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Sevendust is an American alternative metal band from Atlanta, Georgia. Formed in 1994 by bassist Vince Hornsby, drummer Morgan Rose and guitarist John Connolly. After their first demo, lead vocalist Lajon Witherspoon and guitarist Clint Lowery joined the group. Following a few name changes, the members settled on the name Sevendust and released their self-titled debut album on April 15, 1997.
The self-titled album sold 311 copies its first week. However, through touring and TVT support, the album gained charting success through Billboard and earned gold certification. Since formation, Sevendust has released eight studio albums, earned additional charting success and gold sales certifications. Their eighth studio album, titled Cold Day Memory, was released on April 20, 2010. They have also re-released their self-titled album as Sevendust: Definitive Edition which contains five new tracks and a DVD.
1.1 Early years and Sevendust (1994–1998)
1.2 Home and Animosity (1999–2001)
1.3 Seasons and the departure of Clint Lowery (2003–2005)
1.4 Next and financial troubles (2005–2007)
1.5 Alpha (2007)
1.6 Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow and Clint Lowery's return (2008)
1.7 Cold Day Memory (2009 onward)
2 Style and lyrical themes
3 Band members
6 External links
Early years and Sevendust (1994–1998)
Clint Lowery performing live in 1997
Bassist Vince Hornsby joined drummer Morgan Rose in 1994, in a band called Snake Nation. John Connolly, a drummer, left his current band and joined Snake Nation as a guitarist. They recorded their first demo. Not happy with vocals, however, Snake Nation spent a year searching for a new singer before finding Lajon Witherspoon. Six months passed, Clint Lowery joined the band and they renamed themselves Rumblefish.
Rumblefish was short-lived, however, because they found another band with the same name. They renamed themselves Crawlspace, and released My Ruin on the Mortal Kombat soundtrack album entitled More Kombat through TVT Records in 1996. Shortly after, another band named Crawlspace sent notice that they wanted $50,000 for the rights to their name. Rather than purchase the rights, the band members chose to rename themselves Sevendust.
Sevendust released their self-titled debut on April 15, 1997, known for its heavy riffs, angry vocals and thrash-like drumming, as the songs Black and Bitch. Black was the opening song for nearly every Sevendust concert until 2004. The debut album also contains the song My Ruin, from the Mortal Kombat soundtrack. Sevendust appeared on the Billboard 200, remained there for sixteen weeks and peaked at 165 on April 4, 1998. The album went gold on May 19, 1999.
In 1998, Sevendust performed at Dynamo Open Air (May 29–31) and Ozzfest 1998 (July through August). In the same year they released a compilation called Live and Loud which featured live footage of the bands September 16, 1998 performance at Chicago's Metro.
Home and Animosity (1999–2001)
On August 24, 1999, they released their second album, Home. The album peaked at 19 on the Billboard 200 and featured Skin from Skunk Anansie and Chino Moreno from Deftones as guest vocalists. The two singles from the album, "Denial" and "Waffle", gave the band moderate chart success, and the latter of which was played on the Late Night with Conan O'Brien show. They appeared in Woodstock 1999 and have toured with many bands such as Korn, Staind, Nonpoint, Reveille, Godsmack, Mudvayne, Mushroomhead, Powerman 5000, Creed, Kid Rock, Machine Head, Limp Bizkit, Disturbed, and Metallica. In 1999, they gained European exposure by opening for Skunk Anansie at various shows in Germany. They also opened with Kid Rock and Ted Nugent for Metallica on New Year's Eve in 1999 at the Pontiac Silverdome near Detroit, Michigan. They also joined Slipknot, Coal Chamber and other bands on the Tattoo the Earth Tour in June 2000.
In November 2001, the band released their third album, Animosity. This album went gold and gained the band commercial success thanks to the success of singles "Praise" and "Angel's Son", which peaked at 15 and 11, respectively, on the Mainstream Rock Tracks. "Angel's Son" was a tribute to Lynn Strait, the lead singer of the band Snot, whom the members of Sevendust were friends with. Strait had died in a car accident in 1998. In addition to being included on Animosity, the song was included on the compilation album Strait Up. The band made an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman playing an acoustic version of "Angel's Son" featuring Paul Shaffer on keyboards.
In the same year Sevendust was seen in the Chris Rock movie Down to Earth as a partial clip of "Waffle" is played.
Another friend of the band, Dave Williams the lead singer of Drowning Pool, died in 2002. Tragedy would strike again when Lajon Witherspoon's younger brother was shot and killed later that year. Due to his death, Sevendust went on hiatus in 2002.
