Carnival of Madness
Interview with LaJon of Sevendust
By Liz McCain
Photos by LizM Photography
Shinedown’s six-hour showcase Carnival of Madness featured Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust and 10 Years. It was held at the UCF Arena on Tuesday July 20th. The day got started around 5 p.m. with a 30-minute set by 10 Years as they performed like they were the headliners, giving everything they had into each song. Followed by a 40-minute set from Sevendust who had the crowd pumped and singing along. Puddle of Mudd appeared to have a blast on stage as they roared through a 45-minute set giving the crowd an incredible sound of AC/DC’s T.N.T. Chevelle then took stage with bare minimum for their 50-minute set, no flash and no flare, the trio stuck to the music as they ripped through each song with intensity. Then Shinedown hit the stage for a one-hour-and-45-minute set Singer Brent Smith, with top hat, tails and a cane, like a circus ringleader, took control as his vocals were clearly the focus of the band’s music. I was able to catch up with Sevendust before the show and get to know a little more from Lajon Witherspoon, check out what he had to say:
OB: “Cold Day Memory” is Sevendust’s eighth album, it is the first album released since Clint returned, how is this album different than the other?
LJ: When Clint left, I felt an element of Sevendust was gone, we continued to make albums but that missing puzzle was Clint. With him back, we have that original Sevendust homey that we love so much
OB: The chemistry with all the members of Sevedust is just so unbelievably powerful,
LJ: Thank you, That’s what it’s all about, before we started working on the album we worked on the brotherhood.
OB: What is the inspiration for the lyric content on the new album?
LJ: It comes from everyone’s point of view there is no one song or one person who does more.
OB: Johnny K, signed on as a producer of “Cold Day Memory,” What was the chemistry like there?
LJ: It was cool. Johnny was cool. I think it was a good thing for him to be there and kinda police things as far as all the ideas. It was good to have an outside prospective; it’s been awhile since we’ve done that. We were definitely able to focus more on the album and not much of anything else, it was really important to put our heart and soul into it.
OB: Sevendust had full control on this album; did you guys come up with the cover too?
LJ: No, actually we worked with a guy Rafi, well, I call him Rafi, his name is Rafa and he is from Phoenix. He’s an incredible video guy, he did the awesome documentary that you’ll see, but he showed up with this idea, pictures of us posing, and it actually came out really good. I think “Cold Day Memory” is the best artwork we have had.
OB: As far as the music side on the new album, the fact that you did have full control, is that something Sevendust will be doing with future albums?
LJ: That’s something we’ve been doing for a while now yeah, I’ve always said we waited too long to get into the business side of things because we were always out there touring everyday and living the dream and everybody else was living the dream. So, my advice to any artists out there that read this interview, stay true to your passion, your art and your craft, but also be a good businessman or woman. Keep your eyes on everything that is going on, there are people out there that will ride your coat tails, so just stay in control.
OB: As much as Sevendust has toured, what would you say is your favorite?
LJ: Three/Five tours, these are great tours. We play at like 5:50pm and we are done before the sun even goes down, and your like “what do you do” These tours are great because you start together and end together, and you get to do a lot of building and bonding and have barbeques it’s fun, it’s like a summer camp.
OB: So, what do you do when you are not on Tour?
LJ: I’m a Daddy. Well, I’m a daddy right now; you know I’m with my family and my wife down at Chuck E Cheese. Doing something with the kids.
OB: Now, I read that in Hit Parader you were voted one of the top 100 vocalists…
LJ: Which number are you on? There are several numbers but I only stand by one
LJ: Okay that’s a good one, but I’m known for 66, that was the first one
OB: In 2009 you were voted 35 though
LJ: That’s okay, but we still say 66 biotch…lol..
LJ: It’s been a joke for years; Yoshi brought it to me and said your number is 66 bitch.
LJ: So, number 35 in 2009, that’s cool, I guess I’m moving right on up.
OB: Now, I saw the bus ride in Korea video on the Sevendust Channel, which is a funny video
LJ: I haven’t even watched all that I don’t know what’s all on there
OB: Well, there’s a song you guys kept singing
LJ: Walking the streets at night…lol…that song has made an appearance several times now I forgot where it started, it started somewhere and it has been a hit ever since…lol…
OB: Which leads me to my next question, you guys have so much fun on tour, tell me the most funniest thing that has happened.
LJ: We were out with Creed and Clint had one of those moped scooters, a few of us were hanging out the back window, a few of us were hanging out, signing autographs and stuff, and we were getting ready to come back out of the bus and I remember seeing Clint ride by and he was really getting on it. He started going around in a circle in front of about a million people and he spins out and eats it. I remember the look on his face, he didn’t care if he got hurt, he just didn’t want anyone to see him wreck.
Let me tell you Orlando is…I don’t even say it’s a second home. Orlando is like home. John currently lives here in Orlando, and I’m trying to get a house here. As soon as I can get my house sold, I’ll be moving to Orlando. I just want to say God Bless You to everyone in Florida, and Thanks for the support. You have made us feel at home ever since the beginning of our careers, so thank you.
After that interview LJ was so appreciative and showed Orlandobands.com such support that he turned to Ben Gardner and asked how he can be apart. Ben Gardner is pleased to announce that Lajon Witherspoon is now the Seventh Senior Member of Orlandobands.com
Thank you so much Lajon for supporting Orlandobands.com and your inspirational words to our readers and members. We look forward to seeing more of you here in Orlando.
For more information about Sevendust or to follow their tour catch them at www.sevendust.com.