8 Degrees

8 Degrees Biography

Kansas is known as "the middle of nowhere". Almost every non-Kansan as well as Kansas resident believes the bread basket state to be a geographical time warp 10 years behind the rest of the world. While cities such as Lawrence & Kansas City have somewhat respectable music scenes, the capital city Topeka is known by outsiders for nothing except small town attitudes, shootings, and white trash parties.

However, 6 individuals have taken all the frustration from living in such a dead end, conservative, nothing to do city, and created music that burns with aggression, and at the same time cools with lush emotion. With drums and turntables kicking in the front door and beating the listener like an angry pimp accompanied with guitar fury that tattoos psycho- melodic noise into the victims' brain. Add to that mess, groove heavy bass and a voice that sings and chants beautiful heartfelt words while at the same time, scowls curses, and damns the inner demons that tear at his psyche.

Meet DJ 1200 King, drummer Chris Stuke, guitarist Erik Francis, bassist Tim Gentry, vocalist Aaron Lambotte, and guitarist James Johnston. Each family member brings to the table his own creative piece that when pieced with the others, creates a three dimensional, living, breathing, entity that pulsates with intensity, power, anxiety, and the hunger to dominate, labeled 8 degrees.

Born in the later half of 1995, 8 degrees has kept the original line-up. All native Kansan's, their unhappening locale along with their Midwestern work ethic, gives them the inspiration, as well as lots of space, to focus and tune in on what they want to accomplish.

In 1996 the band released a 4-song demo under the name Piss but after uptight Midwest club owners refused to let the band perform at their establishments, the band changed the name to 8 degrees and thus the music started it's evolution. In 1998 the band recorded and distributed the self-released debut Swam the Waters and the machine hasn't stopped since. Swam the Waters is still selling out of local and regional record stores as well as flooding into the international market and scene. The disc is being spun on countless radio stations here in the states as well as in far off places such as Australia and Chile just to name a few. Right now as you read this, the disc is also selling at an unbelievable speed via the internet. 8 Degrees is arguably the best unsigned band on the net.

Swam the Waters also caught the attention of many major record labels. The labels decided to pass this time around. "That's okay though," Aaron says with confidence, "It just fuels us to become better and hit the industry upside the head with music that cannot be denied."

With this attitude in mind, 8 degrees self released and distributed A Series of Moments in August of 2k. The CD contains 7 new songs and will, without a doubt, catapult the band to major label success. A Series of Moments is eons ahead of their last release and it sets the band apart from the repetitive "rap-core" genre. The boys traded in the fast pace choppy assault and paid more attention to structure and melody this time around. Also, there was more singing and the screams were used only when the personality of the song needed it. Of course there was also rapping but it didn't take precedence and it was done with lots of style and dynamics, again, only when needed. One listen and you can't help but agree that 8 degrees has evolved into something that stands alone and is not easily dismissed or categorized. Gone are the "Adidas Rock" blueprints and in its place are feeling and soul, exposed, for the entire world to witness.

In the past five years the band has gone from playing ghetto parties for free beer to opening for mega bands such as Papa Roach and Incubus. 8 degrees has proved that they can win over and keep the crowds attention just as well as the big boys that dominate MTV's TRL and get non-stop play on the nation's air waves.

The lasting impression is the band's live show, no wait, there's nothing "show" about it. It's true-life stories being relived. It's demons being exorcised, and the washing away of built up feelings of alienation, depression, and anything else that gets put in the back of your head because you're not sure exactly what to do with it. Once the first chord is struck, the stage looks as if a riot has just broke out. 8 degrees work themselves, as well as the crowd, into a frenzy, giving everyone permission to rid his or herself of the pains and aches of everyday life. No one has a better grip on hopelessness and boredom, and it's effects on humans, than members of 8 degrees. By the end of the show, there are bumps, bruises, cuts, and usually broken equipment. All in a days work of keeping the emotion of the music as real and sincere as when it was conceived.

8 degrees has the necessary components and perspectives, along with a style that boast both hot and cold dynamics that insures the band's diversity as well as its longevity. The machine won't stop screaming, and the world will have to listen.8 Degrees relocated to the Los Angeles area in January 2001 to begin infecting the left coast.

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