CL Interview: Bassist Todd Harrell of 7 Day Binge

Let’s start with a little background on 7 Day Binge.


“7 Day Binge started when 3 Doors Down was touring in Europe and we had a guy that came out and set up all by himself with a piano and a guitar. It was Jon Nicolson, who was part of the Muzik Mafia, if you know anything about that. Jon came out there and just rocked the house man, you know. We was on tour for quite a few dates that we played together and by then, with all those dates, me and Jon done become friends man, and we actually wrote one of the songs, “Cold Dark Grave” and that made it on the 7 Day Binge record. You know, it’s just one of those things you know, where chemistry took over man. When me and Jon get together we can write a song in a heartbeat man, it’s just one of those things that really works, and it’s a lot of fun, you know. Along the way, we picked up Kenny Olson; he used to play with Kid Rock. Shannon Boone, he’s a drummer, he’s played drums all his life and it’s a hell of a line-up man. It’s definitely a lot of fun man; I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t a lot of fun. It’s real cool to get to create something outside of what I’m used to like 3 Doors Down. This band, I guess you could say, kinda lets me let my hair down a little bit man and stop being so conservative.”


So that’s the big appeal of 7 Day Binge; having fun and making music on the side.


“Yeah, it’s a side project man and when we quit having fun with it, we’ll quit doing it. But right now, you know, we are having a lot of fun with it”


Sounds like you're having a lot of fun with this project, which leads me to ask about the meaning of the name 7 Day Binge.


“It actually started in Sweden and Jon was uh, he was driving in a car from tour to tour. So we just become good friends and we got Jon to ride the bus with us, so he rode the bus with us for most of that tour. During most of that tour, me and him sat up in the front lounge with a guitar in our hands and wrote music, man. It’s just one of those things man, you sit down with some people and you never can write a song then you sit down with some guys that got ideas out the ying-yang and it really just comes together.”


What kind of reaction are you getting from the pubic?


“You know, it’s just now starting to take off, we just got it the stores about a week ago. We did a small indie deal with a record company called Rock Ridge Records. It’s a guy that I’ve know all my life, Tom Derr, he used to work with Universal when Doors (3 Doors Down) first got signed. He went off and did his own thing and I couldn’t think of anybody better to take it to than Tom. Cause we really didn’t want to go to a major label deal on this thing. It’s a side project and I have to do it in my spare time. Like 3 Doors, right now we’re writing a record and getting ready to get started with 3 Doors again. But this works out cause Binge has opened for 3 Doors a couple of times now and it’s a good mix. Everybody enjoyed the Binge when we played and you know, you might catch me and Jon on tour with 3 Doors one of these days."



Won't playing in two bands every night run you to death?


“I’ll probably have some type of deprivation going on by the end of that tour, but we’ll see.”



So what happens if 7 Day Binge takes off, do you have a decision to make there?


“You know, my first priority is to 3 Doors Down. 3 Doors Down is my baby, you know. If it takes off, good, but I’m not going to let it interfere with 3 Doors at all. 3 Doors is definitely my baby and my brothers are in that band and I could never walk away from 3 Doors Down, no matter what.”


I didn’t figure that you would ever do that, I just thought you’d have to figure out some type of middle ground.


“You know, me and Jon wrote all the songs. Maybe I’ll just hire a bass player to go out and play my parts. (laughing) Man, that’s probably what I’ll do right there.”


So, the majority of the tracks on the CD run in excess of four minutes, which is outside a traditional radio air slot. Is that something you think might interfere with getting the music heard?


“We just wrote the songs to where, you know, we wrote the songs for us. We want radio airplay, we want this and that, we want what every band wants but it’s not one of those things we worried about. It’s basically a thing that we’re having fun doing, we’re playing shows you know when Three Doors is off and we have fun with it and that’s the main thing man, just go have fun and we’re not going to conform to what everybody thinks it should be, you know.”



I wouldn’t be surprised if that kind of attitude actually helped with the success of the CD.


“Yeah, we’ll do our thing with it man and when we quit having fun with it, we’re going to quit. Right now, man, we’re having a great time and the guys all have a good time and we all get along great. The music is awesome man.”


Beyond the upcoming VH1 Best Cruise Ever dates with 3 Doors Down, I didn’t see any more tour dates. Are you planning something to promote the new CD?


“They’re coming. Right now we’re worried about the 3 Doors record and we’re gonna get it out now. Then, when we find out the dates on the 3 Doors Down tour and where we’re all then, we’ll find out what we can do with 7 Day Binge.”


Okay, that makes sense.


“We’re thinking about, when 3 Doors plays a show and we have a two or three day period after that where we’re at home, we might start doing a lot of after-parties, man, you know, some  7 Day Binge after-parties. Say we’re in Kansas City somewhere you know, and our next show is in California, and there is a couple of days in between where we’re not doing anything, maybe we can put 7 Day in those kind of slots.”


Cool, so on the 7 Day Binge CD, which is your favorite track?


“Man, my favorite track on the CD is, well, it has to be one of two. I like the first song “7 Day Binge” and then uh, I like “The End of the Road”. What’s your favorite?”


My favorite, without a doubt, is “I’m Coming Back Again”. That track kicks ass.


“You know, when we first starting pushing the CD to radio, that was the song that we first started letting everybody hear, you know. That was one of my first picks, then the record guys got involved (laughing) and there you go.”



That’s the track that I find myself listening to again and again.


“Yeah, it’s got a really cool little bass line.”


I noticed that. I guess that makes is easy to tell who produced it. (laughing)


“You can tell that I had a little something to do with that one” (laughing)


Okay, so for my last question, I have to ask about 7 Day Binge again. Is there some type of subliminal message in the fact that the title track clocks in a 4:20?


“Uh, that’s the first I’ve heard of it. I don’t think there are any subliminal messages in the 7 Day CD. Now, tell me that again.”


The track “7 Day Binge” has a running time of 4 minutes, 20 seconds.


“Uh, huh……okay…”



Nevermind.


“I don’t know…….(starts laughing)……..okay, now I get it. We’re definitely a 4:20 band; we were like that the whole time. You know, it’s a little hazy in here right now.”


That’s pretty funny.


“I didn’t hear what you said at first, but we’re definitely a 4:20 band.”


Cool, I guess I can claim to be the first one to catch that.


“That’s awesome.”

While stuck on a tour bus somewhere in Europe, 3 Doors Down bassist Todd Harrell and Nashville Muzik Mafia songwriter Jon Nicholson found that writing songs together came easily for the duo. The two quickly formed a tight friendship and soon realized that they needed an outlet for their new music, thus 7 Day Binge was born. Although the band’s name has a somewhat hazy origin, unconfirmed rumors of events during a tour break in Amsterdam may hold the answer. When asked to explain, Harrell could only laugh and reply “We’re definitely a 4:20 band; we were like that the whole time. You know, it’s a little hazy in here right now.” Joining Harrell and Nicholson in this talented lineup are Kenny Olson of Kid Rock’s band on guitar and drummer extraordinaire Shannon Boone.

Todd Harrell was nice enough to take a few minutes to talk with me about the band, the new CD and the importance of having fun.

—— more after the jump —-

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