The Project Seven

MaineList Article: TP-VII CD Release at Champions in Biddeford

The Project Seven

There are four guys in no particular order: Nick, Ian, Zack, and Terry. Now, hand these guys an eight-string electric bass guitar, two electric guitars, and a drum kit intricately assembled. Now what do you get? The out-coming result is The Project Seven, or like the album covers read, TP VII.

There can be only oneLike most musicians that I have interviewed, they love making the music, they love to perform, and they just love putting on the show. Period! The only thing that may set them apart from the others’ is the fact that these guys take their love of music to the extreme. They have fun doing it, but are also very serious about it. They don’t believe in the term “room for error”, nor is there time to cut corners.

Ian, Terry, Zack and Nick are all original members and each pretty much agreed that if one member decided to leave, the band would no longer exist. Therefore, only one TP VII is possible and not just anyone can stand in and take a missing members place.

Each time that I’ve spoken with them, they have been really cool and actually pretty fun to just hang with. I first met up with them back in February of ’09 and then I finally got to hook up with them again at their big CD release party at Champions Bar & Grill in Biddeford last night.

Latest ProjectsI met up with Ian first and he gladly helped me recap the information that I picked up in February from our previous interview at Club Texas in Auburn. Both he and Terry helped to fill me in on their latest projects afterward. Like the party they were having for the new EP they released last night, as well as the submission for review for that very album in “The Portland Phoenix” last week.

The last album they threw at us was a self-titled, 14 track piece that was split into three sections named: Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III. The new album that was just released was appropriately named Phase IV.

Terry and Ian both take turns entrancing their listeners in the smooth, easy beginnings that lead to their strong, robust, heavy-hitting endings that bring a smile to everyone’s face as they thrash their heads and pump their fists with the music.

When I compared the two albums, I did notice that Phase IV was just a little milder than the first 3 phases in TP VII were. Albeit not by much, so it could still satisfy even the heaviest of rockers. I also kept in mind that this was a follow up. I almost thought of it as a happy ending to an arduous story of destruction that the first album had undertones of.

band backgroundI asked the guys how they came to have their unique name and what it meant, if anything.

The name was a collaborative effort and then of course, they are a project, like most bands are. The seven comes in because it is such a popular number in everything and is very neutral. For example: The 7 Wonders of the World, the 7 Deadly Sins, the 7 Heavenly Virtues, the House of 7 Gables, and the list could go on.

Ian and Terry were friends in school when they started TP VII. Nick and Zack were friends in a completely different school district and were working on their own project. Nick placed an ad on the internet while searching for a lead vocalist and that is when Ian auditioned for their band named “Hushed”.

TP-VII Band Background

Nick and Zack both told me the actual audition occurred while in the car, singing over the radio. He blew them away and they knew that they had to have him sing their lead vox! He worked with both, “Hushed” as a three piece band and “TP VII” as a four piece in 2003-2004.

TP VII went on a short hiatus somewhere in there as well, and then another one between ’04-’06. But ever since, they have been working hard to bring the TP VII music that everyone wants to hear and see.

discovering secretsWhile at Champions, I had the chance to speak with a few people. I asked them why they kept coming out to see TP VII, and what made them a favorite of theirs.

Strangely enough I ran into Sonja, who just happens to be Terry's wife (Terry is the drummer for TP-VII). She was very excited about the show and especially the CD release. Sonja was also quite helpful in giving me some more information about Terry that he failed to share with me. (Thanks again Sonja) Like how they are only recently married, congrats to both of you!

I found this next fact to be very interesting. Terry not only knows how to play drums, but he is also quite talented at guitar, bass guitar, and keyboard! Now this is a guy that is truly serious about his music!

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Sonja, Sarah & TarnyaSonja’s best friend Sarah Larrabee as well as their friend Tarnya Brunelle were both attending to show their support and were so excited about saying how awesome the band was that they kept talking over one another in the process!

Sarah said, “I don’t really care for this type of music (referring to rock), but I would always come out to see the guys in TP VII because their music is very uplifting.”

Tarnya told me, “I am a true rocker at heart, but I only like to go out to see TP VII because they are a combination of New Age, 80’s and 90’s rock.”

“I like the way that they bring new life to the old stuff.” Tarnya continued.

Mark BlakeI also had the chance to speak with the owner of Champions, Mark Blake, who just happens to be long time friends of TP VII.

