INTERVIEW WITH 7 STONE RIOT

INTERVIEW WITH 7 STONE RIOT
‘Enhancing your quality of life with new single MANIPULATION’!
By Stephanie Stevens

Step into the new era of Birmingham, Alabama’s 7 Stone Riot. A band who is unleashing the darker side of rock on their new single ‘Manipulation’, a track significantly mesmerising and melodically haunting with tons of heavier overtones. I was honestly blown away from the growth in sound these guys have created vs. Their old EP “Scratching The Surface”.

The band, brothers Whit Millsap – Vocals, Tyler Millsap – Bass and Todd Millsap – Guitar, along with Reid Aldridge – Guitar and Skyler McCain – Drums started in 2012 as a cover band which helped them find the path to songwriting that they then applied to 7 Stone Riot’s sound. The newest single ‘Manipulation’ is about how we all are manipulated by something whether we believe it or not. The steady flow, heavy power and delicate melody is going to unite music fans of all genres.

Visually, the guys brought even more life to the song as the video is haunting, dark and phantom like, as you watch the “demons” seduce and manipulate and the evocative storyline embeds your thoughts. The growth I see in this band already is making me believe that they are ones to keep your eye on as we roll into 2021.

I had a chance to speak with vocalist Whit Millsap about creating their sound, the unique recording process for the track ’Manipulation’, his biggest role model and what they worked on to get better at as we all went through the chaos of what we called the year 2020.

Q: I love seeing you family as a band. Did you all fall for the music bug around the same time and how did that surface for 7 stone riot?

Whit Millsap: We grew up around music all our lives. Our grandmother was a singer in New Orleans in the 60’s. Our mom was a country singer in the late 90’s early 2000;s where she had a song on the billboard country charts. It took us a little longer to start playing instruments, I was 18 when I got my first guitar and Tyler was 16, but the first day we got them we thought maybe we should do something with this.

Q: You have two other members also in the band. When searching for people to round out the band what were you looking for in musicians to come into this brotherhood?

Whit Millsap: I and Reid played high school baseball together, so we knew each other but we didn’t know music was a big part of our lives. When I first started playing live music, I was doing acoustic covers and Reid saw one of my videos posted on Facebook and sent me a message asking me if I wanted to come and jam sometime. I and Tyler went over there a couple of days later and from that day we decided we should give the band thing a shot.

Q: You guys also worked in an industry where you were around music in a live setting. Tell us how that impacted the business with the artistry of your band?

Whit Millsap: Working for All Events has been one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever worked. It has taught us a lot about running live sound, putting on a lights show, and how to act as a band when you get to those big festival-style shows. We work with a group of amazing sound guys who have helped us understand what each button and knob does on the soundboard so when we get to ours, we can set it up just like we want it. This job it’s given us some close friendships with some great sound guys so whenever we have a show and one of them doesn’t have a gig, they will go with us to our show and run our sound, which is nice.

Q: What is the hardest thing about creating a signature sound for your band when you are surrounded by so many influential role models that you grew up listening to?

Whit Millsap: We don’t think creating our own sound is hard with all the influences. We think all of our different influences is what gives us our sound. We all like different styles of rock music. I tend to lean towards the 90’s rock with bands like Tool, Alice In Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots. I love bands with good melodies, so I also tend to listen to bands such as 3 Doors Down and Matchbox 20. Reid is a fan of the heavier side of music with bands like Sevendust, Tremonti, and Korn. Tyler is a fan of the progressive style with bands like Tesseract, Monuments, and Karnivool. Todd likes it all anywhere from the Weekend to Meshuggah. Skylar is your typical drummer and loves the bands Vinnie Paul, Chris Adler, Shannon Larkin, Jeremy Spencer, and Mike Portnoy are in. I feel like when you mix all of those bands you come up with our sound.

Q: You just released a brand-new song called ‘Manipulation’. An intense word with meaning. What projected the song for you to take this shape lyrically?

Whit Millsap: When you sit back and really think about it everyone is manipulated by something. That’s why everyone has different beliefs. Everyone is pressured into doing things whether you want to do it or not, so you’re manipulated into feeling hate for something or love for something. If someone were to live my life and go through all of my manipulations, they would have the same views just like if I lived someone else’s life, I would probably have totally different views on things. So, in the end we’re all the same, we just have been through different manipulations that have given us the views that we have.

Q: The new song also takes a darker approach musically for you guys do you feel this is the real sound and feel of 7 Stone Riot?

Whit Millsap: We feel like this is the start of the real sound of 7 Stone Riot. We did this song differently than anything else we’ve written. Before we would split up and say each person write their part and then we would come back together and make it a song. With ‘Manipulation’, each person gave their opinion on every part of this song. I feel like this is the approach we will be taking for every song we write now because it really helped fine-tune each part of the song. The melody and lyrics were totally different at the start of this song than it is now because once we all got together and put different ideas into the melodies and lyrics it really started taking a different life that we all loved. Once we changed the melody it opened up even more ideas for the instruments which were really cool to do.

