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Sevendust's John Connolly Talks Early Touring Years With Metallica, Drowning Pool + Snot

by Photo of Elizabeth Ramanand

‘The messiest and the most memorable nights on tour, there were so many.’ – John Connolly

Sevendust's John Connolly Talks Early Touring Years With Metallica, Drowning Pool + Snot

Anyone who has seen Sevendust perform over the years know that they are one of the most energizing acts you can experience live. 2015 seems to be a busy year for them as they are set to play the rock cruise, ShipRocked once again. This time they will be performing their debut album in its entirety for the first time ever!

After the cruise the band will head back into the studio to work on some brand new material. We recently caught up with guitarist John Connolly to talk about some early touring experiences. He dishes on an embarrassing moment while on the road with Metallica as well as some very memorable moments with Drowning Pool and Snot. Check out our exclusive interview with John Connolly of Sevendust below:

Talk about some early touring experiences for you when touring in promotion for the very first Sevendust record.

I’ve had instances walking off the stage when we toured with Metallica on our first album. One of those moments that I wish I could take back. I walked off the stage the first song – our tour/stage manager warned us - when you step up to the stage look for the tape because the edge of the sub boxes move and we hadn’t been on these big stadium stages yet.

To this day I remember – I was excited, you get 20,000 people out there and we’re ready to go. We blast forward and I go running across the stage and I run off of the front of the deck, see the tape and the sub boxes split apart and I went straight into the front row. My guitar tech could not find me, I had fans literally picking me and my guitar tech off the ground, putting me back up on the stage and I’m just hysterically laughing. [Laughs]

I’m sure there’s plenty of video, it was just one of those moments where you’re like “I completely embarrassed myself in front of all these people” and it didn’t happen in the middle or the end of the show, it happened in the first song. The whole rest of the night people were just looking at me in the front row like, “Are you ok?” It was good times. [Laughs]

Sevendust Live and Loud Performance of “Black”

What were some other bands you hit the road with in the beginning days of touring?

On that first album we did so much touring with so many bands – we almost toured two years. It took a while to get some traction and we knew it was going to be something that had a slow build. We did a handful of shows with Gwar, we did a handful of shows with Henry Rollins we had some shows that kind of worked and kind of didn’t.

From the beginning, the first two tours that we did that were legit tours – it would have to either be the six month we did with Snot or the three months we did with Drowning Pool on that first record. Those two are special to me especially in hindsight because we don’t have Lynn [Strait] and Dave [Williams] but there were so many messy nights between those two tours – it’s a big blur.

Drowning Pool wasn’t even signed at the time, they were just a regional band that were trying to get their name out there, our booking agent picked them up and the rest is history. They took off like a bat out of hell. It was one of those things where it was version one of the band and we didn’t know what kind of band we were.

We went out to L.A. and we saw Snot and we were blown away by them. We were like, “Oh my God, I don’t ever want to open up for them!” You think you’re the biggest, baddest new band in town until you see a band like that and they were really dialed in. We’ve probably borrowed more from that band than anybody – we grew up together, literally. We toured together and some nights we played in front of 100 people other nights we played in front of 1,000 and we were happy either way.

Sevendust Performing “Bitch“ at Woodstock 1999:

Can you talk about those messy yet memorable nights?

Having the first version of us, the first version of Snot and the first version of Drowning Pool were really special. The messy nights we had with Dave and Lynn were dear to us – all of us probably have a completely different night that we remember.

We had great tours with Megadeth and Metallica and bands like that but when you’re touring with other bands that are starting too you have a common thing where it’s like, “We don’t care, we don’t understand what kind of band we are yet but we’re not really worried about it so we’re just going to have a good time.” We didn’t have to live up to any kind of hype because there wasn’t any hype.

Those Snot and Drowning Pool nights were some of the messiest for sure. Dave Williams wrapping himself up in electrical tape on a nightly basis – thank God we have some video of that. [Laughs] He would be wearing nothing but a pair of underwear and tape, and I’m not real sure why, but it happened all the time.

Sevendust Performing on Shiprocked 2014:

Metal heads, if you want concert tickets at a great price be sure to check CHARGED!

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