Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Sevendust

prespassIf you’re a band these days you could do much worse than the hard-rocking outift that comprises Sevendust. Since their start in 2004, the group’s five members have managed to endure the massive changes in the record industry – they now publish on the Warner Independent Music Group – as well as the defection (and reunion) of a founding member without compromising their sound one iota. Today they’re touring in support of their eighth album.

prespass

Sevendust (Photo: Jeremy Adamo)

 

If you’re a band these days you could do much worse than the hard-rocking outift that comprises Sevendust. Since their start in 2004, the group’s five members have managed to endure the massive changes in the record industry – they now publish on the Warner Independent Music Group – as well as the defection (and reunion) of a founding member without compromising their sound one iota. Today they’re touring in support of their eighth album.

The News-Press caught up with lead vocalist, Lajon Witherspoon, to talk about the band’s evolution that led up to new album Cold Day Memory to get a sense of how the ensemble has endured the turbulent times in the music industry and within their own outfit.

 

News-Press: So you’re currently out on the road with the Carnival of Madness tour along with Puddle of Mudd, Chevelle, Shinedown and a bunch of other bands. How’s that going for you?

Witherspoon: We just played the first night in Jacksonville and you kind of wonder what’s going to happen since you sort of don’t even have time to set up. But in all I think the show was great. We play about 45 minutes. They’re short man, we get done and we’re like, “what the hell should we do with the rest of the day.” If I had enough money I’d fly home for the rest of the day.

 

N-P: Do you have a lot of interaction with the other bands?

Witherspoon: Oh yeah. We all hang out. I feel like we’ve almost grown up together. Shinedown we knew at the very start of our careers. Puddle of Mudd, we’ve known them for a million years. We all hang. We’ve got a barbecue going on since the first day. It’s exciting. We’ve all got tents out and it’s a real family vibe.

 

N-P: This is now your eighth album you’ve put out. What’s the key to keeping it fun and keeping it interesting?

Witherspoon: I just think it was something we were destined to do. I don’t know what else we would do if we didn’t have this vehicle to express our emotions. I’d never take it for granted, to have this brotherhood, this second family. Even though it’s a business it’s a pleasure too. I know we bitch and say how we want to go home, but at the end of the day this is what we signed up to do. To take our minds away from the recession or whatever else you might be dealing with. For those 3-4 hours you’re able to fix whatever’s going on in your life, that stuff that everyone’s dealing with.

 

N-P: On your new album, all five members contributed lyrics. Is that the first time you guys have done that on an album?

Witherspoon: We’ve always done that. I’ve always felt that it would be very selfish and foolish if everything were to come from one person’s point of view. So we’ve done it for a million years. It’s sad when you have all these beautiful people in your life and have them not contribute. And it’s easy to sing, because you know exactly where his mind was at when he wrote it because I was beside him when he was going through it. Plus, each of the guys in the band are singers. So it’s really cool when people come up and are like “Man, check this melody out.” It’s a blessing to have.

 

N-P: For this latest album you posted a lot of videos of the band’s process recording the album. What sort of feedback did you get for shedding that light on the creative process?

Witherspoon: They love it man. I’m one of those guys who tries to hide and be shy. But people got to see the process and how it’s not as glamorous as people think. You really got to see the real side of Sevendust. We’ve still got a blog going too.

 

N-P: You guys have seen both sides of the music curve, both the label-driven dynamic and the more do-it-yourself era we’re in now. How did you make that transition?

Witherspoon: Now we own our own label, Seven Brothers. It’s cool to be on the business end of things and oversee everything. So many times we’ve done this and people, I don’t want to say they’ve taken advantage of us, but they haven’t done the right thing by us. So it’s really cool to be in charge of all that stuff. Man, it’s been 5 or 6 years ago man. We’re running this sh*t.

 

N-P: Where do you see your career going next?

Witherspoon: We’re going to go back over to Europe. We just got back from Korea about a week ago. We’re just trying to go around the world, and I mean the whole world. We just hope everyone enjoys the album, and if you didn’t, go fuck yourself … no, I’m just kidding. Life’s too short. I’m not going to sweat the small things. It’s a cool thing to still be here and still have people come out.

• Sevendust performs at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md. on Wednesday, July 28.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*