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The first thing Sevendust did when they decided to record a new album was to... not. After finishing a year-long tour in support of 2010's Cold Day Memory, the band members scattered, with guitarist Clint Lowery and drummer Morgan Rose forming the side project Call Me No One, while guitarist John Connolly and bassist Vincent Hornsby put together their own part-time band, Projected.
"There weren’t any issues or anything," says Connolly. "We all still love each other, and there’s tons of respect going on. But we’ve been burning Sevendust pretty hard for a long time. To do a new album, we wanted to come back charged up and refreshed."
Extracurricular activities completed, the band (which also includes singer Lajon Witherspoon) convened at Architekt Music Studios in Butler, New Jersey, with little in the way of demos. "It was pretty much a blank slate," says Lowery." Nonetheless, the band stunned themselves by writing and tracking an entire album, which they titled Black Out The Sun, in 30 days flat. "The last week was doing overdubs and tying up some loose ends," Connolly notes, chuckling, "so it might have been even less."
Both guitarists credit the time spent away from the band as one reason for their brisk pace in the studio. "We were all just glad to see one another again," says Connelly. "We were having fun with creating something from nothing."
Another contributing element, according to Lowery, was the fact that the band produced themselves, something they haven't done in full since 2005's Next. “If you look at our records, you’ll see producers listed," says Lowery. "But a lot of the production ideas, especially on Cold Day Memory, were ours. We’ve learned a lot from some of the guys we worked with, so we decided to take the reins ourselves this time. We know our band, and we push ourselves more than any outside producer can. I think it shows by what we came up with."
On the following pages, Connolly and Lowery run down the writing and recording of Black Out The Sun track-by-track. And be sure to click right here as the guitarists demonstrate how to play the band's new single, Decay, on video.