We took a trip down memory lane to see just how long we’ve been covering the larger-than-life basslines and heavenly, melodic synths crafted by Jeff Montalvo, better known as Seven Lions. It’s been over four years since he first popped up on our radar, and since then, he’s graced the pages of our site time and time again.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s kept tabs on his impressive list of successes over the years, from stellar releases, to unforgettable festival performances. His brand presence has become a household commodity, with many eagerly expecting to catch his sets, whether it be at their favorite club, or the most sought-after festival.

As we continue our Residency with Jeff, we decided it would be a good time to catch back up with him after all these years.

TMN: First off, thank you for coming onboard as our Resident Artist for the month of October. As long time fans, it’s an absolute pleasure to have you. It’s also been three years since we last interviewed you, so it’s great to catch up. Let’s start things off by talking about your most recent release, “Rush Over Me” which you worked on with Illenium and Said the Sky – two Colorado boys. How did this collaboration come to be?

SL: Actually, I had met Trevor in Denver a long time ago when he gave me a flashdrive. The funny thing is – I get those a lot, but a lot of times I don’t have the time to actually listen to them. With Trevor’s, I actually did and it was really good music.

I hit them up and was like, “Hey, I need some fresh ears on this. Do you guys want to collab on this?” Then they worked on it, then I worked on it, then they worked on it.

TMN: Did you work on this one remotely? Or did you guys all get together? We’re always curious what the process from three separate artists looks like.

SL: All remote. That’s how I work anyways. That way I can sit in the studio and just focus. I don’t like talking to people when I’m working on music. I’ve never actually collaborate with anyone else sitting in front of the computer or anything.

TMN: You’re also in the midst of a rather large our right now, which goes all the way into December. What can fans expect from this tour?

SL: Definitely the fact that we’re bringing our own production. It’s a huge, huge deal for us. I’ve never got to build my own stage until now. So, we built our stage and we’ve been focusing on visual content for it. A lot of people have seen me at festivals and know the style that we have visually, and we work really hard on that. This is that amplified quite a bit.

And – I’ll be playing a lot of new music – more originals than usual too. And, a lot of stuff that’s not out and won’t be for a long time.


TMN: Did you play a heavy role in the actual design and creation of the stage? Is it a lot of your personal ideas, or did you rely on someone who’s done it professionally?

SL: Me and the guy who runs visuals came up with the concept and we brought it to a bunch of different design companies. Then, we focused on the one we liked the best.

TMN: We’re excited to see it!

SL: The overall concept changed quite a bit from my idea then to what it is now. The shapes are essentially the same but the way we’re doing projection is a lot different than what I had originally envisioned. But, I think it really worked out.

TMN: You also have a charitable element to these shows, which we’re thrilled to hear about. You’re supporting the mission of Fuck Cancer, a charity that helps with cancer prevention, early detection, and emotional support. What made you decide to work with this organization in specific?

SL: Actually, my manager hit me up and had the idea and I thought it was a really good idea. It seems like everyone I know has known someone who has had cancer and dealt with that. I think it’s something that everyone experiences. It’s hard to go through life and not be affected by cancer in some way, whether it’s a family member or friend.

TMN: Your tourmates, Pegboard Nerds, for this show have also supported that charity in the past. They’re two of the nicest dudes we’ve ever met. How did you go about selecting them and the other acts to support you?

SL: They’re awesome guys. We were thinking about who would amp up the night really well and add to the overall thing we were going for. We wanted someone who was not quite known, which was Unlike Pluto, and an act that was a little more well known to add to the night.

TMN: You’ve been a mainstay in the bass community for quite some time. How do you feel like you’ve evolved over the years?

SL: That’s tough. I guess my sets have gotten a lot more focused and a lot more structured. As far as producing music, I feel like I’m always going off in different directions. I don’t feel like there’s been one straight-up evolution. The last EP had a lot of acoustic elements and a lot of guitar, so I feel like the next EP won’t be focused on that. It’s hard to say “evolution,” though. It’s more like what I’m feeling at the moment.

TMN: Can you talk about the guitar work a little more? Did you love for metal play a roll in influencing that?

SL: Definitely. The track “The Journey” is inspired by Viking metal. “Leaving Earth” is very heavily influenced by Opeth. It’s in 3/4 timing and it’s totally in homage to them.

TMN: Conversely, how do you feel the bass scene has evolved over the years? Do you feel like the scene as become more or less receptive?

SL: I feel like it’s kind of becoming a cool kids scene, which I don’t like. But, I feel like all of electronic music has that element, when it wasn’t like that before – “everyone is welcome. No one is too cool for school.” The whole “too cool” clique-y thing is a little disheartening.

But, I think there’s a lot of cool music coming out. There’s also a lot of music coming out that sounds exactly like everything else. I don’t know. I think the interesting music coming out is getting focused on, which is cool. It is what it is.

TMN: You always seem like a very drama-free dude. What are your thoughts industry drama and the near grocery store checkout stand media that surrounds it?

SL: Within electronic music? I think it’s a joke. I haven’t seen it so much lately, but the whole “people fighting on twitter,” is sad. At the same time, I can’t be too mad because it’s entertaining, and you’re going to have people who want to watch shitty reality TV, or people who want to watch cool shit like Game of Thrones. To each their own.

I’m not mad about it. I just think it’s kind of silly. And, it’s totally there to sell shit. People fighting on Twitter are creating a buzz. When you’re an artist and people know you more for the shit you talk online than the music you’ve put out in the last five years, it’s not a good thing. But, it is what it is. Who cares?

TMN: Looking past this tour, what does 2017 look like for you as an artist?

SL: Probably just a lot of festivals and new music. Leading up to this tour, I spent a lot of time just finishing up songs that I really wanted to play on the tour. So, I have a lot of unreleased stuff I’m going to be putting out next year. A lot more shows, too. Some people would want to slow down after a bus tour, but after moving to Seattle, I feel really reenergized living up there. So, I’m down to be on the road now. And my wife travels with me, which makes it easy.

TMN: As you may remember from our first interview, we always like to shift things up at the end and ask some random questions. First up: name your favorite brewery in America and your favorite beer at said brewery.

SL: Island Brew Co and the Starry Night Stout. I think that’s my favorite.

TMN: The perfect snack to accompany a delicious craft brew?

SL: Aged Gouda. Really, really old Gouda.

TMN: If you could put together a bill of all metal artists – which four would you choose for a one-night, all-out, head-banging extravaganza?

SL: Definitely Opeth headlining. Amon Amarth would be sick to see. Cradle of Filth. The fourth would probably be Ensiferum.

TMN: Last one. We’re asking this because we’re metal heads ourselves. What do you say to people when they say “Metal just gives me a headache. How do you listen to that noise?”

SL: Ohhhhhh. I would walk away. I don’t know anyone like that, and if I did, I wouldn’t know them for very long.

Tour photo credit: Lizzy Nunez

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