BEST OF 2020 #1: Sevendust
There is a very specific reason why this interview is #1 on my Top 10 of 2020 list. No, it's not just because Sevendust are one of my favourite bands ever, and it's also not just because it's an international artist and therefore would guarantee more website hits. In extremely un-glamorous news: prior to picking up the phone for this interview back in May, I had every intention of calling it a day with The Soundcheck. The anxiety and uncertainty that was whipped up by the COVID pandemic was becoming all-consuming, and sitting at home day in and day out on my own had totally robbed me of my fire for most things, let alone why I pursue this crazy dream. When I got the call up for the interview, I knew deep down I had to say yes; it would be utterly ridiculous to turn down an opportunity like this. But as I sat staring into my mic in my bedroom feeling a pit of despair in my stomach as the phone started ringing, I genuinely wondered if The Soundcheck was actually what I wanted to keep doing. Fortunately for me, the moment Lajon Witherspoon, aka LJ, answered the phone: my entire life changed, and it was like being picked up in a a huge, metaphorical warm hug.
Lajon isn't just a generous interviewee and freakishly talented as the frontman for one of the biggest success stories in the alternative rock world; he is also a human equally devoted to his art as he is with cultivating and sharing an infectious lust for life, and is unwavering in his willingness to share his passion and irresistible joy for music and beyond. Those brief 15 minutes LJ spent with me back in May were a game-changer, and it's an experience I am frequently drawn to fondly revisit as this year continues to dish up heartache after heartache (plus, I got my first proper exclusive about new Sevendust music which is, of course, old news by now). Whether you're a Sevendust fan, or just need a bit of a spark to start 2021 off on a positive note: come spend a few moments with one of the true heroes of the music world to hopefully inspire you to kick ass in the new year. And just a last word/side note: while this past week and a bit has paid homage to the 10 favourite moments of the year on The Soundcheck, I would also like to acknowledge every person, music industry or not, who survived this total shitshow of a year and are still standing. Here's to a brighter and better year ahead, and thank you all for sticking with me in 2020. So much love xo
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: May 17 2020
Originally set to hit our shores within days alongside lords of metal debauchery Steel Panther, alt metal legends Sevendust are instead busily biding their time before they can bring their ballistic live show back to our shores safely in 2021. Last seen gracing our stages just last year to celebrate their most recent release All I See is War, Sevendust well and truly raised the roof and potentially stripped the paint off venue walls all over the country as they blasted their ferocious sonic wares (and hemorrhaged more drum sticks than a Friday night at KFC) while proving yet again why they are one of the most in-demand live acts in the heavy world.
With decades under their belts and barely any alteration to their iconic lineup since the mid 90s, Sevendust have remained a rare consistent force in a swiftly changing and cutthroat industry; a consistency which permeates both their hulking brand of rock as well as their reputation as being some of the nicest guys in town. And while the world quietly awaits a return to some form of normality amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Sevendust sure as hell aren't sitting idle, as frontman Lajon Witherspoon (aka LJ) shares with Tiana Speter today, revealing his Aussie aspirations, wearing a wig for Steel Panther and a sneak peek into some new music news. Grab a listen below!
BY TIANA SPETER