SEVENDUST vocalist Lajon Witherspoon says that after the band parted ways with longtime label TVT Records, the courting process from other record companies “was like having a whole bunch of girlfriends all of the sudden that liked you.” SEVENDUST eventually landed with Rise Records, who, according to Witherspoon, has given the band such a strong promotional push for their new “All I See Is War” studio album that “it’s like a new fire up under the band after all these years.”
In a recent interview with Paulie Walnuts of HardDrive Radio (see video below), Witherspoon was asked about the transition from TVT over to Rise and the effect it’s had on the band: “For us, we got off TVT Records, which was a great thing to be a part of,” he said. “What happened to bands being signed? You really don’t hear about that anymore. I don’t. We took things into our own hands with SEVENDUST and we got to a point where we felt we needed to go down a different avenue: ‘Let’s look and see if there might be some interest. Oh, my goodness. People want to sign the band!’ It was like having a whole bunch of girlfriends all of a sudden that liked you and you had to pick which one you wanted to stick around with. Rise Records seemed to be the proper one to work with and it’s been great so far and how exciting it is. It’s like a new fire up under the band after all these years, having these people on our team. Let’s see, we’ve done two videos so far. We haven’t done that in a long time. It’s out there and you see SEVENDUST all of the sudden in a light you haven’t seen. It’s very exciting. I look forward to seeing what’s going to happen.”
Witherspoon was then asked about the album’s first single and video, “Dirty”, which stays in the vein of the band’s driving hard rock style. “[‘Dirty’] was one of the first songs that we did,” he said. “Me, Morgan [Rose, drums] and John [Connolly, guitar] flew down to Atlanta and wrote some songs and ‘Dirty’ was one out of that first batch. It just had that driving SEVENDUST, old-school-but-fresh feel. I think it’s kind of what’s going on in the world. I feel like a passenger at times going to war. Maybe not ‘war’ in a sense overseas, but just maybe on a bus. Everything around you that’s going on — it’s kind of a play on words.”
“Not Original” — the album’s second single — follows in less-than-heavy fashion, which showcases Witherspoon as a vocalist. Lajon stated: “That song, when Clint [Lowery, guitar] played that for the first time, it wasn’t going to be on the SEVENDUST album, actually. I was like ‘It’s got to be. Automatically.’ We just worked with it and tweaked it out a little bit and it turned out beautiful. I think that’s something I’m happy to be in this band is we’re not afraid to do songs like that because we’ve done all the heavy songs. I don’t think it’s always about being the heaviest band in the world. I’m 45 years old now. I’ve been heavy enough. I can be soft, too. [Laughs] I think it’s a good mixture.”
Witherspoon was also asked whether the recurring theme of “war” was planned on the band’s new songs and if it led to them naming their new album “All I See Is War”: “We didn’t plan it at all. Anytime SEVENDUST goes in, we have no idea what the album is going to be called. It’s always ‘What are we going to do? What are we going to do?’ At the end of this we realized ‘We say ‘war’ several times.’ In the song ‘Dirty’, ‘all I see is war’. I think it’s a really powerful subject name, like a play on words. I really didn’t want it to go political because a lot of people want to take it down that route. It’s not anything like that, but if you want it to be, I feel as much as we try to shelter our kids, if you look at the artwork, you see the kids, then the fire behind them playing. In a sense, that’s what’s going on. You turn the TV on. What do you see? You see war. It’s kind of a play on words. Hopefully everything will get better in days to come.”
“All I See Is War” was released May 11 via Rise Records. The album was produced by Michael “Elvis” Baskette, who has previously worked with Slash and ALTER BRIDGE, among other artists.