LAJON WITHERSPOON Doesn't Mind SEVENDUST Being Labeled A 'Nu Metal' Band: 'I'm Definitely Behind This Movement'

September 18, 2023

In a new interview with the WSOU 89.5 FM radio station, SEVENDUST frontman Lajon Witherspoon was asked how he feels about the supposed nu-metal resurgence in recent years, partly thanks to a whole new wave of exciting revivalists. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "All right, so, listen, I don't know who made that word up. I think it's amazing that you can just make up a word and all of a sudden you have a big following of people that are like, 'Yeah.' But I would rather be 'nu metal' than 'old metal.' So with that being said, I feel like we were put in that era because we were in it, but it's fine.

"I feel like we're a rock and roll, soulful rock band, metal band, soulful metal band, whatever you wanna call it — I don't know — nu metal," he continued. "It's funny. I don't mind being in that category because I feel it's awesome that music is resurging and we're not letting a movement get away from us and get so far away that we don't even like it or listen to it anymore. I think it's a beautiful thing that it's coming back around. These bands have a chance to share that music and that energy, and maybe that's what we need right now, to have those type of memories back in our lives, to build it back up to that good feeling, and if that's what it takes, man, I'm behind it.

"It's funny you say that, because last night I got an offer to host a 'nu metal' show in Texas," Witherspoon added. "I'm, like, 'What does that mean?' 'Oh yeah, man. You'll be the DJ, and you'll get a setlist and you'll play all the nu metal songs and even maybe sing over.' And I'm, like, 'Oh, I don't know. I'm not gonna sing over anyone's else song.' I said, 'It might be interesting if you pay me enough cash to do it.' [Laughs]

"But no, I'm definitely behind this movement," Lajon said."Like we did the Sick New World [festival] in Las Vegas [in May], even though we only played 13 minutes and 28 seconds, because everything blew up, it was so hot. But to be amongst the KORNs, SISTERS OF MERCY, BODY COUNT was beside us at one point in time in the [backstage area]. I mean, everybody that you grew up [listening to] was there, and it was so cool to see that movement take charge like that. So I don't mind being nu metal, if that's what it is."

Nu metal thrived during the remarkable decade from 1994 to 2004 when mainstream charts, magazines, radio and TV were all taken over by a host of diverse artists performing their own brands of hard rock, hip-hop and heavy metal.

Essentially a fusion of rap and alternative rock (arguably born out of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE),nu metal inexplicably swept the airwaves and peaked for a brief period, with Gregory Heaney of AllMusic describing the genre as "one of metal's more unfortunate pushes into the mainstream." Along the way, several bands associated with nu metal, including KORN, DEFTONES and SLIPKNOT, took a somewhat defensive stance against being labeled as such. Even those less apologetic nu metal groups eventually changed their sound, effectively disowning the genre that they helped pioneer.

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