Sonny Mayo is now with Sevendust. You may ask yourself-who the hell is Sonny Mayo? Remember the legendary band out of California-Snot? Sonny left Snot to join Amen…and now he’s with the legendary Sevendust. I was nice to him, and you are going to be nice to him too. Read on.
Music Incider Magazine
MI: What is your birthday?
Sonny: July 16th.
MI: Tell us about each member of the band.
Sonny: The lead singer is Lajon Witherspoon, the other guitar player is John Connoly, the drummer’s name is Morgan Rose, and our bass player’s name is Vince Hornsby.
MI: Tell us how the band got it’s name.
Sonny: When the band was signed it was named something else and it was a trademark infringement. There’s this pesticide that you spray on plants called “Sevindust” and our brass player came up with the idea of changing that to ‘Sevendust’. I thought Sevendust had a mystical feel to it with 7 being a mystical number and dust being from where we all came.
MI: Describe your music to us.
Sonny: Rock ‘n’ Roll.
MI: Who are your musical influences?
Sonny: For me it’s a weird question because I’m influenced by everything. As a 14 year old child I found Metallica and that is what influenced me most.
MI: If you could grant 3 wishes for the band what would they be?
Sonny: That the album sales would reflect the talent of this band, to be able for us to go on tour with Metallica, and that we could all have brand new Chrysler 300 SRT 8s in our driveways.
MI: Tell us what band you would like to play with.
Sonny: I love Metallica, Foo Fighters, Tool, and Rush.
MI: Do you think Voodoo Fest remain in Memphis or be in Savannah Georgia?
Sonny: I don’t know the politics of that. I would like to have it where the most people who want to come will come to it.
MI: Have you ever inhaled?
Sonny: Yes, way too many times.
MI: What are your thoughts on legalizing marijuana?
Sonny: I think it would make a lot of our politicians poor because they wouldn’t be able to have this “war on drugs” and they wouldn’t be able to suck us dry on tax money so they could fight this war on drugs. I don’t smoke marijuana anymore but I think there would be a lot less crime.
MI: Tell us about your thoughts and feelings on Hurricane Katrina.
Sonny: It broke my heart. I’ve been to all the places it hit and they’re all beautiful places. I think the government dropped the ball. The politicians in general including the politicians of New Orleans are all crooks. Where the solution is in all this is the people helping. We’ve been doing a lot of hurricane relief lately. We did a Texas Hold Em tournament where the players make a donation and the winner gets a signed Sevendust guitar.
MI: What do you think about the war in Iraq?
Sonny: No matter what I think about the war I am supporting our people that go over there. I really think it’s like another Vietnam.
MI: What do you want people to know about you?
Sonny: I don’t really want people to know anything. I just want to enjoy playing music and relating to other people on the level of music. In relations and spiritual understanding I think music is the ultimate vocabulary.
MI: Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Sonny: One time when I was a kid my dad bought a house that had been abandoned for 9 years. It had burned down and the previous owner died in it so my dad fixed it up. It was a crazy old lady that screamed out the windows. My bedroom happened to be her old bedroom. I was still scared of the dark so I turned the lights off and flew across the room and got all the way under the covers except for my head. I know what it feels like to be slapped across the face and someone or something open hand slapped me across the face in the dark. I jumped up and turned the lights on and no one was there. That’s a true story. 10 years to the day the house had burned down the house burned down again. The entire house except for the new addition my dad added had burned down.
MI: Who do you think the greatest musician of all time is?
Sonny: Not me by any means. I’ll say Peter Gabriel.
MI: Who do you think was more important to Rock ‘n’ Roll; Elvis, The Beatles, or Jim Morrison?
Sonny: I will say The Beatles.
MI: As an artist what inspires you?
MI: What is your favorite song to play live?
Sonny: I’ve only been on one tour with the band so I like playing every single song.
MI: What is your favorite song off the new CD?
Sonny: Hero. It is so fucking badass. It’s got all kinds of different feels to it. It has really fast picking during the choruses and really aggressive verses and this sweet metal section where there’s clean guitar.
MI: Do all of you write together or is there one specific writer?
Sonny: On this particular album John Connoly did most of the music. I worked on my own guitar parts. This album was written during the time where they lost their last guitarist and I came in when there was 14 songs already written. For the most part the band writes songs together.
MI: Tell us a joke.
Sonny: You’re going to hate me for this. What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? Nothing, you already told her twice.
MI: Tell us what you love about being a musician.
Sonny: I get to play music and I get to do it for a living.
MI: What do you hate about being a musician?
Sonny: Some of the business and the politics.
