7 Horns 7 Eyes (en)

"I would hope that before someone just decides: “Oh, they are Christians, their music must suck, they must be really annoying people, I don’t want to give them even a chance” … I would hope that they would at least investigate it further or read an interview with me or something [like that]."
Check out the chat that Spirit of Metal had with the 7 Horns 7 Eyes guitar player, Aaron Smith, on July 24th in West Hollywood.

interview 7 Horns 7 EyesFirst of all, could you say a few words about 7Horns 7Eyes, to the SOM readers that don’t know you guys yet? What is 7H7E all about?
Sure. We are 7 Horns 7 Eyes. We basically have members that live all around United States. My brother, who plays bass in the band and myself started out in Seattle. We are both still from Seattle but our drummer is from Southern California, our singer lives in Florida, and the other guitar player lives in Chicago. We are all really spread out.

I write most of the music so, living apart doesn’t really affect, you know, the sound of the music because I can e-mail ideas off to the other guys.

We have a whole lot of influences. I’ve had a lot of people say that we are death metal. I think there is definitely some death influence in there. I’m also really fond of doom metal so, there is a lot of atmosphere and “space” in the mix. I don’t know. Atmospheric death metal maybe is a good way to put it [to describe 7 Horns 7 Eyes’ music]. So yeah, if you haven’t heard of us I would love people to check it out.

You are starting tonight a short US tour. Any objectives to be accomplished during this tour?
This is the first time that we’ve really gone out and opened up a much larger tour with bigger bands than us. Two months ago we went out on a co-headlining tour with a band called Stealing Axion. That was fun. It was a 14 day tour on the West Coast and back through the Midwest a little bit.

This tour [now] is a full US tour and not having to be the headliner helps a lot because we are kind of too small to headline on our own. So, it’s a lot of pressure out of our shoulders to, you know, not being the ones most responsible to bring the biggest crowd.

I guess the biggest thing we want to accomplish is just to play for a whole lot of new people who haven’t heard of us yet and playing at a whole bunch of new cities we’ve never been to… Just building up a bigger fan base and playing at new places are our main goals.

After this tour: what are you guys planning for the rest of the year?
There’s some stuff that we are trying to get on but there’s nothing confirmed yet that I could really announce. If there is something coming up it will be at least 3 months from now.

You have released "Throes of Absolution" earlier this year. Since all of you guys live in different parts of the country, how was the writing process for the album?
Like I mentioned earlier, I write a lot of the music… most of it. I feel that I write best when I’m by myself. It’s been a long, long time… years, since I’ve successfully written a song at practice with other people. It is just hard to be spontaneous with other people. I don’t know, I just kind of get into a good zone all on my own: come up with a cool idea, record the riff and maybe program some drums with it and once I hear just a piece of it, it makes me go: “Oh, what if we go this direction?” I just feed my own creativity pretty well.

So, normally our songs are kind of written, more or less by me. But, then I will give the pre-production recordings to the other guys and then the drummer, Ryan [Wood] can come up with his own feels and stuff. Sean [Alf ], the other guitar player who recorded the album [Sean is no longer with the band. The current lead guitar player is Zack Uidl], wrote all his own leads and stuff, for the album. And then my brother, who plays bass, definitely contributes a bit to the m
interview 7 Horns 7 Eyesusic, coming up with cool bass licks and stuff like that, that just sound good.

I kind of make the foundation for everything but I feel that everybody else contributes and make the song better than if they didn’t have their say, you know? It is not like a dictatorship. I rather give people like “Here is the vibe. What do you think? What could we do to make it better?” That’s pretty much how the album went.

Listening to your album, it seems that it is a lot darker than your previous releases. In general, is this the way you want to sound from now on or was it something that only kind of happened for this album only?
I don’t know. There’s a lot of the whole atmosphere of Throes of Absolution that I still really like. I agree with you that it kind of sounds dark and ominous. I think that everything I write I would like it, at least in places, to continue to sound like that.

The last EP [7 Horns 7 Eyes] is a lot older than the album. There were three different band members in the band back at the time when the EP came out. I was 20 or 21 back at the time. So, the EP had some of the first metal songs I’ve ever written. I was not very experienced with metal song writing and my taste in metal was still kind of expanding, you know? There are a lot of bands that I like now that 5 or 6 years ago I hadn’t listened to it yet.

I don’t know. I just like that kind of dark, ominous mood. I don’t get in a dark place mentally to write that way. It is just how it comes out. And then there are also some epic, melodic, sort of uplifting parts mixed in. I just tried to build some cool dynamic into the music.

