7 Seconds interview – original version
7 SECONDS INTERVIEW Original Version
Essential. I don’t think I ever used this word in my 3 years collaboration with Salad Days. 7 Seconds’ golden period, till New Wind for who’s writing, is a must for anyone approaching hardcore punk. Then there are a couple of debatable records, and a few good ones, but in the early days they wrote some of the most captivating tracks for music and lyrics. Thank Kevin Seconds, we got him via mail after the show in Vicenza.
SD: What keeps touring in 2012 interesting after all you’ve already done?
KS: I still love to travel, especially going to cities and countries I’ve never been to before. Getting to do it with 7Seconds is rarer and rarer these days so it’s extra special when I get to tour with them. I don’t see nearly enough of each place as I would like. Between the drives and schedule, it’s a bit hard to really go out an experience the places we visit, unfortunately. I’m happy that I got to go sit on a beach in Barcelona and walk underneath the Eiffel Tower on this last tour run though.
SD: Do you somehow have to adapt yourself to the band when you leave your solo dimension?
KS: There’s a pretty major adjustment. I do a lot of yelling when I’m singing with the band and the energy is at a much crazier, faster-paced level which effects how I sing and move around onstage. The solo performances are just as intense but it’s on a much smaller and intimate level and it takes a little getting used to playing alone, with no other musicians. I love them both, equally.
SD: What kept 7 Seconds from being more productive in the last years?
KS: Family and work commitments mostly. Steve, Troy and Bobby have kids to help raise and need to make a better living, so they all have real day jobs. I try and keep on the road as much as possible. I don’t want to work a real day job
SD: Do you share the feeling that the whole punk rock world is sometimes a simple exercise in writing fast music?
KS: It’s much more than just writing fast music. It’s a statement and a gut-feeling. It’s a reflection of pieces of our lives.
SD: How do you deal with writing songs nowadays?
KS: I have no structure or rules when it comes to writing music, for me or for the band. I basically sit down, play a bunch of chords on my guitar, leave the recorder on so that if I come up with a melody I like, I can document it, since I don’t read or write music, and when I find something I really love, I comb through notes and journals to see if I have something I’ve written that I’d like to put to music. Sometimes, it comes easier than all that. It just depends on what is happening in my life at that moment.
SD: 7 Seconds lyrics have always been as much popular as the music. On your side, whose are the words you love to read?
KS: Many! People who I consider amazing and inspirational lyricists include Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg and Steve Earle.
SD: Is there anything you feel you “betrayed” in what you put black on white with 7 Seconds?
KS: I’m not sure I understand the question. I don’t believe I’ve betrayed any set values to do what I do as a musician or as an artist. I write about what touches and affects me. Sometimes it’s positive and upbeat. Sometimes it about a broken heart and feeling like I want to not be alive. I don’t let anyway or anything dictate how I express myself.
SD: Have you ever wanted to work in the music business?
KS: I’ve never wanted to work for a record label or anything like that. I’ve done booking for bands and have booked for various live music venues but I’ve never really wanted to be an insider within the music industry. It grosses me out too much.
SD: What do you like and what do you find missing in the all the books on the history of US hardcore that came out during the last years?
KS: My own story… hahaha. I suppose I am just happy that very important (to me) moments in music history are documented and shared for the rest of the world to experience.
SD: DYS, Bad Brains, Descendents…, they’re just a few of the bands that came back recently. Is there any band you’d personally like to resuscitate?
KS: I don’t believe in resuscitating old bands. Let them come back if they want to. Leave them alone if they don’t. It doesn’t matter much to me, either way.
SD: At the end, what’s the most surprising thing of your 30 years doing this?
KS: Surviving for longer than 5 years. Also, getting to travel around the world and get paid for it, even. I’m happy to still be in a band with people I love and care for all these years.
SD: I know the history of the 7 Seconds name, but not the story beyond the logo? Where does it come from?
KS: I designed it the way it is because I like the significance of the target. Initially, I wanted it to be threatening. Now, I just see us as the ones who are being targeted. By government, by corporations, my greedy evil do-ers. I like its simplicity and intensity.
SD: Best musical magazine you ever had in your hands?
SD: Best 7 Seconds cover version you happened to hear?
KS: There’s a band from Europe, with a girl singer, and they do an amazing version of Trust. I wish I knew what their name is. So damned good.
SD: Best American food you actually miss while touring Europe?
KS: American pizza
SD: (to the artist in Kevin Seconds) Best illustrator/artist you saw last year?
KS: Last year? I’d have to say Mark Fox, an artist from my hometown Sacramento.
SD: Best musical genre you love to hate?
SD: Best musical t-shirt you remember you got ripped during a show?
KS: Embrace. Sometime in the late 80′s.
SD: Best memory you keep about Italy?
KS: Pulling up to a venue in Bologna we were playing at, a youth centre, sometime back in the 90′s, and noticing a pile of bricks and a pile of sticks and clubs at the entrance. When I asked the promoter what the piles were there for, he answered, “Oh, those. We had to fight the police earlier today, so that this show could happen. Today, we won the fight”. I was completely blown away by that. No promoter in America would ever be that committed to making a show happen.
(Txt by Marco Capelli; Pics by Rigablood x Salad Days Mag – All Rights Reserved)