After over 18 years in the music industry, Atlanta rockers Sevendust are still going strong and are now preparing to release their ninth studio album, Black Out The Sun, on March 26th. The first single, “Decay,” was made available for listeners last week and the band will be kicking off their U.S. tour with Lacuna Coil this Friday; Coal Chamber will join the two groups in March. Lead singer, Lajon Witherspoon, recently sat down with Alternative Addiction to discuss the record and his upcoming solo project.
For the first time in their long career, Sevendust headed into the studio last year to record their newest LP without any prior material written. But after only spending a little under a month in the studio, the band had a full album completed ready to release to the public. “We did this one in a way we never have before. We entered the studio with no music really and no lyrics for any songs. We wrote the whole album in 28 days and it was a really fresh outlook. I think after being away for a year and to get back together, it was easy for us to come up with ideas and hone in on something we’ve been doing our entire lives. It was just really cool this time.”
The album’s lead single, “Decay,” hit radio airwaves on January 22nd and has already received praise from fans since its release. The group will be filming a music video for the track this week in what Witherspoon described as a “haunted mansion.” Along with “Decay,” Black Out The Sun includes 12 additional songs and Witherspoon was quick say he believes every one of them is single worthy. “We didn’t know if that song (‘Decay’) would make the album or not but it ended up being really great. Honestly for me though, I think there are 13 singles on this record. It’s always very hard for me to pick one and I can’t wait for everyone to hear the rest of the album. But ‘Decay’ is definitely a good starter.”
Considering Sevendust is now 8 albums in, fans may be thinking they already have a pretty good idea of what to expect on the forthcoming record. And though Witherspoon acknowledged the album maintains all of the traditional elements of Sevendust, he also hinted that the new disc could actually include some of the darkest and heaviest material the band has produced thus far. “They’ll see us hitting heavier and coming out blazing. I think it’s all the Sevendust albums rolled up into one but even better and on a new level. We’re just going to go out and rock it; just do what we do and that’s wreck it on stage. We just want to give the people some real rock and roll music, that’s what it’s all about.”
Considering the band has been playing music together since 1994 and compiled a catalogue of over 100 songs, it’s easy to understand why choosing a set list for shows is far from a simple task for Sevendust. Then when you take into account that not only different members of the group have their own preferences but so do certain audiences, the process becomes even more difficult. When asked about the topic, Witherspoon had this to say – “it’s a nightmare but it’s a cool nightmare that you don’t want to wake up from. We’ll all go back and look at stuff, but it’s real hard to choose. The other day I was at a restaurant and I went up to the juke box; I put Sevendust in and there were 113 songs. So that kind of gives you the low down on how we have to choose because I think there were eight albums on there…but it’s always fun when we get down to it.”
While nine full length albums is certainly a noteworthy accomplishment, the most impressive aspect of Sevendust may actually be the fact that after more than 18 years of making music together the group has remained intact (though guitarist, Clint Lowery, did leave the band in late 2004 to play music with his brother, Corey, in Dark New Day; Lowery later returned to Sevendust in 2008). This is even more eye opening when you realize the amount of bands that go through numerous lineup changes within their first couple of years together. “I think that we all knew as the core of the band, if we left then what do we really have? I believe in finishing what I started and God knows none of us would have any of the things we’ve been able to have or do if it wasn’t for the collective group of Sevendust together. So I feel like it was kind of a destined thing for us to continue to go on. And I still feel like while it’s been so many years, there’s still so much more for us to do and even more that we can tap into.”
As many Sevendust fans are aware of, aside from Witherspoon each member of the band started side projects in 2012. Clint Lowery (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Morgan Rose (drums) joined forces with Rek Mohr (Hurt) and Alan Price (Souls Harbor) to form the group, Call Me No One, which released their debut album, Last Parade, on June 5th, 2012. Around the same time, John Connolly (rhythm guitar) and Vinnie Hornsby (bass) co-founded the band, Projected, with former Submersed guitarist, Eric Friedman, and Creed/Alter Bridge drummer, Scott Phillips. Projected also released their first album in June of last year entitled, Human.
Of course, this left many wondering if Witherspoon would too begin a side project of his own. And after talking with the singer, it’s clear he has his eyes set on embarking on a solo album sometime soon. Sevendust fans will not have to worry about the future of the band though; while Witherspoon was excited to talk about recording material on his own, he made a point to say Sevendust is and will always be his first priority. “Once this album has taken its course and Sevendust slows down again, I’ll start working on my solo stuff. I feel that life and music is like a chess game, and so I’m waiting to make my next move…I think it will always have that Sevendust sound to it. When I sing and people hear my voice, I have to believe they’ll compare it to Sevendust which I don’t mind because that’s where my roots are. But I think my stuff will definitely have rock and a lot more soul. Sevendust has a groove but I think I’ll be a little bit different. And I plan on not shutting the door to anyone who would want to work with me. I’m a lover of music and it doesn’t have to just be one way for everything.”
After their U.S. tour with Lacuna Coil and Coal Chamber concludes, Sevendust has plans to head overseas to play shows this summer. To hear the single, “Decay,” click on the following link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVY1e22LH2k.