Interview with Degree Absolute (February 16th, 2006)

Degree Absolute’s self-titled debut album was released a few days ago through the Sensory Records label; we have put a few questions together to obtain more information on them… 

Kenn - "Degree Absolute" is your debut album, but you have been around for some time and I am sure a lot of our readers don’t know much about you. So if you could fill us in on your background…
Degree Absolute:
Degree Absolute was formed in 1999 when I started writing and recording material on my own. Doug Beary and Dave Lindeman agreed to contribute after the initial demo songs were completed. Doug has played drums for many, many years and is probably best known as the drummer for Defyance. Dave is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music and contributes to Laughing Alone, Questions, Confession, and Ask Nothing of Me. I started playing when I was six or seven and taught music for four years in the late 90s. We have all played in several bands and performed miscellaneous studio work over the years.  

Kenn – The album has just been released what kind of expectations do you have for it?
Degree Absolute: That’s a good question. I’m not really sure. At this point, it’s just a relief to have it released.  

Kenn – The album has been on the way for a very long time, why did it take so long time for you to finally get the album out. And how is the feeling in the band, to finally have an album released?
Degree Absolute: I relocated to Portland, Oregon in the fall of 2002, and several tracks were corrupted in transit. It was necessary to re-record quite a bit of material. Recording was completed in the summer of 2003. Mixing occurred in July of 2004. As far as finally having it released, it’s nice to have a sense of closure. I finally feel as if I’m able to move forward.  

Kenn - If you should suggest one single song to understand the full Degree Absolute musical potential, which title would you choose and why? My personal choice would be “Exist”…
Degree Absolute: As far as potential is concerned, I would select ”Pi” since it is most similar to newer material when compared to anything else on this first album. If I were to select one song that represents the remainder of the material or overall mood on this album, it would be ”Ergo Sum”. These two songs, along with ”Distance” and ”HMHB” are the most interesting to me.  

Kenn – What inspires you when you write a song – walk us through the creation of a song…
Degree Absolute: Each song is different. Something like ”Laughing Alone,” due to its simple structure, is written in a much different manner than something like ”Pi”. The inspiration for each song is quite different as well.  

Kenn - Any touring plans for 2006?
Degree Absolute: There are no plans to tour.

Kenn - I was wondering – is there a deeper idea behind the Mattias Norén artwork?
Degree Absolute: I couldn’t be more pleased with his work; it’s one of his best covers, I think. Yes, there is definitely a meaning behind everything, which ties in with some of the underlying themes of the music.

Kenn - Let’s play an association game, please tell us your first spontaneous thoughts about the following key words:

Degree Absolute: Personal.

Degree Absolute: Tension.

Progressive Metal
Degree Absolute: Subjective. 

Degree Absolute: Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with Tiamat. However, some acquaintances of mine in high school had a band with this name. (That was my first thought.)  

Kenn – Name a person, event or maybe an album, that have had a big influence on you life, and why?
Degree Absolute: My brother. My earliest memories related to music involve him and he’s primarily responsible for sparking my initial interest. Without his influence, I doubt I would have ever picked up an instrument.  

Kenn – When you sit back to relax at home, what kind of things do you do? Listen to music, read, watch TV or…
Degree Absolute: A lot of my free time is spent writing and recording new material, working on projects, etc. Otherwise, I listen to quite a bit of music. I would estimate that I listen to somewhere between six and eight hours’ worth of music in a day. Sometimes. I read more than in the past, but not as much as I would like.

We thank you so much for participating in this interview and sharing this information and your thoughts with us - these last lines are entirely for you. Any final words you would like to round off with?
Degree Absolute: Thank you! I appreciate the interview.

Degree Absolute - Degree Absolute

Album available on Sensory Records.

Click on the album cover to see more info on Degree Absolute.