Arts: Hatchet chats with Sevendust

Surprised, vocalist Lajon Witherspoon from Sevendust stopped singing for a few seconds in awe of the voices that sang above his. With hundreds of screaming fans chanting word-for-word to the band’s recent hit single “Angel’s Son” at the 9:30 Club last Thursday, the band is hardly falling apart, as this month’s article in Spin magazine proclaimed. The article described an empty arena, with Atlanta-based Sevendust performing to a career that has gone down the toilet. In a recent interview, the guys in Sevendust said they don’t see it that way at all.

“That was, like, a really weird article,” drummer Morgan Rose said to The Hatchet, as he got up from the tour bus couch. “It was like the guy made us sound like we were falling apart. We were laughing about it. It was supposed to be a joke, but everybody else was all like, ‘Sevendust they’re dying, man!'”

Empty cans of Pepsi and plastic bottles of Powerade littered the blue bus. Guitarist John Connolly started floating around the bus after the TV had gone on mute. The guys joked with each other with the occasional friendly “shut up” or “fuck off.” In a yellow sweatshirt and a black hood covering his long hair, guitarist Clint Lowery sat at the table shaking his leg.

This isn’t the first time the band has headlined a tour, but it is the first time they’ve been booked to play a 90-minute set. The band headlined a tour with Drowning Pool and Stereomud last fall and is on its fourth show of its current tour.

“We’re starting to get the show tighter,” Lowery said. “This is the longest set we’ve ever done, which is kind of nice.”

The band started writing its new album Animosity on an 18-month tour promoting its sophomore album Home and their debut album that both sold nearly 2 million copies. Taking a six-week vacation, members of Sevendust spent time with their families and finished off the album, which was released last November.

Touring can be brutal for the members because they do not get to see their families, father and husband Rose said.

“(My wife) used to tour with Coal Chamber,” he said. “It was harder before she quit. It’s still hard, but it’s the nature of the beast.”

The members of Sevendust took the spare time on their vacation to look back at their lives and find inspiration for the new album from what they have been through, such as a recent stint with management and the death of Snot front man Lynn Strait. Sevendust dedicated Home to Strait and wrote “Angel’s Son” for his tribute album Strait Up.

“(Snot) was a band we really looked up to,” Lowery said. “We toured a better part of our beginning together. Basically I just fell in love with those guys from the get-go. Snot, they were up and coming and we just had to basically make sure their music kind of survived.”

Lowery said the band writes from personal experiences. They take a look at things around them, such as lost relationships and anger issues.

“Actually, I write everything, all the way, all the music,” Lowery said. A roar of laughter filled the bus. Lowery went on to explain that writing music was a compilation of all five of their talents. They all contributed equally to the band’s sound.

The band recorded “Follow,” a song off Animosity, with longtime friend Aaron Lewis from Staind. Lewis came by the recording studio after playing golf with Rose. The song was already recorded but Lewis added background harmonies to the song.

Sevendust will hit Australia in March with Creed, and there has been talk about touring with them on the second leg of their tour. The band has toured with Creed before and is excited at the chance to do it again, since touring with Creed is where Sevendust got their start.

“We met (Creed) a long time ago,” Lowery said. “We played on a radio festival with them and didn’t see them for a few years. Then we started to tour with them. They took us out (touring) for a long period of time when a lot of bands weren’t really offering. We owe a lot to those guys in a lot of different ways.”

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