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Signal Hill & North End Set To Release Split 7″ Vinyl December 4th | Release + Interview Special

December 3, 2020

Signal Hill & North End Set To Release Split 7″ Vinyl December 4th

Release + Interview Special

This Friday, December 4th, Signal Hill and North End are set to release a new split vinyl featuring an incredible track from both acts. The split will be streaming on all platforms thanks to Better Looking Records. The physical 7″ vinyl will go on sale tomorrow limited to 100 copies (50 on red & 50 on blue). The release will be streaming and physical orders will be available on both bands’ Bandcamp sites for Bandcamps’ special waived fee day. The bands are set to unveil the release 8:00 am eastern standard time (1 pm UK time).

Ahead of the official release, we had the pleasure in listening to the record and spending some time chatting to both Signal Hill and North End to find out more about this record, which in our minds is the saving grace to this year!

Both Signal Hill and North End have been absolutely instrumental within their genre over the years, but this latest release showcases the best of a band’s maturity. Signal Hill and North End respectfully continue to grow, and with this growth comes such developed compositions. Each perfectly capturing their own talents and abilities to craft immersive material.

Signal Hill kick off the proceedings with their intricate new track “Winnebago Drive”. Capturing these almighty shimmering effects bouncing off each note and building up this elevated feeling from the vibrance of this composition, it’s something else. Utilizing a signature fresh sound of twinkling chords and crashing cymbals. Then this surging riff emerges and ramps up the intensity of this sublime soundscape. The atmosphere of this track exudes a level of promise, it resonates with a feeling of reflection found in the repetitive notes. But at its core is this infectious melody, and that melody consumes you. Shimmering tones, structured notes, and impeccable yet fortuitous journey. Signal Hill builds up their composition and throws in a measure of uncertainty keeping the listeners ‘ emerged into their dynamic discovery.

North End‘s Cabra follows and instantly captures the powerful energy of this act. Propelling this striking beat and ramping up the tempo with the use of boisterous drum fills that complement the sweeping guitar rhythms and assist to the passionate vitality of this release. Throughout the exploration North End continue to introduce more elements into the layered orchestration, the outfit delve into these multiple textures and effects. The abrasive tones and the skilled tapping adds to the depth of this track and the air of urgency. They embrace this diversity to their complex track which impressively captures their technical attributes too. A soaring effort on North End‘s part.

Read a special interview on the new release below:

  • Both bands are so well known by Circuit Sweet, but for our readers let’s give a little refresh- can you introduce yourselves, your outfit and how long you’ve all been together playing…

Signal Hill (SH): Brian plays bass, Dave plays guitar, Rishi plays guitar and keyboards, and Tim plays drums. We’ve been playing together as Signal Hill since 2004: a lot of years, a lot of life changes, but throughout that time we’ve stayed committed to making music together, despite the distance between us.

North End (NE): Peter and Russ are on guitars, Kevin plays drums and Marcus is on bass. We’ve been a band since 2008, Peter hopped on board in 2009 and our sound has continued to evolve over the years based on what we’re listening to at the time. 

  • So how did Signal Hill and North End first meet musically?

Dave (SH): I remember Pete emailing us, introducing their band, and saying that if we ever wanted to play West Chester or Philly, to let them know. So when we set out for a tour, we hit up Pete, and been a blast ever since. Our first ever show on the East Coast of the US was with North End, and have since played together nearly every time we have done anything in the North East. 

Brian (SH): It was our first show in over a year. In 2011 we decided to hit up the east coast for the first time. Played our first show with North End in West Chester, PA.

Marcus (NE): Pete had turned on everyone in the band to Signal Hill’s music without us knowing we’d ever play with them. We were just big fans of their melodic style and I personally had no idea he was setting up a show on the back end. That show was just the perfect storm of meeting like-minded musicians and creating a friendship with some of the nicest dudes we’ve ever run into.

