7th Sun is a band, who despite its classic rock roots, couldn't find a suitable genre description. So, the guys in the band created one: supernova rock. Via phone, singer/guitarist JT Curtis discussed: what Supernova rock entails, why someone should select 7th Sun as a "desert island disc," and cleaning up after elephants.
Describe your music for someone who has never heard it.
We call 7th Sun the supernova of rock and roll, and basically created our own genre: supernova rock. We couldn’t find a specific category that we fit under, alternative rock, progressive rock. So we just said, “Let’s make something up.” Supernova rock that sounds good. Let’s go with that.
Give me an idea of what supernova rock entails.
It’s explosive, incendiary. It’s just big. The sound of 7th Sun, it’s got a bit of a classic rock vibe, because we were all influenced by classic rock. But it’s very contemporary, the way we approach it and the way we recorded the album. We added little pinches of modern day music to spice it up a little bit.
How does 7th Sun differ from other bands you’ve been in?
There’s a lot of freedom as far as the playing goes. It’s a lot more creative. I’ve been in way too many bands, where it’s “We’re gonna do this song, and this song, and you’re gonna play this. That’s it.” No improvisation, no stream of consciousness. Improvisation is a big thing when we play live. Which is not to say there’s no form. I think that spontaneity creates a lot of energy. The other thing I like about 7th Sun, aside from the musicianship and spontaneity, there’s a clear message in all the songs we play. Relating the lyrics to themes and concepts, and events that are going on in the world, which I don’t seem to get in any other band.
If I go to any 7th Sun show, what am I going to experience?
Most likely, you are going to become a part of the show rather than just watch the show. We try to get the audience involved as much as we can. When we do “Big Man” we do this thing where we get the audience to shout “Big man!” The song is about authority figures. People can identify with that. We get them to be a part of that. It’s more of an idea of uplifting the audience, getting them up and out of their chairs. I know they don’t really like to do it, but we do it anyway. There’s a fine line between going too far, like with some of these bands that become novelty acts. Then there are those bands that just stand there playing and don’t do anything. The audience is like, “The music is great, but I’m sitting here.” We’ll get them up there somehow.
Why should someone have 7th Sun as a selection in his or her desert island music?
What else do they have on a desert island? If they’re on a desert island, they’re probably pretty miserable, so if they play the 7th Sun record, they’ll feel even more miserable. (laughs) When I first started putting the record together, I was like, “This is such a dark album.” People listen to it and they say, “It’s really uplifiting.” I’m like “Are you sure you’re listening to the same album?” If you’re on a desert island you want to have some fun and feel good and not think about how you’re going to die. On the album, there are a lot of intricacies, that you may not hear at first, that make you want to listen to it again. You can listen to it several times without getting sick of it. When you listen to classical music, you realize, “There’s a countermelody over here, or there’s something going on over here." There’s a similar philosophy on the 7th Sun record. Also, the name will help you realize how beautiful the sun is over the island you’re going to die on.
What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?
I honestly don’t know. I’d probably be doing something creative. I write. I’m always creating something. I’m not good at anything else. Probably something close to writing. That’s something I like to do, which is pretty similar to writing songs. I might want to consider being a professional skydiver. Join a circus, maybe not cleaning up after the elephants. General manager of a baseball team, something like that.
Want a little sample of Supernova rock? MP3s of "From the Beginning," "My Time," and "Big Man" are available on the band's website.