Morgan Rose of Sevendust Interview

sevendustMorgan Rose of Sevendust speaks to UglyScene about the band, label, music and addiction. Make sure you go to River Riot here in Council Bluffs, Iowa to support Sevendust and your other favorite bands on September 23, 2011. UglyScene: I heard that the name of the band came from a can of spray. How did that come about? Morgan: Our base player saw a can of this stuff called Sevin dust in his garage and it’s used to kill bugs off of tomato plants. He came in and said what about Sevendust and it was one of those yes sounds cool we will go with that one. Nothing too deep and a lot of kids were coming up with their own meaning to it. I found out people have a lot of time on their hands but they can come up with some cool interesting meaning for names. With us it was just sounds good we have to get going and hit the road. UglyScene: At one point you created your own record label and what happened with that? Morgan: We have our own record label right now through Warner at ILG this is the second one and it’s the same name that we’ve kept all along which is 7 Brothers Records and we have a partnership with ILG we are under the Warner music group and it’s great. There is really no need to have anybody doing anything for us because we have done this for so long. We’ve got all the help that we need and all the resources we need through Warner music and we get to pick what we want to do and what songs we want to release and who we want to use as a producer and what songs are going to be on the record and how we are going to spend our money marketing. I don’t know who wouldn’t want to do that as opposed to having everybody pick what they want to do for you. That’s kind of how it goes. If you get lucky enough to build a strong enough base of people that will support your band and when you can get in the position where you can run the show on your own it is a lot more fun to do and to have control over your own career. UglyScene: It has been said that last album that you came out with was more of a personal experience. Morgan: Every record that we do we write off of personal experiences of stuff that we have all gone through. This is the first record having Clint back in the band and a lot of the stories were coming from his point of view but everyone could relate. This is one of those things just like any other record we started pulling from our personal experiences and this one had a lot to talk about. UglyScene: How do you and the band get the process started when writing music? Morgan: With us usually it comes from more than fifty percent where either John or Clint will come in with a guitar riff. Or they will actually record at home and put together a few parts and e-mail it and everybody’s got it. It’s often that if I get them I’ll go down to the studio and I’ll lay vocals on it and bring that in with me and we’ve got an option there. Usually the one who wrote the riff already has a vocal option and they’ve got their interpretation. Then Lajon will get it as well and he will put his spin on it. So you have a bunch of guys with their interpretation of what should happen vocally. It’s cool because we can start pulling from everybody’s ideas. UglyScene: That’s where the confused music comes from? Morgan: The confusion really more comes from a bunch of guys having different styles of music and over the years it has gotten a bit more drastic. We all like different styles. Lajon listens to all types of music and it makes him very versatile. We are all in the ball park of being really versatile but I think that you are going to have some people that predominately want to listen to heavy music and other people wanting to listen to more commercial music. That is where the confusion comes in. Are we a really heavy band or are we a radio band? I don’t think we have committed to that from day one. I just said the other night that it might be the other reason that we didn’t get as big as some of the bands did back in the late 90’s but it might be the reason why we are still alive and kicking right now because we didn’t conform to anyone’s style so we are still that underground relevant band that can still go out there and put people in the seats. UglyScene: What bands are you listening to lately within the past month? Morgan: Dillenger Escape Plan is who I really listen to a lot. They are one of my favorites and they are beyond talented players and on top of it they are really uneasy to watch. I’m a big Nine Inch Nails fan and I’m just into that uncomfortable thing. Whether it be uncomfortable to watch or note choice or just the angst of the aggression. There is things about that kind of music that attracts me to it. That is what I’m listening to most right now. UglyScene: Does your band have a preference. Which is more important the music or the lyrics? Morgan: From the first record we decided that after we got through it we would pay more attention to the lyric writing. It’s again something that has probably slowed us down from being able to go into the mainstream because you are not going to catch us writing songs about partying or who let the dogs out. We tend to write songs that are as deep as we can and to also keep is vague so that people can put their own interpretation of what the song is about. It stuck us in a position where it’s not for everybody. Some people like to have it there in front of them and they can put their hands up in the air and wave them like they just don’t care and we just don’t write songs like that. Lyrics are very important to us and the music obviously that goes without saying that it is our bread and butter too. We try not to play anything that sounds like something else and if it does we change it. UglyScene: Do you consider the current