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Zeppelin on steroids

Seventrain’s roots in ’80s Van Halen.

One of the hombres in Seventrain has a fear of ventriloquist dummies. - Image by Rick Gould
One of the hombres in Seventrain has a fear of ventriloquist dummies.

Former Cage guitarist Eric Horton and singer Jon Campos (Tourniquet, Dive Bomber) consider Seventrain’s first performance to be in autumn 2012, when they played a set of cover songs at a memorial show for the late Vincent John Crudo (aka “Big Vinnie”), a local sound technician and bass player. Shortly after, they reconvened to record new music with former 24-7 Spyz drummer Joel Maitoza and guitarist Jef Poremba, along with a bassist later replaced by Steve Andino (Tourniquet).

“I’d describe us as a hard-rock band that encompasses rock, blues, and metal influences,” says Campos, who earned his master’s in education from Point Loma Nazarene University.

“Yeah, Led Zeppelin on steroids,” concurs Horton, who reportedly once tackled George Lynch onstage (though he declines to elaborate).

Maitoza is perhaps the most well-established on a national level. “I jammed with Paul Gilbert before he started Racer X and with Geezer Butler [Black Sabbath] during a solo project,” he says. “My previous band, 24-7 Spyz, was featured in the ‘Car Wash’ episode of Beavis and Butthead. And they actually liked us!”

Seventrain’s self-titled debut, recorded at DML Studios and released in February, is nominated for Best Hard Rock Album at this year’s San Diego Music Awards.

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

Maitoza: “Pat Travers, Go for What You Know. When I was a teenager, I used to play drums along with this album, so it has a special place in my heart. I learned every Tommy Aldridge fill.”

Poremba: “Anthrax, Worship Music.”

Horton: “AC/DC, Highway to Hell.”

Andino: “Mostly compilations on my iPod [with] the Beatles, Jamiroquai, Hillsong United, Lettuce, and Meshuggah. Legendary, funky, inspirational, jazzy funk, and technically brutal.”

Campos: “Royal Bliss, Chasing the Sun. I saw them at Brick by Brick and really liked their energy and vibe.”

WHAT WERE YOU TOO EMBARRASSED TO MENTION?

Maitoza: “Best of Burt Bacharach...he writes such amazing orchestration and musical

arrangements.”

Horton: “‘Let it Whip,’ by the Dazz Band.”

Andino: “‘Best Song Ever,’ by One Direction. I have three daughters.”

Campos: “Weird Al Yankovic, ‘White & Nerdy.’”

IN WHAT FICTIONAL UNIVERSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?

Maitoza: “I’d like to live in Quagmire’s house on Family Guy. He seems to know how to party.”

Poremba: “South Park.”

Horton: “Playing linebacker in the NFL. For me, it’s fiction.”

Andino: “Planet Pandora from the Alpha Centauri Star system featured in the movie Avatar.”

Campos: “The fictional universe of Tenacious D where everyone travels in tubes.”

USELESS TRIVIA?

Maitoza: “The old railroad tracks you see in the hills as you drive along Del Dios Highway were used to transport water to local communities years ago.”

Poremba: “The human head weighs eight pounds.”

Horton: “Railroads are the same width of roman chariots.”

Andino: “The oldest trophy in North America is the Stanley Cup, which was awarded in 1892.”

Campos: “Minus-40 Celsius and minus-40 Fahrenheit are the same temperature.”

BEST CONCERT?

Maitoza: “US Festival on Heavy Metal Day in 1983, with Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Scorpions, Triumph, and Van Halen. Where else could you see all these great bands at the top of their game for $20?”

Poremba: “Van Halen’s Diver Down tour, Milwaukee Arena in 1982 or 1983, because Eddie would jump off his stacks and they would sway back and forth.”

Horton: “Thirteen years old, Iron Maiden’s Powerslave tour. It needs no explanation.”

Andino: “Monsters of Rock tour in 1988, which featured Van Halen, the Scorpions, Dokken, Metallica, and Kingdom Come.”