Q: Can you talk about the DIY approach you took for recording the new song and after all was said and done, it turns out it’s one of your favourite sounding songs. What do you think it was that made it more sacred to you?

Whit Millsap: With everything getting locked down at the beginning of the year we felt like this would be the perfect opportunity to release something new. None of the studios were open so what we did was turn our guitar player Reid Aldridge’s garage into a studio. We had a ton of moving blankets, so we created a vocal booth made out of moving blankets plywood and pipping. After that, we then spent some money on some professional mics so we could still get that studio-quality sound out of our recordings. We were able to record every instrument inside the vocal booth we made and to our surprise sounded just like what it would have sounded like if we went to the studio. When we were done with all of the recordings, we sent it to our producer Ken Lanyon who would give us different ideas to do and when that was done, he mixed and mastered it. We were really surprised at how it sounded considering we recorded this all in a garage.

Q: How important to you is “performing” the song be it video or live show and do you feel you can get more of the story out in this way rather than just having fans sit home and listen?

Whit Millsap: I feel like with a video you get a lot more emotion out of the song. With the video, we kinda left it up to the viewer to make their own assumption about what it means. Everyone in the band has different views on what the video is meaning which is what we were going after.

Q: Some bands feel that singles are the way to go since the music industry has changed a bit. What do you feel about that vs full length and where does your band stand on this topic?

Whit Millsap: We all kinda feel like releasing singles is the way to go right now. Recording full-length albums with a professional sound to it takes so much money these days that it’s hard to do that without being signed to a label. With all the advantages we have these days with social media you don’t necessarily need a record label to get noticed you just need a song that catches everyone’s attention.

Q: What is the one thing you worked on in 2020 through this chaos, be it musically or personally, that you have enhanced, or have you learned something new?

Whit Millsap: One of the things we did was upgrade our equipment. Our main goal is to give a professional sounding performance and to do that you have to have the right equipment. We also took a few weeks to ourselves and not thought about anything musical for those few weeks. After those few weeks, we got back together, and our creative mindsets were a lot better so taking a little bit of time off is always a good thing to do.

Q: Who would you consider your biggest role model that has made you the man/musician you are today and why have they?

Whit Millsap: To me, I’m going to have to with Garth Brooks. When I was 3 years old back when he was taking over the world, I was his biggest fan. I used to dress up like him and run around the living room pretending I was him during a concert while a videotape of his concert played on the tv. I knew all his movements on stage and what he was going to say to the crowd. Once I saw him perform and the reaction he would get out of a crowd I always wanted to do what he does.

Q: What do you hope people walk away with after being introduced to 7 Stone Riot?

Whit Millsap: We hope that people really enjoy the messages we’re trying to say with our music. Our messages tend to be uplifting by saying we’re all going through things; you just have to fight through all the bad and you’ll end up where you want to be.

The End

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

Manipulation (Official Music Video):

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s With HOLY DEATH TRIO

EMQ’s With HOLY DEATH TRIO

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Corpus Christi, Texas based Heavy Rock band Holy Death Trio. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist John and bassist Jon for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

John and Jon here from Holy Death Trio. John plays guitar and sings and Jon plays bass, I know it’s a bit confusing with the John and Jon thing, but we’re used to it at this point.

We’re a fairly new band that started in 2019. All of us have played in bands around Texas for a while and we decided to take the “heavy rock/stoner rock” path as a direction that we would like to evolve in. We used to play everything from Blues and Funk to Punk Rock and Jam Band stuff but now we’re primarily playing Dark and Dirty Heavy Rock-N-Roll.

How did you come up with your band name?

We have kind of a sick fascination with death and Santa Muerte. It just felt quite fitting to go with being a power trio and raised in South Texas. I’m also obsessed with candles and pagan rituals, so the theme fits the band well. Jon rides motorcycles so Skulls and Santa Muerte are a common theme in that lifestyle.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re currently located in Austin, Texas and as far the “Metal” scene goes, there really isn’t one. Austin has always seemed to support the whole Garage Rock and Psychedelia genre. Pretty much anything Levitation puts on their festival will get a music scene around Doom, Stoner Rock, Psych, Garage, Shoe Gaze and all that jazz always gets a lot or attention. SXSW brings “Stoner jam” along with a lot of other stoner and doom shows. It’s definitely a hot spot for local and touring bands.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We’re about to release a series of singles starting in October. The first one is a heavy hitter called ‘Bad Vibrations. that’s meant to push the limits of what we’ve heard in our genre. We really wanted to fill in the gaps with a sound that isn’t commonly heard in Stoner Rock but still has all the elements that you’d want in a Stoner Band (Riffs, Raging Guitar Solos, Driving Bass with Balls, Fucking Animal on the drums and a head banging groove)

‘Bad Vibrations’

Available on all streaming platforms

Who have been your greatest influences?

