Working at Strange Music may seem glamorous but for the most part, it’s a normal 9 to 5 office job. Sometimes, however, the daily routine is broken when we get tacos leftover from a conference or a special visitor comes through. Last week it was both! We got tacos and, in a completely unrelated event, Sevendust frontman Lajon Witherspoon came to visit.
It’s not everyday a GRAMMY nominated artist comes through but what made Witherspoon’s visit especially exciting was the thought of why he was there. Could a heavy metal stalwart be collaborating with a Strange artist? We grabbed Lajon for a quick chat about his day at Strange. Turns out it was business and pleasure.
How did you first get connected with Strange Music?
I’ve been a fan for a long time, but I met Tech a few years back, through Johnny Dare. He introduced us in passing and I saw him perform at Rock Fest but the first time we talked about me coming up to Strange, seeing the place, and doing something was at the GRAMMYs last year. We (Sevendust) were nominated, and had a get together at the hotel, so Tech and Travis came over and we talked about getting together to do something. It was an honor run into him!
So it’s been a year, since you first discussed collaborating with Strange, how did it come about now?
Josh Barber, a great engineer and friend of mine, brought it to the table. He said there was something going on with one of the Strange artists and asked if I would be interested in checking out a tune, seeing if I could do anything with the chorus, or had any ideas. I said, “Of course! I’d love to!”
I got there, went into the studio. Not sure if it was A or B, but I know Tech was in there recording too so I’m sure it was B [laughs]. I came up with an idea, went into the studio, rocked it out for several hours, and got to meet the artist that I was working on the song with. He seemed to like what we came up with and hopefully it sticks. Hopefully, one day I can work with Tech too!
Did venturing into the hip-hop world change your approach? Is that something you are familiar with?
I don’t think I’m a rapper or anything, but for me, it was easy because I just wrote a chorus and sang it the way I normally would. I think I bring the soul and it blended nicely. I’ve worked with Xzibit and we’ve done stuff with LL Cool J, so we’ve done several things and I’m not afraid to do it. I think it’s a good mix, especially these days.
What was the whole experience like?
That was my first time every coming to Strange and I was completely blown away. The energy coming from every building was incredible. I can only imagine the energy the artists must have to be able to come to a place like that and record. In all the years I’ve recorded, all studios around the world, Strange is one of the nicest I’ve been to, as far as catering to the artist from the time you walk in the front door to the time you get into the booth. Top of the line. My experience with Strange is one of the coolest things I’ve done.
Strange Music collaboration aside, what else should fans be on the lookout for?
Sevendust is in the middle of getting to sign a new record deal, so that’s exciting. We’ll do a new album. In the meantime, I’m ready to work on my solo album and I’m excited to let people hear a different side of what I do.
Though who he collaborated with is still a mystery–it doesn’t sound like it was Tech– it was great to get his perspective on Strange Music. It’s humbling to see artists from all genres appreciate Strange Music. From pop music, to hip-hop, to metal, Strange Music can house it all.
Want to know who Lajon was working with? Stay tuned…