We caught up with folk metal artist Theresa Terzonie (Tree) a couple of weeks ago…
DIY: So tell me a bit about your band…
Tree: So basically my name is Tree and I’m like a folk and metal artist. So, for the past three years, I’ve worked alongside session musicians, and they’ve developed the band with me. I’ve like scored and written parts for my tracks, but I thought: I don’t have enough hands to play it all, so I got in some players and I’ve moved on from a solo project to a bigger thing.
DIY: And how long have you been in Leeds, Tree?
Tree: I’ve been in Leeds for ten years now – which is crazy. I started the solo project from about twelve years old. I didn’t realise how much of an effect it would have later in my life, I just thought ‘I’m Tree, I’ll just play some pubs and clubs, make some noises’ and then it started to become a little bit bigger and I realised I should probably make up a logo for it, and when I was about sixteen I created a logo and things started to take shape, and I was like ‘Oh nice one, it’s like an actual artist’s name now’.
DIY: That’s cool, your logo looks really nice
Tree: Thank you. Yeah it was Megan __(?) She designed the logo for Suicide Silence and I thought ‘I really like that’, even though their style’s really powerful I thought I liked the edges and her take on it so I thought I’ll speak to her.
DIY: All you promo stuff looks really good.
Tree: Thank you! That means so much. I really like visuals. I always try and make shows attractive and pretty.
DIY: Yes, it’s really important.
Tree: Definitely yeah, I agree. But that’s pretty much the story – I moved over from Belfast when I was ten and then I started learning guitar the same year, so a little bit later on in the year, just before my eleventh birthday I was like ‘Mum, I’d love to get some guitar lessons cos I love rock music’ so I got this Argos nylon string guitar and just played around with what I could, and then my mum took me to a guitar shop-workshop with other kids, like a community thing, and then I just kept playing by myself until I met some friends at school – and I think were jamming with other people helped me pick up folk guitar. I was like ‘ah cool, they’re doing this, I like it, I’ll do this’.
DIY: How about gigs?
Tree: My next gig is the 9th of August for Edinburgh Fringe – and that should be great, should be a lot of partying. I’ve never played Edinburgh Fringe before so I’m really looking forward to it.
DIY: Cool! That should be great. I’ve never been to the Edinburgh Fringe. It sounds amazing. Closest I’ve done is a walk around the Great Yorkshire Fringe on Saturday (laughs). We had a gig in York and we were early so we had a walk around that. Bet you’re buzzing.
Tree: I’d love to come to one of your shows, just let me know
At this point, the interviewer/interviewee roles briefly reversed. My fault for going of subject when we talked about the Edinburgh Fringe I think. I’ll not transcribe this part as I wasn’t the interviewee here.
DIY: (laughs) Hey, you’re interviewing me now. Anyway… Tell me about gigs in Leeds:
Tree: It’s been a while since I’ve done something central. Recently I’ve been doing more Bradford gigs, but I love the Leeds scene, it’s great for the underground, the independent scene, I love Bad Apples for the rock and metal side and then for like the partying side as well.
DIY: Where’s your favourite venue to play in Leeds?
Tree: I’d probably say The Brudenell.
DIY: Yeah, I love the Brude.
Tree: Yeah, it’s awesome, the best venue I think. In spirit, the people are amazing and the sound.
DIY: Yeah, there’s always a good crowd there.
Tree: Yeah, that’s it like good vibes all round. I think probably some of the cheapest pints as well. I think with the Brudenell, it almost feels culty, it’s encompassed the community and that’s so amazing, because it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen a venue do that, so it’s really special. I’l always love the Brude, the Brude’s in my heart forever.
DIY: So, what have you been recording today? Are you putting out a new record soon?
Tree: Hopefully. I’m working on two projects. I’ve been in the studios at Leeds Beckett. So, the project I’ve been working on today is a little bit of a secret, but that’ll be really cool…
Tree: It’s so funny cos even with other projects, we’ll tell everybody close to us that we’re in this project together, but a lot of the people would be fans of the people in the band as individuals, and not know each other, so the scene will become really interesting for us. Like there’s people I’ve met through a vocalist leaving a band and they were looking for a new vocalist so I just joined them and we’ve been working on two demo tracks today. Hopefully they’ll go on an EP in the future and maybe some singles.
DIY: Cool, the studios at Leeds Beckett are great. My mate’s at uni there and I’ve been in a few times to do some mastering.
Tree: It is amazing. I was blown away. I’m at Leeds College of Music, which is brilliant, but I think what it is is the space of the Leeds Beckett facility is like – you go in and your like ‘wow there’s so much space’ – I think that’s what feels really nice there.
DIY: How long have you been at Leeds College of Music?
Tree: I’ve been there for three years. So I’ve done the Btec – like the A-Level equivalent course. And I did Pop Production and Performance and I’ve focused on some production at home, but the actual course that I did was Btec Performance. I’ve done three years at Lcom and I did my first two years studying Btec Pop Performance and then I learned some production things at home and I did what I could with that but I think I was really just a performer and that was really cool, it helped me to grow for the first few years, and now I’m in my first year of uni, surrounded by musicians.
DIY: What production techniques did you learn at home?
Tree: Mainly just sampling with Logic and using patches and using ProTools. I’d get basic demos down and then I’d add some weird noises through Logic, take it further.
Tree: I still have a lot to learn in production but hopefully I can just keep going with that.
DIY: My mate from Leeds Becket has been learning Logic and ProTools. I’ve never had a go at either, just Reason.
Tree: Reason’s amazing.
DIY: It is. I found it very easy to use. Logic looks complicated.
Tree: Yeah, I think Reason’s really welcoming. I think with Logic, it can be really nice – there’s so much to it, it can make things really easy, you can quantize I think, a lot faster, and get things levelled a bit better. What about yourself?
DIY: Haha I’m interviewing you…
Tree: So… something crazy – I’m moving to Rotterdam on the 20th of August for a year – nine to twelve months – doing an exchange year with Lcom. They just brought it out this year, and they were like we’ve never done this before, does anybody fancy it? So I’ll be doing that and I’ll be back gigging in Leeds in 2019.
DIY: We look forward to that.
Words: Roya Brehl