Mar 22, 2011
INTRODUCING: BLACK STONE CHERRY
Previously published in TOTAL GUITAR magazine in 2007:
FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK: BLACK STONE CHERRY
Southern fried rock n rollers go extra large. Bring out the moonshine!
GUITARISTS: Ben Wells, Chris Robertson
Who are they and what do they sound like?
Drenching themselves in a tornado of pounding metal, Southern soul and seventies stadium rock – Kentucky’s BSC swing into town brandishing particularly cumbersome balls, scorching guitar tones and impressive support slots with Staind and Black Label Society under their belt.
As far as guitarist Ben Wells is concerned “We like to keep it natural. All the sounds we recorded were straight through the guitar amp and that’s exactly what it sounds like too! It’s that really raw, loud Gibson Les Paul sound.”
Sounds like BSC are rock n roll purists, so what in damnation got Ben started?
“Probably Elvis Presley!” exclaims Ben. “I was six years old and totally overtaken by his music. Eventually I picked up the guitar and started to learn Elvis songs. After that, my biggest influence is probably Aerosmith. But we go way back further than that – Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf. I’m actually influenced a lot by the blues.”
Amid the rootsy vibe lays a modern solidity, what’s the sound all about?
“Not many newer bands bother with a rich classic guitar tone, so you have to turn back to the old stuff! And we’re not really pedal crazy either. If you set up the Peavey right, it can sound really good and real heavy too.”
Ben also appears to dabble elsewhere, after a Sitar made its way onto the album…
“At first it was kind of a joke, we were goofing around. After I laid it down on the track, it turned out to be one of the coolest parts of the song!
Hailing from a small town in a dry county where alcohol is illegal, is this perchance the secret to their success?
“It’s a very small town – we have one stop light!” laughs Ben. “We practice in a farmhouse where the Kentucky Headhunters used to rehearse in the 60s [Drummer John Fred’s dad was a founding member] and the place is full of old posters and memorabilia – Cream, Mountain, Led Zep. By rehearsing there, a lot of that has rubbed off on us; and looking at those pictures all day you could say is a tough audience. Plus, maybe we do owe a lot to the fact that alcohol wasn’t allowed in our town – 5 years ago we thought that travelling 100 miles was a big deal, and now we’re crossing over the ocean to play Europe! Are we looking forward to Amsterdam? Oh yeah! We’ve heard a lot about the sex shows.”
FOR FANS OF: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Label Society and Soundgarden.
KEY KIT: Gibson Les Paul’s, Peavey 5152/6505 (Ben) Vintage Marshall (Chris – It’s really old!) Carmen Guitars, Crybaby pedals, Budda Wah pedal.
OUT NOW: Black Stone Cherry (Indegoot/Roadrunner)
INTERESTING FACT: On their chief encounter with Ted Nugent, the band were greeted in typical Ted fashion: “You hillbillies better start dancing before I shoot your fucking kneecaps out!” Naturally they danced.
MORE INFO: www.blackstonecherry.com
Interview: Gary Sutherland © 2007.