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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Morgan Rose Sevendust - Interview
The Rockpit interviews

MORGAN ROSE

SEVENDUST


Sevendust

When you are a big fan of a band that has been around as long as Sevendust has, what do you ask them that hasn't been asked already? Maybe find out what music they have been listening to! Their latest album "Kill The Flaw" has been super successful for the band and was even selected as one of the top albums for 2015 by The Rockpit, the band are also due to hit Australia for a headline tour in March 2016 so we chat about all things new with Sevendust drummer Morgan Rose as well as what is on his playlist lately. You can also read our interview with John Connolly HERE and LJ Witherspoon HERE .

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Steve: So what's happening your side of the world besides doing the press?

Morgan: [laughs] Yeah doing a lot of press today! Well not much, just getting ready for the holidays and I'm actually getting ready to move. We're not really being that pro-active today in getting ourselves ready to move, we're kinda taking today as an interview day and a leisure day and then we'll get onto it tomorrow.

Steve: Excellent, sounds like a plan! Just got a couple of questions for you. How was the overall recording and writing process for the new album "Kill The Flaw"?

Morgan: It was great! Basically we went in there and wrote every part of it and recorded it and put it all together in about 5 or 6 weeks, really quick. It came pretty easy, I mean some days were tougher than others but basically we just went in there without any pressure. We've been around for a long time, we didn't feel like we had a whole lot to prove and we're coming off an acoustic record so we're really geared up to do a heavy record. So it was exciting, it went really well.

Steve: So given your back catalogue and your freedom to choose so much, how does Sevendust come up with a setlist on a nightly basis?

Morgan: It can be tough, usually we don't do a ton of rehearsal before we go out because we play so much that we all feel like, 'Oh man we don't really have to rehearse "Black" or "Enemy" or anything like that'. We've played it a million times so we'll go out and do a raw soundcheck and go over some songs that we haven't played in a while but on this last tour that we did, we wanted to play some songs that we hadn't played in a really long time so we put some extra time in. For the Australian run, it's the first time that we've headlined there in a really long time so it's going to be a really long setlist and there's going to be a ton of songs. We're probably going to put in a lot of work and be able to put together a really unique and probably, I'm willing to bet, one of the longest sets that we've ever played as a band.

Steve: Sounds awesome, can't wait to hear it!

Morgan: Yeah it's going to be something different, we won't do this set probably anywhere else in the world because we've done the acoustic stuff over here so we're not going to incorporate any of that into the show here. But over there since we didn't do an acoustic tour in Australia, theres a good chance that we'll probably incorporate that into the show without a doubt.

Steve: Yeah it's certainly something that the Australian fans have been hanging out for.

Morgan: Yeah it's going to be a lot of fun, we're extremely excited and very grateful for the opportunity to get back over there and give a proper headline tour. We're actually doing some places that we've never been or that we've never headlined so it's going to be a lot of fun, we're really excited for it.

Steve: You're getting me very excited over this side Morgan! So in your own words, how do you think the Sevendust sound has evolved over the years?

Morgan: Well as John (Connolly, guitarist) likes to say, you can't stay mad all the time and sometimes I like to say I can find something to get mad about all the time [laughs]. But as much as we joke about that, I think that what has made us evolve is that we've always been a diverse band but at times, especially early in our career where we would do songs and record records and there would be people that would tell us, 'No we want more, we want more of this'. So we were able to evolve by having the luxury of not having somebody tell us what to do and to do what we really wanted to do. So if we wanted to put out an acoustic record with some new songs acoustically, we were allowed to do it. If we wanted to do another heavy record and do it the way we wanted to do it and not have to worry about somebody telling us you need more radio type songs or stuff like that, then we were able to do that too. So over the last few years, we've surrounded ourselves with some really great people and people that really loved the band and care about the band and they know that for our sanity and for the people that support us, that we need to be able to do what we want to do because that's where we got our loyalty. That's where our loyalty and the people that support us and the loyalty they have for us that came from us being at our shows. There was a brief moment where that got take away from us so I don't know, I think we've evolved in our writing for a long time and that gets better with age as you keep writing. I know that's an argument that's up there for other people who say that certain bands had better records early but with us I think that we've kept true to the sound and we've just tried to use what tools we have to try and stay relevant and try to get out of the comfort zone at times and just try things that are new and refreshing.




Steve: Absolutely, you've summed it up beautifully! So who do you consider to be some of the most exciting drummers in modern metal and why?

Morgan: Oh man, there's one that I believe are from Australia, Northlane?

Steve: Yep they certainly are our home grown heroes!

Morgan: Well that dude (Nic Pettersen) is an absolute beast, I don't even know what is going on or where he got that mind of his to play like that but he's probably my favorite out there right now and they are one of my favorite bands too, Northlane. There's a handful of them out there, the funny thing is when I grew up, my parents got me into Jon Bonham and then when I got to have my own opinion it was Tommy Lee and Neil Peart and stuff like that. And now it's like as I still think all those guys are just legends and are all amazing at what they do, I don't know who it was that came around, I can't figure it out. It wasn't me because they don't sound like me but there's these guys man and all these kids are like 20 to 23 years old and are all just beasts. I'm like Jesus man, I can barely play an AC/DC song when I was their age and these dudes are just murdering songs. So I don't know, there's a ton of them out there. The obvious guys that are out there in the metal world like Chris Adler and stuff like that, they are all just amazing drummers and on another planet.

