【face-to-face / interview】BLACK STONE CHERRY
After the performance of Americans BLACK STONE CHERRY on stage at Sonisphere d’Amnéville second edition, we met Jon Lawhon (bass) and Ben Wells (guitar) to gather their impressions on the tour and life on road. For the record, the band’s latest studio-album “Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea” was released on May 31st of year 2011 via Roadrunner Records.
How important is touring for you ?
Jon : Touring is probably the most important thing for a band to do. Nowadays, touring is the only way for a band to earn money. In the seventies, it was very different. Bands were able to live from making records. With the whole phenomenon of downloading, there is no much money to get from making music. Touring is what makes us able to talk to you today. Without it, BLACK STONE CHERRY wouldn’t even exist. Touring is the only way to support an album. Plus, we love playing music on stage. We have so much fun doing it. I just love the adrenaline rush, and meeting new people coming from all over the world ! It is very refreshing.
Ben : We have been praticing so hard. We took our time to book a tour because we wanted to put-on a great show. We want to make a lasting impression on our fans. So far, so good. You know what, some people told us that before seeing us performing-live, they didn’t really like our music. Sometimes, seeing bands live open-up your mind and makes you change it. Touring is very important, it’s the most important thing for a band actually. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to play our music, to express ourselves on stage. Thank you guys for that.
From small venues to big festivals, how different does it make you feel when you have to get on stage ?
Jon : There is good and bad in both. Playing at festivals is quite different from playing at standard venues in many ways : the crowd is bigger, the stage is larger and you never know how the crowd will be like. Sometimes it’s hard to engage with an audience of this size. But it’s a great opportunity to play in front of thousand of people and try to reach new fans. It is obviously easier to have intimacy when you are playing in a small place. We love both.
Ben : The butterflies-feeling comes from every show we play no matter what the size of the place. We always try our best to put-on a great show and I do hope this works. We want to leave a good impression so that people would talk about it, talk about the band and spread the word.
How do you manage to make your live-show stand-out ?
Jon : Some bands just stand-up in one place without really moving. It’s as if they were bored playing. As for us, we do have a blast each time, we run around like little kids. We just enjoy our time on stage and I think it shows. A lot of bands dress-up, put-on some makeup and so on. We don’t. We want to keep it simple and really focus on giving-out our best without any trick, any stage effect. People pay their hard-earned money that they work their ass-off for to come see a show, so we should give them the best one they have ever seen.
Ben : We try to be entertaining. The first thing we do when getting-up on stage is trying to put-out as much energy as we can because the crowd takes it and gives it back. It’s a virtuous circle. If you don’t give your best, the crowd is going to get bored. People won’t connect with you.
What do you like best and least about touring ?
Jon : We like catering (laughs). Seriously, we just like playing music and hanging around with our best friends. Hum… making new friends too and travelling. What we like least about touring is the fact that we are not being able to see our families as much as we would like to and doing normal things we usually do at home. But, we knew what we were getting ourselves into.
What do you do to make yourself feel at home ?
Ben : All of us grew-up together, the members of the band, the crew-guys… We have been knowing each other since high-school. So, I think having your old friends with you is probably what makes it easier being away from home, what kind of makes us feel at home somehow. It’s really helpful.
What bands are you looking forward to seeing tonight ?
Ben : MACHINE HEAD !
Jon : FAITH NO MORE !
What’s next for the band ?
Ben : We are going to go back to America, do some touring. Then, we will probably go to Australia in September. At the end of the year, we’ll write some new songs and prepare a new album.