and past album to be conceptual? Is there a theme? Morgan: Every record we do I think starts to become some sort of a concept because usually everybody starts to get on the same page of what we are writing about. Then we go that direction. Over all the only record that we did that was a concept type of record was Alpha. Everything else has been everybody on the same page of the songs and they start to get cohesive with each other and kind of step on top of each other a bit. That is coincidental and we have not written that kind of record other than Alpha. UglyScene: How do you plan your live shows? Since the songs are so deep do you plan some type of therapeutic type of experience for the fans? Or do you just want to get on stage and have fun? Morgan: We are more of wanting to get up there and just try to do damage to as many people as we can and leave an impression. We don’t go out there with bombs or anything like that and we are not blowing anything up. Our thing is to do as much damage as we can in the hour or hour and a half that we have. That is our favorite thing to do. UglyScene: Can you tell us how the tour with Korn and Disturbed for Music as a Weapon tour came about? Morgan: We have been friends with both of those bands for a long time. This is our second run around with Disturbed. We did the first three weeks then we went to Australia and then back and after will be heading home for a little while. UglyScene: How do you balance your touring life with your family? Morgan: That’s the rough part is having kids, a woman and trying to balance. It’s also about the people who care about your band. We try to keep it all in perspective and try to get home as much as we can. We try to get the family out to see us as much as we can and it’s a wear and tear. We are blessed that we are able to do this and make money at it. UglyScene: One of the purposes for UglyScene is looking at the other side of glam. That comes from the idea that music is inspiring and music can, in my opinion, save someone’s life. Also that if a person hears someone that they look up to musically talk about certain issues they can get the help they need. Would you like to talk about anything regarding this? Morgan: As a musician the road is a place that is a haven for drugs and alcohol. It’s a brutal place and the boredom factor is what really does most of the damage. Everybody likes to think that it’s because it’s such a party. I’ve done it for thirteen years and I can tell you that I could care less about having a party. My biggest issues that I’ve always had are that you get at the most and hour and twenty minutes to play on stage and you do a few interviews in a day that might take up an hour. Before you know it you are looking at two to three hours that are covered in “work” which really isn’t work anyway. It is work but it’s doing what you love. It’s a good job and then you have other not counting sleep you got at least twenty two hours left in the day to fill and a lot of it is spent traveling on a bus or sitting in a van. There are a lot of people coming around and the party comes to you every night and you’re bored and it can be rough. It can be one of those things that get you vulnerable to doing something that you shouldn’t do. With me I jumped straight to alcohol and drugs until it ran its course. We are not a sober band. Some of us are sober and there are some that aren’t. The ones that aren’t still have their fun and that’s fine but there is a big difference between having a good time and staying up for three days doing drugs. Anybody that is trying to become a musician it’s definitely a place to be very careful. You have to watch out because you can get pulled in really quick. It’s happened to probably ninety nine percent of the bands that have been signed. UglyScene: When you had your problems with alcohol did you reach out for help? Did you simply decide to stop? Morgan: The only thing that slowed me down because I still will drink I had two beers last night. I don’t think that in my world there is nothing wrong with me having a few beers. There is something wrong with me drinking a half of a handlebar of vodka every day for a month. That was what I was doing. It took a little bit of fear more than anything. I had become dependent on alcohol but I wasn’t addicted. I don’t know if that makes any sense. It wasn’t a thing where I mentally craved it as much as my body needed and that is because I pickled myself with it. I was going through a divorce and I was going through a serious pride hit. It was something that I started with some drinks and it turned into I feel a lot better doing this. It scared me when I didn’t have hangovers anymore. Then my mother came up to me and told me that my eyes were yellow. When she told me that my eyes were yellow it put the fear of God in me. I have two kids and a wonderful family and it was one of those things where I needed to check myself real quick and say do I want my kids to grow up without a father. It is the most selfish thing I could ever do by looking at myself and saying woes me I got cheated on or I got left or my marriage broke up because of whatever reason. I was just what about me, what about me and all of the sudden I’m thinking wait what about my kids. Screw me it doesn’t matter. That was what got me through it. I didn’t have to go to rehab. It was just realizing that there was somebody way more important than me and it was my kids and my family. I started to focus on my energy on trying to be more coherent and make sure that I can be there for them. Thank you Morgan for the interview. It was a pleasure and we look forward to the show in September! seven_02 Check out Sevendust at: Web site Facebook

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