In what is now being called “the great Apple disaster,” what should have been a delightful transcription of a sparkling conversation with Sevendust guitarist John Connolly, has been electronically reduced to a recap. No worries though, a lot of the good stuff was saved/recovered and that is what we present you today!
On October 25, 2013, Examiner.com got a chance to have a chat with John about what the men of Sevendust have been up to, what they’ve learned so far and what’s on the horizon. With their latest tour coming up with English rockers Asking Alexandria and Massachusetts metallers All That Remains, Sevendust has been heating up the pavement with a few starter dates leading up to the kickoff on October 26.
We caught up with John while they were in New Orleans getting ready to play with All That Remains and Eye Empire and warming up for the events to come. He said that it seems they always start up their touring circuit in the Louisiana party city and it’s always a good time. When asked about the upcoming Voodoo Fest coming to New Orleans on November 1, Connolly said that while they’ve never had the pleasure of playing it, he thinks it would be fun. Plus, as a bonus the weather’s usually not too terrible when they roll through, which is a definite upside for the Georgia native and Florida implant. Connolly said that while the band loves to play in the South, anywhere where there’s people that appreciate and love their music they love to play-assuming it’s not freezing cold.
“In Atlanta we had all the seasons. We had chilly Falls, freezing Winters, and 108 degree Summers and I traded it all in for Florida… I don’t do well in the cold (laughs).”
When we got on the topic of his many tattoos, it would seem that there is a place and time for everything-including ink. He thinks of it almost as quilt of his life, some slightly more sentimental and others a bit more impulsively chosen, but all put there for a reason at the time.
“You know, as you get older, the things that don’t belong get replaced or covered up.”
When asked how he thought he’d changed since they first started Sevendust, Connolly said that it was kind of a natural progression. That in the beginning, like many bands, they were just a bunch of guys drinking and playing and f**king off, but that over time “you learn to be a band.” He said that getting older has taught him that there are other things just as, if not more important, in life- like family.
“When we started Sevendust was our life...but family is important, too.”
As a husband and father, he places both parts of his life in perspective and says that that’s how the other guys see it as well. His emphasis on balance and maintaining respect for both aspects of his life was prominent and relayed the gravity of his 20 years experience. But Connolly is not without his love of his career and the band’s achievements thus far, but tries to be careful not to get upswept or lost in maintaining the harmony between the two worlds.
“You always want to have your cake and eat it, too.”
“God knows in my 20s I wasn’t thinking about responsibility; it’s a little different when you’re in your 40s (laughs).”
With the end of 2013 in sight, Sevendust has the 2014 ShipRocked cruise to look forward to alongside the likes of Wilson, Lacuna Coil, Five Finger Death Punch and Butcher Babies, to name a few. This will mark the guys’ fourth appearance on the rock cruise and by now it’s par for the course for them, and the decision to do it this time around was “a no brainer.” Connolly boasted that ShipRocked differed from their other circuits because it was more interactive. On the ship fans get to mingle and interact with the performers on a regular basis, have a few drinks, watch some cool performances and take part in different activities, like snorkeling. From the lilt in his voice when he talked about it, it was apparent that he loves the experience and the camaraderie with the fans, as they are all on the same adventure together.
“You’re working, but you’re not working…It’s like a paid vacation!”
“We were joking with Alan Koenig, the promoter, and we told him that after three times (of being on the cruise) he should just call it ‘SevenRocked’!...Sevendust is now the resident band on ShipRocked.”
The men of Sevendust have been known to take on not only the world together, but to branch out beyond their collective influence to take on smaller side projects as well. Regarding his own side projects, Connolly said that his band with Sevendust bassist Vince Hornsby, Alter Bridge and Creed drummer Scott Phillips, and former Submersed and Tremonti guitarist Eric “Erock” Friedman, Projected, had some plans for another recording session in 2014. According to Connolly they only had to step back temporarily due to the men’s conflicting touring schedules, but have “a whole pile of songs” they are ready to record.
He also clued us in to the new Sevendust (7D) record that will be coming out sometime next year. He says the guys will get “a chance to shift gears a little” and will be releasing an acoustic album with five or six new songs and some acoustic remakes from the 7D catalogue. It would seem that regardless of what kind of tour circuit they’re on, the guys always seem to get requests for acoustic sets at least a few times throughout the tour. So, with this in mind, they figured they would take this concept and run with it, opening up the possibilities for classic songs to sound new again, even to the oldest of their fans and when you’re Sevendust, the only way to get more epic is to be epic while unplugged.
“Next year’s gonna be busy…We’ve got a year’s worth of stuff on the desk.”
Aside from the new upcoming acoustic album and ShipRocked, Connolly says the men of Sevendust will be hitting the bricks as always with their new material. Apparently, the plan is as it has often seemed to be in the past for these Atlanta metal workaholics: record, release, tour, repeat. The past 20 years have been so kind to these nu-metal masters that they plan on keeping the good times going and are looking forward to visiting fans all over the world all over again. They just can’t seem to stay away.
“Obviously we’re not gonna do a two year Black Out (the Sun) run. We’re gonna put out a new album and tour it…We’re gonna be busy. You’re gonna see a lot of us.”
Sevendust will be joining Asking Alexandria, All That Remains, Emmure and For Today on October 26 for the kickoff of AA’s “From Death To Destiny Tour” in promotion of their eponymously named album. As mentioned earlier, after this fans can get up close and personal with the band on ShipRocked which will be setting sail from Miami, Fl. January 26 – 30, 2014. 2014 seems to be shaping up to be quite a run for Team Sevendust and they are brushing off their sneakers and ready to hit the open road- it’s a marathon not a sprint, but they are ready to leave other bands in the dust!
There are still a few rooms left on the cruise and you can check pricing and availability here. Also, to see the full lineup of ShipRocked you can click here. To find out more about Sevendust, the current tour, or John’s other band Projected you can follow the links throughout this piece.
“Sevendust is our career, but it’s also a luxury. It’s a privilege to do it.”- John Connolly