BLACK STONE CHERRY were in the UK recently to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival, as well as Hard Rock Calling last Friday – and by the sounds of it, both gigs were killer! Roadrunner UK was at Hard Rock Calling so we can confirm that the band were awesome at that show…regardless of the rain! Whilst over in the UK, Stereoboard.com caught up with Jon Lawhon from the band and you can see some extracts from his interview below:
…how does a festival such as this compare to those with a straight up rock edge?
“Download is an animal unto itself. It’s all rock bands all day long, there’s a classic rock day and so on. The diversity is definitely much larger at the Isle of Wight, but at Download there’s so many people and they’re so into all the bands and they’re so supportive and they come out full force. It’s a fantastic festival. We always love to play Download.”
“Download Festival,” continues Jon, touching on his favourite shows, “the very first one we did, was very memorable. We were told there was a huge crowd but we didn’t really know until we walked out and there was all those people just standing there, chanting ‘Black Stone Cherry’. It blew us all away.
Having successfully crossed over from merely a fan of music, to a touring musician, what would he advise to someone looking to venture down the same career path?
“I would tell them to make sure they’re listening to everything because originality is something that’s very difficult to have these days. It’s so easy to fall in love with a particular band or particular genre of music, you know? If you pay too close attention to something like that without broadening your horizons and paying attention to other things like Motown, R&B, jazz and blues, all that – you’ll end up stereotyping yourself, pigeonholing yourself to a degree that you can only do this one thing. A lot of times, there are bands out there today who are just like a band from 1975, or just like a band from 1992, you know? Music is losing its original nature because of that.
“So, my best advice is: be original, be independent, be unique. Don’t be afraid to be different from everything that’s going on, because the only way you can become the biggest band in the world is to be different from all the other ones.”
But, as touring can be very time consuming, is it easy to find time to listen to new music?
“I mean when you start touring and you start playing in a band and all that, you kind of become jaded to a degree once you’ve done it for so long,” Jon admits. “I think the big trick is, kind of like what I was saying before, pay attention to other genres and other styles and things like that. By doing that, it’ll keep your soul young and keep you fresh on music. So, when a new rock band comes out you’ll be a little bit more prone to listen to them because you listen to so much reggae or whatever else that you’re not totally burnt out on rock.”
So, will the rest of Black Stone Cherry’s year be recording-heavy?
“Ultimately, yeah. Once we get home in the middle of July, we’ll be writing that record and playing just a few shows we have booked. We’re supposed to be going to Australia in September but we don’t have things confirmed yet or anything. We’ve got a plan and we’ve got offers from them, so we’re trying to get it all locked down. Hopefully we’ll be able to do that, hopefully a little more travelling to new places that we haven’t been.
“I was talking to our booking agent the day before yesterday and suggested South America because we’ve never been there before either. It’d also be nice to head back to Japan, maybe hit China and so on. Nothing like months and months of touring, more just playing a certain area for a week, playing key shows that’ll help open us up to that market and then when the new album comes out, we can then go there more extensively!”