Rock Publication Logo
{short description of image} 
blkhldr.gif (43 bytes)
Official Music Publication on The Web 
Representing The Bay Area for over Thirty-Five Years

{short description of image}{short description of image} {short description of image}

{short description of image}{short description of image} {short description of image}


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.


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 recognition.

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 another album?

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 different?

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 together.

Q: How are you guys like on partying?

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 Oz?

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

This is the official Rock Publication web site © 1999
Music Relations Inc.® 
E-mail at
To Rock Publication Editorial Office