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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA student finds success 60 Degrees North

    Veterinary Science Sophomore Matthew Hay-Roe is having a good year.

    It began when his band, 60 Degrees North, opened for Styx on New Year’s Eve at the Fiesta Bowl Block Party in Phoenix for over 100,000 people. It continued when later that month they opened for Smash Mouth at P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon. And, more recently, they launched their first album Half Crazy on the web.

    “”We used a service called Catapult that puts all of our music all over the web and I think that’s a big thing because not a whole lot of people are buying CDs,”” Hay-Roe said.

    Catapult Distribution is one of the best ways to get your music online. With a single fee of $25, Catapult takes an album and promotes it to dozens of digital music stores. People can buy the album and the artist is paid through PayPal. Of course, it takes some work getting the copyrights for songs, but it’s worth it.

    “”Now we own the patents and we can get radio play,”” Hay-Roe said.

    60 Degrees North, which plays a variety of jazz, Latin, pop, funk, country and solid hard rock, have been playing shows all over the place.

    “”We’ve played a bunch of different things. We’ve done corporate shows in hotels, we’ve done weddings, we’ve done the little tiny bars, you know, we’ve done Martini Ranch in Scottsdale,”” Hay-Roe said. “”We have a booking agency because the venues that you play say a lot about your band.””

    But the opportunity to play bigger and better shows is something the band is excited about.

    “”If we play a bar and start loading our equipment in at five in the afternoon, you know, our big PA speakers and our soundboards and microphones, we get it all set up and ready to go by seven and we’re playing until one in the morning, that’s a hell of a night,”” Hay-Roe said. “”And to walk away from all of that effort with a hundred bucks in your pocket is not quite enough. It’s sad but true.””

    Hay-Roe was lucky to join up with 60 Degrees North (comprised of Raun Alosi, lead signer, Scott Landucci, drums, Monty Siren, guitar, Jason Cartmell, guitar, and Dave Wolter, bass) when he was 17 and hanging around with another band.

    “”I was really thrilled by people with actual legit musical background and not just a couple of kids messing around and paying $300 bucks to some guy to record their demo CD,”” Hay-Roe said.

    The band, formerly a professional cover band, was ready to work on some original material, and they invited Hay-Roe to join to play the keyboard and sing back-up vocals.

    “”We went into the studio in August of 2007 to start laying down the basic tracks and we pretty much went every week to either fix up a track or lay down something,”” Hay-Roe said. “”We worked with Jeff Harris who has produced for Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, a lot of big names and he was really excellent. We learned a lot from him so our next CD is going to be self-produced.””

    Everyone in the band contributed to Half Crazy, and each person in the band sings the song they wrote.

    “”We do a lot of harmonies and things like that, which is something you really don’t hear a whole lot anymore,”” Hay-Roe said. “”I think it’s very cool because it gives everyone a chance to come out in front and be a rock star.””

    Hay-Roe is in Tucson and the rest of the band is in Phoenix, but he’s still finding the opportunity to play when he’s not with them.

    “”I was playing guitar outside one afternoon, in the Highland bowl, when Mallory Jordan walked by. She’s an intern with the Marshall Foundation, the group that puts the Farmer’s Market together. She told me, after listening for a bit, that they wanted to have some live entertainment at the market, and that I should email her about performing. I did, and now I play there every week,”” Hay-Roe said.

    Every Friday from 12-2, Hay-Roe can be found playing at the Farmer’s Market on University Boulevard in front of Kebabeque Indian Grill.

    “”I play guitar and sing out on the street,”” Hay-Roe said. “”It’s very humbling. You have to realize you’re not the center of attention, but I still make it fun by calling out for sing-alongs and such. People are very generous.””

    Even with the economic downturn, the band is thriving.

    “”We’re doing better now than we were a year ago,”” Hay-Roe said. “”I think it’s because people are looking to get a release from all this bad. They want to kick back and just forget about it for a while and that’s what we offer. We’re an inclusive band, you know, we talk to the crowds a lot, everyone has a good time whenever we play. It’s a win-win.””

    Currently, the band is working on their next album and playing three to four shows a month, while they seem to be enjoying some moderate fame.

    “”One time I was driving on the freeway and I saw a car with a 60 Degree North bumper sticker which I thought was really neat,”” Hay-Roe said. “”I’m just really glad that I’ve had this opportunity and I’m never going to forget it. I want to keep going with it as long as I can.””

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