Editor’s Note: Out of Birmingham, Alabama comes a hard rock band known as 7 Stone Riot. 7 Stone Riot is composed of Reid Aldridge on lead guitar, Whit Millsap on vocals, Tyler Millsap on bass, Todd Millsap on rhythm guitar, and Skylar McCain on drums. 7 Stone Riot has released the EP entitled “Scratching The Surface” and the music video for “Manipulation”. They have also shared the stage with the likes of Lamb of God, Upon A Burning Body, Butcher Babies and Hinder. In this mental health conversation with Madness To Creation, Whit Millsap of 7 Stone Riot discusses mental health, the music video for “Manipulation” and the Covid-19 pandemic. Fans can find 7 Stone Riot at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: You have released the music video for “Manipulation”, what was the most rewarding and challenging part about creating that song in the studio?
Whit Millsap: The most challenging and rewarding part about manipulation is tracking everything on our own. When we first started thinking about releasing the song was when the pandemic first started so none of the studios were open. For the past 3 years, all of us have wanted to be able to track songs on our own that way we can be more efficient with getting songs released without breaking the bank. Tyler our bass player has spent most of his time these past 3 years learning how to use Logic and how to get the best quality sound possible out of our tracks. Over that time we would spend money when we had it on studio-quality microphones and plugins on the computer. When we first started talking about releasing this song it was one of those situations where we were like we have pretty much everything we need to track all of this on our own so let’s see what happens. When we got everything tracked we sent it to our producer Ken Lanyon in Atlanta, Georgia. We were very satisfied with the way the final mix came out and since it was tracked all ourselves that was the most rewarding part about the song.
Madness To Creation: How does 7 Stone Riot approach the studio in terms of crafting a song?
Whit Millsap: Most songs we write all start with us sitting around and banging out guitar riffs until one catches all of our ears. We write in sections so if we hear a guitar part and think this could be a cool chorus we will then start writing a chorus. Then from there, we will start coming up with guitar parts that could complement that part as a verse. We usually write the bridge and breakdowns last. Once we get a solid base for a song going we will then all get together and start throwing vocal melodies ideas out until one sticks. Once we are satisfied with how the vocal melody sounds we will then repeats this process going back to the guitar and making the guitars fit the vocal melodies a little more. We will keep molding and molding each part until everyone is satisfied.
Madness To Creation: Where have you seen growth in your band and what’s the next step that you want to take?
Whit Millsap: To me, the biggest growth I’ve seen in the band is us finding our own unique sound. Finding your own sound is a hard thing to do and I feel like we are starting to find the sound that we all love. Even though we’re close to what we like we still need to keep writing and writing to get to the point where a song comes on and someone automatically knows that’s 7 Stone Riot.
Madness To Creation: Take us into the Birmingham, Alabama scene pre-Covid.
Whit Millsap: The music scene in Birmingham, Alabama is more tailored to cover bands and country bands. We did the cover thing at the very beginning of our careers but there’s not a better feeling than writing and performing your own songs. We love Birmingham because it’s our hometown but we would rather take a 2-hour trip up to Huntsville to play a show. Huntsville really loves rock music up there so we fit in better than we do I’m Birmingham.
Madness To Creation: We are big into mental health at Madness To Creation, tell us what helps you get through and what songs/bands help you get through?
Whit Millsap: Almost all of our songs are about overcoming something bad in a positive mindset because everyone is going through things but if you keep pushing you will eventually achieve what you want to achieve. So writing is what helps us get through hard times. We like to write about experiences we’ve all been through because everyone goes through similar situations in life. With music, you can take a subject and it can mean something totally different to someone else but still get the same point across.
Madness To Creation: You’ve shared the stage with bands such as Lamb Of God, Adelitas Way, and Fozzy. What are your favorite memories of providing support for bands?
Whit Millsap: When we play these bigger shows our main goal is to learn as much as possible. Whether it be what are these bigger bands using gear-wise to give them their sound or how they get everything done to put their show on. I think one of my favorite memories was playing with Fozzy. I was a huge WWF fan back in the late 90s early 2000s and walking in to set up our stage and seeing Chris Jericho was cool because as a kid I was a big fan of his.
Madness To Creation: What’s the first thing that you want to do when Covid-19 is over?
Whit Millsap: We want to play as many shows as possible. Everyone is eager to get back to shows on both sides whether it be going to see your favorite band or playing a show.
Madness To Creation: You’ve also released a video for “Scratching The Surface”, take us into that song and video.
Whit Millsap: Scratching the Surface is a song about wanting to achieve a dream or major goal and realizing it’s going to take a lot of work but it’s not going to stop you from achieving it. The mindset of the song is I have a really long way to go but guess what I’ve already started achieving my dreams and goals by scratching the surface of this giant mountain I’m about to climb.
Madness To Creation: What else do you want to add in regards to 7 Stone Riot?
Whit Millsap: Make sure you check out Manipulation on all streaming platforms and watch the video on YouTube. We should be having a new song ready for you guys by the middle of next year so to keep up with that hit like and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
And there you have it! Be on the lookout for 7 Stone Riot and follow them on their social media pages and their official website for latest news and information!