“They have played at my club (Champions) ever since their beginning.” Mark stated.

“They really are a bunch of easy-going, fun guys, and I love having them here.”

Lastly I had the honor of speaking to John Graveside of “By Blood Alone” and he had all good things to say about the guys too.

“I definitely give them a thumbs up, and if our schedules would coincide better I would always want to play with The Project Seven!” John said.

InfluencesIf you ask the guys in TP VII what type of music they play, they’ll usually have difficulty answering. Because of the diversity of the music that they make, one really needs to experience it for themselves. They have such a meld of different genres; it’s hard to pinpoint one specific sound or type.

While listening, I heard the “Police”, “Mudvayne”, “Seven Dust”, “Sex Pistols”, “Doors”, “Rolling Stones”, a heavy influence of “Tool”, and even a little “Ramones”.

Both Terry and Ian have such distinct sounds and range, and they compliment each other so well. It can sometimes be a little tricky to tell where one leaves off and the other picks up on the lead parts.

I asked everyone who they were influenced by and each has some very different tastes in what they like to listen to. I think that this can attribute to the different sounds that can be heard while listening to their music as well.

For example, Ian likes the dark, gothic sounds of Type O-Negative, but at the same time he also likes the light, fun-loving sound of the “Beatles”. Alternatively, “Sound Garden” and “Tool” are both influential to him as well. He said that his biggest musical influence though would have to be his dad who played guitar and bass in a band named Amethyst after having started as the singer.

About the members“Tool” is a favorite of Terry’s, hence the heavy “Tool” sound that so easily presents itself while listening. On a somewhat different note though, Terry also likes the drum techniques that come from both “Alice in Chains” and “Lamb of God” drummers.

Zack is a little more old school, as he has a better liking for the classical sounds of “Jimmy Page”, “Bob Dillon”, and “Rush”. Zack’s dad was his original influence though and is the one that sparked his interest to play.

Nick was originally influenced by Zack to play and has played with another relatively popular local band that has become, “Hour Past”. While I have Nick in the spotlight, I would like to add that the one thing that definitely sets him apart from all other musicians in Maine is the fact that he strums an eight string bass. Strumming is putting it lightly too, he is not afraid, nor does he hold back while rocking out his part of the tunes!

Oddly enough Terry cannot really credit his love of metal/hard rock to anyone but his cousin, and now TP VII crew chief, Dave Babb. Dave is a really cool guy that hangs with the band assists with everything from break-down and set-up, to helping everyone to just enjoy the tunes. I really enjoyed speaking with him because his energy level, especially just before show time, is through the roof. He is really proud to just be a part of TP VII, even though he doesn’t make the music. When the show was getting ready to start, I thought that he was going to explode! He was just filled with anticipation and couldn’t wait for the show to get started. Like most everyone else there, he was smiling and moving to every beat and melody once it did.

Live performanceThe electricity was certainly in the air last night as TP VII performed. I was pretty thrilled myself as I anxiously waited for the new songs to be played. I have been listening to the older disk for a few months and could not imagine how they would possibly top it.

Finally, Ian announced that they were going to play “All the Holy Ones”, which is the first song on the new album, and there was a roar like a crowd in a coliseum watching two gladiator’s fight to the finish. The moment that everyone wanted had finally arrived, and they didn’t mess around.

They let us know that this album was going to kick ass just as much as, or possibly more than, the last by getting right down to business!

TP-VII SummaryMoving into “New Sea” things slow down a little with only Ian on vox and a simple melody in the background on the synthesizer, and then Terry kicks in some soft crash and a quick soft boom, a nice simple riff that is complimented by Zack and Nick as they join in too.

It really is quite refreshing, but wait. There it is! Yes! At this point I lose focus on who is singing lead, I think Ian still, but it doesn’t matter. It kicks up and gets loud and crunchy, and THAT is satisfying.

TP VII. The guttural screams, followed again by the music slowing and melodic lyrics making for truly more beautiful music that first gives you goose bumps and then makes you pump your fist and stomp your feet. I could go on, but you should go out and get a copy for yourself.

Available at either “Bull Moose Music”, or online at their website. (See available links at the bottom of this article)

I want to thank everyone for their time and cooperation for the information that I obtained for this article, and to also tell everyone to keep the rock rolling and your metal heavy!


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