interview by tom maxwell
Okay, I recently heard that the more you learn and attempt to store in your brain the more wrinkles your brain will have by the time you die. Babies are born with virtually no wrinkles, hence the clean slate theory in a nut shell. You can acquire wrinkles quickly by doing activities with steep learning curves like reading, playing an instrument, or listening to music (not by watching television or, for the inbreeds, TV). As a reader, or a music listener, would you like to read the same book or listen to the same album over and over again for the rest of your life? Would your brain have very many wrinkles by the end of your life? Let’s just say it’s the opposite of yes. Now, as a musician, would you want to write the same album over and over again with a different label? A true musician would cast astray the fact that some fans won’t like it and progress. Only the weak at heart are scared of what might await them on the other side of an original idea (or at least something different).
CodeSeven used to be metal to the bone. They’ve toured with some pretty kick ass metal groups and have been on some excellent metal tours. CodeSeven is to inner musical progression what Transformers were to toys in 1985. With Transformers people were like “my kid can’t use these things; they might swallow part of it. We’re sticking to Legos.” Okay, Lego’s might have their own theme park, but Transformers did pretty freakin good. CodeSeven’s new album “The Rescue” is, well, melodic. The songs have loads of feeling and meaning behind them and some of the chord progressions are awe inspiring. After all, why can’t a band become something else? I got a chance to talk to Eric Weyer as he and the rest of CodeSeven were driving through the mountains entering California.
(in mid phrase) Yeah, but that’s what were doing, were doing these shows. We have like three or four in California and then we just kind of head back out and tour on the East Coast.
Tom: That’s cool. You guys like California?
Yeah I love it. You know we’ve only been here once and it’s been a few years, but um, it’s great, it’s a really good feeling. Especially Hollywood, I think that’s probably my favorite area that I went to. They got so much stuff around there especially the music stores.
Oh I know they’re so good it’s unbelievable.
The Mesa Boogie store, you know, the Carvin store and they have awesome Guitar Centers.
Man that big ass Guitar Center that’s in Hollywood is so cool. That’s got so much shit you could just sit and play all day.
I know that’s sick. I think I’m going to try and find a Telecaster when I get out there. Like an old Telecaster and buy it hopefully.
That’s cool. I’ve only been out of California like five times in my life.
So where you guys from?
North Carolina. What’s there to do out there?
Besides smoke crack.
Drink and have sex, that’s about it. No I don’t know man, it’s cool. We have beaches and mountains. It’s kind of cool where we live; we’re like four hours from the beach and ten minutes from the mountains. It’s kind of like we have the best of both worlds. But you know, just hang out and go to a lot of shows. North Carolina has a pretty good scene.
Yeah they do. I actually just got this disc called NE vs. NC and its got seventeen bands from each state and it’s really cool because it has a really good mixture of all kinds of stuff. Let me get into some questions. First I want to know how fans have taken to your change in direction as a band since your release of your last album “The Rescue”?
Well it’s really weird, it’s kind of a mix. More people actually like the new record more than the last one, but we still are getting a lot of crap I guess you could say from some people. They’ll be like “you were my favorite metal band and then you sold out and turned emo” (frustrated) which I don’t really call ourselves emo by any means, but we just got a little bit softer and a little more instrumental. A lot of people don’t like it just because of that, but it’s actually been going over very well.
Yeah, I’ve heard both and really like them. It’s just the new one (“The Rescue”) is definitely different.
It’s like that you know. I have a feeling that the people who are into our music could see it coming. It’s been progressing. ‘Division of Labor’ definitely had a lot of stuff that wasn’t all heavy you know. We were kind of hinting around that we were going to do something different. It’s like if we don’t do anything different the music gets boring. We’re all about experimentation and seeing what we can come up with next.
Would you say that was the driving force to your change in style?
Yeah, we’re just influenced by so many different styles of music and we all love to play all kinds of different music so it’s like why limit ourselves to one type of sound and just stick with it. To me that is the worst thing in a band when you put out the same record over and over and over again.
As a song writer do you like writing more melody influenced music as opposed to heavy metal?
I personally like writing melody, melodic stuff. I think it’s just so hard to write stuff that’s heavy that hasn’t already been done yet. I’m not saying that what we’re doing hasn’t been done, but it’s a little bit easier to do. I mean, I love heavy music and personally I like playing heavy music live because it’s fun and you can go crazy. When you play the melodic stuff you just kind of chill, but yeah, I definitely prefer writing melodic music.
Since your music has changed so much what can we expect next from you in the future?
Close to the same thing as ‘The Rescue’ maybe, but just a little different. Nothing drastic though. There’ll probably be some samplers or maybe some drum machines just in certain parts, but pretty much the same thing. Maybe a little bit more up tempo. Maybe more towards the vein of the song ‘The Rescue’ because we definitely want to write some upbeat stuff, but it will still have its very moody points.
How do you guys think your tour has gone so far?
