SEVENDUST guitarist John Connolly says that the group's singer, Lajon Witherspon, is handling the recent death of his brother, Reginald, extremely well and is being helped tremendously by the support of all the fans who have attended the band's shows in the past couple of weeks since they'd returned to the road."It gets better day by day, you know," the guitarist told Music's Bottom Line. "I think it really helps being out here, especially for Lajon — I don't know how someone would make it through something like that if you weren't out here. But it gets easier as time goes on, and especially with all the cards and flowers and letters from the fans, it really is getting better for us and for Lajon. It was really hard at first, of course — but Lajon is one of the strongest people I know, and this just reinforced that. I can't even begin to imagine what that's like, but he's handling it so well." Connolly also commented on the musical direction of the group's next album, which the group are hoping to begin recording early next year for a mid-2003 release through TVT Records. "It's different — very different," Connolly said about the newly-written songs. "Very heavy, but still very melodic. We're experimenting with a lot of different tempos that we haven't worked with before. We're not trying to force anything, but some of the songs fit in a different place for us, so it kinda gives it a little bit of a different sound. It gets the groove really going — it's all very groove oriented. We have a lot of really heavy material, but we also have some fairly commercial stuff too — but it seems that everyone's gut feeling is that this one is going to be a pretty heavy record. It's so early right now, and there's so many different ideas going on. It's still taking shape for us, so we'll see how that works out."