when i started to listen to punk rock by swiping tapes from my brother, one of the first bands i liked was 7 SECONDS. my first real show ever was seeing them and it changed my outlook and my general life. they continue to be one of my favorite bands of all time and i was thus insanely honored, thrilled and nervous at interviewing the man himself, Kevin Seconds, but i pulled it together enough to get the junk you see here around july, '96.
OK, LET ME GET THE LAME QUESTION OUT OF THE WAY: JUST WHERE DID THE BAND NAME COME FROM? I HAVE HEARD EVERYTHING FROM THE LENGTH OF TIME IT USUALLY TAKES TO DROP A GUITAR PICK TO THE LENGTH OF TIME A GUITARIST LASTS IN THE BAND.
kev: i think our guitarists last about 9 seconds so that doesn't work. the name came outta thin air and will disappear on June 6, 1999.
WHICH IS BETTER, SILVER SPOONS OR DIFFERENT STROKES AND WHY?
kev: Welcome Back Kotter. i never really watched those shows though for some reason (was i too punk back then?), i kinda remember having a slight crush on Dana Plato.
WHAT INSPIRED THE MOVE TO SONY AND HOW ARE THEY TREATING YOU? ANY REGRETS?
kev: no regrets but we are currently moving away from Sony and back to the ghetto. we figured we'd find a way to bail before they bailed first.
I NOTICED A ZOINKS STICKER ON THE COVER OF THE NEW ALBUM, DO YOU STILL GO TO RENO SHOWS AND SUPPORT THE SCENE AND STUFF? DOWN WITH BOB CONRAD AND THE WHOLE CREW?
kev: i'm down with Bob and Zoinks!. i don't live in Reno anymore though Steve and Troy do. i like playing there. it's always fun.
WHICH IS MORE EMBARRASSING: RUNNING OUT OF TOILET PAPER AFTER POOPING AT YOUR GIRLFRIEND'S PARENTS' HOUSE OR PLAYING WITH YOUR ZIPPER DOWN AND NOT REALIZING UNTIL IT IS OVER?
kev: i'd have to say the first one although i HAVE played with my zipper down and that's pretty embarrassing. even more embarrassing is, when i was just singing and i'd jump on top of the crowd, i've had people put their hands up my shorts and that's kinda weird. luckily, i usually shower before we play.
WHAT IS THE WORST SHOW YOUR EVER HAD?
kev: there was a particularly nasty and vicious show in Dallas about 8 years ago where a sh@tload of nazi skinheads came in and beat the crap out of this poor kid for no reason at all. he left in an ambulance and i remember thinking that i didn't want to play a hardcore show ever again after that.
HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU SEE PEOPLE WITH 7 SECONDS TATTOOS AND STUFF?
kev: i feel both honored and weird. it's cool that someone is into your band enough to put you on their skin but it's weird because everyone changes and what if in like 5 years you stop liking the band? you're kinda stuck with em. i must admit, i've seen some great 7Secs tattoos.
WHAT MADE YOU STOP HATING SPORTS?
kev: i never really hated sports but more the jock mentality. i still don't like much beyond basketball. boxing is ridiculous. i'm currently creating my own sport (this is true!). i hope it will become the top sport by 2001.
DOES THE LITTLE 7 SECONDS FACE/GUY HAVE A NAME? IF SO, WHAT IS IT AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
kev: his name is Reuben and i first drew him back in '81 or so. we used him on a couple of flyers and then he became a sort of mascot for us.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHAT STRAIGHT EDGE HAS BECOME?
kev: i'm a bit out of touch with the newer straight edge scene so i can't comment too much on it. being drug/alcohol/abuse-free, i certainly have no problems with people taking control of their lives and not letting stuff like drugs and booze run it for them but i DO have problems with people who try and change other people's lives in a militant fashion. same goes with the animal-rights issue. i'm a vegetarian but that's something i feel is for personal reasons NOT political and i expect people to respect that whether they agree with me or not.
WHO IS THE GUY IN THE PHOTO IN THE BOOKLET OF "THE MUSIC, THE MESSAGE?" AND HOW COME HE IS THERE?
kev: that's Ground Chuck, a bit of a punk legend here in Sacramento. he's a friend of ours and we thought it'd be cool to put him somewhere on our record.
YOU SEEM TO HAVE DONE THE ARTWORK ON A LOT OF YOUR RECENT STUFF, IS THAT JUST A HOBBY OR DO YOU SEE IT AS A FUTURE CAREER? OR EVEN A PRESENT CAREER?
kev: i do it for fun. people have actually offered to pay me to do stuff for them which is kind of a neat thing but i can't imagine HAVING to do it for a living. it would probably get really tedious after awhile.
WHO IS THE BEST MUPPET OR SESAME ST CHARACTER AND WHY?
kev: you gotta remember, i'm an OLD school Sesame Street guy. when i was a little kid, there was this muppet who sorta resembled a cross between Oscar the Grouch and the Cookie Monster. he was only on occasionally and i never caught his name but i useta think he was awesome. i don't know if he makes appearances any more.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PET EVER?
kev: i've always LOVED cats so it would haveta be a cat. my girlfriend and i have 3 cats (Zeke, Willy and Mooch) who are the coolest, most creative cats around. they're my favorites.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT DOING BAND STUFF? JOB? HOBBIES?
kev: hang with my girlfriend alot. play on the computer. host an 'open mic' night at a local cafe. draw. take photos. ride my bike. do 4-track stuff. sleep.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR SELF IN 2 YEARS, 5 MONTHS AND 17 DAYS?
kev: living in New York perhaps.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BREAKFAST?
kev: coffee. i'm not much of a breakfast person.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HAVING SHAPED SO MANY LIVES AND INSPIRED SO MANY PEOPLE? I MEAN, MY FIRST PUNK SHOW EVER WAS SEEING YOUR GUYS AT CITY GARDENS IN TRENTON, NJ BACK IN 1990 AND IT INSPIRED ME PERSONALLY. AND I HAVE SPOKEN TO SEVERAL PEOPLE WILL TOTALLY IDOLIZE YOU...
kev: i'm just glad to be a part of something that has been so special and inspirational for me these past 16 years. i always just hope that all the people who give us credit for helping to inspire them know how much THEY have (and still do!) inspired us.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR 7 SECONDS AND FOR YOU PERSONALLY?
kev: with 7Secs, it has always been, one step at a time. if we break up tomorrow, i would feel like we've gotten more out of it all than we ever expected and would be happy (though i'd really miss playing with Steve and Troy). for me personally, i just need to be active and creative and i'm happy. i never saw this as a big "career" thing so being able to make a living doing what i love doing is a bonus. i love writing and playing music and words so i suspect that i'll be doing this for some time.
ANY FINAL COMMENTS OR WHATEVER?
kev: thank you and thanks for making the interview interesting and un-typical. i'd love to see a copy when it's out.
THANKS KEVIN AND THE REST OF 7 SECONDS, PART, PRESENT AND FUTURE!