Campos: “Jason and the Scorchers back in the ’80s at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia. I had so much fun jumping around in the crowd, I nearly lost consciousness twice.”

FEARS OR PHOBIAS?

Maitoza: “Bugs, can’t stand them.”

Poremba: “Heights.”

Horton: “Needles.”

Andino: “Maggots”

Campos: “I have a fear of ventriloquist dummies ever since I saw Magic, with Anthony Hopkins.”

WHO DO PEOPLE SAY YOU LOOK LIKE?

Maitoza: “When I was younger I wore these big sunglasses, and when I would travel, people thought I was Bon Jovi.”

Poremba: “When I was younger, I’d get Leif Garrett a lot.”

Horton: “Andre Agassi, when I’m skinny.”

Andino: “Fieldy Arvizu, the bassist from Korn.”

Campos: “David Cross. I don’t think I look like him, but I’ll take his paycheck.”

SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Maitoza: “I received my music degree when I was six years old.”

Horton: “I almost smashed my left ring finger building a deck in my backyard.”

Andino: “I’m not Mexican, black, or Filipino.”

Campos: “I’ve lived in seven states: California, Hawaii, Texas, Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, and Maryland.”

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One of the hombres in Seventrain has a fear of ventriloquist dummies. - Image by Rick Gould
One of the hombres in Seventrain has a fear of ventriloquist dummies.

Former Cage guitarist Eric Horton and singer Jon Campos (Tourniquet, Dive Bomber) consider Seventrain’s first performance to be in autumn 2012, when they played a set of cover songs at a memorial show for the late Vincent John Crudo (aka “Big Vinnie”), a local sound technician and bass player. Shortly after, they reconvened to record new music with former 24-7 Spyz drummer Joel Maitoza and guitarist Jef Poremba, along with a bassist later replaced by Steve Andino (Tourniquet).

“I’d describe us as a hard-rock band that encompasses rock, blues, and metal influences,” says Campos, who earned his master’s in education from Point Loma Nazarene University.

“Yeah, Led Zeppelin on steroids,” concurs Horton, who reportedly once tackled George Lynch onstage (though he declines to elaborate).

Maitoza is perhaps the most well-established on a national level. “I jammed with Paul Gilbert before he started Racer X and with Geezer Butler [Black Sabbath] during a solo project,” he says. “My previous band, 24-7 Spyz, was featured in the ‘Car Wash’ episode of Beavis and Butthead. And they actually liked us!”

Seventrain’s self-titled debut, recorded at DML Studios and released in February, is nominated for Best Hard Rock Album at this year’s San Diego Music Awards.

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

Maitoza: “Pat Travers, Go for What You Know. When I was a teenager, I used to play drums along with this album, so it has a special place in my heart. I learned every Tommy Aldridge fill.”

Poremba: “Anthrax, Worship Music.”

Horton: “AC/DC, Highway to Hell.”

Andino: “Mostly compilations on my iPod [with] the Beatles, Jamiroquai, Hillsong United, Lettuce, and Meshuggah. Legendary, funky, inspirational, jazzy funk, and technically brutal.”

Campos: “Royal Bliss, Chasing the Sun. I saw them at Brick by Brick and really liked their energy and vibe.”

WHAT WERE YOU TOO EMBARRASSED TO MENTION?

Maitoza: “Best of Burt Bacharach...he writes such amazing orchestration and musical

arrangements.”

Horton: “‘Let it Whip,’ by the Dazz Band.”

Andino: “‘Best Song Ever,’ by One Direction. I have three daughters.”

Campos: “Weird Al Yankovic, ‘White & Nerdy.’”

IN WHAT FICTIONAL UNIVERSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?

Maitoza: “I’d like to live in Quagmire’s house on Family Guy. He seems to know how to party.”

Poremba: “South Park.”

Horton: “Playing linebacker in the NFL. For me, it’s fiction.”

Andino: “Planet Pandora from the Alpha Centauri Star system featured in the movie Avatar.”

