Sevendust Drummer Morgan Rose Discusses New Acoustic Album, Tour & More
April 28, 2014
By: Nicole McKay
MPR: You recently kicked off a tour in support of the new acoustic album Time Travelers & Bonfires, how's it been going so far?
Morgan: It's been amazing. We're in Salt Lake today, going to Denver tomorrow, and then we get a day off. We've been out for about 3 weeks and it's been received really well, way better than we thought.
MPR: The campaign you did to raise funds for the album was a huge instant success, were you at all surprised that you reached your goal in just a couple of days?
Morgan: The funny thing is we have a lot more confidence in the people that support the band than I think anybody else does, so when they put the number up there, what the target number to hit was, I laughed at it. I was like, that's gonna get hit so fast that it's gonna be funny. Everybody also thinks it was reached in two days when it was really reached in a few hours. Then they moved the number up and that was reached in two days. Yeah it wasn't really a surprise to me. I don't want that to sound arrogant, there's confidence in the people, not in us. I know the loyalty that we have and the love affair that we have with the people that support our band. They've been put in these positions before with us and they just slam dunked it, so I knew they were gonna respond, and I was a little surprised by the amount, but it's pretty awesome.
MPR: That's one thing that I always notice at Sevendust shows. Your fans are like no others I've ever seen, unbelievably dedicated.
Morgan: They're amazing. They're friends and family to us, we don't even call 'em fans, we just call 'em friends and family. After you see someone for years and years we just stop calling them fans. And somebody mentioned it, when you're a Sevendust supporter you're not a fan, you're part of the family. It sounds cliche and everything, but it isn't. It's different than most everybody else. It's almost like you're a lifer, when you're in, you're in. Sorry, we've poisoined you, you're there.
MPR: On top of the 6 older tracks that you stripped down for the album, there are also 6 new songs on there. Is your writing process any different when you're writing a song specifically to be acoustic?
Morgan: Not really, we'll write some of the heavy songs on acoustic to begin with. When the guys are writing riffs they don't always have an electric setup. If they have something they're inspired by and they need to hurry up and release that they'll just get it out. There's been a lot of stuff that's been really heavy that was acoustic to begin with. This was no different, it was a lot easier than I think anybody would expect.
MPR: The new material is very powerful lyrically. Do you have any particular favourite or one that you relate most to?
Morgan: I do like them all but "The Wait" is the song that affects all of us the most, and probably more than any other song that we've ever written. When we wrote "Angel's Son" it was initially written for Lynn Strait and we'd never really lost anybody in our lives, so that was a unique moment for us to lose somebody so close. But then over the years we've lost a ton of people. We've lost fathers, our grandparents, and people that were incredibly close to us. Recently we had Lajon lose his grandmother, Clint lose his father, me lose my Nana, and John lose his father, all within 12 to 16 months, so when that song was written those people were some of the most important people in our lives.
For a while I wouldn't even listen to that song. It broke me down to listen to it. After I tracked it, the drum part is a little challenging for me, so when we started doing it live I didn't have any issue. I thought it was gonna be a problem live cause I would get emotional, but I was concentrating so much on making sure I got the song right that I wasn't really listening to the words too much. Now I've got the song down and now it's starting to get tougher to play.
MPR: Is it scary sometimes to put your heart and soul out there in the music for people to either tear apart or love and connect to on their own level?
Morgan: It's therapeutic. We like to write stuff that's real life things that we deal with, so we wear our hearts on our sleeve without question. It's sometimes for a cause that can get us in trouble, I'm notorious for being an idiot and putting my opinions out there for the world to see cause sometimes I don't realize that the internet is a pretty powerful source. So with that being said, the music is just as powerful. When we put songs out there that mean something to us, they're open to be cut up and they're open to be absorbed. In our case musically, I think people can relate to them and it breaks 'em down sometimes. A lot of people it helps. I dunno if I'm alone in this, but I can tell you that I'm the type of person that when I'm down and I need to get it out, it's almost like when you have a stomach virus and you just need to get it out of you. To just leave it inside you is not the way I like to roll, I like to just put on the saddest music that I can find and break down and get it over with. That's the way that I think these songs affect people sometimes. When they need a tribute to someone, we have been there.
MPR: Based on the performance I saw on Ship Rocked, Sevendust's acoustic set is the farthest thing possible from the typical single guitar and singer mellow acoustic set up. How would you describe your acoustic show?
Morgan: Oh yeah, yeah this thing is.. I'm turning into the drummer in the wrong band up there cause I've gotten comfortable with what we're doing and now I'm just playing the same we do when we play a heavy show, so our sound guy has got a lot on his plate to make sure that the crowd doesn't hear just drums. But it's a great show, a really emotional show. A lot of tears, a lot of people breaking down, the band breaking down on occasion. Pretty often actually. And it's just an awesome feeling, it's an awesome, awesome tour.
MPR: Speaking of Ship Rocked, you'll be returning to play at Camp Ship Rocked at the end of June. What is it that keeps bringing you back to their events?
Morgan: Oh man, we love the people that are involved in that. You know, when you're touring, I tell people this all the time. If anybody says that they're being paid to tour, like to play music, it's ridiculous. In all honesty, with the exception of a few interviews a day and maybe a radio station visit or something, we're working 2 hours a day. We get a great living at it. That's like saying baseball players deserve the amount of money that they're making. It's ludicrous to think you'd get paid for that. We look at it strictly as, we get paid to be away from our kids, and away from our wives or girlfriends, or whoever it is that you have at the house, your families, that you've missed the last 17 years of their lives for the most part. That's what we're being paid for. We have to pay the bills at home and keep the water on and food on the table, but when we go and do the Ship Rocked things, we can usually bring the family. The kids not all the time, they're not allowed to come to some of those things, but you bring the wives or girlfriends and it's at least a way to let them be a part of what you're doing. It's not work, it's just not. It's total vacation and we get to have our significant other with us, so we jump all over those things. We're like, woah, so we're getting paid to go on vacation? Okay. I wish everything was Ship Rocked.
MPR: I don't wanna take up too much of your time, so one random question to wrap up: If you could be any superhero, who would it be?
Morgan: Oh man, that one changes every now and again. I mean Superman, I'd like to fly aorund that's for sure. But oh god, the invisible man wouldn't be too bad either, I wouldn't mind being invisible.