The Seeing Tree is a music collective composed of like artistic minds whose unparalleled sonics collude together, manifesting under one ethos: release music that expresses passion and awareness.
It's an approach shared between Brighton-based producer Lee Pepper, the lyricist intoner Eugenie Arrowsmith, and Herman Rarebell, the mastermind behind the Scorpion's ultimate hit-breakers of the 80s. Their latest creative amalgamation comes in the form of testimony and outrage over the international gaslighting proceeding behind closed—and wide-open—political doors.
With a combined group featuring the mind behind 'Rock You Like A Hurricane', and 'I Can See The Signs', it's not surprising that great minds usually think alike when put to the test of manufacturing a captivating atmosphere through sound.
Naturally, when the opening John Bonham-like thuds of the kick-drum land healthy over your chest, and the reverberated chugs of the riffing electric guitars suspend you in gravity-less space, you're instantly reminded of the cadence behind Led Zeppelin's 'Kashmir.'
The unrestricted and dynamic atmosphere of that song feels similar here. But when the heavy-saturated and distorted vocals of Eugenie Arrowsmith combine over newly festooning string orchestrations, an extra-added layer of width and distortion arrives adjacent to a freshly fuelled rhythm section, and it's almost impossible not get lost in the thematic moment of it all; a true hot-blooded rock-anthem.
Between mid-tempo marching stanzas that lurch forward over the weight of their own nostalgia dripping beats, and the heavy-weighted and pointing fingers behind Eugenie's lyrics, there's no question that by the time you reach the apex of 'I Can See The Signs', and you're decrying 'I don't want your fire, I don't want your fire, fire, fire,'—it will feel impossible to say "no" to another serving of The Seeing Tree.
Can you walk us through how this collaboration initially came to fruition, and the steps that led up to this debut release?
Herman Rarebell (Drummer/Songwriter – The Seeing Tree)- I put together a show called Drum Legends with Ginger Baker and Pete York and we did a show at The Brighton Dome. Pepper came and recorded the event life and we started talking and it was clear we both have a love of music and humanity in common.
Pepper (Producer/Songwriter/Keyboards – The Seeing Tree)- I was blown away the night of the Drum Legends by how generous and open Herman was to new ideas and how enthusiastic he still was musically. The show was really exciting and he was so dynamic and funny, we just hit it off and that’s how it all began. He sent me a track, which he’d produced with the guitarist and producer Thomas Perry that I just really loved, and I started to explore sonic possibilities and that formed the basis for ‘I Can See The Signs’.
What were the emotions fuelling your performances behind this single?
Herman Rarebell- Listen I played Winds of Change, which was a global hit when I was in The Scorpions and played the famous peace concert in Moscow – there was a sense of the common good – there was hope then of people coming together. What’s going on in the world right now is disunity and destructive, which stands against everything we were working for. It pisses me off to see things going backward and people not acting in the face of ignorance. We all have an investment in the future, whoever we are where ever we are on planet earth. ‘I Can See The Signs’ is a wake-up call, take the blindfold off, stop walking backward. We can all see those people on the World stage who are promoting stupidity!
When you think about how the lyrics draw attention to the dismay surrounding the state of our politics, is there anything more you would add behind the narrative you've set forth on this track?
Eugenie Arrowsmith (Singer/Songwriter – The Seeing Tree) - I guess we like to challenge some of the ignorance that is out there with a bit of human passion and fire and do what we can rather than just passively accept that narrative that is so dark and destructive. There’s always that thing that anger is still a sign of hope because you still feel there is something worth fighting for.
What have been your most memorable portions of recording this single together, and if you could highlight the most significant learning experience behind the recording sessions, what would it be?
Herman Rarebell – I guess it was the fact that we were all working through a lockdown and finding a way to still make music and feel the excitement of it. I know this is a different kind of ‘rock’ than people know me for but I like to do the unexpected and I have always played all genres of music. Also, the whole thing is so unexpected. Thomas Perry was in lockdown in Northern Italy and this track that we had done a few years ago found new life through a random meeting. We just had to get on with it, record, release, shoot the video in our respective back gardens and Pepper edited it all together – I’ve never made such a cheap video. We’re having fun at a really tough time for many people. We are all lucky that we are creative.
What can we expect to see from The Seeing Tree as you reach for higher and more distinguished milestones along your musical journey's path?
Herman Rarebell- We are going to see what this new online music world is all about - growing through social media and using technology to develop what we’re doing. I’ve really enjoyed the positive and immediate response to ‘I Can See The Signs’. It’s now possible to have much more direct relationships with people who are following your music. We’re also looking at ways to play together online as we write more. It’s about music and songwriting first and foremost and music is always an adventure particularly at such a strange time, everything keeps twisting and turning. Making music is a mind-blowing constant for me. If you want things to change write something – it’s always worked for me!