The Magnificent Seven.
Sevendust play the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on March 12.
“I want to get me a little apartment down there so I can come and hang out all the time.”
Sevendust vocalist Lajon is pretty enthused about the band’s first, and long overdue, trip to Australia.
“Everyone tells me about it. I’m doing straight to the damn realtor,” he laughs. “I don’t know what to expect from Australia (for the shows). It’s new ground for us. It’s kind of like starting over for us, with new friends, you know. We might get over there and people will say, you suck… We’ll have to wait and see.”
Based on their latest record, Animosity, it would seem there’s little chance of that eventuality. Easily the most powerful record of the band’s career, it sees them exploring new territory. While their self titled debut and the bands second record Home both represented a metallic tour de force, Animosity sees the band take a step back from heavy-just-for-the-sake-of-it riffery, and into writing songs with more emotional impact. Perhaps a by-product of the bands approach to writing this time around.
“We just needed the time to get away from the road and write music we were all happy with, as far as not being rushed into it,” Lajon explains. “We only had three months to write the second album, but this time we were at home and spent more time. It helped us a lot. This album is our strongest.”
“Last time I was at home I listened to our old albums. I think Animosity is the best work we’ve ever done, but I’m still very proud of everything else. We’ve got emotions, and it would be ridiculous not to paint a picture of how we feel.”
“This is the way I look at it, right. Animosity is the third Sevendust record. If you’re into Sevendust then you have a relationship with us, because we write about things that happen in our lives. I think we’re doing this for a reason. When we’re doing this we can touch people around the world and help them with what they’re going through.”
The rushed writing effort behind home stemmed from the bands gruelling touring schedule. After the release of Sevendust the band spent the best part of two years non-stop performing live, an impressive statistic in anyone’s language. With families and children now a part of the Sevendust picture, time the band spends away is now more measured.
“You know what, if the record has the momentum and it’s doing well then I think it’s OK (to tour for a long time). Nowadays you have an album come out and you’re on MTV for a week and then you’re not on there anymore. No one knows what the fuck happened to the band, you know what I mean. So I like it when you have a stable touring relationship because the people who come to see you know you’re going to kick arse.”
“The situation’s a lot better now. We’re tour and then we can come home and be with our families. Things are not the way they used to be, but I wouldn’t change what we’ve done because we’ve learned to be one of the tightest bands and one of the hardest working bands. But to me I still think we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Can it be hard to put in 100% every night when you’ve been out for a long time?
“Sometimes it is, but you always find a way to do it. We had a show with Creed one time and both the guitars went down at the same time. John fell over some monitors. It was ground zero. We got through it. Things like that happen. We’ve had a million things happen from water or beer being spilled in amps to shit just not working.”
Do you get much of a chance to interact with the fans that go along to the shows?
“Yeah, that’s one thing everyone knows about me, I hang out. Fuck back stage, I see those people every day. I’m in a new town. It’s the craziest thing; I’ve seen kids grow up at our shows. We were in Cleveland and this fan that’s been coming to our shows since she was 16 years old. Now she’s 21 and she’s turned into this beautiful young woman. We’re growing up with these kids and we’re maturing together.”
Has the time the band have spent on the road changed you as people?
“Not like any rock star attitude,” he explains. “We’ve learned a lot in the time we’ve been in the business. I think that’s the only thing that’s really changed for us, being more aware and not as naïve as we were when we were young musicians. We’re getting old, shit, that’s it,” he laughs. “It’s going to be weird seeing me with grey dreads, but we’re still kickin’ it.”