SEVENDUST's Lajon Witherspoon: "If You've Been There From The Beginning Then You're Family."
24 years deep into a career that has spawned three gold records and dozens of top 50 charting hits, Atlanta's Sevendust has earned the right to stop and smell the roses ahead of their 12th studio record, All I See Is War.
Scheduled for release on May 11th via Rise Records, and produced by the great Michael "Elvis" Baskette (Alter Bridge, Trivium, Slash, Tremonti), All I See Is War follows up 2015's Kill The Flaw, which earned the band their fifth consecutive Top 10 on the Top Rock Albums Chart, third straight Top 3 on the Hard Rock Albums Chart, in the USA, and their first ever Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance.
"I think life is like a chess game. You just have to make the right move, and it might take a little while, but I feel that the downtime with us was good, and the time with Rise Records has been incredible," says frontman Lajon Witherspoon in an interview with Metal Injection. "It’s like having a new girlfriend that’s really cool and gets you."
The move to Rise and collaboration with Baskette have resulted in a rebirth for a band who seem to be finding peak success over two decades into a career that kicked into gear during the boom of nu-metal.
"I felt like that young man at 21 years old with a new outlet," Witherspoon said of the recording process for All I See Is War. "It was fresh. It was like, this is what we’ve missed for a long time. For whatever reason, this piece of the puzzle fits real good."
Nearly two and a half decades into their careers and Sevendust have punched enough miles to dole out some advice to aspiring musicians and cautious industry observers.
"We were young at the beginning, and guess what, that was our dream. It didn’t matter. We got a tour bus now? That was all that mattered," Witherspoon says. "If there’s any advice that I can give to any man, woman, or anyone of any gender, keep true to your art but also be a businessman or businesswoman in the music industry. You have to keep your fingers and hands on what’s going on in your career. I think we kind of learned that the hard way several times by just trusting people.
"I feel like we’re really blessed" he adds. "A lot of people don’t understand that behind the scenes there have been a lot of things that have happened that have taken a toll, but also have made us work harder as men. I think it would be very foolish for any of us to ever take this vehicle, Sevendust, for granted. It’s a testimony to us having a responsibility not only to ourselves, but to the people we’ve grown up with. If you’ve been there from the beginning then you’re family."
As for All I See Is War, a more mature and centred lineup have honed in on who and what they are as a band, tackling some real truths along the way.
"There’s war all around us always, everyday," Witherspoon says. "If you turn on the news you see something going on. I kind of think that’s where I was coming from. If you look into the lyrics, I wanted it to go to anyone. I’m just a passenger and that could be a kid on the bus going to school, your grandma on the train feeling like she’s going into this world and not knowing that to expect."
For tour dates and to pre-order the album, check out the band on their official website.