Updated: 10/31/02

Once a hardcore band, Codeseven have changed their sound dramatically, intriguing many earthling types with their aural musical visions. Their latest release is entitled The Rescue, and it's filled with hypnotic anthems that will send a listener into the rock and roll stratosphere. Prior to my seeing this band live for the fourth time, I was able to secure an interview with two of the members. Taking place in their old but reliable van just prior to their set, Eric and Matt of Codeseven took on inquiries from the Highwire Daze troops. Read on...

Introduce yourselves and tell me what you do in Codeseven.

Eric: My name is Eric and I play guitar.

Matt: I'm Matt and I play drums.

What made you guys decide to change your style of music?

Eric: Well I guess pretty much for us, just being influenced by wide varieties of music. We also get bored, at least from my aspect, playing the same stuff over and over. We like to experiment. It keeps it interesting so you don't really get burnt out on what you're playing. There's always a new element added.

Matt: There was a two-year gap between the albums. You could imagine how you would turn (musically). It could be anywhere.

Does that mean the next album is going to be completely different as well?

Eric: No, not at all. I think the next album might be the same thing as The Rescue. A little more elements hopefully. We'll bring new instruments in and probably experiment a little bit more.

As a drummer, it must be a challenge. Your not simply playing blast beats all of the time. You're slowing it down a bit.

Matt: Yeah. I'd rather play the beat that helps the song than just for show.

Has there been any backlash from old fans who wished you had stayed hardcore?

Eric: A lot. We've gotten some hate mail before - people on the message boards…

Matt: Or they don't realize it's the same band.

Eric: I saw one time this kid got on there and said that "you guys were my favorite metal band and you let me down. I'll never buy another one of your records." And I'm like, oh that's nice. And close to home, about 45 minutes away in this place called Wilksborough. I went in there to look to see if they had the CD in Sam Goody and to see if it was out. I went in and asked if they had gotten more in, and they said "Actually we have one here. Somebody bought it but they brought it back because they didn't want it. They said it's not the same band." They just returned it and said they wanted to their money back. It is a drastic change, so I can understand. But it's doing well, but it should be doing a lot better in my opinion.

You guys have gotten some great reviews on this CD too...

Eric: Honestly, I think I've only read one bad review, and that's good. I mean, everybody has got their opinion on everything and I don't down anybody because of that. There's plenty of stuff that I don't like. I'm a really picky person, so I can understand where people are coming from.

Is there a concept behind The Rescue?

Eric: A lot of it has to do with the whole UFO thing and strange phenomenons, especially with Jeff our singer.

Matt: The other guys are very into it, but you've picked the two that are the least delved into it.

Jeff says that you guys have seen all sorts of UFO's while out on tour. Is that true?

Matt: A friend of ours got one on camera while in Oakland. We played at the Gilman Street. I don't know if it was a blimp or what.

Eric: We've seen some stuff late at night though, and I have seen a couple of things myself which makes me a complete believer. But as far as Jeff and James, the other guitar player, are concerned, they've both been abducted and all that weird stuff.

I believe Jeff has been abducted...

Eric: Actually I think he's an alien. I don't think he's been abducted, I think he IS an alien.

You don't want me to print that, do you?

Eric: You know what, print it. By all means print it! He is a weirdo and if you meet him, you'll definitely agree.

Matt: We love him but he's a weirdo.

So when you look back on the earlier recordings you have done, what do you think of them now?

Eric: I wish Coalition had never been released - the first one. It was released two years after it was done. A lot of that was even written in 1996, it should have been out in 97, but didn't get released until late 98.

Matt: I was like 16 during the recording and we were just starting out.

Eric: I'm happy with Division Of Labor. It could have been a little bit better recording. Kurt did a really good job, but some of the parts could have been changed.

On your first album you did a cover of Boys Of Summer by Don Henley. What made you choose that song and do you still play it?

Eric: We were high. Well actually, as far as the weed goes, neither of us smokes marijuana. Nobody does except for Jeff. But riding in my car, my Ford Escort back in the day - that song came on and I said "Hey guys, we should cover this." We thought it was a good idea and we threw it together one day before we went into the studio to record Coalition. It just turned out good. It was fun. And back home, I remember playing one show and it just being a pile up. It was 8-900 people and you could hear them screaming the words over the PA system and it was really insane. I mean, everybody loves that song. We play it occasionally, but tonight it's not going to happen because we haven't played it in a year.

What happened to your other singer and would he have fit in on The Rescue?

Eric: We love Dave. Dave's a great guy. It just didn't work out between us. A lot of bad business decisions on our end and we felt that he was handling stuff wrong. He was a great friend and we hated to part ways with him. We were all just really upset, but that's just the way it had to go. He could have been on the album maybe playing keyboards or doing whatever - that would have been fine. But it actually didn't end up working out that way.

Matt: We would have liked to have had it that way, but it just didn't work.

Do you guys still talk to him?

Eric: I see him at the bar occasionally back home. He promotes shows in Winston. He did a Zao show and made all this money off of it and he took everybody out drinking. We all got completely smashed.

What has been the best and worst part of touring? You've toured with Fairweather and now you're out with Dredg,

Eric: The best part is playing great shows every night. It's been good on the Fairweather tour.

Matt: I can't think of the worst unless it's just like nobody shows up. That's bad anyways…

Describe this van we're sitting in for people who might be reading this interview…

Eric: Okay, it's a 1988 Ford Econoline 150. V8 5.0 - very small, very dirty - with a trailer that's about to fall apart. It may fall off while we're driving down the highway. It runs good so far - knock on wood - and hopefully it will get us home. If it doesn't, I'm going to cry. But no, it's a good van. Got a TV and a CB - we like to fuck with truck drivers but we can't do that on this trip because we need a new microphone. We have mood lighting for all the ladies who like to come in the van and spend time with Codeseven. That never happens…

You mean there aren't any Codeseven groupies?

Eric: There are, but we're all…

Matt: We're all taken.

Eric: I use to be the big road whore I guess, but not anymore. I found a good girl, so we'll keep it that way for right now.

Do you guys have any messages for people who are following your career or for people who might want to check your music out?

Eric: I'd like to thank everybody that's stuck with us over the years. There's been a lot of changes and that definitely can ruin a fan base because people aren't use to it. We really appreciate it, and we're going to try to please everybody and kind of stay close to the same thing now.

Matt: Open minded people are the best people…

Eric: …yeah, and we're glad to have them as fans. To people who haven't heard us before - I hope you hear it and I hope you like it. That's about all I can say. It's hard to describe our music, so hopefully they'll just listen to it.

That's usually one of our questions - Describe the music to someone who has never heard it before…

Matt: I'll answer it. You could say moody but less spastic than normal.

Eric: I hate to name bands because it sucks. If you like bands like Radiohead, Faith No More, or Sunny Day Real Estate - that's the stuff we're really influenced by. Really spacey music - I wouldn't really call our music spacey at all. Full of a lot of different effects and experimentations and that's pretty much all I can say. If you like Limp Bizkit or Stained or Creed, you probably won't like our music. I hope that we can help change the face of music. That's the biggest goal of mine personally - and probably for the rest of the band. Highering the standards of music. You just hear crap after crap on the radio and you think how in the hell are these guys big? I just hope that bands like us or anybody else who experiments or does something a little bit different - I hope that becomes the standard in music. And I hope the industry catches on and makes it happen.

Many thanks to Matt and Eric of Codeseven for the interview and their manager Bambino for making it happen. Be sure to check out The Rescue on The Music Cartel and don't forget to Watch The Skies...


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