Sevendust have just recently released their 11th studio album Kill the Flaw. We caught up with drummer Morgan Rose to chat about the new album and Australian tour happening in March 2016.

SCENEzine
Firstly what’s Sevendust up to this week?

Morgan Rose
Man we are at home. Actually home for the holidays so we are not quite used to this. I might go play a little baseball tonight. It’s been nice to kick back.

SCENEzine
Does the band all get together for Christmas?

Morgan Rose
No we are all spread out now. We don’t live in the same areas anymore. Everybody does their own thing until we get back together.

SCENEzine
Your new album Kill The Flaw has just recently came out. Are you stoked with how it turned out?

Morgan Rose
Yeah. We didn’t really have any expectations. We didn’t go into it thinking if this record isn’t what everybody wants this could be the end. We didn’t have anybody telling us what to do it was really strange. We just went in there and wrote what felt right to us then it came out. Then without us making a big deal it just got received better than any record that we have had out in years.

SCENEzine
Can you tell us a bit about the cover art for the album?

Morgan Rose
Well usually I stay away from the artwork with the exception of Animosity. We basically get someone to do it and we send them some songs and the title. Then we let them come up with some options. This has been the biggest response we have ever had to a cover. I never really paid that much attention to the covers. Not that it’s not a big deal because it’s actually a very big deal with merchandise and stuff like that. I thought the cover looked amazing when we got it and it’s the first time that I’ve had people commenting on our album cover.

Kill The Flaw Album Sevendust

SCENEzine
How does the Sevendust song writing process work? Is it a case of all jamming in a room together or sending ideas to each other over the internet?

Morgan Rose
Well we don’t do the internet thing anymore. We have done that in the past in times when Clint or Lajon might send me something that they are working on. But with this one we went in and did it a few different ways. We had these work stations and isolation rooms. It was kind of like wall street or an accounting firm with people running back and forth. Then other times the five of us would sit in a room and start banging out some riffs and see if anything sticks.

SCENEzine
You must be happy with the recent Grammy nomination for the track “Thank You”. Did that song come quite easily in the writing process?

Morgan Rose
Yeah musically it did. Me and John were talking about it the other day. I called him and we were talking and he was like remember we wrote that chorus for it and it wasn’t clicking. We wrote a chorus for it and it wasn’t right. Originally the chorus was more major and positive then all of a sudden another chorus came in and that was the one that stuck.
Usually when we are finishing songs we will be like that’s the one that’s the single. But with this album we never had that one song in mind. Our idea was to write and record then leave it for a while I mean we recorded this album in January. So we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to live with the songs for a little while. After a while it grew on us more and more. We didn’t do pre production on this album. We would go in and write a riff then build on that and make a song out of it then record it on the spot. I mean when we did Animosity it took us a year to write and record and we did this one we did in five weeks.

SCENEzine
One of our favourite tracks from the album is “Letters” for it’s well crafted lyrics. How does Lajon’s lyric writing process work?

Morgan Rose
Actually we all write lyrics so the songs can tend to get extremely vague. There’s been many times where I’ll write an entire song of lyrics or Clinton does. Then other times different people write lyrics for different verses in songs.
That way we don’t really tell people what the songs are about because we realise they can be interpreted in many different ways.

SCENEzine
Another stand out track from the album is “Chop” with it’s country twang at the start. Being from Georgia I’m guessing you’ve got a lot of influences that aren’t just Metal bands?

Morgan Rose
Yeah well we grew up on all of the early metal. My parents got me into Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Then when I had my chance I gravitated towards Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. I remember seeing Accept and early Def Leppard. We were always influenced by all different kinds of music. There was southern rock, darker pop music, alternative music like Depeche Mode and The Cure. My thing was always I was a big fan of major minor. I loved sad music with melodies that could bring me down. So we were all influenced by very different things.

SCENEzine
We first became Sevendust fans many years ago after seeing footage of you play Woodstock 99. Do you have any memories of that festival?

Morgan Rose
Oh yeah I’ve got many memories. Back then when I was getting ready to play it would be extremely metal. I would get myself so worked up to play my teeth would be gritting. We started out independent we had our share of being supported but didn’t have major label money. We were always the underdog. It was hard for us to get tours, it was hard for us to get anything. So when we would get opportunities to play with other bands that had all the money. They had everything, the crew, the production. We just did our damage on stage. Keep in mind back then the landscape was different there was no Slipknot or Lamb of God. We were one of the heavier things that was out at the point.
So we were being put on tours with rock bands and were just dismembering them. We are very aggressive and put on an aggressive stage show. So when we played Woodstock we were the last band added because someone had cancelled. We were definitely the underdog but we got our opportunity. I remember MTV had cameras everywhere and I was so wound up to get on stage I couldn’t control my emotions. The cameras kept getting in my face and I remember telling them you better get that camera out of my face. I was stretching waiting to go on and they wouldn’t get out of my face so I hit one of the camera dudes. I had this uncontrollable aggression. I’ll never forget the unbelievable experience of playing in front of 170,000 people and before we went on I just wanted to destroy everything. It was pretty awesome. I wish that I had that type of mentality now. I play as hard as I can and enjoy it and am definitely grateful to be able to do this but it’s just different. I get really calm now before I play and try to control my emotions more now. So I can try to conserve my energy for on stage so I can put out as much as I used to.

