Metalholic Interview: Coones and Seinfeld Keep It Authentic
One of the overlooked gems of the 2012 Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival was the addition of Attika 7. Formed by outlaw biker Rusty Coones, who partnered with former Biohazard main man, Evan Seinfeld, Attika 7 is a band that understand the meaning of honor and the concept of authenticity. Much of the band’s early music was penned by Coones while he sat in a Federal Prison for most of the aughts, in large part because he would not talk to authorities.
Coones, a Hells Angel and chapter president, has a code he lives by, and these days he can be seen on the mammoth television series Sons of Anarchy bringing some bona fides to the serial drama. He has lived what the fictitious SAMCRO crew portray on television. He’s the real deal.
Seinfeld has been a household name in hard rock and metal households as the founder of Biohazard; a member of the VH1 supergroup, Damnocracy; a regular cast member of the HBO series Oz; and as a former pornstar and ex-husband of adult actress Tera Patrick (for the record, his new wife is much hotter). His body is a tattooed journey of stories made indelible by ink and experience.
The band also features guitarist Zach Broadrick (ex-Nonpoint), bassist Scott Reeder (ex-Kyuss) and drummer Tommy Holt (ex-U.P.O.).
Prior to the band’s Uproar Festival performance in Boise, Idaho, Metalholic had the opportunity to sit down with Scott, Zach and Tommy to get their take on Attika 7. Sadly, P.O.D. was so loud onstage, their responses were rendered inaudible, but trust me they are great guys and amp’d to be a part of the band. Afterwards I jumped on the tour bus to chat with Evan and Rusty. While P.O.D. still played a heavy backdrop, we were able to hear each other.
While we waited for Coones to finish signing autographs, Seinfeld talked about how he came to be a part of Attika 7:
“I’d been in Biohazard since I was a kid. I founded it when I was 17. Rusty was my best friend and once he got out of prison, he had a lot of songs written that were very passionate and heartfelt and kind of had the spark I was looking for. I was looking to reinvent myself and do something a little bit more melodic but still heavy in that Black Sabbath, Metallica, Godsmack way. Kind of like the bands we’re on tour with, but with our ideology and lifestyle. Kind of that all for one and one for all, brotherhood, bad ass biker heavy metal band. It became a thing real quick. Me and Rusty started jamming and it was real natural.”
Coones confided that Attika 7 came to be completely by chance. Looking for a way to fill his prison time he reconnected with a childhood passion:
“I rediscovered playing the guitar, totally by accident. I’ve played since I was nine, and I took lessons until I was 14. I could read and write music, classical, finger picking, everything. And then I dropped it when I was 15. But I still had the structure and music in my head. I was in a Federal prison up in Oregon and I was walking by the music room and I can’t even explain what happened, but I got inspired. Out of the blue–all of a sudden–it was like flipping a switch. I really wanted to play music.”
As to his stint on Sons of Anarchy, Coones calls it pure luck. “Kurt Sutter, that created the show, became friends with me four or five years ago when he first started the show. He’d been following me and my music, but he was also kind of doing his homework to make sure he was as authentic as possible and who’s more authentic than us? It just evolved from building bikes with him and for him to this role. He called me and it was a pure surprise. He said ‘I need Rusty to come down to our casting office and I need him to read for a role.’ Just unexpected. It was like a gift.”