John: Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix are the top two but there’s nothing more influential than our own Texas Legends like ZZ TOP, Christian Bland, Amplified Heat. And of course, our song writing would be nothing without The Beatles and Motorhead.

Jon: Larry Graham, Jaco Pastorious, Sting, Geddy Lee, Les Claypool, Roger Waters.

What first got you into music?

Tony Hawk Pro Skater! And then going to my first skate parking and seeing “nofx” spray-painted on the half pipes.

Jon’s mom was really into the club scene, so she was always listening to a lot of Motown, Funk and Disco stuff.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

We have a song we want to collab with Christian Bland from the Black Angles. I don’t see that as a goal that’s too far away. But we definitely want to write a song and have our brother from San Antonio, Jason Kane sing on it, he’s probably one of the best singers in Texas maybe even the nation. Our dream would be to do a song with Dave Grohl on the drums, that dude seems like he would be a lot of fun to jam with.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Psycho Las Vegas all day! We were actually the original film crew for the recap video of the first year at the hard rock with Alice Cooper and Electric Wizard. That’s just straight up our style of heavy rock debauchery.

Other than that, Monolith on the Mesa for sure! That place is magical AF. Maryland Doom Fest. Desert Fest across the pond. And pretty much any festival that caters to heavy rock and stoner rock, we will 100 percent make a statement and put on an unforgettable performance.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Probably some fruity drink or whole ass pineapple.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

“Be Excellent to each other”

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Selena Quintanilla, She didn’t deserve to die like that.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

We enjoy the challenge of getting up on a stage and performing a song that was created inside your head and playing it in a way that makes the audience feel something. Also meeting new people is awesome, some of our best friends were met at a random show.

Jon hates how expensive bass strings are.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

It seems that image overtakes ability nowadays. It would be nice to see that change.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

The B-52’s first album

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Digital Downloads of the masters are the best quality for sure. I prefer to hear the low end and all the frequencies. 360 Reality Audio sound is the future! If you haven’t tried it, look into it! Vinyl is cool too, but they lack the full production quality. But Cassettes are most common around us because that’s all that our tour van can play.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

John: I opened up for the Misfits when I was 15 to a crowd of 1500. That was nuts but for holy death trio it was definitely with Mothership in Deep Ellum at the beginning of the year. Dallas is one of the best cities to play in and damn did that crown make us feel like we were at home!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

John: I’d probably have my black belt in Jiu Jitsu by now. Most likely be opening my own dojo at some point and training killers.

Jon: Probably get a real Job.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Ozzy, Danny Trejo, Elon Musk, David Blaine, Snoop Dogg.

What’s next for the band?

Music Videos. Album Release. Clothing Line. TV Series.

Hopefully, a sold-out tour next year.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Instagram seems to work best for us.
www.instagram.com/holydeathtrio/

Plus:
www.holydeathtrio.com/
www.facebook.com/HolyDeathTrio/
www.twitter.com/holydeathtrio
www.open.spotify.com/artist/30DhC9iaCRS9mKtypZNONn
www.youtube.com/channel/UC9sAtvwv7tOQvxBHFzPmY_Q

Photo by Ismael Quintanilla III

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with THE DEV

EMQ’s with THE DEV

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Orlando, FL based Heavy Rock/Metal band, The Dev. Huge thanks to guitarist, Barrett Jones for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi, I’m Barrett Jones. I am one of two guitarists for the band.

The band was put together around December of 2018 by our other guitarist Ryan Danley and bassist John Panaccione. Our singer Nikollaj Lleshi answered a Craigslist online add, put out by Ryan and John, looking for a singer. They knew right away she was the one after hearing her belt out the first song they threw at her. And after several drummers they found Chris Caruso to complete our rhythm section. Chris actually joined right in the middle of the recording sessions for our first single “Broken Lies”. Our first official public appearance was February 28th 2019 opening for “Beasto Blanco” (Alice Cooper’s daughter, Calico Cooper’s band) Interesting story, I wasn’t in the band when we were formed. I didn’t join until June of 2019. But, I was at that first show in February. I was social media friends with Nikollaj and she invited me. So, I have kind of felt like I’ve been part of the band since the beginning. Long story short, things were not going well with a band I was in at the time, at that same time one of their other guitar players left, I auditioned and then two weeks later they brought me in as a full member. And here we are. THE DEV family. Almost feels like something helped push us together at the right time.

How did you come up with your band name?

