One thing about Sevendust. Their shows will blow you away. Their sound, the overtaking fury you thought you didn’t have buried within yourself will somehow jump out of you. They just simply rock. Here is an interview Ascensive Promotions did with John Connolly (stage left guitarist) on their tour bus at Club X-Treme in Cameron Park, CA.
Sevendust/Clutch/Stuck Mojo/Ultraspank Tour
Interviewer: jAy Ingram
AP: So, how have the tours been going?
JC: Good, the shows have been good. West Coast is always a bit of a struggle, that’s why we figured we would start here and work our way mid-west to the east coast.
AP: The first show was in Las Vegas, NV?
JC: Las Vegas….That was great.
AP: Are you guys going to rest after this tour?
JC: What I think is going to happen, we are probably going to wrap up late November early December, maybe do a handful of radio shows, just for Christmas shows, and then shut down for Christmas, and then after the first of the year we’ll just have to see what’s happening. (John mentioned also that they are releasing a video November 9th, that will be aired from the 9th up til Christmas, and they might go back on the road afterwards)
AP: Is this the first time that Clint Lowery, and his brother (who plays bass for Stuck Mojo) have been on tour together?
JC: Yep. Long time coming.
AP: Does Sevendust have any new songs?
JC: Oh yeah, matter of fact we were just working on something today during sound check. We got one new song in the set right now, and probably about 7-8 songs that we have put together recorded, but ya know, we disassemble it, restructure stuff.
AP: Is it….a new style?
JC: Pretty much it’s an extension of what we were doing on the first record, just a little more mature, the heavier stuff is heavier, the lighter stuff is lighter, and it’s experimental to a sense, but it’s still Sevendust. We still have that Sevendust sound. We are just, really kinda expanding the boundaries of what we can and can’t do as a band. There is no reason why we could not do this type of a song.
AP: How were the UK shows? I saw some of the reviews in Metal Hammer.
JC: The UK shows were great. The show that we did in London was really good. The show we did at the Dynamo Festival was good, but it was scary right out of the gate because they didn’t have any idea who we were.
AP: How did it turn out?
JC: Well, at first they were all just standing there, and then about half way through the set they started to get into it, by the end of the set they were all yelling. Mojo was on the side of the stage and they were like wow, you guys won over a crowd that had no idea who you were. We played the hit single, and it was like crickets. (We both start doing our best impressions of cricket chirping) It was a lot of fun though.
AP: I’m horrible with lyrics, but my favorite song on the album is “My Ruin.” What is that song about?
JC: That song, uh, it’s a good thing I’m doing the interview because I actually wrote the words to that song. That song is about, it’s about a lot of things, but what, it’s basically about a guy, who, um, he is looking back at something that he had done wrong. It does not have to be, actually killing somebody, but it was based on, it’s actually a real life story, it’s a friend of mine, who killed somebody. It was a drunk driving accident, this one you can take it however you want to take it, he is basically looking back inside his shadow, he’s got to live with it, it’s something that is going to be on his back forever. You can take it negatively, or you can take it positively either way, but when you are in a situation like that, once you have done something…….
AP: All you can do is look at it…..
JC: All you can do is look at it, and you gotta deal with it for the rest of your life.
AP: Umm, the name Sevendust. I’ve been thinking about it, and I have come to the conclusion that it is about cocaine. Seven letters in cocaine, C-O-C-A-I-N-E DUST. SO you got cocaine, dust.
JC: That is interesting, that’s the first time I’ve heard that one. I like that one. Sevendust really does not mean anything. Lajon has different meanings for it. Literally Vinny (Vince, the bassist) walked into the rehearsal room one day, because we were looking for a name, we had recorded the record and everything, we were all spacing. Vinny came in and said, what about Sevendust? We had sheets, we must of had 5000 names. He just walked in and said, “what about Sevendust?” We kind of looked around at each other and asked, “what the hell does that mean?” He’s all “I don’t know, just Seven-Dust.” Ya know Lajon is like, seven is a holy number and we are all created from dust, he takes it more from a more religious of thing. That is curious about cocaine. Vinny will get a kick out of that.
