Interview by Marianne Jacobsen (fangurl)
Firstly, I want to put big love out there to my Metallica Brother – Bock Bock Brad for helping me connect the dots to make this interview happen!
Lajon Witherspoon is calling my house this time except we do a conference through his manager – who is fucking awesome. He actually took the time before he connected me to LW to chat about the loss of Prince that day and how he was processing it. That to me is very very cool.
K on with the interview:
Ring Ring (Except with a Southern accent this time)
MGM: Hey man how are you? Thank you so much for talking to me today.
So the first time I had the pleasure of seeing Sevendust – you were the first performers of the M2K lineup New Years Eve of 1999. It was you guys, Kid Rock, Ted Nugent with his Buffalo and Metallica.
LW: Oh my god! That was a great show! I was only like 22! What’s up?!?
MGM: And now I’m gonna get to see Sevendust perform at the Rebellion this year. http://carolinarebellion.com/
LW: The Carolina Rebellion?
MGM: Yeah I’m coming down all the way from Canada and wanted to do a face to face but administrative issues made it not possible to do that. So instead I’m talking to you now to promote the show – and of course talk to you.
LW: Well let’s make sure we can still say hello. (DID YOU READ THAT FOLKS?)
MGM: That would be awesome! You are a Libra so we should get along. (As Libra and Aquarius’ do).
Ok – Questions: You are about to embark on a headlining tour with Trivium and Like a Storm supporting. Why did you choose these two bands and what can fans look forward to experiencing at these shows?
LW: When we picked the bands we sat down right at the beginning and send out a feeler and see who would like to tour with Sevendust and Trivium was one of the bands that came through as being the best fitting and for a good tour. Trivium was a band that just worked all the way around. The promoters were happy with it and we think it’s a great opportunity for us. That being said, the reason I like the “Storm” kids is that we saw them a couple of years ago and thought they were great. Also with this headlining tour we do 13 runs and then all the big festivals – Like Carolina Rebellion http://carolinarebellion.com/ that you are gonna be at.
MGM: Yeah well you guys are playing on such a fantastic day for music at the festival! What do you find when you perform at these big festivals – what does it feel like? Is it more fun or is it more like work?
LW: No actually I really like it because it like being a kid in a candy store. We get to play and then you have time to watch other bands and walk around and see things and feel the excitement and see the enthusiasm and energy. I’m all about that. I mean, this type of tour – As Sevendust we can’t play these festivals every year because its something that they don’t allow. So it’s been two or three years since we have played these festivals – so its really exciting for us and I’m looking forward to it.
MGM: I’m looking forward to it! Im also super excited because I have not seen Kill the Flaw (Sevendust’s 2015 Grammy nominated album) performed live yet!
LW: Oh it’s great! Even now when we reherse this weekend and practicing and putting in the new single “Death Dance” which I can’t wait to sing! That and a few more new songs and then some songs we haven’t played in a while. We are just putting together a cool run and it’s gonna be fun!
MGM: Sevendust has been consistently putting out albums – and not just albums but GOOD ALBUMS – Where would you say the creativity continues to thrive from?
LW: I’m gonna say Family. Also that we took a long deserved break that we all needed. Because finally we have people who care, not only for the well being of the individuals in the band but also the beautiful kids and families that we have in our lives.
MGM: You have a new addition to the family yes?
LW: Yes my son Kingston Lajon Witherspoon! He’s here right now and he’s taking a nap. He’s awesome, he’s beautiful. He barely cries. And check this out – Lajon is gonna be at the Kansas City Rockfest http://www.ROCKFESTKC.com on May 14, 2016. He has already been fitted for his little safety headphones that are being made for him.
MGM: Make sure you take pictures! Rock and Roll babies are the best!
LW: We took the time off so I could be here and have been here since he was born. Im ready to get back out on the road. The guys are flying into my hometown tomorrow night and we will start rehearsing on Saturday and we will leave out of here Monday to hit the road.
MGM: There’s like 17 dates or something like that?
LW: Yeah I believe so. It’s over a 4 week period.
MGM: That’s a long time to be away from home.
LW: Well actually the way this tour runs its pretty cool because we will leave for two weeks and then have a four day break and fly home for those days. Then we will leave for two days and come back and play the Rockfest (www.rockfestkc.com). This is the biggest one day festival in the United States of America – right here in my home town! Then just two weeks after that so… Time you spend travelling is really important too.
MGM: Yeah I’m a big believer in teleportation being the new big thing. Forget Solar!
LW: There you go!
MGM: Where is your favourite place to perform live?
LW: Oh wow there are so many! I love so many places!
Last time Australia was so beautiful. We hadn’t been there in six years! Canada is great too! (mj – yeah I know)
MGM: So you have the Spring tour laid out. What is Sevendust up to this summer?
LW: Well, that’s still in the making and Canada is definitely on there. I’m pretty excited about that as well!
Actually I’m having vocal booth put into one of the rooms in my house and I have a lot of cool memorabilia down there. And one of the first things I see on this front little set up is my beautiful gold keychain from Nova Scotia!
MGM: So cool! I had read that you collect “cool things”. What’s the coolest thing you have ever received as a gift?
LW: The best gift I ever received was from my best buddy. It’s a custom built assembled Harley Davidson that’s been signed by Steve Vai!
MGM: Yeah that is pretty cool.
LW: It was delivered to my house one year for my birthday and I’ve never had anything like that happen to me.
MGM: Well you are obviously a good friend and deserve good things.
LW: Yeah its been a blessing.
So you were at the Silverdome (on NYE M2K)?
MGM: Yeah it was at the Silverdome and we stood outside and froze for about 4 hours before they let us in so we could get in the Snake Pit.
LW: I remember that morning waking up and looking out the window and seeing the trailer for Ted Nugent’s buffalo and everybody being tripped out because they had to rebuild the stage because the buffalo weighed so much. I remember that like it was yesterday!
MGM: Mee too!
LW: We did several shows with Kid Rock and Metallica back then and we had a blast! Like kids in a candy store! Running around backstage and we were so young! I can remember I was shocked that the singer from Orange 9mm was back there and we were hanging out having a great old time. Wow you just brought back some great memories – can’t wait to meet you! (ARE YOU READING THIS FANKIDZ?)
MGM: When you were bouncing around names and came up with Sevendust – what were some of the other names being bounced around?
LW: We were called Crawlspace, Rumblefish – there were so many different names and then Vinnie came in one day with an idea that eventually became Sevendust. I like Sevendust because 7 is a heavenly number and we are all made of dust.
Most people think we must have been smoking weed back in the day.
MGM: Actually (out comes the rock nerd) If I really am gonna meet you I’ve got a cool gem that is known as Super Seven or Spirit Seven. Kinda like Sevendust!
LW: Yeah that is cool! Well take down my number and you can give me a text from the Rebellion and I’ll make sure you get to say hi to the whole band.
(OK FANGURL ALERT LEVEL ORANGE)
MGM: Ok and you have my number. Actually its my mom’s number!
LW: Yeah Mom!
MGM: Ok one last question. What is the best part about being in Sevendust?
LW: Oh man. The journey that I have been blessed to be a part of and all the beautiful people that we have met along the way that I now consider family. And what a blessing to still be able to be doing this and be relevant in this industry when it’s so crazy.
MGM: Ok I don’t want to take up any more of your time.
LW: Hey man, well I look forward to getting my crystal!
MGM: For sure!
So…will this lead to a part two of a fangurls journey? Stay tuned!