Interview: Clint Lowery and John Connolly of Sevendust Discuss Uproar Festival and 'Cold Day Memory'
In 2008, after a three-year break from the band, Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery returned to the fold just in time to begin work on their most recent studio release, 2010's Cold Day Memory (Atlantic).
The album, which is the eighth studio album from the Atlanta-based metal band, is also the first record to feature all of the original members since 2003's Seasons. Eager to provide their fans with more insight into the band, they also recorded frequent video blogs during the recording process to share their progress.
When Cold Day Memory was finally released in April 2010, it landed at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it their best-ever debut for an album.
While Sevendust has released an album on average about every two years since their debut release (1997’s Sevendust), the band is perhaps better known for being out on the road constantly. Through their constant touring, Sevendust has developed a large and loyal fan base.
It is no surprise to see the band out on the road again this year. Sevendust are in the middle of a headlining tour. From August to October, the band will be part of this year’s Uproar Festival, which also features Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace and Seether.
Guitar World recently caught up with Clint Lowery and John Connolly to talk about the reunion of the original members, the new album and the Uproar Festival.
GUITAR WORLD: This is Clint’s first album with the band since Seasons. What was it like working together again after the time away from the group?
CLINT LOWERY: It was basically the "riding the bike" syndrome. I played with these guys so long previously before leaving, so getting back into the swing of things was pretty easy and effortless. I was really excited about getting back in the mix. There was always a really good chemistry with these guys. It was an unbelievable kind of high that I felt just getting back with the guys, reconnecting with them on a friendship level and music level.
JOHN CONNOLLY: It was cool. It didn’t seem like we had been away from each other for that long. When we first started having talks about it, we said the last thing we wanted to do was jump in the studio. We really wanted to get back on the road and just be a band again. When it came time to make the record, it was just second nature. There was no real discussion or plan. We just did what we always did. It was one of those things that just made sense. It definitely helps us sound like Sevendust a little more [laughs].
How did you approach the writing for Cold Day Memory? Did you have material written on your own, or did you work it out as a band in the studio?
JC: It really depends on the record. This last record, I wrote an enormous batch of stuff, and Clint wrote an enormous batch of stuff. We probably piled up 30 or 40 really cool ideas. But we just said, "You know what? Let’s just get in a room and jam and see what happens." We used maybe one or two of the songs out of the 30 or 40 ideas we had floating around. For some reason, it just felt better when we were all in the room together.
You guys seem to be on tour every year. The Uproar Festival has a great lineup. Are there any particular bands you’re looking forward to playing with this summer?
CL: We’ve already played with most of the bands on the tour. I’m looking forward to the tour since there are no bands we haven’t already played with in the past.
Do you prefer one over the other? Headlining shows versus festivals?
JC: There are pluses and minuses to both of them. Headlining we’re not playing to as many people, but we’re a little more up close and personal. We do meet-and-greets during the headline shows that we don’t get a chance to do during the festivals. It’s nice to be able to change gears and go back and forth from one to the other.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year other than the tour? Can we expect another album next year?
CL: Yeah, absolutely. We’re going to do another record. At this point it’s pretty early. We’re going to try to do what’s natural and what we feel good about. We’ll probably end up doing a lot of it ourselves as far as all the production. I’m excited about it.
JC: There’s discussion about this acoustic thing that I think is going to take shape at some point. We’re looking at December or January to try to get that done. We’ll probably end up doing two legs of it. I can realistically see us jumping in the studio February or March, somewhere in that ballpark.