Shawn Kellner of Chicago Music Magazine recently caught up with Clint Lowery of Sevendust to talk about the band's new record and more.
Shawn Kellner (CMM): How's it going Clint?
Clint Lowery: It’s going good man. Just ready to get the tour started.
CMM: I appreciate you joining me on the phone and all of us at Chicago Music Magazine are very excited about your new record Black Out The Sun that just came out. How’s the tour been so far?
Clint: It's been good man. It’s one of those things were we get to test drive these new songs. We have been off for quite a while so we are excited to be back out. It’s all good.
CMM: Sevendust is a band that is no stranger to putting out albums. You guys have put out quite a few albums during your time as a band. What is different about writing this album compared to your previous releases?
Clint: The one thing that was different this time around was that we produced the album ourselves. We had basically a month to write and record it. So we got on quite the writing spree leading up to entering the studio. We didn't have the opportunity to second guess anything this time around.
CMM: Producing it yourselves, that opened up a lot of doors as far as the creative process is concerned. Was the writing process similar for you guys internally in the band as far as how the songs are written and who writes them?
Clint: We have always pretty much written our records ourselves. We have had producers with their names on the record but for the most part we write the songs as a band.
CMM: What are you most excited about with this particular record?
Clint: Just that it is a new record and it's fresh. We are all excited about having new songs to play out on the road. There are a few surprises to it too.
CMM: You guys are no strangers to Chicago. Do you have any favorite memories of coming through here?
Clint: We did our last record in Chicago so we have a lot of memories of there.
CMM: Well, working with Johnny K had to be amazing. He is such a cool guy.
Clint: Yeah he is great and we love the entire team he has there.
CMM: How has the dynamic within the band changed over the last few years? I know you went and did Dark New Day for a while and some of the other guys in the band have had other projects. How is it going back to Sevendust?
Clint: Those side projects were really healthy for all of us to do just because it helps us to appreciate what it is that Sevendust is. It's kinda cool cause you learn from a different formula. You learn from a different set of experiences that you can pull back and apply to the Sevendust formula. The dynamic changes the older we get, the different styles of music we like. It’s always evolving. The whole approach. We kinda like taking an old school approach. It’s pretty quick. We just went in and knocked it out.
CMM: Whats the dynamic like being in Sevendust as far as the comfort level from doing it for so many years compared to your time touring as the guitarist of Korn where you were hired to be the guitar player? Do your days feel different in Sevendust compared to that experience?
Clint: Oh yeah, that was a completely different animal. Those guys have a different way that they run their operations than we do. I didn't have to deal with the band dynamic. I just got on stage and played the songs that I really enjoyed playing. The guys were really cool. It was pretty simple actually. It was a cool learning experience being able to see another band operate. See how they act and interact with each other. It was cool and they treated me really nice.
CMM: The new single “Decay” just came out. What is that song about for you guys? What went into writing it?
Clint: To me man, when I was writing the music, I just wanted the song to be about a lot of people in their current position. The soap boxes and people who have power. There is a lot of corruption with that. When people get into those positions they seem to sacrifice a little bit of their morals. A lot of them are just a face. They aren’t actually the person they are representing to the world. So there is a decay and a lot of corruption from people with a high political standing.
CMM: You guys are out on the road again after spending time writing and recording the new record in the studio. What’s the first couple of weeks like for you guys when you head out together after time apart, and the writing/recording process?
Clint: It's just adjusting. Working out any kinks in the set. The gear, the set list. The set list is always changing. We have a really good one now but it always takes a few shows to decide what songs to take out, what songs to put in, etc. It;s a really cool process. It doesn't take us long. We have been doing this for a long time. It's basically us getting our road lives back.
CMM: Is there anything different about your guitar rig that you have on the tour coming out of the studio this time around?
Clint: No, We kept the same rig going for this tour. There could be some changes coming in the next few weeks. To start we kept the same rig that we used on the last run. I’d be surprised if too much changes.
CMM: As a touring musician Clint, how do you keep this from feeling like a job? You’ve been doing it a very long time. How do you keep things like fatigue from setting in on the road. It happens to many other bands and always creates issues but somehow with Sevendust that doesn’t seem to happen. You guys are always aggressive, energetic, and powerful. How do you guys as a band bring it every night like that?
