By Brian M. Howle
Well, kids, if you’re been a loyal reader and you’ve been paying attention as well, you already know that I strongly contend some of the finest bands known to man have – time after time – originated in that musical hotbed for the Southeast, known to one and all as Atlanta (or more correctly in the local vernacular, Hot’lanta.)
And, doggone it, our peachy neighbors to the south have gone and done it again – well, since 1992 – and now we’re all the better for it. Those in the know have seen them here before and know not to miss this one, as Sevendust – with opening act New Era Project – comes to House Of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, SC on Saturday, December 5, 2009.
Here’s what all the collective folks at Wikipedia say about this very talented band:
Sevendust is an American metal band from Atlanta, Georgia. They were originally signed to TVT Records, but then released their fifth album with Winedark Records (through Universal Music) in the US, and Roadrunner Records overseas. Currently, they are signed to their own label 7 Bros. Records in conjunction with Asylum Records.
The band formed in late 1992 under the name “Tomorrow’s Pain” then switched to “Rumblefish” then to “Crawlspace”, but later were forced to change their name to Sevendust when a group from the West Coast claimed rights to Crawlspace. The band was heavily influenced by Metallica, Faith No More, King’s X and Living Colour.
Sevendust released their first album Sevendust on April 15, 1997, known for its heavy riffs, angry vocals and thrash-like drumming, as the songs “Black” and “Bitch”. “Black” was the opening song for nearly every Sevendust concert until 2004. The debut album also contains the song “My Ruin” from the Mortal Kombat soundtrack album entitled More Kombat released by TVT Records. After they appeared at Ozzfest 1998 and Dynamo Open Air the same year, their self-titled album went gold.
On August 24, 1999, they released their second album, Home. The album peaked at 19 on the Billboard 200 and featured Skin from Skunk Anansie and Chino Moreno from Deftones as guest vocalists. The two singles from the album, “Denial” and “Waffle”, gave the band moderate chart success, and the latter of which was played on the Late Night with Conan O’Brien show . They appeared in Woodstock 1999 and have toured with many bands such as Korn, Staind, Nonpoint Reveille, Godsmack, Mudvayne, Powerman 5000, Creed, Kid Rock, Machine Head, Limp Bizkit, Disturbed, and Metallica. In 1999, they gained European exposure by opening for Skunk Anansie at various shows in Germany. They also joined Slipknot, Coal Chamber and other bands on a tour called “Tattoo The Earth Tour” in June 2000.
In November 2001, the band released their third album, Animosity. This album went gold and gained the band commercial success thanks to the success of singles “Praise” and “Angel’s Son”, which peaked at 15 and 11 on the Modern Rock Chart. The band also made an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman playing an Acoustic Version of Angel’s Son featuring Paul Shaffer on Keyboards. In the same year they are also seen in the Chris Rock movie Down to Earth as a partial clip of “Waffle” is played. Sevendust went on hiatus in 2002 due to the death of Lajon’s brother.
In 2003, Sevendust returned with their fourth album, Seasons. This was one of the band’s best received albums and to-date features their highest charting single (tied with “Driven”), “Enemy”, which peaked at #10 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. “Enemy” was also used as the official theme song for WWE Unforgiven 2003. Other singles released from the album, “Broken Down” and “Face to Face”, met with more moderate success charting at 20 and 22 respectively.
In 2004, for the first time in the band’s career, they released a live album on a CD/DVD double disk package titled Southside Double-Wide: Acoustic Live. Both the CD and the DVD include a cover of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails which is dedicated to Johnny Cash.
On December 11, 2004, after playing a show in Columbus, Ohio, it was announced that Clint Lowery had left the band mid-tour, because he wanted to play with his brother Corey Lowery in his new band Dark New Day, who had reportedly just signed with Warner Bros. Records. A temporary replacement was found to fill in for the rest of the dates, and was eventually replaced by Sonny Mayo (from Snot and Amen). At roughly the same time, Sevendust and TVT Records parted ways. Seasons has since been certified multi-platinum.
On October 11, 2005, Sevendust joined forces with good friend Producer/Engineer Shawn Grove and released their fifth studio album, Next, on the Winedark Records label, distributed by Universal Music. In the process, Sevendust also created their own record label, 7Bros Records. The first radio single off Next was the track “Ugly”, released to radio August 9, 2005 followed by the music video. The track “Pieces” appeared on the soundtrack for the film Saw II. Next debuted at #20 in the US, selling around 37,000 copies in its first week. Not much longer after the release of Next, Sevendust’s former label TVT Records released a greatest hits package for Sevendust, titled Best of (Chapter One 1997-2004), the label’s final Sevendust release. Also, an unofficial video for “Hero” was released showing footage of Bruce Lee in many of his famous film roles.
