Lajon Witherspoon - vocals Clint Lowery - guitar Morgan Rose
- drums Vinnie Hornsbey - bass John Connolly - guitar
....... The Atlanta-based band Sevendust
has become one of the rising stars in late-'90s heavy metal. The band's
bottom-heavy riffs assert them as pure metal, but their soulful melodies make
their music surprisingly accessible. Frontman Lajon Witherspoon revels in the
harsh side of his voice, but the reason his growling and gnashing are so
effective is the fact that he's a strong enough singer to croon when he
chooses. And when he does, his smooth, muscular vocals make a striking contrast
to the choppy, explosive guitar exchanges that Clint Lowery and John Connolly
ignite. Sevendust first appeared in 1995 as Crawlspace, releasing the single
"My Ruin" on the Mortal Kombat: More Kombat recording. The group then
changed their name to Sevendust, releasing their self-titled debut in 1997 it
went on to become one of the most popular metal albums of the year. . The
band's lineup consists of Lajon on vocals, Clint Lowery and John Connelly on
guitars, Vinnie Hornsby on bass and Morgan Rose on drums. ~ Kirk Dombek,
All-Music Guide . I had the opportunity to check out Sevendust three times this
year once at Radio stations 98 Rock Radio promo show and KSJO " Day on the
Green" and Woodstock 99'. It was nice to see these musicians mature into a
fantastic powerful sounding band. This interview was taken during the summer
when they came through the bay area.
INTERVIEW WITH Sevendust
Q: Do you classifying yourself a
heavy metal band?
A: Yeah. There are a lot of people
who are into that word, but we are just as far as Heavy metal is. We like to
stand by that .The thing about it is music,
Q: Your live show is full of energy?
A: That's what its all about. The
crowds are part of the show. They are the other half of it. They definitely
help us out. The crowd going off makes us go off a lot harder.
Q: You have a place that is home?
A: Atlanta. Chicago. Chicago is
great. The whole northeast basically. New York. A band like us, when they hear
song, they say 'well dam'!
Q: I don't hear to many satanic
verses like Ozzi in your stuff. I notice that bands are getting away from that.
A: They don't want to burn in hell.
Q: Has it helped you when bands like
Metallica and Guns and Roses fall by the wayside for a while?
A: They were in the heavy metal slot
for so long and they kind of branched off in this mainstream, which made it
easier for us to be on the cutting edge for a second. But, Metallica is always
going to be there and they covered so much ground, they deserve every
Q: How consistent has your band
been? Do you have any of the original members from the beginning?
A: Yes. I think its pretty important
to have that. You so many bands come with their second record and they don't
always have that band. Its almost insulting because they call themselves
something and there is not one original guy left in the band. Its like how in
the world the band can call themselves the original . It's the big
corporations. Goodbye handshake.
Q: Are you in the middle of making
A: We just finished our second, and
now I feel like I could still do a third record.
Q: A lot of musicans say that its
hard to write on on the road. Can you do that?
A: Writing on the road, you have to
kind of take it when you can get it. Sometimes when you get so many people on a
bus, you just can't dictate when you have free time. It just comes and goes in
waves. A tour like this is pretty hard, because we have short set schedules.
When you're playing in a club or places where it's a one stage set up, and you
know you know you're going to be going on at ll:00 at night, than it's a little
easier, because you get up at noon and you've got the scheduling down. You
can't put a schedule on that anyway. You might write a song in the middle of
the night. Collectively, when you're together, its easier when we're all
together in our room and we have time to do riffs. It's a little easier if all
five of us are in the same place at the same time.
Q: Do you sometimes strive to sound
A: Every now and then we try to come
up with different thing. Its cool to challenge yourself to be more inventive
than the next guy. To try to do something from the traditional metal that we
grew up on and what made an impression and to make a version in the present
day. That is what it is basically. I used to listen to Sabotage and now I want
to have the same effect that they did back then on me. All metal back then was
the most influenced hard(?) guitars.
Q: Having a mix race band cause any
problems when touring?
A: No kind of racial things have
really happened. Even when we went into Alabama. I'm sure they're there, but
they just don't talk about it when they have a thousand other people who will
kill them when they do say anything. Not that we're trying to make a statement
or anything, but I think we're just trying to do our thing
Q: So you guys were around when you
were searching for singer before he was around?
A: Well, we weren't all playing
together, he was with one band, we were with another band Morris with Anywhere
band. Everybody kind of exited their situation and we just kind of swung
Q: How are you guys like on
A: Basically now somedays we feel
good, we didn't drink the night before, and somedays we might have had a little
too much. It comes and goes.
Q: What was it like to tour with
A: It was different. We're bigger
fans of all the bands and it touched home with us a little more than a lot of
bands. We just got up there for background. Even though the Oz Fest was a very
good thing for us to do.
Q: There were two groups that showed
up at the Jamboree, Kidd Rock and Godsmack. Are they considered metal rap or is
that something that's being incorporated lately?
A: I like Kidd Rock, because he
still has that inner fire to him. He is all into that. He always talks about
that. It's more classic rock rap. Especially with Kidd Rock because just for an
entertainer to show it is rap, but at the same time he has the total respect of
the month so he acknowledges what guitar originated from and what it is. It is
metal too, but I just love how he has that respect for the Alman Brothers and
all those other sort of bands. We did a smaller tour with Godsmack. I have all
the admiration for them.
Q: Do you think fans sometimes take
a while to get used to new music?
A: People like to take their music
and say okay, well this is it. I think for a long time obviously they're doing
something that's a little less work on deciding.
By Randy Cohen
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