Hailing from the deep south of America, Black Stone Cherry kick ass and take no prisoners. Offstage, however, as BIMM students Zoey Gibbons and Jazmin L’Amy discover, they’re also terribly nice company.
Black Stone Cherry graced the Brighton Dome stage recently with their southern rock songs. Performing a charming mix of a half acoustic/half hardcore set, they gave us a taste of everything they had, including their fifth studio album, Kentucky. Drummer John Fred Young talked about this new album, the highs and the lows, and the label change that accompanied it.
This tour you have decided to perform in smaller venues. Do you prefer arenas or the smaller venues?
Every single show creates a memory. Some of the fondest shows we’ve done are the small hole-in-the-wall venues. We did a club in 2008 in Exeter on the Nickelback tour and it was in a basement and we were like, Is this it?
What’s the worst thing to happen to you onstage?
Weather. We`ve had sideways rain coming in, but when it started to lightning we had to stop. The worst is power outage. Sometimes when we`re playing and there’s not an appropriate amount of power, we can trip the whole deal and blow it out. Getting pranked on stage is hilarious.
The worst was with a band called Hinder when I got a whole bottle of baby powder poured on me. It was hilarious until I started breathing it in.
Do you think you have changed since you started out as a band?
Oh yeah, we were kids when we started touring. Playing with bigger and better bands made us tight, we figured out how to be a live band. But you grow as a person, we all have kids now, and that changes you too.
With families of your own now, how do you deal with home sickness while touring?
It’s bittersweet. As soon as I pull out of my driveway I’m homesick because I have a two year-old girl, a wife, a family and it sucks. We made a wise decision to split up Europe and the UK; we do the UK in three-four weeks and then come back over and do Europe.
When writing your music, is it all of you collectively, or are there some of you more into it than others?
Since we were kids, we’ve all written the music and lyrics. I think that’s why a lot of bands have trouble, because they don’t share everything equally.
Why did you change from Roadrunner Records to Mascot Label?
We got fired! It was a wonderful experience because we couldn’t breathe creatively at all. Because of what’s popular, the label wanted to carve this cool, gnarly looking stone into this polished diamond. There’s always room for constructive improvement, but they were trying to get us to not sound so southern. We’re a rock band from middle-of-nowhere, Kentucky. We are who we are.