Clint: I think its just the people. We are still surprised that people come out to see our shows. We view it as a blessing to be in this position. We are thankful. It's the energy from the crowd. If they weren’t there and like 20 people showed up and they were half way into it it would be a lot different story. It's the die hard Sevendust fans we see night after night that keep us going. We see them get into it and it creates an energy to it.
CMM: As a touring musician, what is your favorite thing about playing music?
Clint: The interaction with the crowd. I love playing because it's a challenge. Certain things you learn along the way as far as how to entertain people in a crowd. It’s cool. I just love it and I feel I was born to do it. My whole family plays music. It just feels natural when I’m on the stage.
CMM: Many young guitar players have looked up to you over the years because of your style, your tone, and how you conduct yourself, what advice do you have for young musicians coming up as far as how to hone their craft and develop as a musician?
Clint: I actually think it's really good just to practice. The oldest piece of advice you can ever give is just spend time on your instrument or craft. The more your going to expose yourself to. The better your technique is. Then the better the technique is the more you’ll be able to visualize in your mind that you’ll be able to practically execute in real life. More time on your instrument means the percentages of you stumbling onto something amazing get better and better.
CMM: Thanks so much for joining me today Clint. We’re really excited about your new record that just came out. You have a bunch of tour dates in Illinois coming up. Springfield, Bloomington, Joliet. You're definitely getting your Illinois on. Have a safe tour and we will catch up with you when you come through Chicago. Cheers!
Clint: Thank You!
Thanks to Clint for taking the time to catch up with Chicago Music Magazine!
Check out SEVENDUST at any of the following stops.
DATE CITY VENUE
With Coal Chamber, Lacuna Coil and Candlelight Red:
Wed 4/3 Wichita, KS The Cotillion
Thu 4/4 Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom
Fri 4/5 Sauget, IL Pop’s
Sat 4/6 Milwaukee, WI The Rave II
Mon 4/8 Minneapolis, MN Mill City Nights
Tue 4/9 Joliet, IL Mojoes
Thu 4/11 Ft. Wayne, IN Piere’s
Fri 4/12 Detroit, MI Harpo’s
Sat 4/13 Pittsburgh, PA Altar Bar (SEVENDUST only)
Sun 4/14 Hartford, CT Webster Theater
Tue 4/16 Worcester, MA The Palladium
Wed 4/17 New York, NY Best Buy Theater
Thu 4/18 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
Fri 4/19 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino
Sat 4/20 Asbury Park, NJ The Stone Pony
Mon 4/22 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live!
Tue 4/23 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore Charlotte
Wed 4/24 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
Fri 4/26 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
Sat 4/27 Corpus Christi, TX Concrete Street Amphitheater
Sun 4/28 Dallas, TX The Palladium Ballroom
* Tue 4/30 Monroe, LA Live Oaks Bar and Ballroom
Wed 5/1 Huntsville, AL Sammy T’s
Fri 5/3 Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
Sat 5/4 North Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues (with Seether)
Sat 5/11 Kansas City, MO RockFest
** Mon 5/13 Rapid City, SD Rushmore Plaza Civic Ctr
** Tue 5/14 Bismarck, ND Civic Center Exhibit Hall
* Wed 5/15 Duluth, MN Clyde Iron Works
* Fri 5/17 Grand Rapids, MI The Orbit Room
Sat 5/18 Springfield, IL Boondocks
Sun 5/19 Columbus, OH Rock on the Range
* Wed 5/22 Baton Rouge, LA The Varsity Theatre
* Thu 5/23 Columbus, GA Front Porch Of The South
* Fri 5/24 Jacksonville, FL The Roc Bar
Sat 5/25 Niceville, FL Mullett Festival Grounds (Blazefest with HellYeah, Saving Abel, Pop Evil, Eye Empire)
* Sun 5/26 St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre
Mon 5/27 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
Thu 7/18 Peoria, IL Heart of Illinois Fair
Fri 7/19 Oshkosh, WI Ford Festival Park/Rock USA (w/ Megadeth & Godsmack)
* Shows with Pop Evil.
** Shows with Pop Evil and In This Moment.