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A Dirty Dozen with DREW ELLIOTT from SEVENSTONES – May 2023

According to a recent press release: “From the ashes of passion and pleasure, SevenStones brings you Hurt Turns Into Hate. This album was produced by Dalton Skinner of Anchor Sound. The most fitting of titles, Hurt Turns Into Hate is a collection of songs that bring in an array of energy and emotion. Pulling from influences such as Seether, Limp Bizkit, and Alter Bridge, new life has been breathed into the group to bring a refreshing sound with an incensed and no holds barred attitude. Originating in Chattanooga, Tennessee, SevenStones is made up of the same adrenaline-fueled front man, dual threat guitarist, and a booming rhythm section that squeezes every drop of energy out of the band’s performances. This quartet has found their sweet-spot in their six-year journey. SevenStones has had the honor of sharing the stages with Black Stone Cherry, Yngwie Malmsteen, The Dead Deads, and many more.” We get lead guitarist / vocalist Drew to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our latest release is our EP titled Hurt Turns into Hate. It’s been a three-year-long love child. We are very happy to get all of these songs as a collective released to the public. Like most bands, there’s been a lot of ups and downs but we have pushed forward to get this done. It’s closing a chapter and starting a new one all on one EP. There is maybe one hidden nugget on the album but it’s nothing crazy it’s just my personal tip of the cap to Matthew Wilder for his hit song from 1983 “Break My Stride.” Odd enough as it is but that song got me through some tough times in college and I have a line in “Fly of Fall” where I say don’t break your stride. Thank you, Mr. Wilder!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My parents have always enjoyed music I grew up on some George Strait, Whitney Houston, Van Halen, Dire Straits…ya know the successful country, rock, and pop charts basically. I got into rock more I guess in middle school my dad and my uncle Tim started showing me more of the Metallica, Zeppelin, and AC/DC albums that I couldn’t get enough of. I think I realized I wanted to be a musician after my first real rock show which was our local heroes in Mighty Sideshow opening up for Sevendust here in Chattanooga. I was a freshman in high school so my parents had to drop off my friend Don and me at Club Fathom cause we weren’t able to drive ourselves. The show was awesome I loved every minute of it even at that point of not knowing too many Sevendust songs (that’s changed) I was hooked. When my parents picked us up I remember my mom asking me if id want to ever do that and I was like, yea I would!

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Like I said the bands I grew up listening to were what my parents would show me until I started asking more about rock. I always stuck with the rock genre but I also was a Green Day fan for years (still am) it just changed as I got older and I got into heavier music. Seether and Alter Bridge both really got me wanting to write my own music to just get my feelings out on paper and through guitar. Seether and AB definitely guided me and still do to this day. On a heavier scale Lamb Of God has really transformed my thought process and pushed me into doing harshes vocally.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

There are so many I’d love to do collaborations with but I think ill choose one of the first people I really thought about and dreamed of doing which would be Myles Kennedy. His lyrics his delivery his range are just so unmatched not to mention he can shred. I could learn so much and I think I would really enjoy writing with Myles.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I love spending time with my family. My amazing Girlfriend Tori and I have created basically a petting zoo as I call it at our house. We have 5 chickens, 2 cats, and a dog. We like to hike and occasionally go kayaking. When that’s not happening I unwind playing Xbox like a dork.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

High-intensity rock n roll. I honestly haven’t heard a comparison that was just so off-kilter that annoyed me. Really being compared to anybody that has been successful in this business is never a bad thing in my opinion whether you agree with it or not haha.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We all cook really but when we are together it’s mainly eating out at a restaurant kind of situation. Me or Isaiah break out the guitars it would be a tie.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

This going to be a common theme here but the first time I met Myles Kennedy I was speechless the first and only person I would consider being starstruck from. Which Myles is such a nice person but it’s because of loving his music and what he’s done for so long my brain couldn’t compute meeting the guy in person.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Writing and putting your emotions out through music is the best part in my eyes. Having that outlet for me is something that I hope never leaves me. If I could no longer pursue music I think id like to be in television of some sort not on screen or anything but I’m a Mass Comm Major so writing scripts or jokes even running a camera I think I would thoroughly enjoy it.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

One question I’d like to be asked is “What drives you to continue pursuing music?” my answer is fear. The fear of not chasing something that I believe in and regretting it later in life for not chasing after it. I’d be sorely mad at myself if I didn’t keep going after what I’ve been working for, for so long. I believe in what we write and what we play I don’t ever really see myself stopping.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I don’t think there’s ever a misstep or feel like I’ve needed to do something over. Everything that’s happened good and bad has gotten us to this point. Mistakes are what make us who we are. We live and we learn one day at a time.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Hotel California by The Eagles. The Eagles were the first band that I can remember that my parents and I could all agree on. They’ve been a huge part of my life for a number of years and One of These Nights is my Favorite Album but Hotel California is when the band acquired THE Joe Walsh. I know there was a little bit of a power struggle at that time within the band but it’s The friggin Eagles recording one of if not the greatest albums of all time. I would have loved to be there.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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