SCENEzine
The news that Australian Sevendust fans are excited about is your finally coming back early in 2016. Are you personally excited to come back ?

Morgan Rose
Oh yeah. We get asked all of the time what’s your favourite place to play since we’ve played everywhere. But always I’ll say my favourite place to play is Australia people look at me with their head tilted because they can’t believe it.
I just know that the respect and response that we have gotten in Australia is such an embrace. It’s just like how could you not want to play for these people. How could you not want to break yourself in half for these people that are giving you so much. It’s a different mentality that’s so untainted. I feel spoilt. I’ve looked forward to this since the day what got word that there was an offer out there for us to go. Contrary to what everybody might of heard or might think we never cancelled Australia. Sevendust never did cancel. We will tour no matter if we are deathly ill. I mean Lajon’s brother was murdered and he went up on stage and played that night then he got on a plane after and flew home.
We have never cancelled so it was tough for us to sit back and see the press and social media go crazy saying we had cancelled. We were getting crucified so we honestly didn’t know if we would ever get another offer to come but the offer came pretty quick. I always hate flying so long to only be able to play four shows but we are playing nine which is really exciting. We are putting together something that is just for Australia and New Zealand. It’s something that we’ve never done before and its gonna be awesome. We will make sure that everyone who comes remembers this show.

SCENEzine
Sevendust are well know for their heavy music but just as well known for your acoustic moments. Any chance we will get to hear any acoustic versions?

Morgan Rose
That’s part of the excitement. I was talking to some of the guys and I said when we do our headline tour should we do a portion acoustic. Everybody was like no we’ve already done an acoustic tour in the States. But I called my manager and was like we need to do that in Australia because we never did it there. So I think we are probably going to include it in. It’s going to be a long night we want to make it an experience.

SCENEzine
One of our favourite songs not just by Sevendust but by any band is “Angels Son”. Are you amazed how well that song has stood the test of time?

Morgan Rose
Yeah that song has taken on a life of its own. We wrote that song for Lynn from Snot that was his song. I remember a few years after he had passed they used the song for the challenger space shuttle disaster here as a tribute to them.
Then I’ve heard many people have it played at funerals. So the song has taken on a whole new life. It’s something that I definitely didn’t expect it was going to be like this. We wrote the song as a tribute to our friend and the reception for it is crazy

SCENEzine
Both of the videos for the song are really great tributes to Lynn also.

Morgan Rose
The first one that we did with the members of Snot and all the other bands that were there that was for Lynn that was a tribute. Then we found out the label wanted us to do another video for it. It was an emotional rollercoaster to deal with. I am proud of that song. It’s stood the test of time like you said. That’s pretty amazing.

SCENEzine
When your playing live and realise “Waffle” is next do old songs like that still pump you up?

Morgan Rose
It’s funny a lot of Australian’s ask us about that song. We barely play that song anymore but that song seems to be popular in Australia. We better pull that thing back out because I think people wanna hear that song. As a matter of fact we didn’t tour Australia for Home or Animosity we didn’t make it there until Seasons. But we were told had if we had of come earlier we would of been playing arenas. Apparently those two albums were pretty huge in Australia but we didn’t even know at the time. We didn’t even know that anybody in Australia knew who we were. We were completely clueless. I remember playing those songs on the Seasons tour and Lajon could of almost sat down because the audience was singing every lyric. He didn’t even have to sing it was awesome.

(check out a young Krysten Ritter aka Jessica Jones in the Waffle video)

SCENEzine
You must of seen so many other band some and go over the years. Is the reason behind Sevendust’s longevity that your really great mates?

Morgan Rose
Yeah that’s the main reason. But even with being close you have to have an audience. I think people believe us. They know that we appreciate them. When we started out if there was five people in the crowd we played as hard as we could then we met all five of them. Then it would become fifty five people and then five hundred people. Everyone we would meet we would look them in the eye and say thankyou. We did that our whole career. Now it’s a little different because it’s bigger and we cant personally face to face thank everyone that comes to a show. But we try to meet as many as we can to tell them we appreciate them. I had somebody say to me what’s it like to be your own boss but I have thousands of people who are my boss. The minute they don’t like my work then I believe that will be the end of my job.

SCENEzine
Lastly can you leave us with a message for your Australian fans excited about the tour?

Morgan Rose
Well like I said we have been looking forward to this since the day we heard there was an offer out there. We actually though we were going this year but when it got moved to March I was like please god let this happen. Then when it was 100% we all started to get excited. We love playing for the people of Australia. It’s a great opportunity to come back and we are extremely excited to be able to headline and play a full set. The biggest thing I can tell you is have no fear we definitely will be showing up.

SCENEzine
Thanks so much for your time. We will see you in March.

Morgan Rose
Thank you, have a great Christmas.

(interview by Christian Ross)

Sevendust Tour poster

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