For 15 years, Sevendust has been one of the hardest working bands in rock music. But an opportunity arose for its members when they decided to take off most of 2012. Long had guitarist Clint Lowery and drummer Morgan Rose discussed making music together outside their primary band, and the window that opened has led to Call Me No One, whose debut album, “Last Parade,” was released June 5, 2012. On its release day, Lowery checked in with Live Metal’s Greg Maki to talk about the new project, a possible new strategy for releasing future Sevendust music and more.

LIVE METAL: Well, congratulations. Today is release day for Call Me No One, “Last Parade.” What is release day like for you? Is this one any different from previous ones with Sevendust?

CLINT LOWERY: Yeah. It’s a different project. This means a lot to me because Morgan and I took it on by ourselves. I was singing for the project. I’ve never really taken that role, and I’ve always wanted to. (Sevendust vocalist) Lajon (Witherspoon)’s a great singer—it’s always a great experience working with him. I had the drive to really want to do a record myself as the singer. Of course, it’s just a little bit more personal than the Sevendust stuff just because it’s such a personal project. The music is more personal. It’s not a democracy, it’s just Morgan and I.

So how did this whole thing come about? Was this something the two of you had been wanting to do for a long time?

Yeah, we had talked about it at different occasions. First, we were gonna do a really super heavy record. Then we talked about maybe going really—not an electronic record but something that was just completely different than Sevendust. That kind of went back and forth, and we just finally had the window of opportunity when Sevendust was taking a year off, basically. We decided to do it, and we kind of met in the middle. We used a lot of programming elements and stuff on that, and then we kind of kept it straightforward hard rock—alternative rock, I guess. It’s just something we wanted to do.

You’ve been talking about doing something for a while, but when you finally had the opportunity, it seemed to all come together very quickly. Did you like working that quickly or would you have liked to have more time to write and record?

I actually thought that going in it was a complete leap of faith. We had like four songs written when we went into the studio to do it, and we just assumed the chemistry would be good just because Morgan and I have worked together so long. We assumed that the engineer there and the assistant at the studio that we tracked the record at would be more than capable. It flowed real well. It was so fast that I think it kind of took away a lot of the second guessing that can destroy the creative process for some people. We just threw down the first things that kind of came up musically, and then I was writing vocals as fast as I could. It came quick. It wasn’t forced. I feel like we did a good job within the time we had.

You talked a little bit about it being more personal, and aside from there being fewer people around, how did your approach to the writing differ from writing for Sevendust or other bands you’ve been in?

Sevendust has got a formula to its writing. (Guitarist) John (Connolly) and I actually bring in skeleton ideas, musical ideas that we put together at home on Pro Tools, and then we present them to the band, and everyone goes through and tells what they think is the best idea to start with. There’s a process to it all. With this, it was just very cut and dried. Morgan would play a drum beat, we were all mic’d up in the studio ready to go, so we were ready to actually track right as we wrote. It was really quick. It wasn’t an assembly line of people saying, “I like this. I don’t like that.” We didn’t have to bounce it off too many people. It was just a faster pace. I’m not saying it’s a better result or it’s funner. It’s just different.

Did you find that your approach to writing lyrics changed at all knowing that you were going to be the one who was singing all of it?

Yeah, that’s a good question. Lajon is always very open to singing the lyrics that may come from a personal experience of mine. But with this, I could absolutely have free rein. I didn’t have to think about—‘cause I have to be respectful of Lajon. I write a lot of words and melodies within Sevendust, so when I’m writing with Sevendust, I try to write to cater to Lajon. I think about how his delivery is. With this, I could completely do whatever it is I wanted to do. There are still things that could be in a Sevendust song within these songs—that just comes from me and my writing style.

You talked about how you’ve wanted to sing on a whole album for a while now, but why was this the right time for you to step up and do that?

