Select Page

All Aboard the Metal Rage of Seventrain

All Aboard the Metal Rage of Seventrain

All Aboard the Metal Rage of Seventrain

Seventrain is a Hard Rock/Metal band hailing from San Diego California, featuring Eric Horton formerly of Cage.  They’ve opened for the likes of Judas Priest and Michael Schenker, and have recently unleashed a raging Self-Titled EP upon the world at large.  Highwire Daze recently caught up with guitarist Eric Horton to find out more about the mighty Seventrain, their dyanamic new EP, Eric Horton’s time spent within the ranks of Cage, and more!  All aboard the metal rage of Seventrain!…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Seventrain, and how long the band has been together.
Seventrain has been together since about 2012. We have had some turn over but it was kind of my musical idea and direction. Unfortunately, it took about half that time to get 5 members that agreed on a common direction. Everyone that has been in Seventrain has had an influential part to play. But, after I assembled this current group of guys several years ago, it felt good right out of the gate, especially in the creative process. We have excellent writing chemistry. Everyone in the band has a lot of talent and contributes some great ideas.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local metal/music scene like there?
We are based out of San Diego, CA. Although it is a great place to live, the live scene especially hard rock/metal music scene is god-awful. San Diego years-ago had a pretty vibrant scene but it faded a while back. It seems a lot of bands here just chase whatever the new trend is. But what is weird is that there are a ton of great musicians in the area, I mean top level talent, but they take it on the road or are not very active locally. It’s too bad, I think the entertainment business here in San Diego is so competitive, the cost becomes an issue and good bands don’t play cheap, and unfortunately some lesser bands will, so think that has had a negative impact on the local scene.

Select two songs from your recently released Self-Titled EP and what inspired the lyrics.
Save My Soul, is about a person that knows they are living a life that is going to end in a bad way but cannot help themselves with their vices. Basically, someone who has zero will power to not participate in a lot of different vices. The end of the song ends with the person beating their habits, which is a feel-good ending to a seldom seen real life results. It was one of the first songs we wrote together in the current line up, it definitely shows the Judas Priest influence in my opinion.

So Far, is about how when you get to a certain point in your life and realize what is truly important. How we chase dreams and ventures that in the end becomes unsatisfying or unfulfilling. I see a lot of people attempt or do things because they are influenced by outside forces like friends or culture, we all do that. This song is about how I think a lot of us get to a point and realize that there are only a small amount of very important things that really matter in this world, such as family or living a personally honest life. Kind of an introspective piece. I had the riffs for years and had writers block on it. When we started to write this and finish it, it just poured out, and I got a lyrical idea that really resonated and it just happened, thank-god. I am so happy to have that one out of my head and done. It is my personal favorite on the EP.

Who produced the Self-Titled EP and what was it like working with them?
We all as band members produced in a sense or arrangement and writing. The Bass player Greg Rupp did all the technical mixing stuff and worked a lot with our singer Eric Koonze on all the vocal parts. They really have a good working vibe vocally to get things done, I think they did a great job.

Eric Horton of Seventrain

How did Eric Horton formerly of Cage become involved with Seventrain? And if this is Eric, when you look back at your time spent with Cage, what do you think of it now in retrospect?
I actually joined Seventrain after a stint in a band with some great friends call Tall, which was right after Cage. Tall was a killer band, and I think could have done something, but life is what it is. When I look back on my time in Cage it was an excellent learning experience. It was the first time I was exposed to how the big bands conduct themselves, good and bad. I was able to see what the long-lasting bands did right and the other did wrong. I realized that all the image stuff that goes on is worthless unless you have great songs. I was always big on song-writing, my main influence is Pete Townshend so that makes sense. Cage was a group of friends as well.

I think when I was with Cage and a few CD’s after, they could have really popped. But it seemed to me, I have told this to them, that they chased a formula and didn’t really write from the heart, started doing I think what was expected from a band like Cage, just my opinion. One thing I have been talking to Sean Peck about is re-mixing and re-releasing Astrology, we all feel it didn’t get a fair shoot because of the production or lack there-of. I think that will happen actually. That CD has some really great songs on it. And that is the problem with metal, your either absolutely phenomenal or you are shit, in my opinion. To me for every great metal band there are dozens of shit bands that don’t do it proper. They do what they think is metal and truly aren’t. That is the difference between the Maidens, Judas’s and Metallica’s and pick any shit metal band out there. Metal is the only genre to me that has that divide, pop, country, R&B… all those other styles. Even the ok bands still have some really good stuff. In metal, its Holy Diver, Cowboys from Hell and Rust in Peace, or its crap. I am not going to name who I think is crap!

What could one expect from a live Seventrain show?
Our shows are your old school killer players just kicking ass. We can perform everything we record live. Koonze and Rupp harmonize great, Dave and I really lock in on guitars and the drummer Calvin is excellent. We are very song oriented as a group, but we can hold our own very well individually as players. Not saying I’m Yngwie but I can jam a little.

What was it like opening for the legendary Michael Schenker and did you get to meet or hang out with him or anyone in the band at all?
I was hoping to meet him, we weren’t around until right before he played and left right after, and he was awesome of course. His band and crew were nice, that is all I got for you. I can tell you that one of the most hospitable and generous, stage and sound wise, bands I have played and opened for was Judas Priest. They were very courteous, made sure we had ample sound check, stage room etc. They even shared catering. I wish I could say the same of other bands. It seems some people have a hard time being a shadow of themselves.

If Seventrain could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Seventrain? Ah that would be probably multiple bands for each guy. So that would be Ratt, as Dave is a huge Warren DeMartini fan and we have already played with George Lynch so he’s done that. Greg, I would assume Sevendust, who is great live. Eric Koonze any iteration of Pantera. The drummer Calvin I really don’t know, Steely Dan??? For me, I already played with Maiden, So I would have to say The Who.

When you look back on the debut Seventrain album from 2014 and its upcoming 10-year anniversary, what do you think of it now?
Can I redo it!!! I am still good friends and play shows with the singer Jon Campos who performed on that debut CD. We both feel we could do better as players and production. I like the diversity of the material on that CD. I do think however, that the heavier songs quite didn’t hit the mark on their potential. But you know when it’s your creation it’s hard not hear where you can improve. That being said, I am very proud of it. It is when I started to stretch out as a writer and break out of the full-on metal stuff, which for me was very satisfying and something I still look to do, not in Seventrain though. That band is what it is. When you listen to Back on Track and the new EP, that is right where Seventrain is supposed to be, hard heavy and melodically good.

What’s up next for Seventrain?
Booking show in the local area, releasing more lyric videos. We have the itch to write more material and finish up what have started to record. We also do a Tribute to Headbanger Ball, called Headbangers Brawl, where we get to play all our favorite old school metal songs. Its a great show and a lot of fun and it keeps us busy. We also play about 3-5 of our original songs in that set as well.

Any final words of wisdom?
Do what you love and be honest with yourself.

Seventrain Band Line-Up:
Eric Koonze – Vocals
Dave Odegaard – Guitars
Eric Horton – Guitars
Greg Rupp – Bass
Calvin Lakin – Drums

(Interview by Ken Morton)

Seventrain on Instagram

Skip to content