Russ (NE): We played at a small venue called The Pale Horse in West Chester, Pennsylvania, which is not in business anymore, unfortunately.  I remember it was a weekday, so we had to promote a little harder to get people out; we wanted to make sure Signal Hill had a solid crowd for their first east coast show.  People showed up and it was a great time.  Since then, we’ve played in Philly and New York City a few times together.    

  • You’re about to release a stunning 7″ inch split single together and it feels like the perfect time to end 2020 with a must-hear record, tell us how this collaboration has come about?

Rishi (SH): We were scheduled to play a few shows in the northeast back in March, though we had to cancel everything due to the pandemic. So we decided to collaborate on a split 7” using new material each band had been working on. That felt like a nice way to bring the bands together in the wake of having to cope with a cancelled tour.

Marcus (NE): It’s hard to put into words what you feel after not playing a show for 3 years and seeing the planning you put into place crumble apart from something no one could anticipate. However, this release is our way to spin that situation into a positive one. It also spurred a new creative energy in the band and redefined our writing process into something that we’re excited about.

  • It’s been a while since the last physical release from both Signal Hill and North End and both outfits have worked hard towards this. Has your writing techniques changed throughout your time together?

Rishi (SH): Our writing techniques have changed over the years based on our circumstances. In the early days when we were all living in LA, we would practice 2-3 times per week at a rehearsal space. Someone would bring an idea to the group, and then we would work through it all together in the same room. This was done for both the self-titled EP and MAWG. Once Dave and I moved to NYC, the two of us would have regular writing sessions (some of which were in Dave’s kitchen, and then a super tiny rehearsal space in Brooklyn). We would send mostly structured song ideas to Tim and Brian who would add the rhythm foundation. Occasionally we would meet up in the same city for writing sessions, and the songs would be fully worked out by then. Chase the Ghost and Alturas were pretty much done in this manner. Our latest songs (“Blessed Land” and “Winnebago Drive”) have come together 100% remotely. With me now in London, Dave in NYC, and Tim/Brian in LA, both songs were written and recorded in 3 separate cities, without ever being in the same room.

Dave: SH – It really is crazy, we have been a band for over 15 years, and have been apart more than we have been in the same city. 

Marcus (NE): We’ve also had to adapt over the years and adjust our writing techniques due to circumstances. Starting out we would practice often in Kevin’s basement, meet up on Friday/Saturday and play for a few hours.  This model continued until 5 years ago when I moved to Denver, Colorado. It was at that point when we were writing“Alpha State” that our creative process changed.  We all had to become more familiar with recording software and at-home setups . This is our current model with Kevin recording his drums at a proper studio.  But all the strings are recorded in our homes separately and we collaborate via dropbox/zoom. Then it’s sent off for mixing/mastering.

  • Signal Hill tell us about the collective inspiration/influences that shine through in your new single and recording process for track Winnebago Drive

Rishi (SH): Inspiration behind Signal Hill projects has varied over the years. The record “Chase the Ghost” was about nostalgia. For me, our latest two songs (both “Blessed” and “Winnebago”) are revisiting that theme of nostalgia, but this time it’s directed inwards, towards the band itself: nostalgia for the times we had together, and the places in which we’ve spent those times. Both song titles are references to places in San Diego “Blessed Land” is based on a loose translation of “Tierrasanta”, the neighborhood where I grew up. And “Winnebago Drive” is named after a street in San Diego. “Winnebago” has a continuous rhythm in 7. It’s meant to take the listener on a drive through times passed and places missed.

  • North End- tell us about the collective inspiration/influences that shine through in your new single and recording process for track Cabra

Russ (NE): Marcus visited Kevin, Pete and I from Colorado a while back and we decided to jam random riffs we had been developing.  Not really writing, just fun times and improv.  The opening riff in Cabra was played during that jam session.  When we decided to do the tour with Signal Hill, we decided to finish one new song for the shows and that turned into Cabra.   Cabra is North End’s first studio recorded track in over three years. I think Cabra echoes the sound from our 2013 EP, “Cognoscere”, combined with elements that reflect our new sound.   

  • Why were these tracks the most fitting for the split release?

