged numbers about getting together for a jam, because Nic was looking for an open mic night. Nic and Emily lived together for a year but they didn’t really talk, and then Emily said she wanted to be in a band, so we all got together the three of us. Then we found Dave. We really wanted to be all girls though. We have dressed Dave up as a girl. Then it took us ages to find Jen, but she came recommended from Pocket Satellite.

F: What was the moment you think you went from being a group of musicians to being a band?
ST: We all gelled very quickly, that’s one of the things we love about being in this band is we all get on really well as friends. That’s first and foremost. We had a Tor house for a while. A big moment was when we did some recordings a couple of years back and hearing them on BBC Sheffield was like ‘oh okay, we should take it seriously now’ because we’re not just playing together, we’re making music.

F: Okay, nice. Another one about the band: what annoying habits have you all got?
ST: Dave always plays instruments when we’re trying to stop to talk about something; he’ll pick up a shaky egg or be playing around with the drums, or the synthesiser. Emily can be a bit bossy. It’s not so much a bad habit, but there will always be something during a gig with Tracy; she might pick up the wrong guitar, or the strap will come off, just things that could affect anyone, but all our bad luck seems to fall on her. Nic and Jen are a delight.

F: What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
ST: Our best gig was probably at Leadmill. It felt like we’d achieved something playing there. That was really amazing, we were playing with three other great bands, Lomas, Pocket Satelite and Robberie. The crowd was great, it was one of those things where everything came together, we sold out and on every song people were really going for it.

F: And what was the worst?
ST: The one at the O2. We were on with a load of really heavy metal bands, and then we were on in the middle really light-hearted, with just three of our friends there and no one else listening. The sound there was amazing though.

F: What’s been your biggest learning curve so far?
ST: Probably doing interviews and social media stuff. Still not sure we’ve learned enough about it yet! Yeah, we’re pretty terrible at that. We’ve got better at talking on stage in-between songs as well, that’s really important, having a good connection with the audience.

F: Do you have any advice for fellow bands?
ST: It’s always at its best when you’re not just a band, you are a group of mates as well. You look forward to seeing each other at practice. Stay mates first and foremost, don’t worry about being a band. We also all tend to have an equal say, which is really important.

F: Where did you record your EP and who did the artwork for it?
ST: Well, we recorded at 2 Fly studios, with Alan Smyth who has quite a pedigree having worked with Arctic Monkeys and other bands, so we were in safe hands with him. The artwork was a combination of photos taken by Nic’s brother, at the alpaca farm, and a friend of Nic’s who put the footprint art together.

F: How do you go about the song writing process and are there any themes?
ST: They’re all very different, they’ve all come together very differently. Come up with a verse, or a riff, and we’ll go from there. Generally one person will bring a song or a starting point, but some of our songs have come out really differently from when they first started out. And obviously you’ve got to get loads of harmonies in there, as many as we can get Jen to do.

F: Now for a hard question; what’s your outlook on the record industry today?
ST: Go on Dave. Okay, well, from our perspective as a band, we mostly just enjoy what we’re doing, we’re not worried about turning it into a living, which would be great, but it’s never been a worry. We’ve had people from America, Brazil, around the world, who we’ve never tried to sell it to, but you’ll get a message from about it, and that’s great. It’s not easy these days to make money from it, but when you’re working jobs and everything, there’s fewer routes to making it.

F: How are you feeling about playing Tramlines?
ST: Yaaay. Very excited. This is the first time we’ve done official Tramlines, so really shocked. We didn’t even know that Dave had applied! Someone mentioned, ‘imagine if we got the cathedral’ so when we did it was amazing. We probably would have keeled over if we got the main stage.

You can catch Seven Tors at Sheffield Cathedral on Saturday 25th at 13:30

Photography by Sammi Sparke
With thanks to the The Attic rehearsal studios for providing the interview venue.

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Francesca Rolle
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Francesca Rolle

Francesca grew up being taken to festivals and gigs, and today is surrounded by friends' bands. She is now putting her proximity to the music scene to very good use, writing about local Sheffield bands and venues.
Francesca Rolle
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