A REAL rock band has emerged from South Carolina. That's right, rock, as in two
smokin' guitarists/vocalists, a taut, manic rhythm section, and songs that run
the gamut from the intense, aggro and soaring "Inside Out" to the
soul-searching acoustic closing cut, "Left Alone." Echo 7 purvey hard
melodic rock (no annoying nu-metal or punk "qualifier" terms for this
band!) at its best. Sometimes-sinister guitar tones, edgy tempo changes and
heady lyrics make for rock 'n' roll that is both timely and timeless. Echo 7's
debut disc, One Step Away, guaranteed to put both the band and label on the
musical map. Look and Listen they Rock
| Interview with Ronnie
Q: I got your CD "One Step Away." Nice sound guys.
A: Thank you. Thank you very much.
Q: I like the variation from doing extreme hard rock to a
mellow acoustic the song "Left Alone." Was that intention to kind of
break it up like that?
A: Actually, in the beginning that was our plan to be a
track on the record. We went through a lot of different ideas and a lot of
different songs. We had so many songs to choose from and the songs that we
chose changed a couple of times and the producer came in one night and he was
like "Hey man, it would be cool if we did an acoustic. Would you guys be
up for that?" And we were like yeah man. We had some acoustic stuff and it
was a song we were working on and actually it wasn't even quite finished yet,
but we liked the idea of being able to put something like that on the record,
so we actually finished the song the night before we recorded it.
Q: That song just by itself is going to be dynamite for
some of these local radio stations out here in San Francisco.
A: Awesome. It was sort of lost minute. We had no idea
going into it that that song - we hadn't even talked about it or anything. In
fact, when we were in the studio doing it, our drummer hadn't even heard it
yet, so I played it for him for the first time in the studio. So that's how
last minute it was, but it turned out really good. We really liked the way it
Q: This might be your hit single instead of the "One
Step Away" one.
A: Who knows. Who knows. We've talked about the
possibility of how well that would do if it was released, but you know that's
not something that the label has talked to us about or anything yet, so we
don't know what the possibilities are of that being released in the future. You
know, hopefully it was released, it would do well. It's a strong song.
Q: So your touring with 3 Doors down
A: Yeah. I think that's why we've been doing really good
with their crowds. Yeah. The guys of 3 Doors really like our music and their
crowds have been really responsive to our songs in our live shows. I think
that's probably one of the reasons is, even though it's a different style than
3 Doors when it comes right to it, but at the same time it still keeps that
melodic hard rock feel and I think that's - I think more people relate to that
across the board than it's not stuck in one certain area. We reach a lot more
people with the harmonies and the guitars and the way the songs are structured.
Q: You know you're right. I notice a little bit of
everything sound going on
A: Yeah. I'm glad that's what's happening. You know it
actually wasn't intentional. We're all pretty much a product of our influences
and it all comes together between the four of us and that's what comes out.
But, you know if it's going to be something that a broad spectrum of listeners
are going to relate to and enjoy, then all the better you know.
Q: I see you have already toured with the heavyweights
A: Yeah. They threw us right in there with 3 Doors. That
was awesome. We got to play in front of some really big crowds and get to know
those guys. That was a lot of fun. And to get to go do that with them tomorrow
is great. And then they put us out with Finger Eleven and Finger Eleven we have
actually been big fans of theirs for a while. I think their first record came
out five years ago. Maybe over a little over five years ago. We have been
pretty much following those guys ever since their first record came out.
They're wind up artists and they're from Canada. They were on tour with Creed
when we saw them the first time when we went to see a Creed show back in our
home town in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Finger Eleven was the opening
act. We had no idea who they were and it was before their record came out and
they were announcing their release date that night and we all loved them. We
were blown away by their live show. And we all went out and bought their record
and have been big fans and following them ever since, so it's like really cool
to go out and have the opportunity to play shows with them, be on their tour
and you know, we get to watch and hang out with some of our mentors in a way.
Q: I guess it will be a while before you get out to the
West Coast. You're just doing the East Coast right now right?