I think it’s been great because we’ve gotten to play for a lot of new kids who haven’t even heard of us and it’s not a hardcore tour. I mean being that it’s like if you go on a hardcore tour, but the kids don’t want anything to do with you, you know they’re like whatever. We went on tour with Poison The Well, Eighteen Visions, and American Nightmare. We did the tour because we’re like best friends with Poison The Well, but very few people were into it so this tour has been very good for us.
So the crows have been the biggest that you’ve seen so far (jokingly)?
No, not the biggest by far. It’s really weird, but I guess the east coast was really good turnouts, but we start getting out west and it starts getting a little thin. It’s been good turnouts, but nothing amazing. For the people who were there a lot came out to see us from far away and that is pretty cool.
What do you like most about playing a live show?
I don’t know, it’s really weird, I don’t think I could pinpoint one specific thing. I love just being up there and doing it; especially since we use all our effects and different stuff. The feeling for me to play in front of people that’s probably my biggest thing as far as playing live shows.
What’s the most unique thing you’ve had happen to you at a live show?
Oh God, its been a while, (pauses) let me see, there was this really crazy show and kids were on the PA system on the side of the stage and they were hopping off of that, on top of our amps, and diving into the crowd. It was crazy especially getting all over our equipment and oh my God what if things start falling over. I mean what the hell’s wrong with you kids (Tom: Laughing). Something really funny happened to me last night. I ended up charging my phone right next to my pedal and I forgot to turn it off and it was ringing while we were playing in between songs. I was like awe shit and the crowd was laughing at me. It was pretty funny.
Alright, so what do you really think, Bud Light: Tastes Great or Less Filling?
Bud Light? Oh God let’s see, I like Bud Light personally so I think it taste great. I like cheap beer, I guess because of my budget that I’m on, but normally I prefer expensive stuff, but for my budget
What’s your favorite expensive beer?
That would probably be Guinness or Newcastle.
You ever had Boddingtons
Yeah, I have, I bought that not too long ago.
That’s my favorite. So how important is it for CodeSeven to remain an independent band?
Oh man, as far as labels and stuff?
Just in general with just how much you let your label depict what you do.
I definitely don’t want to be controlled. I want to have complete control over our music and our writing. I don’t want to be a puppet in any way. We want things to go the way we want them and not the way someone tells us to. When you get into that you loose a lot of your personal integrity and we don’t want to do that at all. I want to be calling the shots as far as everything.
What about doing the major label thing?
I’m for it, honestly. The independent labels like your Victory’s and your Trust Kill’s
And maybe even Music Cartel
Oh, the Music Cartel, were pretty much done with that. It was time to move on.
Really, you guys didn’t have a very good time with them or what?
Well, The Music Cartel is great and they’ve done all they can, but for the band’s best interest we should move on to something better. I mean we’re trying to make a living at it and we’ve been struggling for a long time. We need better distribution, I mean they’ve got some really cool stuff going on right now I mean you can pretty much find their records anywhere which I’m really happy about, but we need a little bit more.
What’s wrong? You don’t want to work at a gas station for the rest of your life?
(Laughs) I don’t want to work anymore, I want to do the band full time and I think we all do.
And that’s not a job.
Being in a band is some of the worst work.
Are you serious?
Yeah, you get no sleep. It mentally and physically wears you down.
Yeah, that’s true. There’s great memories though.
Yeah, I mean it’s amazing memories. I don’t think there is anything else I would rather be doing. You know you go home and you work a job and everyday you get up to go to work and you want to put a gun in your mouth. It’s like damn it I’ve go to do this again. But when you play in a band you just go into a different city and the only thing you have to worry about is that you might not get that much sleep. But you go and you get to play for a bunch of people and there’s not better feeling.
Dude I’m a fucking accountant man.
Hey that’s funny!
What, you know it’s just my day job. What would you say is the definitive quality of CodeSeven?
I think the best thing about CodeSeven is how well we all get along and how we’ve all been together for so long. We kind of click. It’s not like anyone in the band has been there for a year or a couple of months. We all grew up together and share the same musical interests and that brings out our music. That gives us utility to do what we all really want to do. We kind of steer the same way.
As a band that’s changed so much over the past couple records what have you guys been listening to?
A lot of different stuff. I’m really into the band Ours. We like stuff like Travis, and Radiohead is great.
Have you heard the Radiohead live album?
Yes, I have.
Is that not the most amazing album. Seriously, I was just blown away because you hear Amnesiac and Kid A and you say this sounds pretty cool, but I really want to see them try and do it live and they pull it off and I can’t believe it.
Yeah, it’s amazing, their live show is just sick.
Have you been to a show of theirs before?
No I have not, but I actually have a DVD and I’ll tell you what that inspired me so much. You can’t touch their live show at all. The only thing I think can come close is Nine Inch Nails. Those guys pull it off great too.
I’ve heard Tool is really good live too. That’s a band that I don’t really listen to but I think I’d love to see them live sometime.
Oh man, yeah. I have seen Tool live.
Alright, well do you have any closing thoughts, do you want to plug a website?
Nothing drastic that I can think of. I’d like to thank you for helping us get this out there and I really appreciate the interview.