Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Interview with Kevin Seconds of 7 Seconds

When people think of "positive" and "hardcore", one of the first people they think about is Kevin Seconds.  Kevin has been a friend my whole life and I am really grateful that he did this interview with me.  Thanks again, Kevin!!!!

PMAKid: You have been in a lot of bands like 7 Seconds, Go National, Drop Acid, 5' 10" and a lot of solo stuff.  Do you have any favorite styles of music you like to write and play (like hardcore? your solo stuff? your stuff you play with your wife, Allyson?) or do you like to write and play any of the stuff depending upon your mood?

Kevin: It's hard to pick my favorite style of music, since I love all kinds. I love playing various things for various reasons. punk rock because i love the energy and volume and urgency. the quieter, folk stuff because it gives me a chance to get my ideas across without having to scream it into anyone else's face.

PMAKid: What are your three favorite books and why are they your favorites?

Woody Guthrie's Bound For Glory
Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life
The Autobiography Of Malcolm X

like a great record, movie or piece of art, it's hard for me to put into words why certain ones are my favorites.

PMAKid: What are your three favorite musicians and why are they your favorite?

Billy Bragg  - great songwriter, storyteller and humble
Johnny Cash  - for making rebellion, defiance and love sound so good
Joe Strummer - all of the above

PMAKid: What are your three favorite songs and why are they your favorite?

Kevin: I can't name favorite songs. there are way too many and i would feel bad if i remembered the ones i really love later.

PMAKid: Of all of your songs, what is your favorite song to perform live and why?

Kevin: Here We Go Again, Kids. I just love the way the song starts and stops and the overal spirit of the song, especially live.

PMAKid: H2O recorded a 7 Seconds song for their new album.  What song have they recorded and have you heard it yet?  If you have, what do you think of it?

Kevin: I don't think i'm suppose to say yet. as far as i know, they haven't publicly announced what song of ours they are covering and i don't want to get them mad by saying.

PMAKid: Chris Carnahan (who played in 7 Seconds and other bands with you) is in the army now and is being sent to Afghanistan (I think).  How do you feel about the war in Afghanistan in general and how do you feel about Chris going there?

Kevin: I would prefer to see America NEVER involved in a war in foreign land ever again. We're not very good at it and I'd prefer to not lose anymore lives, American ones or otherwise.

PMAKid: You had a record label a long time ago called Positive Force Records that released 7 Seconds records and some other really cool bands like Youth of Today and Token Entry.  Have you thought about starting the label up again? If you do, can I help you with it?  I helped my dad ship stuff for the Hardcore for Education fundraiser!

Kevin: Thanks Julian. I appreciate the offer. And if I do ever decided to start up a serious record label, I'll let you know. For now, I'm staying out of the label business. I'd love to do it but it's a whole lot of work and I don't have the time to commit to doing it right now. Maybe after i retire from performing :)

PMAKid: Toby Morse was my first interview on and everybody knows that he always tries to be positive.  My website is all about being positive.  With your old Positive Force records and a lot of your songs, you promoted a positive attitude.  How do you keep positive when bad things happen.  Is it hard to stay positive?

Kevin: It is, sometimes. Life is not meant to be easy or perfect and we humans sometimes forget that. Every day, i worry about many things - family, health, love, survival, happiness - and I think about ways to achieve the good things in life, without stepping on someone else to do that. i get in bad moods but i always talk myself out of it because i never want to make anyone else miserable, especially people i love. all you can do is try, and keep trying, your whole life.

PMAKid: My dad said that Steve told him that 7 Seconds is playing in Reno soon and maybe Sacramento.  Do you have the dates for those yet?  I want to go to both shows.  (Make sure it is not on the weekend of September 23 because that is the weekend of the React Records showcase!)

Kevin: There isn't anything definite yet but we are working on both Reno and Sacramento.

PMAKid: What is the weirdest place that you have played a live show?

Kevin: A pig farm in El Paso, Texas. Oh, and a warehouse in Folsom Prison.

PMAKid: My uncle, my mom, my dad and I were in Yosemite hiking last weekend and we bumped into a guy on a trail who saw my Mindset t-shirt and came up to us.  It was cool and weird to meet another hardcore fan out in the middle of nowhere!  Have you ever had a situation like that where you bumped into a hardcore fan or a something like that which was really weird or out of place?

Kevin: Sure. A few times!  the funniest time was last year when I was driving down a street in Sacramento and saw a really old homeless guy pushing a shopping cart, wearing a 7Seconds t-shirt.

PMAKid: I met you when I was just a little kid.  I love your music, and I have always looked at you as a friend or family member.  A lot of people and bands look at 7 Seconds as their heros and their inspiration.  How does this make you feel?

Kevin: Thank you, Julian. We are family, for sure. Your dad is like a brother to me and is loved greatly by my family.

It always makes me feel very good to hear that the music and lyrics of 7Seconds has affected other people. Sometimes, it's a little hard to comprehend how much it means to some people. But we love it and are humbled and honored to know that has inspired other people throughout the world.

PMAKid: I have not met your mom and your sister yet, but if they are anything like you and Steve, they HAVE to be cool!  How important is your family to you?  My dad says that you guys are really tight, but that you live far away from them, so you do not get to see them much.

Kevin: It's hard because we are all tight. But it's like any good family relationship or friendship, if the love and respect is there, time and distance really don't matter because the second you see them or talk with them again, it's like you've never been apart. you're just happy to be with them again, no matter what.

PMAKid: What the heck is skeeno?  I know it refers to Reno, but can you explain it?

Kevin: Skeeno is just a silly nickname for the city of Reno i came up with back in 1980. it was mainly for fun but also so that the punk scene in Reno stood out a little more.

Thanks for the great questions, Julian. Best of luck on the zine!

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