Nowadays in the music industry, it’s tough to find bands that can defy the odds with regards to the changing trends and tastes of the public. From band members leaving to record companies folding, it can be an intense roller coaster ride. The Atlanta based band Sevendust has been on said roller coaster ride since 1997. Since their debut release the band has stayed consistent with its sound that combines bone crushing rock riffs, a machine-gun like rhythm section and the soaring vocals of frontman Lajon Witherspoon. The group has toured all over, played umpteen festivals and opened for some of rocks bigger guns. Along the way, many bands they have come up with have gone by the wayside, and the group has had their share of tragedies. Sevendust is back with a new disc (Cold Day Memory) and they are already out on the road doing what they do best. I had a chance to check in with frontman Lajon Witherspoon to find out what the band has been up to and to see how the group has gone from surviving to thriving.
David Carr: Hey Lajon. I feel like it has been a while since Sevendust has been around. What has the band been up to? Where have you been?
Lajon Witherspoon: We have been on the road! We hit a ton of festivals, we played a lot of shows in Europe and we also did some shows in Iraq for the troops.
DC: What was it like to play shows in Iraq?
LW: It was amazing…it’s just a crazy feeling. I mean you are seeing the faces of the soldiers who are happy to see you there, you are playing your show, meanwhile there are bombs going off!
DC: Your latest disc features the return of original member Clint Lowery. What was the catalyst that got him back in the band?
LW: It was just something that had to happen…it just had to be done. We never lost touch with Clint. We just felt the time was right to put the original band back together. We started hanging out together again with Clint and it just clicked.
DC: I have already heard the tune “Unraveling” from the new disc. Sounds very heavy with a ton of melody. Is this tune indicative of the rest of the disc?
LW: The new disc has a lot of everything. The melodic stuff is there, the heavy hitters are there…there are a couple radio tunes on it and there are a few songs radio will never touch, HA! It’s all there.
DC: The band has been through a lot and seen a lot. A good number of your contemporaries are either not around or trying to get back to square one. What has kept this band going?
LW: It’s the fans. I mean our fanbase has grown up with us. They are coming to shows with their kids now! When we tour it’s like a family reunion. We have just started this tour now and the fans already know the new stuff! The disc isn’t even out yet and our fans are already singing the words to the new tunes.
DC: One of the set backs you all have had was the folding of your record label Winedark. What happened? They seemed very supportive of the band.
LW: It was a great concept and good idea at the time and the folks who backed it did not support it at all. They just backed out of it and the whole thing fell apart. We have our own label now, 7Bros/Asylum Records.
DC: In 2002 your family suffered a tragic loss when your younger brother Reginald was murdered. How are you coping with the loss? How has your band helped you cope with the loss?
LW: I think about him everyday…I mean I can’t help it…I have to think about him everyday. Luckily I come from a very strong, very supportive family so they have helped me a lot. My bandmates are my other family and they are also very supportive…they have been there for me.
DC: Was Reginald a fan of the band? Was he supportive of what you were doing?
LW: He was very supportive…he was our biggest fan. I think about the fact that he would be on tour with us now having a great time.
DC: What’s coming up next for Sevendust?
LW: We are already on tour now and the new disc drops April 20th!
Do yourself a favor and get the latest disc by Sevendust when it drops in April.