7 Seconds Interview
This interview was made in Nantes the 7th of November 2004.
Tataye and Benny have met Kevin Seconds.
About your new album "Take it back, Take it on, Take it over", what was your state of mind during the composition process ?

It's hard to say. I think I'm just writing with the idea that we've been around for 25 years. And it's interesting to see how we feet in with the new punk-rock hardcore scene. I think a lot of that comes out in the lyrics. If you do this you wanna stay important in the mind of people who support this kind of music. I don't know, a lot was going on, the US inviding Irak, some lyrics reflected my thoughts about that and also about the way the media handled this thing. I wanted to keep those things in mind but from a very personnel way.

What does the tittle means for you ?

It's kind of like the idea of taking hardcore music back to where it originally started. It was something that always was supposed to be message based and intelligent and forward thinking. And for us, including having a sence of humor, it has alwayd been. But people have gotten away from that. Become more metal, a lot of metal bands call themselves hardcore bands, that's fine, call yourselves what you want but the younger kids can be confused. There are hardcore, metal, emo bands. It's our statement to say that we are taking a part of it back and make it ours. I don't know, we'll see what happens.

Many of your songs seems to have a very pessimist point of view, is it the reflect of your vision of the world today ?

I always had a pessimist vision of the world, but those last couples of month it has grown bigger. You know I've always tried to keep things really positive. I don't like to seat around and feel sorry for myself. I'm an angry personn but I want to handle it in a different way. I don't want to handle it in anger, because you'll get nowhere with it. You know fighter spirit, you smash walls and have a broken hand. I just try to turn it around and make something good at it. Sometimes singing about it helps. That's what I tried to do.

According to you, what changed the most in this album, comparing to the previous ones ?

I don't know. I think that musically it kind of is in the same style as we are sort of known from way back. But we've tried different things musically, we've never wanted to be the same sounding band. But after all these years we realized that the funniest things for us was to play fast punk-rock music. Of course it's not the hardest thing, we're not the best musicians in the world, I'm not the best singer but the style that we do is what we really love to do. But I don't think there has been so many changes in this album, lyricly it's the same things. When I'm writing I think to things that affect me personnelly but I also want the lyrics to reflect what the other in the band think. Our views on politics and on a lot of things in life are pretty similar. So it's easy to be the singer and the main song writter and also to represent the 4 of us.

So now because of the result of the presidential elections, you'll have a lot to be inspired of !

Yes ! You know, living in America we all sort of saw that happened that Bush was gonna win the elections. Eventhow there was a lot of organisations of people saying we got to get him out of office, it was a good attempt but not good enough. Now the things in our country are gonna get really fucked up because he's got 4 years, now he does not have to be worried about being reelected, so he's gonna do all the things he wanted to do in the first place. And that's scarry. So we reflected that in the lyrics.

How did you feel when you have learned that Bush was reelected for 4 years ?

I expected it, I was devastated. I was with my wife sitting there shaking our hands saying "maybe there's a chance, maybe somebody made a mistake" you know ! When they were counting all the votes it took a while, so we had to go and do stuff so when we came back home we turned on the tv, listened to the radio, but we were pretty devastated. When the reality set in, it was just like fuck. You know we got 4 years with him again. Everybody called each other, it was tragic !

You produce all the artwork of your albums, why did you choose all this "do it yourself" solution ?

Oh I don't know. I love doing that way. I love to be involved in all the process of doing a record. We wanted something really simple. I took the photo cover, we had a couple of friends on it, I don't know why I took such a picture, I just liked the visual, and it came really good. I like the way it look. That is almost as fun as recording the music itself.

Bill Stevenson mixed and mastered your album, what did he bring to your sound ?

We recorded everything on our own in our own studio and send everything to him. I think he cleaned up a little everything and it sounds a little more louder and polished but he did a real good job on this. He only had about a week before he went out on the road. The good thing about him is that he comes from the same music scene that we do and we've known him from years. So he knows what we're going for. He knew that we didn't want that super polished sound, we're not trying to get on the radio we just want to make a good loud record. And I think we got that with him.

Would you change anything of the recording if you could ?

Other than maybe a few vocal parts that I didn't got the best I could (smile).
I'm pretty happy with it actually !

After 25 years of music, what does 7 seconds means for you now ?

You know, if it wasn't for the fact that I play with my best 3 closses friends I wouldn't be making it right now. We could be making all the money in the world on doing other stuff. If I'm not getting a chance to go out and play in Europe, going
to Japan and go to all these places and meet people, meet new friends and come back home with like experience. When you live in America, and I guess in any other country, you grow up in a country and get used to a certain way of that country. And by travelling it's nice to get out of that way of thinking. Travelling with friends is a really good thing. And you know when you get paied to do what we do it's like "oh whow, we get payed for this" it's like a bonus. So you know, yeah we do it, we make money out of doing it, we make a livin' out of it, but if we weren't happy, we weren't doing that. We never looked after the money. I never had money, I grow up poor. Money to me is you have to have it but I don't need
to have too much of it to exist you know. So it's definatly a pleasure, for us to be able to do this after all these years, to have the energy, the support, you can't beat that, it's pretty incredible. That has been our thing since day one, if it's not fun, we don't do it ! There has been times when the fun went out, so we took a break and came back after a while and everything starts doing great all over.

How would you describe your music today ?

You know, for instance on this tour there are a lot of bands that are way more metal and call themselves hardcore whereas we are just a melodic punk-rock band but we call ourselves hardcore too you know. So I guess hardcore is a pretty big label, you know we're just fast and melodic, hopefully intelligent in the lyrics and we do it with a sence of humor. Our music is ment to reach out to people and have people interact back. It's not about us getting up on stage and have people worship us. It's about breaking up the barrieres and saying this is your music too. It's a little harder when the stage is this high and you have a barriere. Usually we play clubs where kids are right in front of us. For me it's just fun fast punk rock, call it what you want, we call it hardcore. Even if we have tried different style, we still feel we belong to the hardcore scene. But you know it's hard to describe. Maybe that's the best way to explain it.

The word hardcore-punk means for you bands like Black Flag, Cro-Mags,
Sick Of It All or The Clash, what is your feeling about new punk-rock bands
like Sum 41 and Good Charlotte ?

(loughing) Well now I'm gonna get negative. I don't know, maybe these bands can be considered punk bands but for myself I don't feel a connection with hitorical punk-rock. For me a band is punk when you can hear the sound, when you can feel it. When I hear Good Charlotte, I just don't feel it. I think they are marketed to teenage kids, teenage punk kids, pop kids you know. They got the look, they're acting on their pictures and stuff. A 14 year old kid might go for that. But someone like me might not, there is no spirit in that. I don't want to be too negative about that because I'm sure they worked hard at what they do but
I consider that what I do and what they do is completely different. It's not bad,
it's not good, it's just what it is. I try not to say too much about it because we could sit here for 2 hours talking about that.

Finally what is your message for the young generation ?

I don't know men, just always have fun and have a sence of humor with everything. Take yourself seriously but don't get cought up in things that your so important and so big that you can't be affected by anything. Be affected by stuff, let it creep in and let it help in you whatever you are doing. Just have fun and stay true. That's about it.

Interview Benny & Tataye
Translation Tataye

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