Like I said before, it was a window of opportunity. Sevendust tours so much I never thought I would have a break to do it. I don’t like waiting two years in between records to record music. It just does not seem natural to me when there’s a lot of ideas always flowing. Right when we decided for sure we were taking the time off, it just clicked and I told Morgan, “We really need to do this. If we’re gonna do it, we need to do it now.” We had to make a lot of different things happen, a lot of legal things we had to go through to speed it up. It was a very stressful few weeks at the beginning of January, but then we ironed it out with help from some good people, then we did the record.

You’re gonna go out on tour later this summer. Are you ready to be not just the singer but the frontman for this band?

It’s gonna be an adjustment. I’ve been playing my whole life. I’ve talked on the mic. I’ve been in the position where I was kind of the frontman before in some other bands. It’s definitely an adjustment. It’s gonna be hard. I sing a lot of backups in Sevendust, but being the lead singer can be hard and taxing on your vocals. I don’t want to be one of those singers who’s really sensitive, walking around with scarves around my neck and sipping tea all day. I just want to get some rest and try to do the best I can. I’m a guitar player that can carry a tune. I’m not like a singer. I don’t look at myself as the persona of a singer. I’m just a guy that can sing and play guitar.

Where did you find the other two guys in the live band?

Alan Price, he was playing on the acoustic Shinedown tour they did. I met him and became good friends with him. I just stayed in touch and kind of got to know him as a musician. I had no intention of playing with him at the time. He just seemed like one of the best candidates for the gig. We just wanted some guys that can play, but we wanted guys that were cool and easy to get along with and positive and the right demeanor for what we want to be out there with. And Rek Mohr, I met him here in St. Louis. He lives here in St. Louis where I do, and we just connected really quick. He’s a bass player, I respect what he does in Hurt and just hired him on, man. These guys, they’ve got the right kind of identity for what we’re trying to do with this band.

You’ve got dates coming up with some guys who I’m sure are good friends of yours, Nonpoint and Eye Empire. That sounds like it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

Yeah, for sure, man. I can’t wait to get out with those guys, and I can’t think of a better way to break in with this ‘cause there’s gonna be a lot of nervous energy, and playing with these two bands will make a lot of that go away. It’ll be comfortable.

How much touring do you think you’re gonna do on this?

We’re gonna try to do as much as we can. We’re doing this short run just to kind of break the ice. Then we’re gonna try to track a Sevendust record in September, and then after that, we’re gonna do a lot of Call Me No One tours to try to develop the band. Then when the Sevendust record starts getting closer to a release date, we’ll have to slow down the Call Me No One machine for a little while. But we’re gonna try to do as much as we can.

Speaking of Sevendust, has there been talk about what direction you might be going in for the next album?

Yeah, we seem to all kind of collectively agree that something heavier would be cool. A lot of bands say that, but I think we just want a more intense Sevendust record. We want one that’s just over the top that can surpass what we’ve already done. We’re never gonna be completely different from what we’ve done in the past, but we want to take it up a notch. It’s very hard for metal and heavier music at all these days, so we just want to do the best we can to make an honest metal record.

I don’t know who it was that said it, but there were some rumblings not too long ago that the next Sevendust album possibly being the last one. Say it isn’t so.

I think Morgan was the one that said it. It’s one of those things where I don’t know if it’s gonna be the last one. I don’t think it’ll be the last one. I think we’ll do another one. I don’t know if it’ll be a situation where we make a full-length record and then, after that, maybe do EPs and put music out more frequently but just not in that template that’s out there now. We just think of putting a record out of 10, 11 songs—the diehard fans will always buy it and we love them, but it just seems like a long time to wait between records. We would like to kind of do the same amount, just spread out over the time periods, just change the whole template because people aren’t buying full records the way they were. So maybe we’re gonna go in and every eight months release five or six lethal Sevendust songs.

Well, that makes me feel a lot better.

Yeah, don’t worry about it.

Also, earlier this year, I was really happy that the second Dark New Day album finally got a release. Does that close the book on that band or might you do something more in the future?

I don’t know. It depends. Right now, there’s no activity going on within the band. We had a lot of songs that were lying around, and we decided, for the people that loved Dark New Day, to release it for them.

Alright, I don’t want to take up a whole lot of your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

No, I’m just excited about the Call Me No One thing right now.


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