As the story goes from our bass player John, they were sitting around at rehearsal throwing out names and he just blurted out “Let’s just call ourselves THE DEV!” Well, what’s that stand for, everyone asked. And he said Desired Evolutionary Vision. And the rest is DEVistry.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are from The United States. And we base ourselves out of Orlando, Florida. The scene here is thriving. There are plentiful venues for live shows. Our House Of Blues venue here actually has showcases called “Orlando Rocks”, where they allow local Orlando Rock/Metal bands to perform. Those shows are always awesome with amazing turn outs! Also, our local Rock Station 101.1 WJRR has an hour long show every Sunday night called “Native Noise” hosted by the awesome Supa Dave that showcases local area band’s songs on the radio that is broadcast on the iHeart Radio Network. So, the scene here is definitely going strong and all the people that are helping keep it alive are amazing!

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

On 6th March 2020 we released our new single and music video titled ‘Queen Of The Damned’. It’s available everywhere in all digital and streaming markets. Also, the music video that was shot by the awesome Aaron Berkshire, can be found on YouTube.

Who have been your greatest influences?

For people, I would have to say anyone that wants to get up every day and make a difference, be different, follow their own path, follow their dreams and never give up. I definitely have to mention Matt Starr (drummer for Mr. Big and Ace Frehley). He has been a tremendously positive influence in my life and career and is also a great friend.

For music, personally, I’m a classic rock guy. Everyone tells me that I should have grown up in the 70’s haha. But I do like current Rock, Pop and Alternative as well. My greatest influence of all time is KISS. But others that are just as influential to me are: Led Zeppelin, Hall and Oats, Elton John, Creedence Clearwater Revival(CCR), Nicki Minaj, Blink-182, A.M. Taxi, Boston, Harry Styles, Five Finger Death Punch, The Rolling Stones, Ratt, Adam Lambert, The Beatles, Buddy Holly, Foo Fighters, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Little Richard, The Police, Eminem, Motley Crüe, Rush, Black Sabbath, Nirvana… I mean I could go all day.

What first got you into music?

I think it’s always been with me. In my blood, you know? But I remember being very young and seeing the music video for “Blackhole Sun” by Soundgarden. While the video freaked me out, at the same time I was like, “that’s what I want to do!”

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Brendon Urie, that guy can wail! And writes killer songs. I would love to collab with several but that’s the first one that comes to mind.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Man…do I have to pick just one??

If so, I would have to choose the Reading and Leeds Festival. I mean, to perform in front of that many people at once would be a dream come true! Not to leave out that you would be among some of the biggest artists out there now.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

To me, gifts from fans are always welcomed and never feel weird. If a fan puts that much thought and heart into wanting to give me something personally, I’ll never judge them for being weird no matter what it is.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

THANK YOU! You’re the reason we get to do this and the reason we continue to do this. You keep showing up and we will too.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Kurt Cobain for me. Such a talent and visionary gone far too soon.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I enjoy that when you come together with the right people you can feel the energy. I also enjoy that it causes me to think outside the box in everything I do. Plus, to be able to bring a positive message to someone or help someone through a difficult time through a song you wrote is just an amazing feeling!

I don’t hate anything about it. I guess the only thing that I can’t do, because of it, is listen and hear music the same way non musicians can. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing either. Haha!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything. I think the industry has had some rough times in the last few years. But that just leaves room to excel. Nothing is going to stay the same and change is good. You just have to keep rolling with the punches and moving forward.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Boston’s first self-titled album from 1976. Sonically, I feel that album is amazing for the time and still holds up and even sounds better than some records today.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Digital Downloads for me personally. They’re just convenient and I can take all my favourite albums and songs with me anywhere.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

So far it would have to be the House Of Blues show in Orlando, FL.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I couldn’t picture that at all haha! But if I have to choose, I’d go with a Paranormal Investigator. It’s so fascinating to me. I’d love to be right there and could see myself investigating with the “Ghost Adventures Crew”.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Tom Cruise, Bill Gates, Gene Simmons, Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis.

What’s next for the band?

We are currently working on booking fall US east coast runs, releasing a new single before the end of the year, heading back into the studio to work on new material, continue to bring our fans online social media content and just keep rocking and rolling our way to the top of the game!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

This is our “FAN LINK” to our current single and music video. It’s kind of like a one stop shop for everything THE DEV. This has most platforms where you can hear the single or watch the video. Also, underneath, you can find our Facebook and Instagram links.

https://fanlink.to/TDqotd
https://www.facebook.com/thedevmusic/
www.instagram.com/thedevband/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Personally, I haven’t had them. They do look amazing though and I would say a cake? I definitely need to try them to find out though! Lol

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

No problem! And thank you for the opportunity! 

I’d just like to add a thank you to our current fans and future fans to come. Stay positive and stay DEVoted!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.