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3rd Degree: A Shot of Rock in the Arm
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
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If you are looking for a musically uplifting experience and an arousing shot in the arm, 3rd Degree is your one-way ticket to excitement.

When you listen to 3rd Degree, you are instantly all pumped up and excited. Like with any great rock 'n' roll music, they make the blood travel to your brain faster and harder. Talking to the band members revealed a sense of maturity, accomplishment, and pride in their music. It is truly refreshing and promising to see young men so dedicated to their craft. With that, responsibility to their livelihood is an honest to goodness belief in growth and prosperity. Like any red blooded American, they are living the dream every day, trying their best to reach the next rung of success on the long climb up the ladder of professional music.

RealAudio: "Leave Yourself Behind"

In the press 3rd Degree have been compared to Cheap Trick, Elvis Costello, Guided By Voices, and Fountains of Wayne. They readily admit strong influences by Queen and Marilyn Manson, yet, believe they do not sound like anyone but themselves. After listening to their music, I can vouch for that. They have an original raw rock sound that I genuinely appreciate.

3rd Degree feels that they the deserve a major label record deal and have enough of a mainstream sound for that qualification, although, their options are many in this day and age of independent music and the Internet. They embrace their Indie spirit and the freedom of creativity that it affords. While they will never evolve into a jazz quintet, 3rd Degree will continually strive to create new and exciting music. The band believes that the rock genre is boundless and offers this kind of growth for any group that dares to explore it.

Their live shows boast powerfully raw renditions of their studio work with harmonics not often found in rock music. 3rd Degree is intent on blowing you away, whether you hear them live or play one of their CDs. They will never sit still and be satisfied where they are at with their music.In a sense, they are a direct reflection of the high-energy restlessness of their generation. They play the music that they like and with an attitude, which makes for a successful mixture of emotion and sound.

If you are looking for a musically uplifting experience and an arousing shot in the arm, 3rd Degree is your one-way ticket to excitement.

RealAudio: "Maid Of Honor"

A Few Words from the Band

3rd Degree is Brooklyn brothers JP and Adam (both on guitar & vocals), Denver's Jeff Hieatt (bass), LA's Aaron Johnson (rhythm guitar) and Boston's Adam Blake (drums).

On their influences...

JP: We've been compared in the press to Cheap Trick, Elvis Costello, Guided By Voices, and Fountains of Wayne. So I'd say we're influenced by great songs and great performances, regardless of where they come from or what era of music they originated in.

Aaron: All of us have varied tastes in music, and we're constantly listening to the radio, absorbing music television, and checking out local bands in clubs around New York City. We take it all in. It's not our intention to copy anyone or wear our influences on our sleeve. You could say Queen and Marilyn Manson are big influences and you'd be right in both instances. Then again, I don't think we sound like either of them, but we've definitely learned a few tricks from both.

Adam: Everything from punk to funk to glam to alternative to pop to classic rock to rhythm & blues to electro-clash to garage rock inspires us. It's always fun to hear what other people think we sound like or who our influences are.

RealAudio: "Headlights Pass"

Why 3rd Degree?

JP: Fear of a day job!

Aaron: Well, JP and I figured this would be the only way for Adam to meet girls.

Adam: I thought this would be the only way for JP and Aaron to meet girls.

On their future goals...

JP: To write the perfect rock anthem! It would be great to hear our songs on the radio in fifty years. We'll probably be in a retirement home by then, watching old videos of ourselves and teaching our grandkids all our old licks.

Aaron: We'd like to score a major label deal, obviously, but there are plenty of options out there for bands apart from the mainstream, even though I think that's where we belong. The industry is in a flux right now. We're doing lots of live dates and gaining a strong, dedicated following, so as long as we continue on that road, we'll be fine.

Adam: Play better, record better, make money. The usual stuff.

An evolution of rock?

JP: Absolutely. The band constantly develops new songs, arrangements, and various other ideas. I can't see us turning into an acid jazz ensemble or a jam band like Ben Harper. We're certainly not going to take Paul Schaeffer's job away. Rock is a huge genre, there's plenty of room to grow.

Aaron: Whatever we do, we'll always sound like us. That's the important thing.

Adam: We're not the type of people who sit still or gloat over our past accomplishments. 3rd Degree has come a long way in a short time. Once we achieve a certain level, we aim for the next. We'll never repeat ourselves. I have no idea what we'll sound like in five years.

Behind the release of Radio 7

JP: We wanted to make the best record possible, pure and simple. We wanted it to be polished, but still have that raw sweaty rock vibe. Essentially, we are just a Rock band.

Aaron: Certainly Jim Ebert was a mentor to us in the studio, but we have a big sound on stage and that's what we captured during the sessions. He's collaborating with us on our follow-up as well. We have a spirited working relationship with Jim and the next album is going to reflect a tremendous amount of enthusiasm.

Adam: Live, we're much more raw, but that's because we're always playing off the energy of the audience. Yes, Radio 7 is a big record. We have a powerful sound that's not built on volume alone. Our music is rich in harmony and texture. Many bands out there now aren't doing what we are doing, sonically on that level... so we're going to turn some heads in that respect. Even when we do a rare acoustic show, we want the songs to resonate. That's how we make records and play music.

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