Campos: “The fictional universe of Tenacious D where everyone travels in tubes.”

USELESS TRIVIA?

Maitoza: “The old railroad tracks you see in the hills as you drive along Del Dios Highway were used to transport water to local communities years ago.”

Poremba: “The human head weighs eight pounds.”

Horton: “Railroads are the same width of roman chariots.”

Andino: “The oldest trophy in North America is the Stanley Cup, which was awarded in 1892.”

Campos: “Minus-40 Celsius and minus-40 Fahrenheit are the same temperature.”

BEST CONCERT?

Maitoza: “US Festival on Heavy Metal Day in 1983, with Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Scorpions, Triumph, and Van Halen. Where else could you see all these great bands at the top of their game for $20?”

Poremba: “Van Halen’s Diver Down tour, Milwaukee Arena in 1982 or 1983, because Eddie would jump off his stacks and they would sway back and forth.”

Horton: “Thirteen years old, Iron Maiden’s Powerslave tour. It needs no explanation.”

Andino: “Monsters of Rock tour in 1988, which featured Van Halen, the Scorpions, Dokken, Metallica, and Kingdom Come.”

Campos: “Jason and the Scorchers back in the ’80s at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia. I had so much fun jumping around in the crowd, I nearly lost consciousness twice.”

FEARS OR PHOBIAS?

Maitoza: “Bugs, can’t stand them.”

Poremba: “Heights.”

Horton: “Needles.”

Andino: “Maggots”

Campos: “I have a fear of ventriloquist dummies ever since I saw Magic, with Anthony Hopkins.”

WHO DO PEOPLE SAY YOU LOOK LIKE?

Maitoza: “When I was younger I wore these big sunglasses, and when I would travel, people thought I was Bon Jovi.”

Poremba: “When I was younger, I’d get Leif Garrett a lot.”

Horton: “Andre Agassi, when I’m skinny.”

Andino: “Fieldy Arvizu, the bassist from Korn.”

Campos: “David Cross. I don’t think I look like him, but I’ll take his paycheck.”

SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Maitoza: “I received my music degree when I was six years old.”

Horton: “I almost smashed my left ring finger building a deck in my backyard.”

Andino: “I’m not Mexican, black, or Filipino.”

Campos: “I’ve lived in seven states: California, Hawaii, Texas, Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, and Maryland.”

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Outtakes: WHAT’S MISSING IN YOUR WORLD? Maitoza: “Youth. Getting old sucks.” Poremba: “A thermal lance, an Akita dog, and a house for me and my girl Sarah.” Andino: “A teleporter.” Campos: “A 35 foot RV.”

SOMETHING YOU NEVER RUN OUT OF? Maitoza: “Toilet paper.” Poremba: “Cigarettes.” Horton: “Milk.” Andino: “Ice cream.” Campos: “Beer.”

WHAT REMAINS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? Maitoza: “I’d like to see the pyramids and take a trip to Egypt.” Poremba: “Tour arenas.” Horton: “Visit the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, or France.” Andino: “Travel America in an RV.” Campos: “Go to an NFL game in every stadium.”

WHERE DO YOU TAKE OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS? Maitoza: “Either a harbor cruise around San Diego Bay, Old Town, or one of the casinos.” Poremba: “The Safari Park or the beach.” Horton: “Local Mexican food.” Campos: “I take them immediately to their hotel room.”

BIGGEST REGRET? Maitoza: “Not moving to Hollywood when I was sixteen to join too many ‘80s bands to list that became famous.” Andino: “Not being able to attend the free Paul McCartney concert in Hollywood at the Jimmy Kimmel show.” Campos: “Not going to the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music when offered a scholarship.”

FAVORITE MOVIE BASED ON A BOOK? Andino: “Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff. It’s a disturbing, powerful, and very realistic movie that shows domestic violence in another country and an unfortunate turn of events.” Campos: “The Shawshank Redemption, because Andy Dufresne never gave up hope and crawled through a mile of shit to come out clean on the other side.”

Oct. 15, 2014

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