SEVENDUST Guitarist SONNY MAYO: 'This Is The Height Of My Professional Career'

Brandon Weiss of The Triangle Online recently conducted an interview with new SEVENDUST guitarist Sonny Mayo (ex-SNOT, AMEN). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

The Triangle Online: How's your experience with SEVENDUST as compared to other band experiences so far?

Sonny: "Well, I've been in a lot of different bands, and I've toured the world a few times, but this is definitely the highest level of professionalism that I've experienced. I've been on a couple of major labels and done a lot of recording, but this is definitely the height of my professional career as far as being in the biggest band I've ever been in. It's also the band that I've been the closest with as far as being friends. It's been great, it's like being in a band with your brother; except he's not really your brother so you don't have that stupid family thing that happens, you know, that weird family thing that goes on."

The Triangle Online: So when Clint [Lowery] left the band, you were right there to pick up where he left off, right?

Sonny: "Well, technically, they were on tour when Clint left. He bailed on them. They had a guy named Jay3 who plays with Tommy Lee, who came in and did the last few shows; I don't know how many he did so I don't want to misquote him. He came in and did a handful of shows at the end of the tour, and that was right before Christmas 2004. So after Christmas, the band had this plan to go in … they had just gotten off TVT Records … they had just had Clint leave, and they wanted to go in and record another record that was self-produced and self-funded, and then set up a record deal in the process. So Morgan [Rose, drums] called me on January 19th, 2005, and told me all of this. I was at a point in my life where I was ready. I wasn't in a band, I was available and I jumped right in. I gave my two weeks notice at work, left in nine days, and went out to Orlando and started working on the record with them."

The Triangle Online: What's the story with Winedark Records? I understand you have some deal where you guys have a lot of creative control, right?

Sonny: "Well, we had complete creative control because we were not signed when we recorded the record. So we produced it ourselves, like I said. Winedark is an independent label that basically has a distribution deal with Universal. They offered us a deal where we would have an imprint and would be able to sign bands and do things the way we wanted to. It hasn't necessarily worked out as beautifully as it might sound because you're dealing with a lot of money, and a lot of egos, and the music business. I wish it was the musician business rather than the music business. We're not known for our business skills (chuckles). It's just a fact. I've signed some of the most ridiculous contracts I can imagine. Looking back, I go, 'Why in the world?' Because I'm a musician and I'm an artist I don't want to get too involved in the business side of it because I think it's going to take away from my art. But when I don't get involved in the business side of it I get f---ed over. All you musicians out there: don't even trust your lawyer. Learn how to read a contract and read every single word. If I can recommend anything to any up-and-coming musicians that want to try and do this for a living that would be it. Learn how to read a contract and do not fear it!"

The Triangle Online: Where do you see the future of SEVENDUST going?

Sonny: "Forward! We're going to keep doing this, man. A lot of bands have had more success, and have not lasted as long. A lot of bands have had less success and lasted longer. So we're just going to keep on going forward, man. Sure, we'd like to sell millions and millions of records and have some sense of security, which is an illusion anyway. Anytime someone thinks they're secure because they've sold five million records, guess what, next time you have to sell six million records or you're a failure. So we're just going to keep going forward!"

Read the entire interview at www.thetriangle.org.

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