And with the other six tracks, Sevendust excels at what many heavier bands have attempted (and often painfully failed) to do: they translated a handful of their classic songs into atmospheric acoustic versions. But as the guitarist is quick to point out, even the most crushing electric tracks frequently have unplugged roots.
“Sometimes when I’m writing a chorus, even if the music on the track is heavy, I’ll pull out an acoustic because…with just an acoustic and a vocal, you can really pinpoint the melody and focus on the melody. Like the chorus of ‘Trust’. I wrote the chorus of that song on an acoustic, just messed around with it, and spliced it with the heavier riffs in the beginning.”
For Clint, it always comes back to the purity of the song in its most raw and stripped down form.
“If you can write a song acoustic, if it has any kind of weight to it, it stands on its own. When you put it into a heavy song, it just automatically survives because it can stand on its own. To me, any song you can do acoustically is going to stand the test of time.”
In late 2013, Sevendust opted to crowdfund the then-forthcoming album. The PledgeMusic campaign offered fans an opportunity to invest in the album’s production and receive, in return, behind-the-scenes access and special rewards chosen by the band. The fundraising goal was met, and well surpassed, within a matter of days.
“I think it’s great that you can rely on just your fan base,” Lowery says, though he is always wary of the music business’s fragile state of affairs. “We watch so many bands going down and we’ve always been the type of band to say maybe this is our time, our ticket’s up, maybe people are moving on. But it’s weird, people keep coming around and we still have this ongoing, organic fan base. Sometimes we lose people: ‘Oh, they’re not as heavy as they used to be,’ or ‘They’re too light,’ or ‘They’re too heavy.’ We’ve had an assortment of fans over the years that have come and gone, but there’s always this army behind us. We get very insecure and then we see this pledge and think, This is a special community we have with these people; these people are really our life’s blood. The industry I could care less about. The label part of it, all that stuff, the managers sometimes…that just annoys me. I just want to connect with the fans and that’s it.”