Seasons and the departure of Clint Lowery (2003–2005)
In 2003, Sevendust returned with their fourth album, Seasons. The album debuted at #14 in the US, selling around 68,000 copies in its first week. This was one of the band's best received albums and to date features their highest charting single (tied with "Driven"), "Enemy", which peaked at #10 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. "Enemy" was made the official theme song for WWE Unforgiven 2003. Other singles released from the album, "Broken Down" and "Face to Face", met with more moderate success charting at 20 and 22, respectively.
In 2004, for the first time in the band's career, they released a live album on a CD/DVD double disk package titled Southside Double-Wide: Acoustic Live. Both the CD and the DVD include a cover of "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails which is dedicated to Johnny Cash.
On December 11, 2004, after playing a show in Columbus, Ohio, it was announced that Clint Lowery had left the band mid-tour, because he wanted to play with his brother Corey Lowery in his new band Dark New Day, who had reportedly just signed with Warner Bros. Records. A replacement was found for the rest of the dates and was eventually replaced by Sonny Mayo (from Snot and Amen). At roughly the same time, Sevendust and TVT Records parted ways.
Next and financial troubles (2005–2007)
On October 11, 2005, Sevendust joined forces with good friend Producer/Engineer Shawn Grove and released their fifth studio album, Next, on the WineDark Records label, distributed by Universal Music. In the process, Sevendust also created their own record label, 7Bros Records. The first radio single off "Next" was the track "Ugly", released to radio August 9, 2005 followed by the music video. The track "Pieces" appeared on the soundtrack for the film Saw II. Next debuted at #20 in the US, selling around 37,000 copies in its first week. Not much longer after the release of Next, Sevendust's former label TVT Records released a greatest hits package for Sevendust, titled Best of (Chapter One 1997–2004), the label's final Sevendust release. Also, an unofficial video for "Hero" was released showing footage of Bruce Lee in many of his famous film roles.
A few months after the October 2005 release date of Next, though, it became clear that WineDark would not live up to the band's expectations. "I had people come up to me and say, 'When is the record coming out?' And it had already been out for five months", Rose grumbles. "Basically, the main person that was in charge of the whole thing fell off the face of the earth. There were no more cheques coming in, and the money had not been paid in full."
In early 2006, the band themselves were considered bankrupt. WineDark Records had imploded, leaving them without distribution, tour support, or promised advance payments. The band owed money to crew members and other staffers and had a mounting credit card debt. In April, they expected that a tax return from the US government would help ease the burden. Then, they found out their accountant hadn't paid their taxes and they owed $120,000 to the government. "We were beyond broke", says drummer and lyricist Morgan Rose. "We had a debt load close to a million dollars, and we were in a position where, no matter how much money we thought we were making, we were still having to pay and pay."
Sevendust (with Shawn Grove again serving as Producer/Engineer), released their sixth full-length studio album, entitled Alpha, on March 6, 2007. The album debuted at #14 in the US, the band's highest chart position yet, selling over 42,000 copies of the album in its first week of sale. The disc contained the album's preceding internet track "Deathstar", the Hot Mainstream Rock top 10 smash "Driven" and a further Active Rock radio top 40 hit in the form of "Beg to Differ". Alpha is the band's second album featuring Sonny Mayo on rhythm guitar and the first with him as part of the writing process. Alpha is also the first album by the band to be released under the Warner-affiliated Asylum Records, making Sevendust the first rock band on that label. The band also headlined a 57-date tour from February 8, 2007 to April 28, 2007. Boston heavy metal band Diecast, supergroup Invitro, and modern rock Red accompanied Sevendust on the tour.
Retrospective 2, a CD/DVD combo including two previously un-released studio tracks, live concert footage never before seen, as well as the new music videos for the songs "Beg To Differ", "Ugly", "Pieces", and "Driven", was released on December 11, 2007. The song "The Rim" was released on the Alpha CD but only sold in Target retails stores as exclusive 13th track on the Alpha CD. "Feed" and "Driven" were used in the soundtrack to WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008.
Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow and Clint Lowery's return (2008)
Sevendust joined Shawn Grove again, and returned to the studio at the end of November 2007 to finish their 7th studio album, titled Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow. The record was originally slated for a release of March 4, 2008, but was later pushed back to April 1. The album debuted at #19 on the Billboard 200 and has appearances from Daughtry frontman Chris Daughtry, Alter Bridge members Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti. The first single from Chapter VII was "Prodigal Son", which peaked at #19 on the mainstream rock chart. The second single was "The Past" and the third "Inside."
