An Interview With Kenny Hickey Of Seventh Void
Band Photo: Type O Negative (?)
Seventh Void, the newly formed band featuring Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly of Type O Negative, are set to release their debut album "Heaven Is Gone" on April 21st via Big Vin Records. The band is set to go on tour in the U.S. alongside Static-X and Skum Love starting on May 11th. Kenny spoke with Metalunderground about the upcoming album and the odd recording environment that produced it.
xFiruath: When did you first get into music and why did you want to become a musician?
Kenny: It was Kiss “Alive II” in 1977. That was the short story, 32 years ago. But hey I wanted to be a musician even before I liked girls. I’m in it for the long haul. My first success was with Type O and I’ve been touring for 18 years now.
xFiruath: So are you still with Type O Negative or is Seventh Void your only band at this point?
Kenny: Oh no, I’m still with Type O Negative. We’re going to make an album, so I’m still doing both things.
xFiruath: How did the members of Seventh Void meet up and decide to form a band?
Kenny: Well Johnny is also from Type O and it was me and Johnny that put this together. The other guys are neighborhood guys that played music in Brooklyn and we pretty much know everybody. Matt (Seventh Void guitarist) has been a guitar player for years and was in that Uranium 235 band that opened for Type O and toured with us. Hank our bassist was in a hardcore band and I knew him from around the neighborhood. There’s a small talent pool to pull from.
xFiruath: How would you describe the sound of Seventh Void to someone who hadn’t heard the band before?
Kenny: Like an evil Led Zeppelin. It’s got a lot of doom in it, a lot of straight up hard rock from back in the day, especially Sabbath, Sound Garden, an Alice in Chains edge. Straight up rock.
xFiruath: Since a lot of the fans probably know you from Type O Negative what would you say is the biggest difference between Type O and Seventh Void?
Kenny: The biggest difference probably is that Type O is very complicated and this is the exact opposite when it comes to that. I try to take as different an approach as possible with Seventh Void. It’s sort of like a broken down simplified version with the hard rock, as opposed to Type O which is very elaborate with a lot of key changes and melodies. I just wanted to sort of get away from that a little bit. A little more straightforward and simple you know.
xFiruath: Tell me about the recording of the album you guys just did “Heaven is Gone.” Where did you do that and did you produce it on your own?
Kenny: Me and Matt Brown, the guitar player, produce it. We did it in this really crumby, broken down studio in Rockaway Queens, not far out of Brooklyn. I mean it was like the worst neighborhood in the world, it was all halfway houses and drug addicts at eight o’clock in the morning walking around. There was human feces on the doorstep walking in. I swear to God. We did in all the spare time that we had. In between making records with Type O and going out and touring, coming down to the studio and beating it out two to three months at a time. Matt travels too, he’s a sound guy so he’s on the road a lot. It didn’t come to fruition for a long time. The idea started years ago and now finally it’s coming out. Pretty much we arranged and wrote stuff in that studio. Sometime, maybe six months into the album, me and Matt hit a wall. We were just too close to it and we didn’t have the right tune. Johnny came up with the idea to send out like five tracks to Sterling and they loved it, it came back sounding great. Finally here it is. I’m psyched it’s coming out. We’ve only got two more weeks.
xFiruath: Who writes the lyrics and what do they generally deal with?
Kenny: I write the lyrics. The lyrics deal with a lot of issues that I’ve been through you know like addiction, alcoholism. Not only me but a lot of my friends over the last decade. Some of them are still walking around but they’re not really alive. I wanted to deal with these issues. I wrote about them because they are such a powerful subject, but I’m currently not dealing with any of them as issues.
xFiruath: Do you have any plans to do music videos for any of the tracks on “Heaven Is Gone?”
Kenny: We just did this whole in house thing for “Heaven is Gone.” We did it in this airport hangar in Jersey. It’s not even worth spending a lot of money, or any money, on videos anymore for a rock band. They don’t get played anywhere. My friend John, who is actually the channel seven news chopper guy in New York, he does camera work and stuff. He shot it and he’s actually editing it right now. It should be coming out in a few days.
xFiruath: I saw that you guys played at the 2009 NAMM convention. How did that go?
Kenny: It was awesome. It was a big Schecter party, Schecter is my guitar company.
xFiruath: Other than that do have any particular show memory that stands out as the best show you’ve played?
Kenny: The best show I ever played was in probably 1998. What was the name of the festival, in Holland, Dyanmo. It was Dyanmo in Holland. 150,000 people there and we walked out and played one note. Then we said “Thank you good night!” and walked off the stage for like 20 minutes. It was great. We came back on and played the rest of the set obviously.
xFiruath: With the new album about to come out what’s up next? Do you have any tour plans or are you doing a release party?
Kenny: We’re playing your town man on the upcoming tour. That’s the only definite plans for now we’ll do some one off shows and small bars leading up to it. The release party is on the 21st in Dallas, Texas at the Clubhouse. Then it’s on to tour and stuff. We’re talking about other tours but nothing definite yet.
xFiruath: What bands are you personally listening to the most now?
Kenny: I hate new music. I dig Tool and System of a Down but nothing else grabs me now.
xFiruath: Outside of music what are you interested in? You a big video game fan or anything?
Kenny: I try to stay away from those. I’ve got an obsessive personality so if I start playing video games I just lose gigantic segments of my life. I’m a scuba diver, I love scuba diving. I’ve got two kids.
xFiruath: That’s probably a full time job right there.
Kenny: Yeah two kids, two bands. There’s enough going on. I try to stay not addicted to porn and not addicted to video games.
xFiruath: Two of the most addicting things on the planet. You probably shouldn’t play World of Warcraft, I hear that one’s the worst for addiction.
Kenny: Why did you tell me the name? Now it’s going to be embedded in my subconscious and I’ll search it out.
xFiruath: Sorry if I just got you hooked there. Well that’s all the questions so did you want to bring anything else up?
Kenny: No that’s cool, thank you man!
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