AP: Ok, the Reno, NV show, with Papa Roach. I saw Lajon playing guitar. Can he actually play?
JC: He can’t play guitar at all, but he fakes it real well. He will just pick up any instrument and start jamming. He just looks good doing it.
AP: Yeah, I was wondering if he actually plays, and will he actually play during a show sometime soon?
JC: He played, I watched him on stage about six months before we got him in the band. He played bass with his band, for like a song or two. Just grabbed the bass just kinda screwing around, but he really does not know how to play, he looks really good, things just come together for him.
AP: So, what have ya’ll been listening to on the road?
JC: Lately, I really have not been listening to anything, I am in writing mode. I don’t even have a CD in my CD player right now. Before I got into writing mode, I listened to a lot of lighter stuff, don’t listen to a lot of heavy stuff on the road because you are doing it, you are surrounded by it, lot of Sarah McLaughlin….Ya know, stuff like that. I really like the new Zombie, as far as heavy stuff, I like the new Zombie a lot. That’s a good record. Can’t really think of anything else, OH BIG WRECK!! Been listening to a lot of Big Wreck.
AP: Big Wreck?
JC: Yes, strangely enough.
We kinda flow onto the STP subject a little more…..Here’s the last question.
AP: Alright, last question. On the back of the CD, the band is in one picture, and Lajon is in a black and white picture in the corner. Is it to make it look like the room, and he is on a picture on the wall?…..
JC: Yep, that’s exactly what it is, and that was Lajon’s choice because he fell in love with the picture, and I remember when we were looking at a bunch of different pictures, we had them all loaded onto the computer, and Shippee the guy who was doing a lot of the artwork with us, he’d like change the color of the background, and it was done with a fish eye lense so it’s got that distorted feel to it, and he did it in red, and I was looking at the picture and I was like, I don’t know if I like this picture too much. Number one, Vinny is way over here, and LJ, you aren’t even in the picture. Lajon said, “What if we just did a picture on the wall, and put me in it instead?” I was like well that’s pretty trippy ya know. If you wanna do it…..Because I thought it was a pretty cool shot, it’s just a weird shot. Real surreal looking.
AP: Yeah, I was looking at it when I first bought the CD, I was…..Did they kick the original singer out, or is this the new guy, and you just had to stick a picture on the cover real quick, or what the deal was….
JC: Yep, yep…..And that was a conscious choice by him (Lajon) too. I would never suggest having a picture with a member of the band who is not in the picture, unless it was that member of the band who is suggesting using it. It turned out pretty cool. The intention was never for it to be freaky or weird, but after it was on the CD, the president of our company was like, wait a minute, hang on a second, this is like, a little too our there, and LJ was like, no I really wanna do it that way.
AP: So, all that, the presentation of the front cover is all thought about?
JC: Oh yeah, the whole packaging, the whole CD package took us a while because we were working with a couple of different art firms that we were working with through New York that were working through the label, and they were sending us stuff and we were like “shit, shit, sucks, sucks, sucks.” We basically came up with the entire lay out in Atlanta, GA. Just screwing with different things on the computer, just making things grainy, you know taking a picture and twisting it and coloring it…….
AP: Like the front cover?
JC: The front cover and the inside is the exact same picture, you just hit one button on the computer.
AP: Well it does fit with Sevendust, it grainy, kind of dusty looking picture of it.
JC: Yeah, but yeah, all of that was thought about. The only thing, it was kinda cool that we did it, um, I really was not into having the big foldout, the picture on th inside, but the president of the label was really really fighting for it, and…..ya know………..Like I said originally, I was not really too keen on the idea, but now that it’s done, it actually is pretty cool because we sign the hell out of those things, like a little poster.
AP: Yeah, I think you guys have signed mine like twice. The San Francisco show, and a Reno show, because I can’t get a poster.
JC: Right, so we figured if you can’t get a poster, everybody has one in the CD.
AP: Well, that’s about it, thanks for taking the time for the interview!!!!
JC: Yeah man, absolutely…….
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