Sevendust performs May 26 at St. Petersburg’s State Theatre.
ST. PETERSBURG – Having wrapped up their first batch of concert dates promoting their ninth studio album, “Black Out the Sun,” Sevendust will make a stop in the Tampa Bay area, performing Sunday, May 26, 8 p.m., at State Theatre, 687 Central Ave.
Current Sevendust members include Lajon Witherspoon (vocals), Morgan Rose (drums/vocals), Clint Lowery (guitar/vocals), John Connolly (guitar/vocals) and Vince Hornsby (bass/vocals).
Sevendust has a history of growing stronger with each successive album. The band’s ninth full-length offering, “Black Out the Sun,” upholds the tradition. While careful not to stray from the bruising hallmarks of their patented style, Sevendust doesn’t exactly stick to a script either. The band delivers what their diehard fan base has loved since day one while continuing to challenge themselves in the process. As a result, “Black Out the Sun” sees Sevendust at their most uncompromising, unwavering, and undeniable.
Fans agree, apparently.
The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Hard Music Albums chart. Moreover, it debuted at No. 18 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart.
According to publicist ABC Public Relations, this marks the band’s first-ever No. 1.
The triumph follows a much-needed break. The band took time off after touring for almost two years behind 2010's “Cold Day Memory.”
That record served as a milestone for a few reasons. It welcomed founding guitarist Lowery back into the fold after a six-year absence and it yielded the band's highest first-week debut ever on the Billboard Top 200, reaching No. 12 on the chart.
After the rollercoaster tour cycle, the group enjoyed a working vacation. Lowery and Rose joined forces for Call Me No One, dropping their debut “The Last Parade.” Connolly and Hornsby formed Projected and released “Human.”
By the summer of 2012, everyone in Sevendust began chomping at the bit to return to return to the studio.
"It was cool to recharge for a minute and come back hungry again," says Connolly in an updated biography provided by ABC Public Relations. "We needed to hit the reset button and remember how important this band was to us. The juices started flowing, and we were thrilled to do it."
"Taking a break helped tremendously," Lowery agrees. "We're family, and we missed each other. We were ready to write, record, and laugh together again."
That excitement carried over to the studio. The band retreated to Architekt Music Studios in Butler, N.J. where Call Me No One recorded and immediately got back in the groove, self-producing alongside engineer Mike Ferretti. Writing and recording as they went along, the entire album was finished in merely 31 days, only breaking to enjoy a beverage or two at "The Murder Bar."
"There was this bar that looked like a house across the street from Architekt,” Connolly explains. “The first day we got there, the studio owner George Roskos told us if we went there we'd get murdered. Within five minutes of checking into our hotel, Lajon, Vinnie, Morgan, and I were in there checking it out. It happened to be the most unassuming and harmless place on the planet, but it's part of the album's story."
That story also happens to be the band's deepest to date. Prior to recording, Lowery endured the loss of his father Willie, a patriarch for the group as a whole. The title track went on to serve as a tribute to him.
"Lajon kept saying the line ‘Black Out the Sun’ over and over again, and I attached that title to my experience with my dad," says Lowery. "He was a huge part of my musical history. He was a great musician, and I idolized him. The song is about the anger I had over losing him. It's not lashing out, but it's dealing with that sadness positively. Life gives and it takes. It was important for me to give him this one last message about how much he means to me."
The album’s first single "Decay" directly reflects upon the state of the world today.
Primed with an explosive groove and guttural distortion, it's Sevendust at their heaviest.
"That song deals with what's going on around us," says Witherspoon. "There is so much decay, but we're trying to get to a better place together. It's a hard-hitting track that really defines what Sevendust is."