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Morris Day operates on own Time

Musical group Morris Day and The Time will perform Friday at the Oklahoma State Fair.
BY GEORGE LANG glang@opubco.com Modified: September 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm •  Published: September 21, 2012
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“They didn't know he was in the band, and they were like, ‘That's crazy — we've got to get you on the show,'” Day said. “Next thing we know, we're doing the Grammys with Rihanna.”

Day said it took a few years, but the band finally convened for “Condensate” and found those classic styles to be just as vital as they were in the 1980s. But Prince would not let them use “The Time.” It created a marketing hurdle: how to sell Time fans a Time album without mentioning the name?

Given that difficulty, “Condensate” did not find a commercial foothold, and within a few months, Day said the band members who had rejoined started to drift away from the project. First, Jesse Johnson announced via Facebook that he was leaving in late 2011, and then the Original 7ven could not even use that name anymore with only six of them left. So Day is back in his pre-Original 7ven mode with Moir and Jellybean Johnson.

“We got out of the gates to a really heavy start, but I get the sense that everybody's drifting back into their worlds. I think we've allowed the iron to really cool off,” he said, laughing. “I'm not feeling the momentum that I was initially.”

Day said he is proud of the Original 7ven album, despite the difficulties with making the public aware of the project.

“At first, I was a little p---ed at Prince for not letting us use the name, but now I'm glad he didn't let us use it,” he said. “It made us search a little harder and it made the project a little more creative. The outcome of it is that we have some music we can all be proud of. And that is for sure.”

But with things back to the way they were, Day said he prefers playing with the current configuration of Morris Day and the Time. There are fewer egos with which to contend, he said.

“I do a lot less when I'm with the original members, because everybody's got a role that they play,” Day said. “When we do the Morris Day and the Time touring thing, there's a lot more weight on my shoulders. Which one would you experience more of me? It would be Morris Day and the Time as opposed to the Original 7ven.”