Sevendust’s Lajon Witherspoon talks about new album “Kill the Flaw”

Heavy Metal group Sevendust is back with a brand new album titled “Kill the Flaw”. The album which is being released on October 2nd will be the bands 11th studio album and their third since joining Asylum/7Bros. Records. Media Mikes had the chance recently to discuss the new release with the groups lead vocalist Lajon Witherspoon who detailed the bands solid work ethic and its upcoming plans in support of the album.

Adam Lawton: With “Kill the Flaw” being the bands third album in three years do you ever find it hard to keep up with the one album a year pace or is that something that the band has come a custom to over time?
Lajon Witherspoon: For us this is what we were born to do. We were blessed with the energy and the passion to make music so once we all get in a room together things just start to happen. The days of putting out an album and going on to tour in support of that album for a year or two is gone. To remain relevant you have to keep putting out new material in order to keep things fresh. Even if you had an album that had a bunch of hit singles if you are not out there with something new it’s easy to be forget these days.

AL: Like with previous release from the band you guys handled not only the music side of things but also the albums production. Do you find it hard balancing both of those roles in the studio?
LW: With all of us being in this band since day one we look at one another as artists, producers, singers and writers. Because of that it’s easy to have that respect for one another in the studio. It’s never been a big deal for us to work like that. We all know this band like a book and have been together for so long that there are no egos when it comes to this type thing.

AL: What do you find to be the benefits of keeping things internal as opposed to bringing in someone from outside the group and, is this way of working something that has evolved over time for the band?
LW: Sometimes we do feel like we need to bring in someone from the outside to sort of police what is going on but more so lately we like to just be able to go in and see what we can come up with as a band. It’s a friendly affair when we work like this and we are a band throughout the whole process which is something we really enjoy. I think it is something that has evolved over time. You work on different albums in different ways and over time you find you niche in what works and what doesn’t. Me personally I think we work best when we go into a room with no plan and maybe Morgan starts by laying a drum beat down or Clint starts with something on guitar and we just go from there. That’s where the magic starts.

AL: What led you guys to choose the song “Thank You” as the albums lead single?
LW: That was a song that I didn’t really see as the first single but afterwards I am glad it was. When you put out an album you want all the songs to get their due but “Thank You” is an incredible, inspiring song that turned out great. I am super proud to have it as our first single but again I really feel that this album has 9 other singles people need to hear along with this one. These songs are our babies and we want people to hear them all.

AL: The album can be preordered at www.sevendust.com with a couple different bonuses. Can you tell us about some of the things your guys are offering to the fans who pre-order the album?
LW: We try to do different things which we hope will make people feel more a part of what we have going on. We have packages where you can get limited edition t-shirts, signed copies of the album to actually getting to listen to album in the studio with the band.  We try and make things more personal and take away some of the machine like elements.

AL: What type of tour plans do you guys have in place to support the release?
LW: We start rehearsals in about 2 weeks and after that we will be hitting the road with Godsmack. That’s going to be a great time as we haven’t toured with those guys in quite some time. It also has been awhile since we haven’t done a tour where we headlined. It’s going to be great to just go out there each night and rock a 45-50 minute set. When that run wraps up we have another list of shows in the works prior to my new baby being born in December and then after a little break we will be back out there. We are just really excited with everything we have going on and can’t wait for people to hear this new album.

Sevendust's Morgan Rose talks about new album "Black Out the Sun"

Morgan Rose is the drummer and a founding member of the heavy metal group Sevendust. The Atlanta, GA group formed in 1997 and have since released eight studio albums and toured the word over playing their own unique version of melody infused metal. The bands ninth studio titled “Black Out the Sun” will be released in March of this year and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Morgan about the release and the bands touring plans.

Adam Lawton: What can we expect from the new album?
Morgan Rose: For me personally I think it is my favorite record. Usually when you finish a new record it tends to be your favorite. This was the first time we went in with no expectations and wrote from scratch. We wrote this as a band instead of people coming in chunks of material or fully written pieces. We weren’t going to be second guessing ourselves and we took our time. The record is pretty raw but at the same time the feedback I have gotten so far is that it sounds like old Sevendust.  We didn’t reinvent the wheel but we did semi-reinvent our band.

AL: Did you enjoy working as a group more so than everyone bringing in various pieces?
MR: I liked doing it that way. There have been times when Clint or someone brings in a riff and we would lay some sample beats on top of that. If I end up liking those 80% of my job is done. (Laughs) Other times if I am not completely sold on something I at least have the idea in my head and can go from there. I get excited working both ways. It just really depends on how things play out. We have done everything from me saying a drum part to having Clint show me how to program things as I am a Dinosaur when it comes to that stuff.

AL: With band taking a year off was it hard to get things going again?
MR: Not really. We did change the start date a few times of when we were going to start on the album. Things started off a little strange as we weren’t all ready at the same time. We all have our own lives and Sevendust is a priority but everyone was sort of moving on with other things. It took a little bit to get everyone to agree on a date. Once we did everything went perfect.  The year off did wonders for us. I don’t think anyone really enjoyed the idea of taking a year off but it ended up being a great decision.

AL: Have you guys thought about doing any videos for songs of the new album?
MR: We actually just did one. We shot a video for the song “Decay”. The gods were definitely not trying to let us do that video. I have no idea how we actually got it done. We had to cut our rehearsal schedule short, things cost more than expected, we had some really mysterious weather then there were delays at the airport among other things. Everything was pointing to us not doing the video but we pulled it off. I think it’s going to turn out amazing when it’s all done. We shot it in this 1800’s mansion that I am sure is haunted as shit! The video is sort of based around things that haunt each of the band members. Mine happened to be women. I enjoyed filming my portion of the video quite a bit.

AL: You and Clint did some of the producing on the album. What is the hardest part for you when producing your own band?
MR: There are many different facets to producing. I have dealt with so many things and liked little pieces of each one. There’s producers who get their hands dirty and help with songwriting and things and there are guys who help keep the peace when members get amped up. Then you have guys that are sonically amazing but they couldn’t tell you how they do it. The hardest part when we are doing it is your kind of the boss in a sense. You are putting your trust in someone to make a record according to what your vision is. We have been together for 20 years and we don’t have a boss in this band. People think we have a boss there is not. Everyone has certain roles they take on. When we get in a room together we all have a say but someone does have to take lead. At times things can get testy but we didn’t have any problems this time around.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour with Coal Chamber?
MR: Right now we are out on tour with Lacuna Coil and Avatar which has been great. Once we wrap up with that we hit the road with Lacuna Coil and Coal Chamber. That tour will start towards the end of March. We will be doing shows before then but that line up won’t start until late March. We had some shows in Australia with Devil Driver and Dez Fafara and I were hanging out and he mentioned that he was thinking of doing some Coal Chamber shows. He told me that if they are planning on doing shows in America then the right thing to do would be to do them together.  I was all for that! Things took a little while as Devil Driver tours really hard but this is going to be massive. I think a lot of people are going to be in to it. I think the tour is going to make people scratch their heads.

AL: Do you have any other projects going on right now that you can tell us about?
MR:  I produced an album for a band called Devise. I don’t know if they are going to stick with that name or not though. That project is going really well and I can’t wait to see the reaction of people when they hear it. Candlelight Red’s new stuff is almost done being mixed and their new single should be out very soon. I am really proud of that record. When I get a little bit of free time I am sure me and Clint will be doing some dates with Call Me No One. As we get older I don’t know how much longer we will continue touring. I don’t see us stopping anytime soon but I don’t think I am going to be 60 out here playing like this. I keep dabbling in stuff to see what I could do next. We are just going to be really busy this year.