Just five days before the release of his first full-band studio album Friends in Low Places, Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son frontman Bobby Mahoney chatted with the site about several topics related to the album.
Below are some of the highlights.
Q: You released your first full album Delicate Fall From Grace as an acoustic album. Why is Friends in Low Places with the band?
BM: "I had been playing with Seventh Son since high school and we had done the EP, but I never really thought we reached our potential. A lot of the songs I had thought would do well in a full band form as opposed to a solo or singer-songwriter album. It was time to do a rock album with loud guitars, drums, bigger choruses. It was time for that."
Q: Where do these songs come from?
BM: "Well about half the album is some older stuff from Seventh Son that have come about since 2011. Those songs are very heavily influenced by riff rock, so that comes off. They're guitar heavy songs. We've been toning them live for the last three years or six months. The other songs, Jon [Alba] and I have written recently, we wrote most of them in one day, one or two sessions. Those came from more of a deeper place in my head emotionally, and I was able to connect with those songs a little more personally. I wrote some of them as solo songs, then we created full band arrangements."
Q: You've said this album tells a story. What story does this album tell?
BM: "The album tells a story of looking back at the teenage years of high school from a perspective of before and after. It's more of an exaggerated look at teenage life, then goes through those years, then the end of the album looks back on those. It's kind of like an epilogue. It's like prologue, story, epilogue. I felt the songs have a central theme behind them of alienation, whether it's from people you were friends with or from yourself. I felt all the songs connected. We had some other songs we could have chosen for the album, but these connected on a more musical level."
Q: What's your favorite song off the album?
BM: "It's tough, some of the songs like 'Self-Induced Exile' are a really deep connection, so that's definitely up there. To play? Overall? I guess I'd have to say 'Scoundrels.' That song shows off the band in every way possible. That song, the lyrics, I think came across really great. The first half of the song is the perfect example of what Seventh Son is. It's got the cool riff that Jon came up with, and the song as a whole has some of the best lyrics I've ever written. Then it has a tearing solo in the middle, then it breaks down to just me and an electric guitar."
Q: What's the surprise song on the album that people won't expect?
BM: "I'd say either 'Danger Dan' or 'Guilden Street.' 'Danger Dan' is a funkier song, it grooves a little more than our other stuff. It's still a rock song, it rocks hard, but it has a little more of a groove, a little more of a Red Hot Chili Peppers feel to it. 'Guilden Street' is the only acoustic song on the album, but while it is an acoustic song and I wrote it as one, there's strings on it. There's multiple layers of vocal harmonies, which also came together in a really cool way, and I'm really happy with how those came out."
Q: You recently shot and put out a music video for the second single, "Another Deadbeat Summer." How did that come about?
BM: "We had a few different ideas with Zack [the director] about what we were going to do to portray the song. We were originally going to do a party, but then we wanted to do something at the beach and we thought the best way to portray a shitty summer would be the third wheel idea. We had a great time, and we shot some of it at The Saint, which we're very grateful for. The rest we shot at Point Pleasant, which was awesome. I think exactly what we were trying to portray came across, and I'm very proud of it."
Q: Why now? What's the point in putting out a full band album now?
BM: "I want to get us heard. I always respect bands that could not only put out a good song, but a good album. I love hearing 'Oh, did you hear this band's new album?' It shows they could write more than a good song."
Q: What should the listeners take away from the album?
BM: "I want the audience to connect to it. I think with Delicate, people may have appreciated the songs, they may have connected to 'Delicate' or one or two of the songs on the album. But I want people to connect to the album, knowing the words at the shows. I want it to get us to the next level."
Q: How is Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son different from the original composition of the band?
BM: "I feel like I can be a little more free with the lyrics, get a little more emotional with them. When we first started Seventh Son, we wrote these rock songs that were fun but didn't really scratch the surface emotionally, like 'Highway Robbery.' And I think we're already further along. I also built up more of a solo following in places like Asbury Park and Canada, and it would be foolish not to include that. And I wanted to combine the solo stuff and the hard rock, Seventh Son stuff. And I think with this album, we accomplished that. We hit the emotional stuff, but at the same time, it rocks fucking hard."
Q: Any final thoughts on the album?
BM: "I'm extremely proud of it. I didn't know what to expect when we went in the studio with Max [the engineer]. Max did an amazing job. We could not be more proud of it. I think people should listen to this album. Because I think they'll connect to it. Whether it's a musical part, or a lyric, I think they'll connect to it."
Friends in Low Places will be released on June 22 via Bandcamp, iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and hard copy. The band will grace The Stone Pony the same day for the official CD release party. Tickets can be purchased here.
Friends in Low Places