Meet the Band Part One: Bobby Mahoney talks about how the band got started.
Bobby Mahoney and The Seventh Son launched into the New Jersey rock and roll scene just three years ago, and has since managed to perform all over New Jersey, Canada and far beyond the tri-state area. The five talents – singer Bobby Mahoney (19), guitarist Jon Alba (22), guitarist Dan Cohen (22), drummer James McIntosh (21) and base player Ryan Lizotte (22) – write all of their own music and co-manage their band. Their music is available on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp and Amazon. The Montclair Dispatch is happy to provide a two-part look into Bobby Mahoney and The Seventh Son. Read on for part one and be sure to check in next week for part two, where we discuss Mahoney’s new solo EP, Luck (out April 12) and the bands goals for the future, “we plan to be as big as we can be.”
Montclair Dispatch: How did you guys form the band?
Bobby: In high school, Jon and I had a jam thing; we write the songs together and we’ve been playing together for five years. I don’t know if I was really cool hanging with a senior or he was really lame hanging with a sophomore, probably a little bit of both. [We both] love ACDC and Springsteen so we really clicked. He’s my best friend. But he goes to school in Connecticut so he can’t be around for some shows, which is why we have another guitar player, Dan.
The first two or three years we were part time and played only a few shows a year. I kept doing solo acoustic stuff in between. The drummer goes to school in North Carolina, but still played with us when he was home on break. Unfortunately, he moved to North Carolina full time, so we did a farewell show at the Stone Pony and cast another drummer. It used to be just The Seventh Son, now it’s Bobby Mahoney and The Seventh Son, which allowed us to combine my solo following with the bands.
Who do you consider your fan base?
It’s a big mix. People [ages] 16-25, punk hard rock fans but also 40-50-year-old Springsteen and classic rock fans. It depends on the venue and whom we’re playing with. When we have our headlining shows, the crowds mix. A lot of times, the older crowd sings a little more but the kids get really passionate. We’re really happy to have both and we’re glad that we appeal to both.
Do you guys have a manager?
No it’s all us. We’re it. It’s a lot of work. If we put half as much time into the business side of it as we put into the music, we’d be a lot better. It’s crazy busy.
What inspires your lyrics?
I write majority of the lyrics, from growing up and retrospective stuff to pop culture and girls. I try not to write typical love songs, I try to see it from a different perspective. New Jersey is another inspiration. A lot of my favorite artists write about New Jersey, and I’m proud of this place. I think we’re in the best possible location for music right now because you’ve got New Brunswick, Philly, New York, and Asbury Park, which is one of the biggest musical marks in the country.
What is your favorite venue to play?
The Stone Pony has always meant a lot to me. I’ve been playing there since I was 15. We’ve had two headlining shows there – a lot of history there. I’d rather play for less people who really care than 1000 that are there to see who’s on next. That being said, I’d love to play for 1000 people who care; we’re getting there.
I know you guys have performed at Asbury, how’d you get that gig?
They have these things called Sunday Showcases and you can send them music. If you’re not atrocious, they’ll pretty much book you. You have to sell X amount of tickets. Over time they started to know me and I got to know a bunch of people and they had me opening for other performers.
Now that you’ve been headliners, how does it feel to have openers?
I like to put my friends bands on the bill, something where I can help out other bands. I go to William Patterson University for music and there are so many great singer and songwriters there; I like when I can help them out, we support each other. This one guy, Tim Gysin is a great piano player and songwriter. I had him open up for us at the Pony and I brought him to Canada with us to open there, too. We’ve been to Canada twice in the last year.
How’d that work out?
Great. The first time we went it was like DIY. We were there totally by ourselves and we played bars and stayed in shitty hotels, very cliché rock and roll. The next time we went up was with an organization called Light of Day. They’re a Parkinson’s research foundation and they do shows in Asbury. It turned into this big thing 10-15 years later and now they have a European tour, a Canadian tour, there is a whole week in Asbury and New York. Springsteen will even show up and play with people.
Do you ever get discouraged from pursuing music?
How do you pick yourself up from that?
It’s very day-to-day. I can be moody, like a lot of songwriters. One day I’ll think, wow things are going great, I have all these opportunities, I’m doing really well; but then some little thing happens and I’m like why am I doing this? I know people that have been trying to make it for 50 years and they still haven’t gotten over that hill – it’s really scary. It’s very open ended.