Interview with Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust
Concert Hopper recently got the chance to sit down with Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust ahead of their upcoming December 28th, 29th and 31st shows in Atlanta, Georgia (The Masquerade). And also before they embark on a winter tour with Tremonti, Cane Hill, Lullwater and Kirra in February.
CH: I know you guys are kicking off your winter tour in February but you guys are doing a special three day set in Atlanta in December, can you describe what it means for you guys to play at home in Atlanta?
LJ: Oh man! It’s just like coming back and feeling like a kid, it’s a spot that I felt like it was a little Hollywood growing up so it’s really special. To come back and do three shows, it means a lot, we’ve not done that anywhere. It’s almost like a residency, put us up in there.
CH: It’s almost like you’re doing a Vegas stint
LJ: Exactly, so you know, it’s exciting man, I’m looking forward to it.
CH: I am looking forward it to, I’ll be there for the New Year’s Eve show. Speaking of the New Year’s Eve show, I know you guys will be doing Home cover-to-cover and the album Home (and “Waffle” in particular) is kind of where I started, are you guys excited to play such an incredible album start to finish for the fans?
LJ: Yeah, it’s kind of scary too at the same time. We haven’t played some of those songs in 20 years so *laughter* it’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it. We have one day of practice.
CH: One day? That’s it? Oh! Man.
LJ: I mean, that’s all we need *laughter*
CH: Sticking with the Atlanta radio scene, it seems harder to find hard rock on the radio in Atlanta but there are still bands like Mastodon and Attila finding success alongside you guys in Sevendust, do you have any artists in Atlanta that you guys are digging or any input on the metal scene in Atlanta?
LJ: Mastodon *laughter* We love Mastodon, those are our brothers. But you know, I haven’t really kept up with the Atlanta scene lately but you know Mastodon is incredible and we love those guys and I’m backing any band that’s coming out of Atlanta. You know, the bands that are opening up for us are all good bands from Atlanta.
CH: I know that All I See is War was released earlier this year, are there any plans for 2019 apart from the tour for any new music ventures or a new Falcons theme song or something like that?
LJ: Well, no, I don’t wanna’ do another Falcons song since I’m living in Kansas but I might do a Chiefs song.
CH: I know you said you didn’t want to do another Falcons theme song but you guys have done some cool stuff like being on the Mortal Kombat soundtrack back in the day are there any projects like that that might be dream projects that you’d like to do?
LJ: Yeah, I would like to work with a band like A Perfect Circle and any movie projects I’m all about. Any soundtracks I’m all about, that’s something that we’re still looking to do.
CH: I know you have the three kids and the missus, do you find any aspects of touring more challenging with a family than you expected?
LJ: Yeah, my daughter being upset that I’m not going to be able to be at the Daddy/Daughter dance in February. I’ve been here this whole time and then we start that tour, she’s cried to her mother, she didn’t cry to me, she said she understood. But you know, that kinda’, that’s hard, that kinda’ wears on Daddy. But with her being a young lady in the music industry with her father, she knows that Daddy has to do his thing and then we make up for it but yeah, that’s kind of hard when you leave your kids.
CH: I know you guys did some touring overseas for the military, were you guys surprised at all how much the military was into heavy music?
LJ: It was incredible to see a 19 year old kid that might have been at the House of Blues in Chicago the year before and he’s getting ready to go on a mission, downrange in Mosul after an acoustic set, it’s pretty life changing. Oh man! It’s a beautiful experience, changed my life. CHANGED! MY! FREAKING LIFE BROTHER!.
CH: I know your wife Ashley has the King Legend clothing line, do you have any input on that or do you pretty much let her do her own thing?
LJ: Well, King Legend is name after my son Kingston and Legend is my daughter’s middle name, Jada Legend Witherspoon and it’s just something that we came up with and my wife and her mother have a couple of patents and we have a couple of things that we’re putting out on it. But thank you for even asking about King Legend.
CH: Obviously you guys have an incredible catalog of music whether you’re doing an original tune or a cover like “Hurt” by Johnny Cash. Are there any songs that you enjoy performing or get excited to play?
LJ: I still like “Angel’s Son”, there’s still so many songs that I love to play. I like the song “Prayer”, everything. I like it all.
CH: I’m the same way, I love it all. I know if I hear “Waffle” though, I’m getting amped up, I’m ready to run or go to the gym or something.
LJ: Sharon Osborne named that song. She was trying to manage the band and we were taking too long and she said “You guys stop waffling around.” True story.
CH: I have one last question for you, I know you’re trying to enjoy your vacation with your family. If you could preview the upcoming tour for the fans, is there anything you can tell them to expect as you guys head out. And I know you guys are touring with Tremonti, Cane Hill, Lullwater and Kira.
LJ: I want more lights and I want some smoke and some fire. It’s going to be a good show man, whenever we come we’re just going to bring it and we’re going to have a good time. We just want people to want to come back for more, that’s what music is all about. When I go on that stage, I try to take people away from the problems that they have in life, you know and that’s what I try to continue to do, an ambassador of good will *laughter*