Body Count

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BODY COUNT

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“It’s twenty-five years to the day that our self-titled debut album came out,” enthused Body Count’s guitarist Ernie C. “It is a long time in music and I feel very fortunate to still be writing and playing music but the catch is – and I talk to Ice about this – is the new album Bloodlust is basically the same record. We’re still talking about the same things twenty-five years later. This world hasn’t changed a whole lot.”

Bloodlust continues Body Count’s analysis of the world and its many misgivings, with Ernie unashamed about the fact it paints a bleak future.

“It talks about human beings and about our desire to kill each other; to destroy one another, that’s what bloodlust is. That’s what the record is all about. There’s a song about a psycho killer, there’s a song about why gang members go around and shoot each other. It’s just about humans and the nature of them.”

The first track on the album, ‘Civil War’ has a call to Martial arms as its lead in, with Ernie admitting the band wanted to start the album off as thought provoking and impactful as possible.

“That’s Dave Mustaine right there!” he exclaimed. “He sets the tone for the record with that speech. Ice used to have a song that Megadeth would come out to called ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ and it was about the same kind of tone. It’s kind of setting off an alarm and saying this could happen. It seems like things are going that way. It might not be tomorrow, it might not be next year but if they keep going down the path that they’re going something like that could happen. It was twenty five years ago we sent a warning about cops and things like that and twenty five years later the cops are still more haywire than ever (laughs). We’re just sending up a flare right now so pay attention.”
Along those lines, Ernie is quick to concede that Bloodlust is an angry album.

“Yeah, it’s very angry,” he conceded without hesitation. “It sets the tone for the times right now. It’s a very angry… it’s also like a release. It’s like a horror movie, like the blood and guts from Halloween or Friday the 13th. It’s the same as our usual tongue in cheek stuff but its heavy tongue in cheek if you know what I mean.”
Known as much for songs with comedic undertones like ‘KKK Bitch’ and ‘Evil Dick’, Ernie says that the more serious tone of this album doesn’t mean that Body Count are getting political.

“No, not at all,” he snapped. “We’re political at times, not like Rage Against the Machine – they are drilling it into you. We’re the type of band that can sing ‘Cop Killer’ then turn around and do ‘Evil Dick’ (laughs) so at times we’re political but we’re not a political band. This album is more serious as far as the blood on it. On the last record we did a song ‘Bitch in the Pit’ so we still have that sense of humour. Don’t take us literally with everything but this record is a little more dark. When we were writing it we were going through our political stuff over here so it was a dark time which is why it came out a little darker and not as humourous as others.”

 

“We kind of get lazy sometimes but it’s a team effort and that’s what it takes in today’s world. It gets harder and harder to stay relevant. The good thing is we’re that band who has never really had a hit (laughs). We’re just climbing so slowly and we’re like a tank man, we keep going up the hill and I think it’s great that we’ve never had an overnight success. There’s so many good buddies of ours that we’ve seen in other bands that have had great radio success and just killed it and they’re just not around anymore and I think it’s because with us we’ve kept this grass roots thing where we’ll play to 100 people here and 200 people there and now with this tour of America we’re packing out 800 seat rooms and that’s incredible. It’s been slow but I think rock and roll is something that’s never gonna die and it’s always gonna be around and I think we are just one of those bands that are a live act and we’re a word of mouth band. We’ve been able to make some of the coolest records but live is where we are really, really able to do what we do.”

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After nearly seventeen years in the music industry, Fred Young says the band have learnt a lot about music and each other, and it is through these experiences they have been able to develop into the tight musical unit they currently are. It is a journey that has seen them grow up together on the road and has also brought about many changes in music as in life.

“Oh God, honestly, a lot,” Fred Young expressed when asked how the band has changed musically. “Actually playing together is one thing we’re more aware of. Before it was just about making the most bad ass riff and going out there and bashing but now it’s almost… for instance, last night we blew the P.A up (laughs). We did man, we smoked it and blew the hell out of it! We were playing a song called ‘Darkest Secret’ and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t right in the middle of the guitar solo the damn P.A cut out but we just kept playing and hammering it. Of course, we all use in-ear monitors so when the P.A went down our ears went down as well. None of us could hear each other so we just played it off facial expressions and vibrations because obviously the amp is in front of my drum kit so I can’t hear anything going on. Playing with each other so long it’s like you’re driving blind but I’ll be damned if we didn’t finish the song at the same time (laughs). It took twenty minutes to get the P.A back on and people were out there yelling but we were like man, we haven’t come this far to rumble have we? (laughs) It was fun and I think from playing so many live shows and being out on the road with incredible bands it’s really taught us how to play as a band and I think that’s one important thing we’ve learned.”

Another thing Fred Young says Black Stone Cherry have learnt to do is look back on previous albums and utilize lessons learnt both practically and musically when thinking about new material.

“We try to look back and make sure we’re including things,” he mused. “We’re not scared to go to different places but we always try to keep that core Black Stone Cherry of what we were like from the very beginning and I think we always get worried about getting too far away from that but now, especially on the stuff we’re writing at the moment, it’s like… it’s out there

“We’re not scared to go to different places but we always try to keep that core Black Stone Cherry of what we were like from the very beginning and I think we always get worried about getting too far away from that but now, especially on the stuff we’re writing at the moment, it’s like… it’s out there man.

“Not like as in progressive or anything but more no holds barred. There’s some more funky stuff, there’s heavier stuff, there’s a couple of songs that are even more melodic so I don’t know man. I think the great thing with bands – you look at Led Zeppelin and the Beatles – they never made the same record twice. Ever. Even with huge pop stars like Madonna you never saw the same record twice and I think that’s why people are really drawn to heritage acts and artists because they keep evolving. They keep that core of what they are but they keep growing and I think that’s what we’ve managed to do through all of this.”

Written by Kris Peters

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