7 Minutes In Heaven is a Chicago pop-punk band on the rise. Timmy Rasmussen started 7MIH as a solo project in 2012 and was later joined by Alex Rogers, Justin Mondzak, and their live drummer Brennan Gilbert. The band have been on regional and national tours and put out multiple EP’s. Their most recent EP is called Side Effects, and was released on December 11th, 2015. We had the opportunity to interview the band during their current tour, the acoustic “Cold Kids and Campfires Tour Part 2” with Broadside and Marina City. You can read their interview below.
Interview by Meredith Szturm.
Why did you guys decide to do an acoustic tour?
In Novemeber of 2014 we released a deluxe version of our EP entitled The Statement, which included acoustic versions of every song. So it only seemed right to be able to showcase our acoustic side at least once a year, and create a unique experience, as well as it’s too darn cold to load full band equipment day in and day out.
How many tours have you done?
We’ve taken part in 10 different tours in the lifespan of this band.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts about touring? Do you have any crazy stories from being on the road?
Our favorite part is traveling and being able to see the world from a unique perspective. Least favorite includes lack of sleep and healthy diets, and if one person gets sick it normally hits us one by one.
A crazy story, when we were on tour over the summer we played in Los Angeles. We took a walk down to a nearby coffee shop where we heard Matthew Perry from friends was hanging out; we were too scared to ask for pictures.
Were you guys all friends before the band came together?
We all met through touring and became friends very quickly. Joining forces in 7MIH happened very naturally for each of us.
You’ve all been in the trenches, following Warped Tour to promote your band. Do you feel like the hard work is paying off?
Most definitely, we still to this day meet people who discovered our music after we talked to them while following warped.
I feel like doing things like that would create a great connection with your fans. What do your fans mean to you?
We have a very special relationship with our fans. We try to just keep it as honest and real as possible and normally get the same response and in turn, it’s like we helped create our own little international 7MIH family.
How was your first national tour? Was the experience radically different from your smaller scale tours?
Our first full US tour was the most intense but best experience we ever could have had. For most of the west coast dates our van’s AC was broken, so overnight drives were the only way to tackle long distance. But we somehow survived and this lifestyle really set in and it was a huge reality check that only strengthened our resolve to make this dream a reality.
Who are some artists that you’ve worked or toured with that have made an impact on you?
Recently we had the chance to play a short run with the band Set It Off. Growing up we were all avid SIO fans, and their hard work and dedication always resonated with us. So being able to share the stage and hang with those dudes on a band to band level was somthing very real and special for us, and of course they are some of the best humans we’ve been lucky to meet.
How have the fans reacted to Side Effects?
The response has been incredible. It’s always scary putting out new music, but so worth it. Very excited how much everyone has enjoyed the EP so far, and I can’t wait to see where we go with it.
What’s the writing process like? Do you all write together or is it more of a solitary thing?
It varies. While writing we normally start off coming up with ideas on our own, showing each other ideas for the other to build on. But before the actual recording process we come together as a group, and with Side Effects that included our friend David Newton who co-wrote and demo’d out the songs with us before final production. Having an outside talented ear and an extra step perfecting our music was a huge learning step for us.
“I’m Okay” is definitely my favorite song on the EP, from the music to the lyrics to the vocals, it’s great. Do you each have a favorite song or a song that means the most to you? And why?
We honestly all agree that “Side Effects” is our favorite, just because that song truly captures the message of the whole EP and touches on very intense experiences we’ve had in the past two years, both as a band and as individual people. Every song means so much to us but we all love that song so much.
What’s different about this EP compared to the ones you’ve put out in the past?
On this EP we had so many more resources and the biggest thing was tracking live drums for the first time, which made a world of difference in the final product.
What inspires the things you write about?
Our life experiences, the people we meet, and how we see the world around us. Both the beautiful and the dark side, because both exist in the world, and acknowledging the darkness is the first step to living soley in the light if you decide.
You were the #1 Alt New Artist on the Billboard Charts and you charted on iTunes as well. Congratulations on that! What are you guys most proud of as a band?
Thank you so much! And honestly the things we’ve accomplished no matter how small are incomprehensible sometimes. But the thing we would be most proud of is the new EP Side Effects. We’ve never put out anything that raw, honest, and terrifying in its reality to us.
What are 5-10 songs or albums you’ve been listening to lately?
We’ve recently been jamming the new BMTH record That’s The Spirit, a lot of Twenty One Pilots; we’re in a slight Third Eye Blind phase currently, also Justin has us all into Enter Shikari, Issues is always a jam, Sum 41 is a staple of ours. Honestly we’re all over the spectrum, we even jam CD’s bands/fans give us at shows.
What do you see happening for 7MIH in 2016? What are your dreams and goals for the band in the future?
2016 is the year we truly break through that ceiling of being an unknown young touring band and prove ourselves on a whole new level with pushing this EP. A goal of ours is to tour officially outside of the country, we’d love to make it to the UK finally as we’ve been wanting to for so long.
The 7MIH guys are on tour for the next couple weeks and you can catch them at any of the dates below. Be sure to pick up their EP Side Effects here!
Cold Kids and Campfires Part 2 Tour Dates:
Jan 17 Hoosier Dome
Jan 18 Fubar
Saint Louis, MO
Jan 19 Outland Ballroom
Jan 20 Vaudeville Mews
Des Moines, IA
Jan 21 The Garage
Jan 22 Warehouse
La Crosse, WI
Jan 23 The Rave Bar
Jan 24 The Wire
Mar 19 QuikTrip Park
Grand Prairie, TX