Email interview with the Aaron Smith of 7 Horns 7 Eyes. Read below to learn about the band’s history, their future, the new album, and more.
First off, since you’ll be new to most of our readers, can you give a short back story of the band.
7 Horns 7 Eyes evolved in early 2006 from my high school-era rock band. One of our guitar players began touring as a sound engineer for bigger bands, so the rest of us began writing new, more metal oriented material in his absence. It was soon apparent that we were a new band altogether, so 7H7E was born. (There have been lineup changes since).
Can you share the names of the members and what they do in the band?
Kyle Wood, vocals. Ryan Wood, drums. Aaron Smith, guitar (clean vocals). Brandon Smith, bass. Sean Alf, guitar.
Describe your overall sound.
Polyrhythmic, heavy, epic, atmospheric, technical at times, and grooving.
Who are your bands biggest influences?
Our sound definitely draws polyrhythmic influence from bands like Meshuggah, doom metal like Swallow The Sun and Daylight Dies, and other bands like Nevermore, Strapping Young Lad, Opeth, and Dream Theater. However, that is just a minuscule list…
To the guitarists, your guitar work really stood out to me. Who are some guitarists that have inspired you to play?
As a middle schooler, I was personally inspired to play by Everclear, haha. I really love the Meshuggah guys’ approach to writing though, and Jeff Loomis from Nevermore is a good friend of mine and a tremendous inspiration. Sean has been and is inspired by an eclectic group of guitarists such as: Stevie Ray Vaughn, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Frank Gambale, Michael Romeo, and “Dimebag” to name a few, but his longest lasting and more recent inspirations are John Petrucci and Jeff Loomis.
You released your self-titled debut EP in 2007. That album came out of nowhere and blew me away! How was the overall response to that album?
To this day, people are still buying it and giving us very positive feedback, which is great. However, those songs are completely retired (and were from a previous lineup), and we feel that we have grown tremendously as a band since then.
I know it’s on digital outlets but is it still available on CD? If so, where can our readers purchase it?
It is available at www.cdbaby.com
You’re currently working on a new album. Is it going to be a full length or another EP?
This one is a full length, a first for 7H7E.
I noticed on your studio videos that you guys seem to be recording everything on your own. Is that true? Have any of the members trained to work in a studio or did you just learn?
Yes, we have been doing all the tracking and engineering ourselves. I took a couple years of audio classes after high school, but I’ve learned much more from just doing recordings on my own. There is only so much you can be taught, and ultimately it comes down to one’s own musical ear and ability to grasp what sounds good and what doesn’t.
Has the recording been going smooth so far?
Yeah, generally so. I quad-tracked the rhythm guitars, which was tedious and annoying at times, but it will definitely be worth it in the end!
Any clue when we might be able to hear some material from the new album, besides on the studio videos?
Hopefully we will have release details worked out soon. I would love for everyone to hear it as soon as possible. Maybe early 2010, but hopefully before.
How does your songwriting process go? Is it a group effort or do you have a main songwriter?
I wrote all the songs for this record, but the other dudes have made some structural influences to some of the songs and contributed their own important parts at times (drum fills and beats, guitar solos and other leads, etc). I think the current material is no doubt better than it would have been, due to their input and influence. I generally write riffs and record them into the computer as I go, program drum parts, and that in turn inspires me to hear where the song should go next. It works well and I enjoy it, but I also would like to have the other guys play an even larger role the next time around.
How about lyrically? What are some topics that you cover in the new material we haven’t heard yet?
I’ve written tiny bits mostly, and only one entire song on the record. That particular song is about repentance. Kyle is the primary lyricist, and I think actually a large portion of the album relates to the overall theme of repentance
Do you guys plan to do 7H7E full time or is this something that you do in your spare time?
Unquestionably, we are all dedicated to the long run, and don’t have other careers or pursuits that take precedence over the band. Although it is difficult to make a living playing music today, we would be thrilled to be able to do just that.
Are you planning to tour at all in support of the new album when it releases?
There is nothing on the books yet, but yes- we are definitely going to tour in support of the album. A lot.
Speaking of tours, you guys landed on 3 of Demon Hunter’s limited tour dates this summer. Were you surprised when you were asked to play these dates? How’d that all come about?
We were actually personally chosen by Ryan Clark to play the Huntour shows, which was a tremendous honor. Ryan always hand picks the bands that Demon Hunter tours with. He had been a fan for a couple years already, and I think he just felt that the time was right to bring us out.
Besides those dates, who are some bands that you’d really like to hit the road with?
Living Sacrifice is very high up on our list, even though we’ve already played two shows with them on the Huntour. Really just any of the bands who we look up to would be awesome. I don’t think our music appeals exclusively to any one specific metal market, so a wide variety of bands from tour to tour would be beneficial (and fun) as well.
Do you view 7H7E as a ministry or just a band made up of Christians?
Ryan (drummer) actually wrote about this subject, so I will share his insight:
“Being Christians and being a ministry are not two different subjects; they are in fact synonymous. Being Christians leads every aspect of our lives, and innately, it is ministry in its entirety. Naturally, our music will come from this point of view because it is who we are, and in everything we do we strive to be reflections of who we worship- Jesus. Practically speaking, everyone lives a life worshiping someone or something, and we intend for our lives to glorify God. Because of this some people will choose to label us “Christian Metal,” but in fact we are just dudes playing music that we love, like anyone else. After all, music in itself cannot have beliefs, but the people writing the music have beliefs which guide the meaning behind it and their motive for making it.”
What are some goals you’d like to achieve with the band?
The foundation of our goals is to serve God in all that we do. From that foundation, it would be amazing to be full time musicians, who are actually able to make a living playing music and touring the world.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Stay in touch for news about the upcoming album title and release details!
Before we wrap up, give our readers a good reason to check your music out.
My hope is that the hard work we put into our music would be evident, and that our fans would be the ones talking about it- not the band members! Haha.
Don’t forget to check out the exclusive free download of 7 Horns 7 Eyes’ song “The Vindicator” right here on IVM!