Jeff Montalvo aka Seven Lions has been absolutely slaying in 2016. He has been at many of the world’s biggest festivals and graced the mainstage at EDC Vegas for its 20th Anniversary. After an extremely long Facebook teaser campaign that of mysterious images posted over the course of months, Seven Lions finally revealed The Journey Tour today. To celebrate the occasion, he sat down for a Reddit AMA. Check out 12 of the most interesting tidbits we found.
1He appreciates fan remixes
This is sick! I never really thought about doing a remix comp just because this song has no vocals. Is this the original tempo? Would be sick to make and live edit where it drops into this after the trappy part on the original.
2How to tell the quality of a track in 10 seconds
That is kind of a hard question because there are some songs that are produced pretty badly that are very popular and some songs that are produced to perfection that nobody pays attention to. I guess the main factor is the melodies/vocals. Sound design is a close 2nd. Mixing is really important to me personally but I don’t think that is what ends up making a song.
3Who runs his visuals
Our visuals are run by my good friend Ian and most of the footage was shot up in Oregon.
4How often he thinks about starting a record label
ALL THE TIME! And then I realize I can hardly keep track of my own stuff (artwork, release dates, marketing) and realize its probably for the best that I don’t right now. Definitely something for down the road when I can help other artists and get more involved. If I am going to help other musicians get there art out there I need my full attention on it.
5The direction of his upcoming music
I think Summer of the Occult has been the heaviest thing I’ve done in a while. The stuff I am working on now is a lot more vocal driven.
6He probably wont be remixing Above & Beyond’s most recent album
I love the new A&B album. Catching the acoustic show one probably one of my favorite experiences this year. I’m not sure if I’ll remix one off this album but maybe the next!
7He loves his boxed wine
I mean sometimes I’ve been known to slap the bag but its pretty rare.
8DJ Sven will return
There will for sure be another one of those sets, although since the secret is out I might choose another DJ name. So many good DJ names out there. DJ Star Command, DJ Jelly Donut, DJ Loins, DJ John Snow
9How he got started and chose his name
Its been a hobby of mine since middle school. I never really thought I would be a professional or anything, just something I love doing. I don’t imagine I’ll ever stop even when Seven Lions is long gone. Seattle is our 2nd stop on the tour so that is coming up soon! I need to link up with some people throwing underground stuff around here so I can do some smaller parties too. Seven Lions is from a book called Latro in the Mist by Gene Wolfe, one of my favorite authors.
10His opinion on live sets vs recorded music
Hmm.. I think at a festival its an artists responsibility to put on a good show and make the experience engaging and fun. Artists should always play their own music otherwise what is the point? There is always a middle ground and that is the cool thing about DJing. If all you do is DJ other peoples music then go home, if you are going to sit there and play all originals and bore the people to death who aren’t super fans then you probably should stick to headlining shows only.
11Why he doesn’t do a podcast
I’ve thought about it. I like the idea but I would really rather spend my time working on new music you know?
12He had a really special effect on one fan
Question: Ok, so this is my first ever post to Reddit and it’s very personal and I little heavy but I really wanted to share because the timing of this AMA could not be more beautiful. This time last year my dad began losing his fight against cancer. I had just come back from my first EDC in LV, and was not ready for the month to come. No one would be. Your set was hands down my favorite of the festival, so I dove head first into your music when I got home. I was a fan before but was only familiar with your remixes. As I explored your EPs my dad was fighting for his life, and the pain of watching him deteriorate was one I can never put to words. But I’m writing you to say thank you for all that you’ve done this year to help me through the pain of his loss. He passed on 7/23/15. He was my best friend, and it still doesn’t feel real that he’s gone. The music you’ve made allows me to feel the grief and the pain, but never get stuck in it. The words combined with the driving elating sounds have kept me grounded in positivity as I maneuver through my life without him. I’m always left knowing that everything is going to be ok, and I have so much to be grateful for. No matter what feeling the grief brings upon me, your music always lifts me up, and puts a smile on my face. You have so many songs that have helped me: Worlds Apart, Strangers, Days to Come, Falling Away, Don’t Leave, the list goes on lol I have so many happy memories from seeing you live this year. I saw you TWICE this year at EDC and it was absolutely amazing. I was so happy to see you on Kalliope with my amazing friends. Looking up at you and Emmi as we sang Falling Away is a memory I will never forget and will always cherish. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you’ve done for me. It is more than you will ever know. Losing my dad has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with but your music makes me feel connected to him, and reminds me that I had 26 joyous years with him, and still have so much more life to live. I can’t thank you enough for that Jeff. Truly. I wish you nothing but peace and happiness, and I will always support you and your music. If you ever are discouraged as an artist, always remember that what you do is helping someone in the world more than you could ever imagine, and they love you wholeheartedly for it. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.
Response: Hey, thank you for sharing this with me, it means so much to hear this. I am sorry for your loss and I am happy to hear you are still out and about enjoying yourself. I am also one of those people who turn to music in times of grief so I hear you and I am humbled to be a part of that with you. Glad to hear you made it to the art car set as well. Such good memories! Honestly I would have just kept going all night if they didn’t have people on afterwards.