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Interview: Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust on His Cultural Impact, Racial Unity, and Being a Soulful Rock Singer

Our next featured guest is one of the most soulful rock artists of all time. He’s the lead singer of iconic metal band Sevendust who are currently celebrating their 20-year anniversary. You can celebrate with them on their anniversary tour, log on to for dates, times and tickets. This guy’s also just a really cool person. Please welcome to…Lajon Witherspoon! Sevendust is celebrating their 20-year anniversary, which is incredible! LJ that’s a lot of singing and playing, autographs signings, recording sessions, tours and airplane rides. As much as you’ve traveled the world have you ever worried about all that changing air pressure affecting your voice?


Sevendust_LajonLajon Witherspoon: I’ve never really had a problem with that. I’m a true believer of rest – body and mind, love, and prayer. I’ve never had to cancel a show, thank the Lord. But I have gotten off the plane and not felt as good. I try to stay as healthy as I possibly can, especially being a singer. I don’t have time to be sick! Your voice reminds us of Otis Redding mixed with a little bit of Terence Trent D’Arby, yet your delivery is aggressive, reminiscent of Billy Idol. Your vocals, while soulful, at times are almost combative. Has anyone else made those comparisons?


Lajon Witherspoon: I bring the soul because I consider myself a soul singer. As soon as you said Terence Trent D’Arby a story hit me! Years ago we were recording in Florida at a studio called Patchwork, and Mr. Steven Segal came in! He had some type of blues band and they were doing a record. He comes in and is like, “Sevendust, I like you guys. Your voice reminds me of a Terence Trent D’Arby.” So the only other person to say that is Steven Segal! Did Sevendust ever encounter any marketing challenges because of the soulful sound of your voice?


Lajon Witherspoon: I don’t know. That’s a good question. I would hope that the soulfulness in my voice wouldn’t hinder us in the genre of music we’ve been doing. I believe people believe and feel conviction, and that’s where I come from with my singing. It’s real. I hope it never stops me because I can’t undo that. Originality has never been an issue for Sevendust either. How do you feel about the number of bands and artists who copied you after you guys came along?


Lajon Witherspoon: That’s crazy! Sometimes we’ll hear our sound from a bunch of bands! We could go down the line! But it’s cool, man. I think it’s a compliment to hear we’re inspiring, that we’re helping people to create music. I’m all about it. We’ve been blessed. It’s cool to have cats come up and say we inspired them. I never was a guy to say, “Hey, they’re ripping us off!” But when you hear it, you know where that came from. Okay, so describe Sevendust’s social and cultural impact.


Lajon Witherspoon: Wow! I feel like Sevendust is not a regular band. We don’t have fans; we don’t have nothing but family and friends out there. It’s a learning experience when you come to a show because you see it. When I was a 21-year-old young man signing a record deal with this band, I didn’t have any kids or a wife. Now I’m in my 40s; the same guys I met when I was 21 have four or five kids now, and they’re all at our shows. And they’ve got girlfriends and boyfriends! Every night I say this is not a concert; it’s a damn family reunion! That’s what we’ve given. We’ve made the music a family affair and that’s what we’re trying to create around this world. LJ, can you see what you’ve personally accomplished socially and culturally as something that could be duplicated?


Lajon Witherspoon: I know in the Rock’n Roll world you don’t see a lot of brothers out here doing it. We don’t get to see as many because they may be under the radar. I’ve been very blessed. And I listen to everything – had Drake playing a little bit ago. I hope people get that: I love music. I love life, I love people, and I know where I come from, where I’ve been, and where I’m trying to get to. And I hope I have some type of impact on people in a positive way. What’s something you were afraid of that you turned into a positive impact?


Lajon Witherspoon: My career! I was that kid who was afraid to like Rock’n Roll in school because it wasn’t the cool thing to do. “You’re hanging out with those white kids,” that was something I heard a lot. But you know what? Those white kids were my friends, so were the black kids and the Asian kids. I sat at the table with everybody! That’s what I want to put out there. It’s about love. You can still make a change, we can all come together to make a difference and keep this world moving. |


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CREDITS Written by Mr. Joe Walker | Photos – Search Engine Exploration | Lajon Witherspoon – as Himself | Producer – Liquid Arts & Entertainment | Creative Director – The Liquidation Committee | Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Copy Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Site Editor – Doug Sims | Webmaster – Doug Sims | Twitter – @LiquidAEMag | Instagram – @liquidmagazine

Liquid Arts & Entertainment is committed to presenting engaging conversations with top artists. We hope you enjoyed this interview with Lajon Witherspoon.

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