From SXSW to Ultra Music Festival, EDC LV + NY and now his solo headlining tour across the states with over 40+ stops, Jeff Montalvo aka Seven Lions has been riding a huge wave of momentum. No stranger to the scene, Seven Lions has embarked on The Journey tour to showcase a side of his music people have not previously seen. One that can be felt through his music. One that transcends your reality into a magical sonic soundscape filled with emotionally driven music when experienced live.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Jeff before he took us all down nostalgia road during his show at the Hollywood Palladium which by the way, blew my mind in a few words. The production was by far one of the most unique I’ve seen an electronic act take on at that venue, his set was incredibly diverse allowing everyone to relate, and the energy he brought reflected into the crowd and was just out of this world.
Don’t take it from me. See what Seven Lions himself had to say down below.
EDM Maniac: I read that “The Journey” tour was inspired all the young people who are taking it upon themselves to create their own adventures and embark on their own personal journeys of discovery. What does that mean to you?
Seven Lions: It’s cool to see a lot of people travel a long way for shows. I know at festivals there will be a lot of friends that will get together and travel to go to these shows and just the whole experience is really awesome. It’s kind of like Burning Man for us where we all get together with a group of friends and just go all the way up to Nevada for what feels like an eternal trek. There’s a lot of planning and preparation and the whole experience is just a lot of fun. When we did the bus tour we really tried to incorporate that and try and do a bunch of really cool and fun stuff.
EDM Maniac: That’s dope man. Are you a regular at Burning Man?
Seven Lions: I’ve been for like 5 years now starting in 2009. Haven’t been able to go as much recently because tour and I’ve just been super busy.
EDM Maniac: What would you describe the Burning Man experience to someone who has never been?
Seven Lions: It’s just an epic experience. Not so sure because it’s really different for everybody. I don’t even like promoting Burning Man because it’s already so big and I don’t want it to keep going. What I’m gonna tell people is “Burning Man sucks and nobody should go.” Haha!
EDM Maniac: How has The Journey tour been so far?
Seven Lions: It’s been amazing. We’ve just been doing so much stuff; like we went to the Redwoods then we went and hiked crater lake. Surfing in Pismo and a bunch of skateboarding in Santa Cruise and really just cruising around. Now were on the bus for the rest of the tour and we’re just gonna keep cruising around. We’re actually going skydiving a little later today. It’s just been fun and really cool to see that all the shows but one has been sold out. My wife and my dog Kalisi get to travel with me that’s cool too. The whole thing has just been awesome so far.
EDM Maniac: With a show heavy tour featuring 40+ dates – how and when are you able to find a solid work/life balance?
Seven Lions: Honestly show days are not even that bad because I just have to be at the venue like 30 minutes before I play. Then I play and we get to chill so as opposed to a day where I’m working on music that’s actually an all day thing – being on tour actually provides a lot more freedom. It works out really well. It’s kinda like one big vacation in a way. Flying is the crappiest part about touring so the fact that we’re not flying at all makes it really, really nice.
EDM Maniac: What would you say made this tour so special?
Seven Lions: I would say probably the fact that we’re bringing our own production.
EDM Maniac: And what is special about this production itself?
Seven Lions: It’s completely custom. We built it and designed a bunch of video content for it. The whole thing is just brand new. It’s especially cool to bring our own production and not have to rely on the venue. It’s a lot more work for the crew but everyone has got a great grasp on it now and it’s going really well.
EDM Maniac: Following your Creation EP which you released in March, it’s amazing seeing how far it’s come in such a short amount of time. What was that creative process for you like?
Seven Lions: It was actually a long time in the making. Some of those songs are like two years old – maybe even more than that. I just kinda wanted to go with a more of an acoustic type of theme on the album. I was going for some more old school metal influences so that’s why I think it turned out the way that it did. Definitely an experimental EP for me.
EDM Maniac: You also just released a collab with Illenium and Said The Sky featuring Haliene by the name of ‘Rush Over Me.’ What was it like working with those 2 guys and gal? How did everything come to be?
Seven Lions: I actually did a track with Haliene maybe two years ago called “The End.” When we we’re working on that song I was like “hey I got another track – do you wanna work on it?” and that’s when we did Rush Over Me. Then I just has it sitting around for like two years and I wasn’t really feeling what I had done to it, and it just went off in a weird direction. I knew I would never release it so I hit up Illenium and Said The Sky and asked them if they wanted to collab on it. We just sent it back and forth to each other and that’s how we got it to what it is now.
EDM Maniac: What are you listening to as of lately? Any guilty pleasures?
Seven Lions: Ghost DC. Their older album for sure. Their newer album is good but the one before that is really good. Opeth just came out with a new album called Sorcerus. It’s not my favorite of their but still better than the last two albums they’ve put out so that’s pretty cool. Then I just always listen to Porcupine Tree because I really like everything they do.
EDM Maniac: Recently teaming up with the non profit FCancer which is dedicated to early detection, prevention and providing support to those affected by cancer. What was your motivation behind that partnership?
Seven Lions: Actually my management just asked if I wanted to be a part of it and I thought it would be a great idea cause I feel like mostly everyone has been affected in some way whether it’s a relative or a friend because it’s so prevalent. I had good friends, parents who have passed from cancer, my grandpa, and it just really felt like a good partnership to take on.
EDM Maniac: Anything you’d like to share with EDM Maniac’s readership before you go?
Seven Lions: You just about covered everything I would have liked to share man. Until next time!
There you have it folks. You heard it from Seven Lions here first. Thanks to Jeff for taking the time to speak with us!