Projected Guitarist John Connolly Talks New Album, Tour Possibilities + More

2017-07-10

Story by Anne Erickson

John and Anne discuss the new Projected album and more in this in-depth interview

Rock powerhouse Projected is back with a new, hard-charging record—- their first new album in roughly five years. The set, “Ignite My Insanity,” is a double-album featuring 21 new tracks of thick, towering riffing and crunchy vocals.

Projected’s lineup brings together members of Sevendust, Alter Bridge and Tremonti. Ahead of the “Ignite My Insanity” release, guitarist John Connolly spoke with Anne Erickson about the new record and the status of new music with his other group, Sevendust.

Projected features Connolly, Scott Phillips, Vince Hornsby and Eric (E-Rock) Friedman. Find the band online at ProjectedBand.com.

It’s great to see Projected releasing a new album. How long have you guys been working on this?

Well, we’ve been working on it over the past five years, and we didn’t intend on it taking five years, but with Alter Bridge and Tremonti and Sevendust, it became when and where and how we could record everything to get all the planets to line up. Once the songs were recorded, it was a matter of finding holes in the Sevendust schedule, so I found a couple of breaks and was home and worked it in. With Vince, it was trickier, and we actually tracked most of Vinnie’s takes while we were on tour in Canada. I brought the studio to him. It’s a pretty unique way of making a record in two different countries, and I had never done that before.

“Ignite My Insanity” is a double album. Why the choice to release a double set?

It felt right. We had every intention of doing a normal record between 11 and 13 songs, and then we ended up doing 16 or 17 and thinking about having some B-sides or extras available, and every time we tried something, someone would freak and say, “I love that song!” So, we realized we should make this a double record. As an artist, you didn’t need to convince me, because that’s the stuff I grew up on. Kiss’ “Alive!” was one of the most influential records of my life. Even before I heard the record, I knew I wanted to be in that band, just the visual aspect and costumes. “The Wall” is another one. Scott Phillips said it best when he said, “It’s been five years, so what better way to reward fans than to give them a gift of a double album?”

Tell me about the name of the album and how it relates to the album’s theme. 

These are all things that can set a person off: voices in your head and the different things you battle with, whether it’s good and evil or love and hate or external stimuli. There are millions of things that could ignite the insanity. It’s basically somebody coming to terms with that and having to figure out how to deal with it. I think everybody at some point feels like they might be going insane, and “Ignite My Insanity” is basically somebody coming to terms with that and recognizing that and accepting it and figuring out how to deal with it.

Do you hope to do a Projected tour at some point? 

I would love to do a tour. I think touring is the next logical step for us based on how much fun we had doing this project and how organically it came together.

What about a Projected, Sevendust or Projected, Alter Bridge tour?

That would be awesome. We talk about it and kind of half-joke about it all the time. It would be a lot of work for a few of us who would be pulling double-duty, but I would love to make that work. If you want to get really interesting, you can add in Slash and do a Slash, Alter Bridge, Sevendust, Tremonti and Projected tour! (Laughs)

You could make that into a full-scale festival.

Yeah! That’s not a bad idea, actually.

Well, if I see a festival pop up, I’ll feel like I had a small part in it! (Laughs)

Absolutely!

I hear new music from Sevendust is in the works.

Yes! With Sevendust, it’s one of those weird years for us in that it’s one of the busiest off years we’ve ever had. We signed a new record deal with Rise Records. We talked to a bunch of different labels, and Rise seemed like the best first for us. We all left the meeting with them feeling really good about the future. We started demoing songs and haven’t gotten together yet, but we’re hoping to get together over the next few weeks and hammer a bunch of different ideas out. We’re working with producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette, who has worked with Slash and Alter Bridge, which we’re really excited about. My guess is that we’ll be in the studio probably November or December and have a new record out in spring of 2018.

Photo by William Burkle

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