MI: What would you warn a young band about the industry?
Sonny: Don’t sign shit. Take your time and learn about what you’re signing. Don’t trust some lawyer and especially don’t trust some manager that claims to have your best interest in mind.
MI: What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
Sonny: Working for my dad’s construction company. I had to clean up all the trash, nails, and wood in Virginia’s 100 degree summers.
MI: What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
Sonny: I hate the dreams where someone says something fucked up and I try to beat them up but my fists slow way down in mid air. One time Ellen Degeneres was in one of my dreams and was taking me on a tour to weird places. Then she started hitting on me and I told her that I thought she only liked chicks and she told me not to worry about it.
MI: How did you feel when Dimebag got killed?
Sonny: I found out the next day when I was at work. I got up, drank coffee, and went to work. My boss came in and asked me if I heard about the guy from some bad he couldn’t remember. So I blew it off and got on the internet when I got home and saw it then. I got the same kind of feeling I get when I’ve been told someone close to me has died. I was in denial. I was incredibly sad. He was the most kickass cool dude ever. When I was 21 years old I was at a Pantera show and they shaved my head on stage.
MI: If you could build a memorial for Dimebag what would it be?
Sonny: It would be the Dean guitar. Probably a fist. A big arm with a fist and the Dean guitar etched into the arm.
MI: Who would you like to bury in wet cement?
Sonny: George W. Bush.
MI: If you could have lunch with 3 people, living or dead, who would they be?
Sonny: I really like Dean Kuntz. He’s an awesome author. Jeff Buckley, he’s a beautiful tortured soul. The third one is Dimebag.
MI: If a movie was made of your life who would play you and what would the theme song be?
Sonny: Ed Norton might make a good me and the theme song would be ‘A Shogun Named Marcus’ by Clutch.
MI: Do you believe in psychics?
MI: Have you ever had a reading by one?
Sonny: I’ve had some palm readings done and I actually do Tarot cards myself.
MI: If you had a million dollars to donate to charity which charity would it be?
Sonny: One would be Cystic Fibrosis because it affects children and the other would be Stem Cell research.
MI: Who do you think the worst band in the world is?
Sonny: Dope. Fuck them. They fucking suck.
MI: Do you see yourself heading towards Buddhism?
Sonny: No, not really. I do dig it. I think it’s really cool. I’m a recovering alcoholic so I’m an equal opportunity higher power employer.
MI: What made you get into AA?
Sonny: I hit bottom. It wasn’t just alcohol, it was all substances.
MI: Do you think the program is helping you?
Sonny: It saves my life. What really saved my life is that when I hit rock bottom I lived. I still had a breath of life to ask for help. This time I actually took the help. People ask me if I think I’m missing out and I say “on what?” I’m playing with Sevendust, I’m not missing out on anything.
MI: When are you getting married?
Sonny: I’ve been with my girl for over 4 and a half years and I’m divorced so we’re not getting married anytime soon.
MI: What’s the name of your doggie?
Sonny: Buckley. He’s a mutt.
MI: If you could do anything for your fans in return for what they’ve done for you what would it be?
Sonny: Keep on playing and making music.
MI: What videos are you planning from the new CD?
Sonny: We’re doing a video for the song Ugly and I believe that our next single might be Failure.
MI: Do you cook?
Sonny: I make a mean peanut butter and jelly.
MI: What’s your favorite book?
Sonny: There’s a series of books, there’s 13 of them, called The Necroscope series. I am a guy that loves the Lord of the Rings trilogy. My favorite book is called The Taking by Dean Kuntz.
MI: What is your favorite movie of all time?
Sonny: I like The Godfather and Fight Club. I also like True Romance and The Exorcist.
MI: Who is your favorite vocalist, guitar player, and drummer?
Sonny: Shannon Larkin is my favorite drummer. My favorite vocalist is Jeff Buckley… My favorite guitar players are Jimmy Paige, Angus Young, Dimebag, and Hettefield.
MI: What turns you on about Jeff Buckley?
Sonny: Passion… It’s so versatile. I love the hopeful sorrow. It’s so sad but there’s a glimmer of hope in there.
MI: When are you guys hitting Atlanta on tour?
Sonny: I don’t know.
MI: What is the bands website?
MI: Is the band on Myspace.com yet?
Sonny: We have an account on MySpace but I don’t know it.
MI: Do you have a message for your fans?
Sonny: When everything seems to be falling apart it may just be falling into place.
MI: What is your favorite quote of all time?
Sonny: Sometimes a man gets carried away when he feels like he’s been having his fun and sometimes a man must awake to find that really he has no one. That’s Buckley.