Sevendust (with Shawn Grove again serving as Producer/Engineer), released their sixth full-length studio album, entitled Alpha, on March 6, 2007. The album debuted at #14 in the US, the band’s highest chart position yet, selling over 42,000 copies of the album in its first week of sale. The band also headlined a 57-date tour from February 8, 2007 to April 28, 2007. Boston heavy metal band Diecast, supergroup Invitro, and modern rock Red accompanied Sevendust on that tour. Retrospective 2, a CD/DVD combo including two previously un-released studio tracks, live concert footage never before seen, as well as the new music videos for the songs “Beg To Differ”, “Ugly”, “Pieces”, and “Driven”, was released on December 11, 2007. The song “The Rim” was released on the Alpha CD but only sold in Target retails stores as exclusive 13th track on the Alpha CD. Their songs “Feed” and “Driven” were used in the soundtrack to WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008.
Sevendust joined Shawn Grove again, and returned to the studio at the end of November 2007 to finish their 7th studio album, titled Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow. The record was originally slated for a release of March 4, 2008, but was later pushed back to April 1. The album debuted at #19 on the Billboard 200 and has appearances from Chris Daughtry and Alter Bridge members Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti. The first single released was “Prodigal Son” which peaked at #19 on the mainstream rock chart. The second single was “The Past” and the third “Inside”.
On March 26, 2008, Sevendust announced that Clint Lowery, former guitarist and vocalist for the band, has quit his duties as guitarist for Dark New Day and will be returning to the Sevendust lineup in place of Sonny Mayo. On Lowery’s return, Morgan Rose stated “This was extremely tough considering Sonny is our brother and has been amazing to work with. [Sonny] didn’t do anything wrong at all; we just owe it to ourselves and all the folks that grew up with us to put our original band back together.”
In December 2008 Sevendust toured with Black Stone Cherry for a while and then in January 2009, Sevendust geared up to hit the road with Disturbed, as well as multiple shows for US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in the spring. According to Morgan Rose, the band has finished writing their 8th studio album and will enter the studio for 2 months in October to record it. They are aiming for an early 2010 release. They recently chose Johnny K as the producer for the upcoming album.
Sevendust released a very limited-edition box set in November 2008 entitled “Packaged Goods”. Each five-disc set is personally autographed by the entire band. The box set includes Sevendust’s 2005 release “Next”, 2007’s “Alpha”, 2007’s “Retrospective 2” (CD + DVD), and 2008’s “Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow”.
As of October 2009, Sevendust are recording a new album in Chicago with producer Johnny K.
Recently Sevendust launched a newly designed website with the same address, promoting the new album they are currently recording in Chicago. The band are currently posting videos daily on their official site and their YouTube channel, with updates on the new album, recording in the studio and also videos of them in the new “house” they are recording from. Stepping out of the box, from regular recording sessions they are showing the fans how the album process is done, and every step in the intricate process.
So far, various tracking has been performed by all members of the band, each working on various songs. It was announced that Corey Lowrey (ex-Stereomud, currently in Violent Plan) has also entered the recording process and will be assisting the band for a brief period.
The current lineup for Sevendust is: Lajon Witherspoon – Lead Vocals (1992-Present); John Connolly – Guitar, Backing Vocals (1992-Present); Clint Lowery – Guitar, Backing Vocals (1992-2004, 2008-present); Vincent Hornsby – Bass (1992-Present), and; Morgan Rose – Drums, Backing Vocals (1992-Present).
Hey, they’re not just for gettin’ rid of fleas anymore (give yourself lots and lots of extree points if you know this one) as Sevendust – with supporting act New Era Project – burn down that storied stage at House Of Blues in N. Myrtle Beach, SC on Saturday, December 5, 2009. Doors open 7:00pm. For ticket info call 843-272-3000 or Ticketmaster 843-679-9333; or visit http://www.houseofblues.com or http://www.ticketmaster.com.
This article also appeared in Alternatives NewsMagazine, November 22 – December 5, 2009, at http://www.myrtlebeachalternatives.com .