For the second installment of our massive Kevin Seconds interview, we let the Hardcore nostalgia take a backseat as we speak to Kevin about the bands’ new LP ‘Leave a Light on’ (which was released on Rise Records this week) the tour they have lined up, the present state of Hardcore today and the infamous and short-lived 7 Seconds tribute band Society Ills fronted by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore.
‘Leave the Light On’ sounds great. The signature sound of the band totally shines through on here. You’re a band that might not shoot out a record every two or three years, but when you do get one out there, its’ exactly what people are looking for. What’s the secret to this? A special concoction you received from a witch doctor? What is it?
There’s no secret. No witch doctor. I’m pretty much always writing songs, be it for my solo stuff or for 7 Seconds and sometime last year, I had three or four songs that I really liked and really thought would be fun to make into 7 Seconds songs. I sent the guys MP3s of the demos I made and they liked them and that sort of inspired to write four more and I just kept repeating that all of last year until we had fifteen or sixteen songs that we could realistically consider for a new album.
It’s been awhile since the last full length. What was it that made you finally come together and get ‘Leave a Light On’ together?
Once Steve, Bobby and Troy really started to sink their teeth into the songs and we started rehearsing them, I knew we had something. We weren’t even sure that we wanted to make another full-length album just because these days, I have no idea whether people want to hear new 7 Seconds songs. But the rehearsals were going really well and when Craig at Rise hit us up to make a record, it all just rolled forward from there.
What was the inspiration behind the song ‘Slogan on a Shirt’?
Empty messages used to make a buck. I’ve also seen pop stars and celebrities with PMA shirts and hats and meanwhile, they’re getting arrested for DUI’s and statutory rape. I’m all for carrying around the concept of PMA and I admire anyone who works at making the world just a little nicer and better but seeing assholes wearing PMA shirts and then going out and beating on people or whatever is just a fucking joke.
The band is gearing up to go on a large U.S. tour to promote the album. What do you still look forward to prior to going on a huge tour like this one?
Getting out of my comfort zone. The sweat and workout each night. And of course, rocking with my boys like I have for the last 34 years. We still really enjoy playing onstage together and now that we have a new album out and haven’t really done any extensive touring in the last 8-9 years, we have a hunger amongst us again. Maybe even something to prove to other people.
This is a random one… Have you ever heard the Society Ills 7”? The one where Thurston Moore, Mike Watt, Dez Cadena and Dave Markey cover the 1st 7 Seconds 7” in its entirety? Any thoughts on it?
It was silly but fun. I have no idea if they were taking the piss or just really loved our first 7 inches but I think it’s cool, anyway.
In the past few years, there’s a renewed interest in the Hardcore scene in the early 80’s; both by people who were there and kids too young to witness it. How do you feel about this?
Honestly, I don’t pay that much attention to what people are interested in these days, early hardcore or otherwise. I talk with a lot of people when I’m on the road and I read shit on the Internet but I think I’m just old enough now to not have any real direct or meaningful connection with the hardcore scene these days. Let the youngsters figure it out. If it’s good and legit and honorable, people will gravitate towards it, myself included. If not, it’s just more crappy soulless music to ignore.
Would you have ever thought 7 Seconds would still be going after all this time?
I never imagined we’d last five years let alone almost thirty-five. I suppose back when I was 21 or 22, I didn’t think that bands were supposed to stick around for long periods. That was something the Rolling Stones or the Grateful Dead did; not hardcore bands. I’m glad we did stick it out though.
I think we make great fast punk rock music and we still have some interesting opinions worth sharing. I don’t think the majority of kids buying into rebellious sub-culture knows or cares about who we are but there will always be people into what we do. We’ll just keep playing for us and them.
What do you think it is about the band that still resonates with people? Both the people who have followed you the whole time as well as kids who weren’t even born in 1981?
Do people born after ’81 like us? I don’t know. There’s melody and catchy choruses and a nice mixture of tough and thoughtful. What’s not to like? How can that not resonate?