I had the pleasure of seeing Seven Lions perform at the Palladium in Hollywood this weekend. You would think that after seeing someone perform 10 times that you would not get too excited about making it 11, and you would be dead wrong. This was no ordinary club show. This is The Journey Tour.
I had the privilege of sitting with Seven Lions shortly before his set on Saturday night. While his stage presence is so monumental, with moments to go before his set Jeff Montalvo was quite reserved and calmer than I expected. With all the hustle and bustle that goes on behind the stage, Seven Lions quietly answered a few questions between sips of Guinness. I am grateful that he gave me the chance to talk to him right before such a big event.
Is there an overall theme to The Journey Tour or have you tried to keep each set divergent?
There is definitely an overall theme. With the visuals that we have, we have to be in sync so he knows what I am going to play before I play it.
I am loving the stage design of The Journey Tour. I first remember seeing the diamonds appear on Days To Come. Can you tell us any of the lore behind them?
We haven’t written too much lore behind that, it’s kind of just a visual element that we have always drawn upon because it was part of the first EP.
On your Reddit AMA you said this winter you might lock yourself in a room and start working on a Gathering Darkness Pt II however I am sure The Journey Tour is the main focus right now. Is there any possibility of gathering some darkness while on this current journey?
I would love to. We just moved to Seattle so maybe the weather will bring that out.
What are misconceptions people have about you?
I don’t know, I mean I am a pretty upfront in my twitter and my facebook. You get what you see.
Would you rather compose an entire season of Game of Thrones, a soundtrack for a Harry Potter Movie or do the score for a Dark Souls game?
Those are all cool things. I couldn’t pick. Honestly, any one of those I would be so proud of and happy to do. I think sometime in the future I would love to do stuff like that. But I mean… Probably the Potter, just because that is so legendary and those movies will be around for a long long time. But the score for Bloodborne is sick too.
We should all know by now the name Seven Lions has come from the works of Gene Wolfe. What author are you drawing inspirations from these days?
I have not had a lot of time to read lately. I just watched Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell on Netflix so I picked that up in a bookstore written by Susanna Clarke I think.
I know that you come from a musical family and you play a few instruments yourself. Is there any chance of seeing some live edits in future Seven Lions sets?
I used to think about doing that because I thought it would be really cool, but I think that working on the visual element has more of an impact on the fans. The only people that would care about that is musical nerds… and that’s me. I would be sitting in the back going fuck yeah that’s sick but generally I like to make more of an impact in a visual way.
What has been your most gratifying moment in your career so far?
Probably touring India with Above and Beyond. That was a big… Whoa this is crazy moment.
Shortly after this little sit down with me Seven Lions took the stage and proceeded to put on one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen. I was so blown away by the set that was designed by Seven Lions, his VJ Ian Alvarez, and production designer Dillon Butz. The visuals can change up to match the genre of song that Seven Lions plays. The movie screens become scattered and purposely blurry if the song was going hard only to snap back into crystal clear and beautiful images when a more melodic song would play. The lasers ricochet all over the room in front of amazing fractals and bright vibrant colors. It was the best visual set I have ever seen, outside of a festival, and I was at Prydz Epic 4.0 at the same venue.
Seven Lions is a master of blending genres all while keeping the flow of the show going smooth. Drum and Bass, Psy Trance, Dubstep all matched perfectly to amazing visuals. This tour is exactly what is named, a journey. I won’t ruin the show by listing the entire track listing but there was a perfect balance of old and new. The two highlights for me that I will tell you about is catching Serpents of Old and his new collab with Illenium, and Said the Sky, Rush Over Me with vocals by the amazing Haliene. Both songs, while on the opposite end of the Seven Lions spectrum, literally brought tears of joy to my eyes.
The tour is selling out fast and for good reason. Do not skip this tour. You have never seen a Seven Lions show like this I promise you.
Cover photo provided by insomniac
Additional photos by Angelica Bryan