Interview

BLACK STONE CHERRY (English Version - 2016) - Jon Lawhon (Guitar) and John Fred Young (Drums)

/b>Itís in the Hard Rock Coffee in Paris where Iíve met Jon Lawhon and John Fred Young from BLACK STONE CHERRY

Hello guys, how are you ?

John F : - Tired ! Last night (9 February) weíve been out. We were at Oui FM, the radio station. After the concert and weíve done some stuffs. Itís hard, itís pretty hard. This is the punition for pleasure ! (laugh)

My first question is, why have you called your album Kentucky ?

Jon : To answer we have to go a little in past, in January 2015.
We have made our previous album with Roadrunner and then we were like ok whatís next ? How we are going to do ? So, weíve been talking with different label, weíve talk them about our ideas to make all on our own. And after seen all this opportunities, etc., and after a long list of different label and opportunities, options and all that. We decides to sign with the label Mascot. After that weíve been writing some songs and we were like ok this is a new label. We have full control, weíre gone produce the records on our own, on our way. They gave us an opportunity, we canít go back and we have to see the way weíve done things and made this in other way. Because weíve learned so much with our previous producer and the experiences of our touring all around the world you see. We are going to this studio in Glasgow, Kentucky and do things on our way in that Old School mentality but with a new mindset about it. It just make perfect sense for us to do the record the way that we did and to call it Kentucky. Our manager is actually the guy who suggest us the tittle ! When he said it we were like ďweíre idiots!Ē

John : Yeah it was really really simple when you think about it !

Jon : Yeah, itís the things that make perfect sense that youíre always shut over !

Why have you choose the song ďIn our dreamsĒ as single ?

Jon : To be honest, I donít care which song we should use as a single. A heavy song you know. Our main isnít to show a heavy song and then another quiet one. We prefer to show rock songs as people can see we are rock band. And anybody who wants to share a soft song or anything else thatís fine, doesnít matter but we donít put songs in the album because ok we should take this one or this one as a single, we are not necessarily a radio band, we just made songs and put them in the album. We donít register songs with the objective to put them on radio, because weíre not a radio band. So whatever is the singleís song.

Compare to you previous album Magic mountain, the cover of the album is darker. Are you in a other mood compare to MM ?

Jon Ė Thatís me who made the cover of both albums. And the only difference, well, no thereís two difference actually thatís the picture of us on MM, the band, itís a picture of a photographer that weíve met in Texas, he lives in Kentucky now, anyway. So he took this photo of the band and I took the picture of the mountain actually. And put it all together. Each time I take a picture for our work I try to made this with a larger spirit but not that much because I try to not orientate the picture to a different direction of the real representation. So the picture of the new album is my picture and the house in there is where we practice, here weíve writes 99% of our songs. This house is here since the beginning of the band, that house is on our veins you see, thatís why we would put it in particularly in the cover of this album called Kentucky. Itís in west of Kentucky. Because musically, we all grown up in this house! When Iíve take this picture, it was raining so the sky was really dark, was great. There was colors but not that much because of the sky, there was no sunlight but it was warm. And this makes sense because the album is warm, the album is heavy ! Thatís exactly the way we wanted to be and we are a grown up rock band.

In the album, youíve covered the song WAR of Edwin STARR, why this choice ? This song had a special meaning for you ?

Jon : Wow, finally, youíre the first who asks the question with good interpret. (they laugh) So, yeah, we were looking for a song we can cover on an original way, who surprise people. Something that people know yes but in a different way, because yes itís a cover ! This isnít your song so why do not cover and show people something different to show what the band is. And this song is a song we do feel, you know, and with all the things recently it makes sense, weíve been really sad and we would people to think in another way.

Who writes and who composed the songs of this album ?

Jon : Well, all together !

Which song is your favorite? The one you canít wait to play on stage ?

Jon : Rescue me, because I totally donít know how weíre going to play this song on stage. This is the first time we made a song with that much harmonies and the way that the song comes out wasnít the one weíre expected to do it. And itís a song I canít wait to play, I have good feelings. Hum, Soul Machine is a song I want to play too, itís pretty soul and funk, what weíve already had before but we wasnít able to do it. You see because we had producers and they said ďyou are un rock band!Ē Yes we are but we are also a funk band and a soul band and a country band, everything we wants to be !

John : This album is great because we have full control, on everything we wanted to do and we made what we wanted to made for years but we didnít made because you know we had this green lines. So there we had men who played saxophone, trumpets and full of instruments, I mean this album is different.

Jon : This song just come up like this and it makes sense !

So why not to make a concert with an orchestra and chorus ?

Jon : Yes, could be great !

John : Well, we have a dvd, out in October, live in United Kingdom that we made last year. I think thatís a thing weíre going to made a lot because there are so many good place! I mean last night at Cabaret this was so loud to see all this people comes to our show, you know. Especially after what happened here, I mean, it means a lot for us. I think weíre going to make a DVD here, could be really cool !

Jon : I think weíre going to make a lot of DVD !

If there is one artist you would make a duet who will be ? Or just work with.

Jon : I would like.. Massive Attack, Bruce Springsteen, Lady gaga !

John : AdŤle of course !

Jon : Yeeees, so many!

John : We would rather work with somebody who made no sense. Like Lady gaga! Something which will be so far remove from the hard rock world. That will absolutely made no sense at all.

Jon : What was cool, is that the last tour we made in United Kingd. Our singer Chris had Lzzy Hale from Alesorm, they were playing with us in the same tour. And she come up on stage to sing with Chris and sheís so talented. This was great. But I donít know I mean I like when, you know there is rock band with rock band so Itís great but itís fine to make something different. I think it could be cool if we make something with somebody who is totally non rock. I think I would like if a DJ remix one of our songs, could be like *doumdoumdoug*, could be fun ! Weíve played with Wiz Khalifa, LL Cool Jay, with country bands, we played with extremely heavy metal bands, you know. I donít have just one answer for you, thatís hard, really hard !

You have recently changed your label, Roadrunner for Mascot, why ?

Jon : Honestly, I think we are the only band in history that played a tour with RR, almost sold out, at 99%, a very successful tour and mainline in Europe, and go home and leave the label two months later ! There mentality is American radio, everythingís sounds the same, kind of generic itís what it is. And itís not what we would make. We want to be unique and different. We donít really understand the game for a band like us. They didnít get us so we had to ended up the situation. Now we didnít have to worry about the contracts and try to feed this particular thing they want us to feed in. We just do what we want to do and we play for our fans.

Another dates in France soon ?

Jon : We hope hopefully to come back soon but we have to see how everything goes. But we always try to come at least twice a year. We wonít be doing festival this summer. Because we have dates in America and Australia for the first time !

Somethingís to say to French fans and readers of SDM ?

John and Jon : Thanks, for everything ! Thank you everybody whoís coming to our shows and supported us over ! And we really appreciate being accepted in the rock community here in Paris !
 
Critique : Aurťlie
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