a sit down with singer lajon of Sevendust.
right this way.
Are you guys going to push on with this tour for a year or so like you have in the past?
We didn’t want to do it, but it’s looking like it will happen. Of course we have to tour hard with the new album, but we won’t tour as much. Morgan and I both have two-year-old daughters. We love our jobs, but we can’t tour as much as we did.
It has to be terribly hard to leave your family behind.
It’s getting harder and harder now that they are talking. I hate hearing, ‘Daddy, I miss you.’
In the past, was touring something you lived for because you didn’t have as much to go home to, and that you have a home to go back to, is it almost the best of both worlds?
Definitely. It’s a catch-22. Sometimes you get home and you are like, ‘I’ve been home too long,’ and you want to get on the road again. My family is so important. I brought this little girl into this world and she knows that daddy isn’t there a lot, so the time I spend at home, I try to make most of the time that I can. I feel like what I do now is going to be so much better for her in the future.
Are you still able to interact with fans?
Hell, yeah. I love that. I don’t care how big we get, I will always do that. The kids will say, ‘Hey, what are you doing out here?’ and I’ll be like, ‘What are you talking about?’ because if I wasn’t in the band I’d still out here trying to meet genuine people. Besides, I don’t have any weed and they do, so it’s like ‘Let’s smoke.’ (laughs) It’s just cool to meet people. I just feel that music is magic and to see people’s faces is just magic. For a normal guy like me who likes to hang out at Home Depot, who’s a country boy, whose dreams have all come true, when I walk up and see how these people react, it’s magic.
What is it like to finally step out onstage with everyone cheering for you?
It’s serenity. That is the one place I don’t worry about anything in the world or my life at the time because that time onstage is where it’s at. Energy from our friends, I don’t like to call them fans, is amazing. If you are into the band, you know you are friends of mine.
Is there anything you can’t go on tour without?
I have to bring Stevie Wonder. I have to bring lava lamps and incense, and of course pictures of my daughter and mama. We golf too, so that is fun.
Being on the road with the same guys for so long, you really get to know each other. Is there a personality type or thing each guy possesses that you kind of would like to have?
No. I know them too well. I didn’t think we could get closer, but we are closer now than ever. I’d say we are married to each other. So honestly, I can say I don’t want any of their traits. (laughs) They’d probably say the same thing about me.
Did you go into the studio with a plan? Or is it whatever happens happens?
We went in with a plan to take our time and get back to life. We wanted to write songs, like them, let them sit for a minute, come back and listen to them and see if we still like them. We weren’t rushed. You’ve your whole life to write your first album and then two weeks to write the ones that come after. We’re not getting any younger and have been doing it the way we’ve wanted to all along, so we went in with the plan that Animosity would be our best work.
How was working with Ben Grosse?
Ben is a ninja. He came in and made a few sessions, knew every song, and told us that it was the best thing he heard in a long time. It was a beautiful working relationship. It was so stress free. It was incredible.
Was it important to bring a guy in like him that didn’t talk down to you, in a sense he came in feeling like an equal?
If he came in with an attitude, he would have been gone. We’re at a point now where we’ve got to like what we are doing because we have to live with it like everyone else. It’s our art and we don’t want to paint the same exact picture. Animosity has painted a beautiful picture of being heavy, being melodic and showing that we aren’t afraid of having songs.
You have to live these songs even more than fans because you have to play them every day, so if you aren’t happy that could get ugly.
Exactly. It’s therapy for us.
Did you have a lot of songs going in?
There were fifteen other songs that didn’t make it. I hate that some of them didn’t make it on there. They’ll come out eventually.
Is it hard to cut them out at the end?
Everyone has their opinion and you have to listen, so we picked what we thought was strongest and represented the band well.
Is there anything behind the title Animosity?
It’s about the shit we’ve been through in the past five years, from the business to girlfriends, wives, and all the other animosity that is going on within us.
How much have you learned about your voice over the years?
Wow. Hmm. Well, probably that I’ve been very blessed not to have to cancel shows because of my voice. I’ve learned that I can tour and endure the pain. Moderation is the key to life and the same with my voice. I feel right now I can be the strongest I can be. I feel good. I had time to be refreshed and I feel like the magic is there again. When you tour for so long and don’t know what is going on, you lose touch with reality.
What do you think about rock today?
I think that we are going to look back in ten years and go ‘What the hell was going on?’ I think it’s time we turn back to the real music and not the gimmick. The music is the reason why we do it. It needs to be real.
+ charlie craine