nwinding and sharing a love of music is what the band BELOW 7 credits their formation to. Sure, it's not the most earth shaking beginning for a hard rock band from Bristol, Tennessee, but BELOW 7's commitment to issuing rock n roll in the vein of GODSMACK, ALICE IN CHAINS and ROB ZOMBIE has remained strong from them ever since their first meeting of the minds. It is a commitment that has seen them through their initial days as a cover band up until now as they've been signed to the PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT label and have introduced themselves to a wider audience with their new album CRASHING DOWN. It's no wonder that such music making that is rooted in a straight forward love of music has yielded some rather pleasing results such as the punchy first single MILLENNIAL - less of a takedown and more of a portraiture of a generation with no get-up-and-go. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak to BELOW 7's front man JARROD EVANS regarding the band's new album and some exciting new developments on the horizon. Here is how the interview went.
The album CRASHING DOWN has been out there for a little over a month. Now that it's out there for people to get a listen to, how do you feel about the finished work?
I really like it. I can't wait to try to do better next time and to just keep this whole thing going. I love it!
So far, have there been any reactions to the album that have surprised you or that you didn't quite see coming?
Everybody seems to be loving the album and I'm kind of speechless by it. Everybody has been very kind in their responses about the album.
CHECK OUT THE MUSiC ViDEO FOR MiLLENNiAL!!!
What inspired this set of songs for this album?
The songs came from each and everyone of us in the band. The songs are kind of like therapy for us. We've built these things up inside of things that we've got to say. It's a collection of things that have weighed on us in the past and with this album, we were given the chance to finally let it go and air it out and share it with fans. You've got to let it out some how, right? That's what we did with this album.
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I understand that the band was formed by simply wanting to get together and play music, but bring me back to the beginning of BELOW 7. How did it all get started?
We had all played together in cover bands before and even few original bands. It was myself and the drummer who had the most experience in playing in original bands. We've all been around for a while playing and then one day we all got together and it all just clicked. We learned that we were all more dedicated to the music when we all came together. As a group we tend to worry more about the music instead of worrying about everything else, do you know what I mean?
Talk about the other members of the band. Tell me who they are and what it is that you think that each of them brings to the table that makes this thing work.
The first person I've got to mention is TODD who is the guitar player. He is like the patriarch of the band. He's been around for a while and he's done some things. He's played with ELECTRIC KINGS. There was a bunch of stuff going on with that band a while back. He's done it for so long. He's go a lot of business savvy and books all of our shows and he does a phenomenal job with that kind of stuff. Outside of that, he's an amazing guitarist and really good with leads and comes up with a lot of the licks for the band. ERIC SHEFFIELD is the drummer. He's played with a lot of different bands and he's really good at what he does. He's one of the best drummer that I ever had the pleasure of being in a band with. LANCE plays the bass. He's another amazing musician and he's also very reliable. He's not afraid of adding a little extra pizazz in there. SCOTTY's guitar playing is like a freight train. He comes up with some amazing riffs and he also contributes some lyrics as do I. As a matter of fact, everyone in the band has contribute lyrics to this band. They always say that two head are better than one but five is way better than two.
What was your musical experience before BELOW 7?
When I was young, in middle school we had this 4H thing. It was like a talent contest thing and I chose to sing. Before that, I had never really tried to sing before but I did it and everybody just stopped and went wild and I loved that feeling. I loved getting that reaction. I loved singing and I loved music. It's a rush! It's therapy! It's like you get to leave everything else behind when you're in that moment.
Growing up, what artists spoke to you? Was it one particular artist or a group of artists?
Both. When I was growing up, I wasn't allowed to listen to rock n roll until I was about eighteen. My parents were very religious and kept me from listening to everything except country music, so when I started listening to rock n roll, I was like "Damn! What is that?" I felt like I was lost in time there for a little bit but once I heard it was like that forbidden thing that I had to have more of. The more I got into it, the more it became a part of my life. When you keep somebody away from somethng, then they are going to want it more. For My parents, I guess that is a lesson learned.
How do your parents feel about you fronting a hard rock band now?
They're completely supportive now. Time has brought change. Sometimes it can be good and sometimes it can be bad. In this case, it was good.
Describe the songwriting process within this band. How does that happen?
Each of us will get something stuck in our head and we present it to the band and the rest of us will expand on that idea. The song CHURCH OF PROPHECY was TODD's idea. He was driving to rehearsal and saw it on a sign and thought that it was kind of catchy. He presented the idea and we all expanded on it. He came up with the chorus and I came up with the verses. CRASHING DOWN was a song that I had been sitting on for a little bit. It was from a previous band that I worked with but we didn't take it anywhere. I brought what I had of the song and the band turned it into what you have now. SCOTTY came up with an amazing arrangement of the song. We all bring a piece to this thing and as a group we all come together and make something out of it.
What songs off of the album have you the most excited to get people to hear and why?
I love CRASHING DOWN. It's soulful yet there is a darkness to it. It's all about addressing the dark side of us that we all have to deal with. I like FREIGHT TRAIN. It's a song that gets you pumped. I also like WHISKEY BABY because it's a song about letting loose after having done what you were supposed to do all week and now you can go out and party.
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I'm reading that the band comes from one part Virginia and the other part Tennessee. Which state are you from?
I'm out of Virginia.
You're probably not going to believe this listening to me, but I'm actually from Virginia?
Wow! I must sound like a red neck to you. I got a thick southern drawl. I can't help it. I was in the Army for a while and I lost my Southern accent for a while when I was away but when I came back. it just got right back into me.
With the release of the album CRASHING DOWN, what is the big idea? What would you like for people to come away with after they hear it?
No matter where we are in life, we've all got this creative thing inside of us. It's human to create. It's human to want to create and tell your story and to share how you feel with other people. A song could mean one thing to you but it could mean something totally different to someone else. As humans, we have these ties to each other. We have these things that are similar to each other.
What is next for the band musically?
We're going to star touring around the first of the year. I can't give too many details on that yet because we're still trying to work all of that out. Not everything is set ins stone but we've got some pretty good options onthe table so far. We're going to have something coming soon in the way of touring. As a band we're just going o keep going and going and continue writing. We want tot ake this thing as far as we can.
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