On March 26, 2008, Sevendust announced that Lowery had quit his duties as guitarist for Dark New Day and would be returning to the Sevendust lineup in place of Mayo. On Lowery's return, Rose stated "This was extremely tough considering Sonny is our brother and has been amazing to work with. [Sonny] didn't do anything wrong at all; we just owe it to ourselves and all the folks that grew up with us to put our original band back together."
In December 2008 Sevendust toured with Black Stone Cherry for a while and then in January 2009, Sevendust geared up to hit the road with Disturbed, as well as multiple shows for US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in the spring. Sevendust released a very limited-edition box set in November 2008 entitled Packaged Goods. Each five-disc set is personally autographed by the entire band. The box set includes Sevendust's 2005 release Next, 2007's Alpha, 2007's Retrospective 2 (CD + DVD), and 2008's Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow. Before heading into the studio to record their 8th studio album, the band headlined the End of Summer Scorcher held & sponsored by 98KUPD in Phoenix, Arizona on September 26, 2009. Along with Sevendust, other notable acts such as Corey Taylor, Five Finger Death Punch, Shadows Fall & Otep performed as well.
Cold Day Memory (2009 onward)
October 2009, Sevendust started recording Cold Day Memory in Chicago with producer Johnny K, who has produced other successful rock acts such as Disturbed, Staind, Finger Eleven, and 3 Doors Down. The band launched a newly designed website, promoting the new album. During the recording process the band posted daily videos on their official site and their YouTube channel; with updates on the new album, recording sessions in the studio and recording sessions from their new house. Stepping out of the box from regular recording sessions, they are showing the fans how the album process is done, and every step in the intricate process.
Each of the band members provided their own recording sessions to be shown on the official website. On December 22, 2009, the band announced that the tracking for the album was complete, and it is currently in the mixing process for an April 2010 release. They are taking a break and doing a few concerts in late December and early to late January and planning for the release of first single of the album in early February. On February 6, 2010, the band leaked the song "Forever Dead" on their website. Also "Unraveling" was released through iTunes on March 2. On March 17, the band streamed "Last Breath" on the radio. The following day, "Confessions (Without Faith)" received play time on the radio, as did "The End is Coming." The band released its eighth album, "Cold Day Memory", in April 20, 2010; the 12-song disc marked Sevendust's first studio recording with the band's original line-up since 2003's Seasons. The first official single, "Unraveling", hit #29 on The Rock Songs chart while the CD rocketed to #12 on The Billboard 200. The album includes two more singles, "Forever" and "Last Breath", both of which were welcomed by Active Rock radio.
Sevendust toured with Chevelle, Shinedown, Puddle of Mudd, and 10 Years on the Carnival of Madness Tour during the summer of 2010. The band also re-released their self-titled debut album called Sevendust: Definitive Edition. The re-release contains five new songs.
On September 16, Sevendust filmed a video for "Falcons On Top", the official theme song of the Atlanta Falcons football team. The video shoot took place at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and included an appearance by the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders.
In November 2010, it was announced that Sevendust would play alongside Disturbed, Korn and In This Moment in the "Music As A Weapon 5" tour.
In February and March 2011, Sevendust toured in Australia with Iron Maiden, Slayer, Ill Niño and Stone Sour for the Soundwave Festival The band has recently said they are working on some "HEAVY" new music, and hinted that this new album and tour may be their last.
On October 16th, 2011, the band headlined the second stage on the second day of the inaugural 48 Hours Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Clint Lowery and Morgan Rose have titled their new project Call Me No One. Their debut album will be released in the spring of 2012. Sevendust will spend the summer of 2012 writing a new album with an early 2013 release planned. Recently John Connolly and bassist Vinnie Hornsby have joined forces with Alter Bridge and Creed drummer Scott Phillips and former Submersed guitarist Eric "Erock" Friedman to form a new project called Projected.
Style and lyrical themes
Influenced by Living Colour, Sepultura, and Faith No More, Sevendust has been labeled as heavy metal, alternative metal, industrial metal and nu metal.
John Connolly, guitarist for the group was asked what the band defined their genre as;
I don't know. I've been trying to figure that out. It was back in the day. People, for five minutes called us progressive, and then it was nu-metal. Then, all of a sudden, we were playing alternative metal. We are some kind of heavy and some kind of rock and some kind of metal.
Sevendust jamming in May 2010.
Lajon Witherspoon – lead vocals (1994–present)
Clint Lowery – lead guitar, backing vocals (1994–2004, 2008–present)
John Connolly – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1994–present)
Vince Hornsby – bass (1994–present)
Morgan Rose – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1994–present)
Sonny Mayo – guitar (2005–2008)
Main article: Sevendust discography
Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow (2008)
Cold Day Memory (2010)