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Q & A with 7DTS

I recently sat down (well, not really) with 7even Days Till Sunrise, one of the finalist for the Almost Famous competition being sponsored by Lead Alliance Media Group and Alice 105.9.   The final competition takes place on 4/3/09 at Herman's Hideaway and 7DTS will be the last performance of that night.
7even Days Till Sunrise is:  Lisa-Marie Lucas (lead vocals), Christopher Aaron (guitar, vox and song writer), Jared Schultz (sax), Grover Cummings (bass), and Garth Lundquist (drums).  Photos courtesy of Lead Alliance Media Group & solo shot of Lisa by John Ambrosino of City Rat Photo.
Q: What is the origin of the band name and the history of the band?

Lisa: Honestly, how I came up with the band name was derived from a joke that Chris made about Jared. Chris started saying Jared was “7 years from death” (because he started getting gray hair early). So I thought about it for a while (because I thought it was really funny) and thought of 7even Days Till Sunrise randomly. I brought it to the band and it stuck. (Better than being known as “The band with no name” which is how we started out!)

Lisa: 4 of us (Me, Chris, Jared, & Garth) have been together for about a year and a half. But, with the addition of Grover, the 7even Days Till Sunrise you know now has only been together since November. Grover joining the band completed the sound that Chris was striving to achieve and made our sound full.

Grover: These guys told me when I joined that my room and board was paid for!!!  (It’s almost like your classic joke, we have the Islander, the Woman (who is blonde, ‘nuff said!) 2 Classic Rockers, and one Gothic Sax Player who gets weekly lobotomies!)
Q: Who are your biggest influences?

Lisa: Definitely my Mom because I got my voice from her!!! But Amy Lee, Whitney Houston, and Christina Aguilera as well. Chris really has been the most influence on me because since I have joined this band, he has pushed me to perfect my pitch and tone, and break out of my melodic box! Ha ha.

Chris: Mostly my Grandfather and my Uncles, John and Junior, because they all played different styles of guitar. But I have to thank the beautiful Hawaiian girls because I learned to play the guitar to get the girls! (The ukulele wasn’t working!)

Jared: Mine is definitely my Grandfather. Also Pink Floyd, Oingo Boingo, and the band Morphine.

Garth: I’d have to say Neil Pert (of course), Alex VanHalen, Tommy Aldridge, And Sib Hashian.

Grover: The Beatles, Rush, Queensryche, & Zebra… There’s a wide spectrum for ya!!!


(Some questions directed to the primary song writer of the group, Chris)
Q: Where do you get the ideas for your songs?

Chris: Mostly from life. Like our Children, our families in general, and all of our individual trials and tribulations.

Q: What comes first - music or words? Can you explain your songwriting process?

Chris: There is no particular process used. Sometimes a “hook” is created from a joke or something someone says. Sometimes it’s a straight expression of things we’re going through at that moment. Sometimes a melody just comes to mind. In the car, in my sleep, and, my personal favorite, the shower!

Q: Any advice for other songwriters?

Chris: Music Theory is just that, THEORY. Write and play what’s in your heart. Fortunately, with music there is no right or wrong.


Q: What was your experience at Mile High Music Recording? Any advice for other musicians entering the studio?

Lisa: I personally loved it, but it was pretty nerve wrecking!!! I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I just wanted to get it right and not waste time!

Garth: But over all it was a great experience. Matt from MHM treated us very well and everyone was very patient there. The studio itself is REALLY nice! The recordings have fantastic sound quality, and they really catered to each of our individual quirks.

Lisa: as far as advice, don’t go in expecting to get your part right the first time around, use your time wisely and efficiently and get it down to where you’re happy.

Chris: Yeah because time IS money in a studio!!

Garth: And make sure you’re well rehearsed and relaxed when you get there as if it’s just another day.

Jared: Go in motivated but calm and with an open mind, have your parts down to eliminate some of the inevitable stress. Definitely be well rested and be prepared for a long day. And don’t forget to eat!

Grover: Also, don’t go in too uptight, bring a playboy for the bathroom breaks and beware of the Angry Pirate! (HAHAHA)

Q: What has been the biggest Headache for the band?

A: It has to be the scheduling. We all have very busy lives outside of music, with kids, work, etc. so scheduling rehearsal is a huge task. We still manage AT LEAST 4 days a week, but it’s having a regular time that is the problem, and it often runs late.

Q: When do you think your band started to take off? What has been the smartest marketing tool for you?

Lisa: I would say it was when we started playing at Herman’s Hideaway. Mike Roth and Chris Thomas have been very supportive of us from the beginning and made us kind of a regular at Herman’s. That is how we were entered into the Almost Famous competition, which has really been the best marketing for us so far.

We are working very hard to achieve our goals that we have set for ourselves, but haven’t quite gotten there yet! So we don’t know if we truly have “taken off” but we’ll get there!  However, we do feel like we are making progress and enjoying our fans support and enthusiasm!

(Chris: But, ya know, if you know someone who wants to have us “sign on the dotted line” let us know!!! (hint, hint) ha ha.)

Q: Funniest story and/or insight for fellow musicians?

Lisa: I personally think our funniest story is how the band was formed!

Chris: Yeah, basically the Islander met the saxy goth guy, the goth guy knew the blonde, the goth guy also knew the drummin’ classic rocker, who found the bassin classic rocker’s number at Drum City, and then found out he was the same basin classic rocker he met through another bassin’ classic rocker!!!  

Morale of the story: If you have an Islander, a blonde, a goth, and 2 rockers, you might be 7 days closer to a sunrise… Say that 10 times fast!
Q: What does the future hold for 7DTS? Do you foresee any touring?

Lisa: first, I really like the fact that you said 7DTS; it’s so much easier to write out, and say - I like abbreviations! But you can surely expect more recording and CD’s from us because we have A LOT of material, and its diversity is unbelievable.

Chris: as far as touring, we’ve been talking about doing a tour of the western states (including Hawaii because we also have a lot of Hawaiian music) but haven’t decided when. We’ll make sure to keep everyone updated if and when we decide to do it!

The next stop for 7DTS is the Oriental Theater on 4/2/09 with 2:10 Special and The Truth of the Matter.  Their new CD, Evolve, is available now, and of course they are, well, almost famous...