7 Seconds Shows How Punk Bands Can Age Gracefully

7 Seconds recently released its first album in nearly a decade, and the band is back with a vengeance. The new album Leave a Light on harkens back to the band's signature '80s hardcore punk sound and positive themes.

"It's an everyday process, it's not something that you just pick up and it looks great on a bumper sticker or on your t-shirt," Kevin Seconds says, reflecting on the song "Slogan on a Shirt."

We caught up with Kevin Seconds before he embarked on 7 Seconds' first full U.S. tour in nine years.

See also: 10 Classic Punk Records that Actually Kind of Suck

One of the standout tracks of Leave a Light on is "30 Years (and Still Going Wrong)." The song is more or less a love letter from Kevin Seconds to the band.

"We fight, we disagree on a lot of things, and we're all very different, but for some reason, when we get together, we seem to get along really well. I have to be friends with people I'm in a band with," Seconds says, on how the band has stayed strong for three decades.

7 Seconds never officially broke up, but taking some time off worked wonders for the band. Seconds says that touring in the '80s and '90s felt like a chore and burnt out the band.

"[We] have a new appreciation for touring, being in a band and being on the road together. There's just less pressure now," he says. "We realize that we're sort of a dying breed with the style of music we play and the fact that we're well into our 40s and I'm 53. It's like, you realize that people laugh at us and make jokes at us, but for us, we're having such a great time that it really doesn't matter. We don't feel like dinosaurs yet."

After all this time, Kevin has not grown tired of performing "Young 'Til I Die" live.

"It was never really about age, it's about [having] a youthful heart, enthusiasm, and a passion for life," he says. And on his torn meniscus? "Those are little reminders that I'm 53, and not 23. I think in my heart, I still feel really excited and I still love it. I wouldn't do this if I didn't."

His knee improved a bit after meeting some Russian fans who were doctors. Performing in Moscow is one of Kevin's favorite memories of this tour.

"One of our big fears was things going on in Ukraine and Russia's terrible record against gay people," he says. "We've learned that in every country, including our own, the government doesn't necessarily speak for everybody. We spent a good amount of time traveling with Russian people, and we had great discussions about politics, sexism, racism, and homophobia. The people we met were just as progressive, freethinking, and open minded as people I know here. I would play there again in a heartbeat. It was an incredible experience and I feel like it was very life-changing."

Seconds shares similar feelings about Arizona, saying that he has always been given a hard time about performing here, either in 7 Seconds or as a solo act.

"I read the news, I understand," he says. "I also know some of the most incredibly brilliant, progressive-thinking people from Phoenix or from Tucson. I'm an extremely left-leaning person, and it's very easy for me to look at anyone who's conservative and see them as the enemy, but I've also realized that that is a big chunk of the problem that we have in this country. They're so busy pointing fingers and calling each other scum, but there is no discussion. It's a problem, but I'm going to do what i feel is right. If that doesn't jive with some people, then so be it."

7 Seconds is scheduled to perform at Pub Rock Live on Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.

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Melissa Fossum
Contact: Melissa Fossum