Stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, drenched in sweat, covered in dirt, and my kiddos asking when we are going to be there, (camping that is) a phone call comes in to my cell. The call I have been waiting for, has reached me at the most f'ed up time. With the voice of Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust coming through, we begin to make arrangements for some quiet place to start our talk. After promising the kids that I will give them ice cream if they just let me have a few minutes alone, it's now time to get down to some business. This is what LJ of Sevendust and I talked about:
Rio- LJ, I watched the making of the new album COLD DAY MEMORY and it genuinely looked as if you were having a great time making the record. Can you tell us a little about it?
LJ- We are always that way around each other. There are those days
when you are tired and you just want to get home, but we have love for each other, so it's like that most of the time.
Rio- The album was recorded in Chicago with producer Johnny K. You had your area for vocals tell me about "The Zone". How was it working with him?
LJ-Its just how I felt. I felt inspired and I didn't really want to leave. So that area became known as the zone. I wanted to get the album done and create something great. Then it became something bigger than it should have been. There were zone killers though.
His pace is incredible and he was very hands on. He really got the best out of us. Clint's brother Corey really pushed me to challenge myself and I am happy with the vocals.
Rio-What's your favorite track on the album?
LJ-Karma, Splinter, there are just so many that I love. Really the whole album. I am very happy with all the songs and how they turned out. Karma would probably be the favorite right now.
Rio-With "COLD DAY MEMORY" this is your 8th album. When did you see that this band, that Sevendust has the staying power?
LJ-I didn't even realize that it's been so long. It has been a great thing to be apart of. I thank the fans and those who have been with us since the beginning. I call them family and because of them we can tour the world and make music that really touches peoples and changes peoples lives. We are lucky to have had a bunch of people grow up with us and that's a beautiful thing. I wouldn't change a thing about it. We are not the biggest band but our fans are the best fans in the world.
(Morgan has declared that any band out there can take their best 1,000 and Sevendust will take their best 1,000, that the 7D fans will kick that ass.)
Rio- A step away from the album now. When you all arrived in Chicago and pulled up to the studio there was a confession made by some of your band members (and not to point them out Clint, Vince, and Morgan) that they had indeed had sex with Tiger. My question is...Did Tiger's camp offer you hush money?
LJ- I wish they would have. I would have taken it.
(You heard it here first!! Sex with Tiger felt good.)
Rio- What's the next track you will be releasing from the album?
LJ- Right now we are just dancing ideas around. We have a way to let the fans choose by voting and sending in suggestions.
(I happened to vote for Karma and Better Place along with my 7D-ipedia friend Brent Brooks, so we will take credit for the release of Better Place.)
Rio- The artwork on the jacket of the album is kick ass. How did this come about?
LJ- We are really happy with they way Rafa put together the video you all got and the artwork. You never know someones true potential and it was just some great artwork. We were a little nervous with the first drafts but at the end it just turned out perfect.
He kept saying wait and see what I do. It was beautiful, he did a great job.
Rio- With Clint coming back with you guys, how does that feel?
LJ- It's like having your brother come back home. It's his album. He put in a lot musically and I have no problem with calling it that.
Rio- You bring a sense of blues to this album. Without punching me in the face. Can you validate my ear?
LJ- I def bring that sound. It is were I started. That's were it began anyways.
Rio- The tour is Carnival of Madness and you are playing with some great bands. Is it intimidating for Sevendust?
LJ- No not at all, we love playing with them. We have been doing it so long. It's great to be apart of it.
Rio- Lajon, it has been a pleasure talking to you and I knew that talking to some down home southern boys with the same accent as me would be nothing more than a conversation between old friends. Good luck with the album and we will be seeing you all coming this way at the end of July.
LJ- Thanks man and we are going to be that way so let's get together eat crabs and rock the crowd.
With the likes of John Connelly on guitar, Clint Lowery on guitar, Vince Hornsby (the BOSS) on bass, and Morgan (King of Chicago) Rose beating the drums, oh yeah, Lajon Witherspoon leading the vocal display, SEVENDUST has been and will be apart of our rock landscape for many years to come. By the way, Brent Brooks, thank you for your help.
RIO HIETT and I am saying...If the King of Chicago says it is, then sex with Tiger has to be good. Good Call!!!
Catch Sevendust, along with Shinedown and Chevelle, on the Carnival of Madness Tour this summer. Coming to Merriweather Post Pavilion on July 28th. Find Sevendust's new album, Cold Day Memory in stores, or at www.Sevendust.com