A: Yeah. Right now it's mostly East Coast. Later on this
in this Finger Eleven tour we're going to be going out as far as some places in
Texas and Nevada.
Q: South Carolina, it was written here that you guys
really wanted to tour like crazy because you might not have been noticed as
much in South Carolina. Is that true? Because basically only Hootie and the
Blowfish were discovered there.
A: Yeah. Well, there's not a huge music scene and Myrtle
Beach is a tourist area. Not a lot of bands come out - it doesn't get a lot of
attention. I mean maybe if we do well, we'll help change that because there are
some good bands there, but the area doesn't get a lot of attention. We knew we
had to be able to get out and tour and get ourselves out in front a large
variety of people as much as we could to be able to get some attention, so
that's what we had to do. We couldn't stay in one place and play shows in
Myrtle Beach and think that we were going to get anywhere. We had to get out
there in front of the people.
Q: Where's that near? A: Myrtle Beach is right near the
border of North Carolina. It's about 100 miles away from Charleston, South
Q: So how long have you been together ?
A: Actually me and Dave, our other singer/guitar player,
we've been writing music together for almost 10 years now. We started our first
band in Myrtle Beach back in 1994/1995. And the unit we are now, we've been
together for a little over three years. About three years.
Q: That's pretty fast to be noticed by the record
companies. I guess you have what it takes to attract your average rock fan.
A: Well it definitely a lot of hard work for a long time
and we were stuck pretty much in a certain region, not being able to do a lot
of touring and not being able to get our name out like we wanted to. And we
went into a studio and recorded an independent cut called "Trippin' on
Destiny." And we like we need a good recording - when you have a good
product to get to people and get noticed and have people say this is who we are
and listen to this. We recorded that and we had that at our disposal, so that
helped out a lot and then we got a manager and since then we've kind of gotten
really organized as far as getting out on the road and pushing that product and
that helps tremendously once we were able to get out and start doing some
really good tours and getting out of town quite a bit.
Q: What's been your most interesting place on tour so
A: Anywhere, anytime. We loved Chicago. Chicago was a
great place to play. Chicago was really cool. A lot of the places on the 3
Doors tour were awesome - Hershey, PA. We played Hershey Park, that was really
nice. Roseland in New York. That was the nail biter, that was our first show on
the 3 Doors tour and they threw us right into the Roseland and we were like
"Wow, Roseland and 3 Doors Down." It was a packed house and that was
a lot fun and really exciting. We're getting to do what we love. Be in a
different place everyday and meet new people everyday and see a lot of places
that we've never seen before. It's just cool being able to be out and do that.
Q: That's a big score Roseland New York A: I mean Cleveland the other night, we
kicked off the Finger Eleven tour in Cleveland. None of us had been to
Cleveland before, so that was a great crowd and a great show. It's just cool to
be able to check it out and see things and meet people.
Q: You said before, when you went to pick these songs
you had about 30 of them.
A: Yeah. We had something like 30 to pick from. We tried
that on producer, we did a little pre-production and gave every song the once
over and went threw and did some constructive criticism and shows what we
thought would be the best record we could make and that even changed a couple
of times after that. We'd bring it in left alone and we took
"Masquerade" from "Trippin' On Destiny" - the independent.
That was the one that made it from there that we thought it would be a great
opportunity to get that one into a professional studio and have a lot of stuff
at our disposal to be able to work that one the way we wanted to and make it
what we wanted to be and we thought it would turn it out really well and that
worked out well. And that song "Once Before" - we'd only played
"Once Before" live - like once or twice - before we started in the
studio. That was a last minute decision. That was a brand new song and we just
thought it was really strong and we were really excited about it and wanted to
record it so that was added in at the last minute. So, a lot of this stuff on
the record is fairly new songs and what you would call new songs. They've been
written within two years of the record being made, so it was all still pretty
fresh and it was good to be able to get those new songs.
Q: You seem to have a continuous writing ability.
A: Yeah. We love to write music. We're (faded in and out)
Coming up with ideas all the time, so that's especially good in doing a first
record and being on the road it's good to be able to say that the ideas are
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