On October 8, 2016 Seven Lions performed at the WAMU Theater for “The Journey Tour” in Seattle, Wash. We reached out to Seven Lions and asked if we could interview Jeff Montalvo. Jeff goes under his stage name Seven Lions, his moniker from from a fantasy book called Latro in the Mist by Gene Wolfe. His music can be described as a diverse combination of trance, dubstep, drum and bass, glitch hop, and electro house. Jeff has collaborated with artists such as Ellie Goulding and Illenium. It’s been a long time since an artist as versatile as Jeff has been in the EDM scene.
On the day of the event, we met with Jeff’s tour manager and were guided backstage. We waited in the green room for Jeff and every time the door opened my heart would pound in anticipation. Saying that I “like” Seven Lions is a huge understatement. I often play Seven Lions in my yoga classes. His melodic tunes are soothing and great for a vinyasa course.
Eventually we were led to interview Jeff in his tour bus. In there we sat down with Jeff, Emma (Jeff’s wife) and their tour manager. We only had 10 minutes to interview Jeff. I was unsure if I was going to get everything asked and answered in time. We ended our interview with time to spare and even chatted about life and healthy habits with Jeff and Emma.
During the show Jeff rocked out on stage and you could truly see how engaged he was with the crowd. His enthusiasm brushed off on all the attendees. The stage visuals also reflected Jeff’s inspiration in fantasy literature and expression.
We are truly honored to have been part of such an experience. When you get to meet one of your favorite artists, the experience is fulfilling and unreal. We are glad to have Jeff in the Seattle area. We look forward to seeing him perform more often in our beautiful city!
Below is the transcript from our interview with Jeff! Enjoy!
How would you describe your music? How does it differ from the plethora of EDM out there today?
I usually do melodic heavy music. So a lot of EDM is either melodic or heavy. I combine both.
What or who is your inspiration? Is there a particular destination that you go to for inspiration?
I really like Above and Beyond, as far as artists, they are really good. As well as Opeth and Porcupine Tree. As far as going places, I like to lock myself up at home.
When you create music, what are the feelings you want to elicit in others or yourself?
It really depends. music definitely gets you strong emotions and I usually bring that to my music. The feelings are all really different. It really depends on the song.
Why DJ Sven? Is he coming back soon?[laughs] That was more of a joke than anything. Cause it started out as my techno name. Like Sven Lions. Yeah, I’m not sure if I’ll do it again. If I do it’ll probably be a different name. I always play some psy trance.
Which (if any) recent uplifting trance tracks have you considered implementing into your sets and/or remixing? Can you remix Reflekt – Need to Feel Loved?
I just started playing this track called Macy. I think it’s by Dan Stone. It’s uplifting trance. It might not be Dan Stone. If so, I would feel really bad. I’ve been playing it sets.[About Reflekt – Need to Feel Loved]Ahh I love that song. It’s too mellow though.
Do you have any vices?
I’m not gonna go there. I smoke cigars.
Emma: You have a nice decanter of whiskey next to the couch.
You rose to fame really fast. How are you dealing with all the attention, performing, creating and traveling?
I don’t do anything else other than that anymore. I just focus on that. I don’t have a social life. My wife has a social life for me. I don’t really do much. I like it, and I just do it. When I’m at home, that’s all I do.
I have a question about wellness. What do you do when you’re on tour to keep yourself healthy, well and functioning?
Last tour I did the whole Paleo thing and that helped a lot. I was eating pizza and burgers everyday, which was not good and Paleo was really easy to do. On this tour, we just got a blender and we’ll have smoothies every morning. Probably some mellow snacking all day and a big meal at night. We already went to pyramid. We’re doing it in reverse, so I’ll probably have a smoothie at the end of show.
We want to thank Jeff, Emma and his team for letting us be part of The Journey Tour in Seattle![Image Credit: Lights All Night]
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