Steve: Yeah I couldn't agree more!

Morgan: Yeah it's tough man, I go out there and just try to hold my shit together because these kids are just pulverising everything and I'm like, 'Man take it easy on me here, I'm not 20 anymore!'

Steve: Well that pretty much killed my next question which was who inspired you to become a drummer but you pretty much covered that pretty well!

Morgan: Yeah my parents were very supportive when I was younger.

Steve: If you could be remembered for 3 Sevendust songs in your entire career, what would they be?

Morgan: The 3 would probably "Black" because it was the first song we really ever wrote together, probably "Angel's Son" because I think people have gotten the most out of that song out of every other song that we wrote. And whatever comes, probably the last song that we write together.

Steve: Awesome! So you must get asked this a thousand times but what's in your iPod of late?

Morgan: I must take a look. We have Northlane is in there for sure but there's a lot of weird stuff in there. I listen to a lot of different kinds of music, I'lll give you a run down of the latest stuff that I listen to on here. Anything from Depeche Mode, Dillinger Escape Plan, The Eagles and I got Jackson Brown in there, Jeremy Irons and The Ratgang. I got M83, Maxwell, Nine Inch Nails, Northlane, Peter Gabriel, The Police, Scorpions, Snot, Tesseract, 33 Seconds To Mars, U2, The Weeknd and X Ambassadors. That's the latest stuff.

Steve: Far out that is a really diverse mix, you couldn't get anymore diverse if you tried!

Morgan: [laughs] It's a daily struggle, you wake up in the morning and you want to smash something then you throw in something heavy. And if I wake up and I'm going to my daughters dance recital, then I'll listen to something more mellow. And if I'm in a bummed out mood, I'm the type of person that likes to stick my finger down my throat emotionally so I'll listen to the saddest music I can find so it's a constant emotional struggle with this guy over here!

Steve: Absolutely! But I think it's the key to diversity as well, is to keep it interesting.

Morgan: Absolutely. I mean I can't listen to heavy music all day long, I know people that do that and I don't know how they can pull that off. I shouldn't say that because when I was younger, it was predominantly heavy, I could listen to it all day and it didn't wear me out. Now it's like I have to take a break every now and again.

Steve: Absolutely, couldn't agree more. So what can the Sevendust fans of Australia expect in terms of your live show when you hit Australia in 2016?

Morgan: It's going to be the most diverse, it's going to be the longest shows that we've ever put on as a band. They are going to be the most unique shows that we've ever played as a band and probably the most that we've ever played as a band because like I said, we're not going to do shows like this anywhere else because we weren't able to do a lot of this stuff in Australia that other people have gotten, pieces of it at different times. It's going to be something special and the support that we get there is unbelievable and the fact that we're allowed to come back there after we really didn't know if we were ever going to be invited to come back there made us extremely grateful. We're going to make sure that nobody regrets their decision to come to the show.

Steve: That's great Morgan, really awesome.

Morgan: It's going to be massive man, it's going to be massive!




Steve: For sure, sounds like it. So what keeps Sevendust relevant in today's climate?

Morgan: I have no idea, it's crazy. We didn't know what to expect. We just got nominated for a Grammy in the year and we've never been nominated for anything in our life, our record debut the highest chart position that we've ever had in our career and we're sitting and looking at each other going, 'What the hell is happening, what happened?' I mean we didn't know if anyone really...we figured we have a lot of loyalty and we don't take that for granted but we stay close with the people but we didn't think that it was going to be accepted like this. So I don't know what it is, I mean maybe the people just realized that we respect the game. We care about what we do, we care about the people that support us and in this day and age I think it takes a little bit more than basic social media to let the people know that you care.

Steve: Yeah absolutely. So finally, do you have a message for the Australian fans before you hit our shores?

Morgan: Just prepare for the most exciting Sevendust show that you're ever going to see and we love everyone and we can't begin to tell you how appreciative that we are that we get the support that we get there. We're a long way from you guys, we're about as far as you can get from here and for us to fly 24 hours and get there and have the love and support that we get from the Australian people is something that we...I mean people ask us all the time, they say what is your favorite place to play and we get that question all the time and every time I say Australia.

Steve: Well it's certainly heartwarming to hear that and we love having you here.

Morgan: We're going to try and make that a little more consistent than it's been over the last few years, we'd like to make sure to get there once a year at least.

Steve: Sounds like a plan! Alright Morgan, it was an absolute pleasure and privilege to with you this morning.

Morgan: Thank you so much man, the pleasure is definitely all mine. You guys have a wonderful Christmas there!

Steve: We will and we look forward to seeing you in 2016.

Morgan: You got it man, we will see you in March.


Check out our other interviews with Sevendust members John Connolly and Lajon Witherspoon discussing the Australia tour and more.


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SEVENDUST AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2016:

Friday 11th March - AUCKLAND, The Studio
Sunday 13th March - PERTH, Capitol
Monday 14th March - ADELAIDE, The Gov
Wednesday 16th March - GOLD COAST, Coolangatta Hotel
Thursday 17th March - BRISBANE, Eaton's Hill
Friday 18th March - MELBOURNE, 170 Russell
Saturday 19th March - SYDNEY, The Metro

Tickets and tour details can be found at Metropolis Touring.
Read our interview with John Connolly HERE.


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Interview by Steve Monaghan on December 15th 2015