The three rockers in 7 Minutes in Heaven are no strangers to the Vans Warped Tour. But beating out more than 11,000 entries to make the finals of the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands has earned them a chance to play together on the Warped stage for the first time. Get to know the guys before they head to the big show.
Members: Timmy Rasmussen (Des Plaines), Alex Rogers (Tinley Park), Justin Mondzak (Des Plaines)
Tell me a little about the history of the band. How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
Timmy: Alex and I met in 2012 briefly at a show I was playing that a mutual friend of ours was playing also. In 2014, I asked him if he wanted to play bass and do backup vocals on my upcoming tour because it was just me in the band at the time. For whatever reason, he joined afterward, and we’ve been at it since.
I met Justin on my first tour I ever did in 2013, selling merch for a band he was playing live bass for. It was a very “poppy” tour, and it was evident that we were the outcasts, so naturally we just stuck together and became friends. Honestly since then, any tour I’ve done up until the point he joined, I was asking Justin to come out on tour with me, but the scheduling never worked. Finally he was able to come out with us on our first headliner in August 2014 selling merch and would do guest vocals every night. At the conclusion of that tour we made it official.
What about that name?
T: It’s a Fall Out Boy song from their record “From Under The Cork Tree.” They’ve been a consistent influence of mine since I’ve started writing music.
Alex: It’s definitely significant because that is a band we all share a common love for, but in our own ways. There will forever be some sort of FOB influence.
Justin: Although the band name was decided before I was in the band, Fall Out Boy has been my favorite band since I was 12.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
T: I’d like to consider it “pop-punk,” but to save my breath I just call it “alternative.” My favorite band is blink-182. They definitely have a big influence on the way I melodically structure the music I write. Pete Wentz has always been my biggest lyrical inspiration.
A: I would consider us to be an alternative band. I feel the biggest influences always come back to My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Fall Out Boy, All Time Low, etc., but it’s endless.
J: My major influences are Green Day and Fall Out Boy.
Are there particular themes or messages you address in your music?
T: I think the one consistent theme to our music is the underlining message of hope narrated in each song.
A: We like to focus on the human condition when dealing with everyday life or sometimes extraordinary circumstances that we have to try and overcome.
J: Things may seem dark, but you can always overcome hard times.
What is your experience with the Warped Tour?
T: This will be my ninth summer I’ve gone to Warped Tour since ’06 (missed 2007). I’ve never played it before, so I am very excited. Alex and I followed the tour in 2014 hustling CDs, and I learned a lot about myself from it. Can’t wait to be a part of it!
J: This is my first time playing Warped Tour, and I am ecstatic.
Have you shared the stage with any of the other Warped bands before?
T: We toured with Broadside (acoustically) in the beginning of the year, and they’re playing all of this year. I’m super stoked to see them full band for the first time.
A: We did a short run with Set It Off last fall. All amazing and talented dudes.
What other fests or tours have you been part of?
T: Earlier in the year we played both South By Southwest and So What?! Fest in Texas. They were the first fest shows I’ve ever done or been a part of, so that was an unreal experience.
J: We did a tour with Metro Station in 2015, a full U.S. tour with some of our friends in the summer called the Never Ending Summer Tour, then the run with Set It Off in fall 2015 leading into an East Coast/Midwest run with Boy Meets World. Took some time off to record our newest EP “Side Effects” and jumped into the midst of winter with the Cold Kids and Campfires Tour with a band also on Warped Tour, Broadside.
Are you rolling out anything new for Warped?
T: We wanted to do an actual music video for another song from “Side Effects” but couldn’t pull it together in time. We’ll have some pretty rad new merch ready for it though.
Do you have any upcoming news or projects you’d like to share?
T: We’ve been writing a lot, that’s all I’m gonna say.
J: WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO KNOW?
Where can people hear your music or see some videos?
Spotify: 7 Minutes in Heaven
iTunes: 7 Minutes in Heaven