The Mayhem Files – Vol. III: Rusty Coones and Evan Seinfeld from Attika 7

For all you old school metalheads out there, Evan Seinfeld is in a new band, Attika 7. He joined forces with lead guitarist, songwriter, and famed motorcycle builder Rusty Coones, who wrote the majority of their debut album while serving a seven-year prison sentence on a false conviction. The result? “Blood of My Enemies”, a brutal, hard-hitting album of in-your-face, no-nonsense metal. But more importantly, these guys are the real deal. Rusty is also well-known for playing Quinn on FX’s Sons of Anarchy, a pretty badass character. In reality, both of these guys couldn’t be nicer. We talked about the tour, the record, All-American hamburgers in my hometown of Massapequa, NY, and more. Take a look:

mayhem fest- damian cousins - attika7 - amps and green screens

Amps: How have the crowds been to you guys? Welcoming?

Rusty: Amazing. From day one of the tour, they’ve been crazy. And that was a question mark in all of our minds.

Evan: We don’t take it for granted that we’re the newest band out here. Nobody knows our music yet, but from the first show man, the crowd is with us, fists in the hair horns up. I think it’s great, because we’re all from other bands, and Sons of Anarchy, and there’s so much interest and buzz in the metal scene about it. We all come from metal and there’s a hard rock influence, too, just a bunch of different stuff going on. Mayhem Festival, we didn’t know how it was gonna be.

Rusty: The first show was so great, the people were nuts, and they’ve stayed that way this whole time.

Amps: Rusty, I’ve seen you on SOA, and Evan I used to see you all the time. I’m from New York, Massapequa!

Evan: (Smiling) Oh my God, I used to live in Massapequa! All-American burgers

Amps: (Groaning) Stop it! I know, it’s like old home week! Now, you guys have been going on fairly early in the day, and the crowds are eating it up. Is there any song, or songs, that you see is getting them more riled up than the rest?

Evan: “Serial Killer”. The whole place jumps. “Devil’s Daughter” is always a winner, and we’ve been playing some new songs, “Darkness”, and “Dance of the Dead” that aren’t on the album. It’s only four songs, but the kids are still high energy. I think it’s gonna take a full tour, with us playing 45 minutes, to really see how the crowd does with the album.

Amps: I thought it was really cool when in the YouTube video asking about unique experiences on this tour, you talked about the guy in the wheelchair, how the crowd picked him up.

Rusty: He actually got knocked out of his chair, and the crowd picked him up and put him back in his chair. Then they started chanting “On the stage! On the stage! On the stage!”

Evan: It was during “Dance of the Dead” and the crowd picked him up, like 50 guys, it was like a Hora, and he looks like Charles Manson in a wheelchair, and he’s all “ROAAAR!!” and they got him on the stage. What a fuckin’ amazing moment, man.

Rusty: It really was cool!

Amps: Does that still stand as the coolest fan moment?

Rusty: (To Evan) Wait, what about the Girl Pit?

Evan: Oh, yeah! In Hartford, CT we started “Devil’s Daughter” and I just randomly said “Let me hear all the ladies!” and all the girls ran into the pit. We had an all-girl pit. So we’ve been recreating that every single day, saying, “All the ladies get in the pit”, and it’s our thing now, ‘cause you see us, we’re men, we’re not kids, and we’re probably the last guys you’d think would have an all-girl mosh pit goin’ on. It’s kind of fun to be able to go against what people think. Today, I think there were about 70 girls in the pit.

Amps: Texas girls don’t play around, they’ll hurt you.

Evan: Yeah, the girls go hard in the pit.

Amps: So now we’re at the end of the tour. What has it been like to be part of this madness for over a month?

Rusty: (Big smile) Great. Just great.

Evan: It’s a really great brotherhood out here on tour. And for us, just getting our legs. You know, we’re all seasoned players, playing together as a band in front of a crowd, learning how we vibe off each other and how we connect with the crowd. It’s part of the work you have to do to build the band. You can rehearse all you want, and get your music tight. But if you can’t get your show together, forget it.

Rusty: I was flying back and forth filming Sons in between dates. I think out of 26 shows, I only missed five.

Evan: Not bad at all, for his character to be like, completely in the mix in the number one cable show in America.

Amps: Uhhh, one of the greatest shows EVER!

Evan: And it’s a show that really speaks to our fan base, and our lifestyle. As a matter of fact, last season Rusty got a bunch of our songs put on the show.

Amps: What’s the thing you learned being on a tour of this magnitude, and what will you take away from it?

Rusty: We’ve been adjusting to things, like our tour bus. We got it through a friend of Evan’s, and it needed a lot of work, so we’ve sure learned about that (laughs).

Evan: I think that the main thing I’ve learned is that, compared with back in the day metal scene, people are way more open now. And people check out every band here. I gotta tell you, today was the 26th show, and I haven’t seen ONE fight. 26 shows of heavy metal. I mean, if Biohazard played a show in Long Island back then there were 30 fights! I gotta say that the metal scene has evolved; it’s getting better, and more positive. And we wanna keep playing for big crowds and opening for bigger artists.

Amps: So is that the plan? We have another tour lined up after this?

Rusty: We’re doing about five radio shows at Uproar with Avenged Sevenfold, Volbeat, and H.I.M., and we’re doing some shows with Device.

Evan: That’s exciting, because it’s David Draiman’s new band, and Disturbed is one of the biggest bands in metal, so for us, every new opportunity we’re grateful for, and we’re happy to be out here playing.

Amps: So you’re comin’ back to see us in Dallas, then?

Rusty: Oh yeah, absolutely.

Amps: Ok, I’m gonna hold you to that, Rusty.


Yeah, like I could intimidate Rusty Coones. He was great, though.This was my last interview of a long day at Mayhem Fest, and I’m glad it was with Rusty and Evan. Again, they were so nice, and it just felt like I was hanging out with buddies from back home. They’re gonna do some big things, and they deserve all the success that is headed their way, that’s for sure.

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