Where are you from?
(Kenny) We all met in Edinburgh however I am from Edinburgh originally, but was brought up and went to school in Dumfries, Stephen is from Dundee (which is becoming a hotbed for the Scottish rock music scene) and Andy is also from Edinburgh. It’s really a great city and the summers here with the festival always results in some hilarious nights out. I suppose we are proud of Edinburgh and we tried to feature the city in our artwork for the EP and photo shoot. We commissioned local artist Grace Pow to create the artwork and she decided to use St Anthony’s at Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh which is a well known local landmark.
Members and roles in the band?
(Kenny) Guitar and vocals : Always loved the guitar since hearing Jimmy Page and Kirk Hammett shredding fantastic lead solos and riffs. Began singing around 5 years ago which added a new dimension to my musical life – the song writing quickly followed. We all have similar musical influences really. Three piece bands are easier and quicker to orchestrate and allows each player to really flourish and add their personality to the overall sound – there’s nowhere to hide and you have to go that bit further musically to make it exciting and dynamic, especially live.
(Stephen) Bass guitar and vocals: I had known Kenny for a number of years before I jumped on board the Thirteen-Seven rollercoaster! Was never interested in playing lead guitar – I am much more comfortable down here at the bass end! Playing in a one guitar band is great, because it means you have to work that bit harder to fill the space. All the tracks have strong harmonies on the choruses and I enjoy getting involved with backing vocals. Really adds something to the overall sound and is also great fun.
(Andy Mac) Drums and percussion: I Joined the band in late 2012. Kenny & Stephen gave me a copy of the unmixed EP “On The Inside” to have a listen to, and after I stuck it in the CD player for the first time, I knew it was something special. I have been drumming since the age of 11, playing in orchestral, jazz, ceilidh and rock bands.
Where was the EP recorded?
(Kenny) The EP was recorded at The Wel, in the Shore area of Edinburgh owned by Keith Easton at Woosh Entertainments Ltd. Carlsberg would say it’s probably the best rehearsal space in Edinburgh. It was recently built and the place has a freshness about it, high end equipment, free tea and coffee…!, and a lot of Edinburgh’s best bands/musicians use the space.
Who produced the EP?
(Kenny) The EP was produced by the band – we spent 6 months with these songs over and over to explore different ways of playing the songs, just jamming through them and getting the format and overall feel right. At just the right time we then met Lord Hagos through the drummer from Ash who also uses The Wel. Lord Hagos was the perfect person to record us and is some kind of genius when it comes to recording and mixing. His CV reflects this; Number 4 album ‘Stacked Up’ with Senser, played bass with Ozric Tentacles, then Lode Star, sound engineer with Ash, Black Label Society, Kate Nash, Marriane Faithful…the list goes on. His vision, skill, musicality and imagination really helped to bring the EP songs to life. For this recording Lord Hagos brought his Feral Mobile Recording Unit to the rehearsal room along with an exotic selection of mics and guitar pedals!
Who writes the songs?
(Kenny) I wrote these 5 songs and the band helped finalise the musical arrangements. Having said that we made a last minute change to ‘Hold On For Your Life’ and completely re-wrote the chorus on the last day of recording. The recorded version was literally the first time I had sung the chorus! These songs have gone through an evolution over time but the EP versions for me are now the final versions. This means we can focus on the new songs we have.
What do you write about?
(Kenny) The songs seem to form themselves through playing guitar and evolving the vocal melodies, mood and feel. Sometimes the song comes from a riff and sometimes from a particular guitar sound. I tend to then map out the whole song and vocal melody on Cubase and write the lyrics at the end syllable by syllable. I tend to write about real life scenarios and emotions that I understand. I’m a strong believer in self determination and that people have the power within themselves to succeed with what they want to do.
Why did you use the name “Thirteen-Seven”
(Kenny) A long story over a long timeframe… I shared a flat in Edinburgh at 137 Warrender Park Road where the song writing began – it was a great time with lots of laughs – even met a pre-famous KT Tunstall and Steve Mason from the Beta Band through people in the flat. Ever since then the numbers have followed me around like some kind of crazy joke – I designed the logo based around these numbers. Ultimately 13 and 7 have historical significance and are considered bad luck/good luck – it’s a bit like a numerology ying yang… or something…
Can you tell me your musical influences?
(Kenny) Where to start… Led Zeppelin & Metallica were the bands that made me pick up a guitar, I remember hearing Black Dog and said ‘I WILL learn to play that song’. Also was blown away by the grunge scene, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains (Layne Staley is my favourite singer ever RIP…), Sound Garden, Smashing Pumpkins, STP etc. Also respect and enjoy Muse –in my opinion by far the most talented UK band in many years. Rage, QOTSA, Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Sex Pistols, Pink Floyd, Henry Rollins also i listened to a lot. I like bands who have something to say in their songs and push out the boundaries. The US generally seems to produce the best rock guitar music – it’s uplifting and seems to carry a sense of freedom, genuineness and enjoyment about it all.
(Stephen) I was very fortunate to have an older cousin who introduced me to Metallica and Led Zeppelin – not a bad start! And then of course the grunge scene kicked off in the early ‘90’s. So the usual suspects, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains to name but a few! Rage Against The Machine also grabbed me, and a bit later on Radiohead (still can’t believe they played Dundee!) and more recently Muse and Killing Joke.
(Andy Mac) I really got into 70′s rock and prog when I was young. I also loved listening to Rythm and blues and soul music . These days I still have a varied music taste and just listen to what I like or what has a great drum beat, no matter what style of music it is.
What do you do in you spare time?
(Kenny) Inevitably on a sunny morning I will be drinking coffee and playing guitar…it’s the best time to write a new song. Nice to spend time on Youtube watching music, interviews and the making of album documentaries etc. I never watch TV because there is nothing to learn from it – to me it’s just another distraction from reality. Also like the local music venues and getting a pleasant surprise when you go to a random gig and catch a great band. I love walking round cities and exploring to see the sites and meeting up with friends.
(Stephen) Of course the ‘Splitter of Skulls’, as my Schecter Diamond Series is known, is never too far from my grasp. I’m always summoning Basor – the god of bass – to present to me an eternal riff! Me and Kenny went to Roskilde festival in Denmark last summer which was great – live music is really what it’s all about. Away from the music, I like the outdoors – hiking etc, running – participated in the Speed of Light Festival in August which involved running around Arthur’s Seat in the dark, wearing a light suit! – travel, languages (battling with Polish at the moment), and generally the creative arts in all their various forms.
(Andy Mac) I tend to disappear out on my bike at the weekend as cycling is a big passion of mine. I love the speed and adrenaline, chasing mates down Innerleithen. Although I do love chilling at home with a good movie or just listening to music.
Any new bands you like at the moment?
(Kenny) I’m still stuck in the past with Alice In Chains etc…! However there is a ton of good music out there though – you only have to go out to your local music venue or surf through Reverbnation to find something good. The variety of music is also quite amazing at the moment, and if the digital age has done anything useful musically it’s made it easier for people to get creative, record cheaply and self promote their work.
(Stephen) I don’t really spend a lot of time exploring new stuff to be honest – but Holier Than Thou Records have some decent bands on their books!! Check out the website
(Andy Mac) I Think I’m with Kenny on this one. I Still love coming across some old music I’ve not heard before.