So no, I don’t think it is going to start to sound happy in the future. It will kind of still sound dark and heavy.

You mentioned that you have started to listen to some bands that you didn’t know about a few years ago. Can you mention some of them?
Yeah. Let’s see: Strapping Young Lad is a big influence on me now. I would say that what I had heard of them, 5 or 6 years ago, was very limited.

The type of bands that really got me into metal was kind of Killswitch Engage and All that Remains [for example]. But, Meshuggah is a band that I’ve come to appreciate a lot in the last 5 years, so you can hear some of that polyrhythmic on the album a little bit.

Katatonia is another band that I really love and I’ve got a lot of influence from. Swallow the Sun is another favorite band of mine, just really beautiful… kind of the same dark atmosphere. It is very slow and when you write music that slow every chord change has to really count. So, listening to doom music like that has maybe made me look at music at a different way. These are probably the most notable bands that I think are obvious influences.

When I mentioned Strapping Young Lad: pretty much everything that Devin Townsend has written is really cool. He can write really heavy stuff or soft stuff and it all comes out sounding really good.

Talking about your lyrics: are there any specific topics you guys like to have your lyrics based on or are they just spontaneous and different every song?
Well, some of the lyrics on the album were written by our original vocalist, Kyle [Wood] and some were written by the current lead singer, JJ [JJ "Shiv" Polachek IV]. When Kyle left the band we gave JJ the option to re-write everything if he wanted to and he only re-wrote like, 3 songs.

They both kind of have different lyrical styles. I don’t know. We are
interview 7 Horns 7 Eyes all Christians in the band but we don’t call our band a Christian band because we think that’s more like a marketing tactic than it is a creative choice. So, we all write music because we are passionate about it but from the lyrical stand point it is just very natural to talk about spiritual topics.

If you read through the lyric book, you will see that the lyrics Kyle wrote are kind of a little stylistically different from what JJ writes. Kyle is a more obvious, kind of, to the point sometimes and JJ likes to write a little more artistically.

But really, the lyrics topics are meaningful to all of us in some way but especially to the person who wrote them: the struggles, our thoughts…. They are all personal lyrics that relate to our faith, basically.

As you just mentioned, you guys are Christians and most of your lyrics “relate” to your faith. Considering the metal scene, where there is a lot of support from the fans towards bands that aboard (how can I say?) … “darker” subjects on their lyrics: is your personal beliefs something that causes metal fans to be skeptical about your music?
Yeah….. In person, I haven’t really met anyone who has been really mean to me or negative, just because they know that I’m a Christian.

On the internet people are more likely to be rude. When you are not hiding behind your computer screen, and seeing someone face to face, you can say anything you want. On the internet there is a lot of people who just kind of chime in on, post about us or maybe just say something mean or whatever. That is just the way it is. I am not trying to force feed anyone Christianity or whatever, you know? I’m just doing what I do and being authentic with people.

I would hope that before someone just decides: “Oh, they are Christians, their music must suck, they must be really annoying people, I don’t want to give them even a chance” … if someone thinks that way, that’s fine, they are entitled to do whatever they want. But, I would hope that they would at least investigate it further or read an interview with me or something [like that].

Last question: what’s next for 7H7E?
Hopefully before the end of the year we will have at least one more tour that we can do and maybe some into the next year as well. It just depends on what opportunities present themselves and if we have the chance to do it.

I do have some new songs written since the [latest] album, probably about 5. They don’t have vocals and stuff on them yet but there’s a lot of work done that would go towards another release. I don’t think we are going to record more music this year but probably next year I would think that we are going to get back into the studio.

Back to the touring, I hope that if we do some more touring we will continue to play some more cities and areas we haven’t been to. If the album continues to be received well in Europe, maybe we will have the chance to play there… I would hope so. That would be really cool because I know that the metal scene in Europe is different than it is in the United States. So, that would be fun.

Any messages to the SOM readers?
Thanks for checking out the article and if you haven’t listen to the album yet, I think that the whole album has been posted on youtube, by various users. You can check it out if you want. If we are playing at your area, come out and see the show and support us and help us put gas in our tank, because it is expensive to tour (laughs).
interview réalisée par Deesse_de_la_nuit

3 Commentaires

0 J'aime

DeeDimmu - 23 Août 2012: I like this band's authenticity. Nice article!
hailmonster - 02 Septembre 2012: Thanks for posting this interview. 7H7E is amazing.
Lou_Tou - 07 Septembre 2012: Thanks for this great interview!
    Vous devez être membre pour pouvoir ajouter un commentaire

En voir plus