Interview: Ninth Degree
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Cameron: For me, it was when I first started going to shows as a kid with my parents, I remember seeing AC/DC in 2008 and that’s really what sparked my interest in guitar playing. I’m not entirely sure what I’d be doing if I didn’t do music, but I was really into snowboarding and skiing as a kid so I probably would’ve gotten into that.
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Cameron: My main career at the moment is in web development and I find the problem solving and design aspect of that influences my creative process musically too.
How long has your band been around?
We’ve been around since September 2018 but officially started gigging and bringing out music in 2019.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based in Edinburgh, Scotland which has definitely influenced our sound as there’s a strong indie and a strong metal scene. I think it’s caused us to musically sit right down the middle.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
We spent the first 2 months or so brainstorming ideas. We then had a massive list of around 20/30 possible names and got our friends and family to vote on them. It ended up being a tie between "Fool's Paradise" and "Nth Degree" and the band voted for "Nth Degree". Unfortunately, we realized there was a popular song from the 2000s called Nth Degree which would make it hard to google us. So, we went for the next best option "Ninth Degree".
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Our best show was probably our last single launch at Bannerman’s Bar. The atmosphere was incredible and it was a really fun night. As for the worst shows, we once had to change venues 5 minutes before doors because the venue flooded, that was a lot less fun!
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
Our favourite venue to play at the moment is Opium in Edinburgh. It always has great sound and it’s got a raised platform out the front of the stage which is a lot of fun. We’d love to play Stramash in Edinburgh, it’s always got such a good atmosphere. Hopefully, once the pandemic is over we can sort something out!
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
I think a show with the Foo Fighters, Queen + Adam Lambert and Guns N’ Roses would be incredible. On a marginally smaller scale though, playing with Catfish And The Bottlemen and Royal Blood would be amazing too.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Don’t quit. For most bands, it takes a long time to build up a following and start making an impact, so the best thing you can do is not give up as it’s definitely worth it once you start gelling as a band and making music you love to play.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Don’t try and be something you’re not. We initially tried to be a pop/rock band but it just didn’t really work out for us and our current sound comes a lot more naturally.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think for us one of our unreleased tracks (which featured on our live album) Trigger means a lot to Hamish and I as we wrote it back in high school and always get a kick when playing it live.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I think it has to be our cover of Don’t Fear The Reaper. We sped it up and gave it a bit of a punkier edge but it is always fun to play and it really gets the crowd jumping!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Cameron: Typically for me, I sit down with my guitar and come up with a cool riff or melody to act as the hook. I then create the foundational elements of the track around that. Typically for us we write the full instrumental with a melody and then add the lyrics in last.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We like to keep our songs pretty hopeful. A lot of the themes running through our music are about keeping your head up and not letting other people or your problems hold you back.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Yeah, we do tend to bicker but it’s purely because we all really care about the band and each other. As for overcoming the issues, it’s a cliche, but just talking openly about any issues upfront saves things from boiling over.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
We have just released our second studio single “Fade Away” which we recorded live in the studio before the pandemic. It was our first time tracking all the core instruments live as a band and it has turned out really well. You can stream and buy it here - https://linktr.ee/NDFadeAway