Dave (SH) – When we tracked Blessed Land for our split with Good Weather For An Airstrike, we recorded this other tune. We had it sitting on the shelf, not knowing when and where we would release it. Then when talking to the North End guys, who were nearing completion of a new song on their end, and the sort of spirit of our tune, thought it would be fun to put it out with them. We’ve always wanted to do something together, and this worked out great! 

Marcus (NE) – For the shows we scheduled with Signal Hill back in March we were planning to debut “Cabra” for the first time live. It had been 3 years since we’ve released anything new, we were incredibly excited to debut it and then Covid prevented us from showing it to anyone. We then got motivated to properly record it, and all the pieces perfectly fit into place to feature it on the split.

  • What does the final finished release mean to you and what do you feel it captures?

Rishi (SH): The final finished release represents the intangible connection that we as friends and musicians have, even though we’re thousands of miles apart.

Marcus (NE): For me personally, this release captures the feeling of having to redefine ourselves as people and musicians in an uncertain time. We were able to hone in our creative process and make something we’re truly proud of, thousands of miles apart. It’s very easy to get pulled away from playing and recording these days, but we’ve been able to battle through it writing music.

Russ (NE): The split made us sit down and write new music again.  Since Alpha State, we’ve jammed together a little, but mainly released music from our solo projects.  The split (originally the tour) kicked us back into writing new North End material and reimagined how we collaborate in a virtual environment.  

  • What do you love about having your music on a physical format such as vinyl? Why is this important to you?

Rishi (SH): The best thing about having a release like this on vinyl is that emotional response you get when opening up the sleeve, admiring the artwork, pulling out the record, and placing it on the turnable. For me, everything about that process connects me to my favorite bands much more than pressing a play icon on a screen, or double-tapping an image on a feed. It’s more about experiencing the art itself, and less about the vanity behind it. Or maybe I’m just old school!

Russ (NE): I think 75% of our conversations as a band are about new vinyls, our vinyl collections, and represses from our favorite bands.  I’m definitely the weakest vinyl collector in the band.  The other dudes have serious collections.  Because we’re nerds like that, releasing our music on vinyl is special to us.  

  • How did the artwork for the record come about?

Rishi (SH): Russ came to me with the idea of having a globe graphic with hotspots placed in each of our locations. Thought that was pretty cool, so I just ran with it (thanks, Russ!). We also wanted to have each band represented by a different color. There was some back and forth on which colors to use. In the end we decided on the red+cyan combo. The artwork also features city coordinates for the location of each band member. If someone Googles those, they’d be able to list all the cities we’re in. 

Russ (NE): I love how the cover art looks and what it means for each band.  Rishi crushed it, per the usual!  

  • Where can we find the record?

Dave: The release is super limited (100 copies total) of which we will both have approx ~50 copies for sale on December 4th on our bandcamp pages. Beyond that, it will be streaming on all the major platforms.

  • What are you guys looking forward to the most with this release?

Brian (SH): It was certainly supposed to be a bookend to an east coast tour we had to postpone due to Covid-19, but hopefully now it’ll just preface some excitement for when we rebook things and tour again in the new year. 

Russ (NE): Putting out new music with our good friends.  It’s still crazy to think it started with shows getting cancelled, and ended with releasing a split together! 

  • It’s so hard to know what’s around the corner and we do hope we can all see you both live when we have the opportunity. For now are there any more future plans you can share for the bands?

Signal Hill: We’re working on another remaster vinyl release for later this year. We also have a handful of new songs in the works, so hopefully a new full length at some point very soon!

North End: We have a new EP written, tracking starts in January.  Hoping to release it later in 2021.  We’re excited for what the future holds! 

  • Any last words?

Signal Hill: Thank you Circuit Sweet for the continued support over the years. And thanks to everyone for listening. We hope you enjoy this new split 7” as much as we do!

North End: Thanks so much for your support over the years. It’s been great to stay connected and watch Circuit Sweet get better and better. Hope you enjoy the new tunes! 

Thank you so much! Can’t wait to get our hands on this record

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