Brendan Crabb of Utopia.com.au recently conducted an interview with SEVENDUST frontman Lajon Witherspoon. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Utopia.com.au: Have you kept in touch with Sonny [Mayo, former SEVENDUST guitarist] since he [was kicked out of] the band?
Lajon: You know what, man, the odd thing about that? I still have not talked to Sonny… I love Sonny. He went back to his original band SNOT, so I think things worked out for him. I think it was hard to say goodbye, but I think he understood because this is our original player. Sonny did a great job, we love him and he will be a force, but I personally have not talked to Sonny. He's talked to a couple of the guys in the band, but not everyone has. Sometimes things suck in life, right? And maybe that was one of those things, but I think that he's fine and he went on to do his thing and over that time, since then we've kind of lost contact and I hate it. I wish him the best; he's still my brother and he kicked ass when he was in the band.
Utopia.com.au: One of the other bands on the bill [at next year's Soundwave Festival in Australia] is, of course, DEVILDRIVER. I know some members of SEVENDUST had a falling out with frontman Dez Fafara during COAL CHAMBER's last days (SEVENDUST drummer Morgan Rose allegedly wrote the track "Enemy", from 2003's "Seasons", about Fafara), but I'm assuming that's all been settled by now.
Lajon: Oh, man, all that stuff was young, crazy, Morgan was married to Rayna [Foss, ex-COAL CHAMBER bassist], [and they since] got divorced. We grew up, man. Dez and I, we hang out with DEVILDRIVER and I think they're one of the baddest bands as far as bringing it live. You can't deny it; they drop it like it's hot. I'm friends with those guys. I can't wait to see Dez again. That whole silly stuff back in the day… It was crazy, but we went on, we were able to do a song and get our angst out. I think we've all grown up, we got kids now, and you know what?! That was just a page in our lives.
Utopia.com.au: How does the band feel when you perform that song live these days?
Lajon: To be honest with you, I never… I think the press really made that more about that than we did. That song was more just about the fact that someone being just that way anyway. Whether it was meant solely about Dez… You know, the press ran with it and you know, whatever. Dez and I have never had any issues — ever. (Laughs) It's always been nothing but, "What's up? Let's have a glass of wine, let's kick the smoke and see what happens." And I promise you it's always been that way, brother.
Utopia.com.au: SEVENDUST are more than ten years into your career and are still successful. What do you think has enabled you to remain a viable band?
Lajon: I think the realness. We're not rock stars. We've been very blessed and everyone out there has made our dreams come true and we still deal with things like everyone else. I feel like music is a magic thing and to be able to take your mind away from when life gets to you, the boss is getting on your damn nerves and not being able to pay the bills, because we deal with the same shit. But you know what? For some reason, we're still here and it's the music that's magic and the people, they keep us going. I can't believe they still buy the tickets to see us, you know what I mean?! It's so crazy in the times that we're dealing with, but I honestly feel like, for a few hours, that you can come out and you're letting your aggression out; that's what music does. If you can forget about all the bullshit in the crazy world — from the wars, the killing, to not everybody being on the same page and level-headed — I think that the medium that brings us all together is music, if that makes sense. I love music, man; I just love it all. It's something that's always been in my life and growing up with horses in Tennessee and going up to the farm, you had rock 'n' roll and country music blasting through the barn. You'd get back to the house and you listen to R&B, so it was always everything and that's what music to me is, it's a beautiful thing, it's a part of life. It's in my blood — I don't think you have to have the best voice in the world, as long as you have conviction.
Read the entire interview from Utopia.com.au.