Family comes first—you can never forget who was there with you from the start. The Edmonton, Kentucky-based rock n’ roll quartet Black Stone Cherry was raised on musical forefathers such as Cream, Led Zeppelin, Muddy Waters, and the Faces, among other 1970s staples, and, now, with its sixth album, Family Tree, BSC salutes its classic rock heritage and honors its legacy with a beast of a Southern rock n’ roll album.
Jordan had the chance to interview Ben Wells.
Hey Ben! Hope you’re all well and best wishes on the upcoming tour. Thanks for answering these questions for us.
–No problem! Thank you!
The new record sounds fantastic and feels really fun. Was it as fun to record as it is to listen to?
-It absolutely was! It was a great creative atmosphere and we didn’t leave any ideas off the table! We had a great time and wanted that to come out in the music!
In particular, the guitars on the Family Tree sound incredible, both the riffs and the tone of the instrument. Could you tell us a little about how you got them to sound so good?
-Thank you. We really didn’t overthink anything on this record. We used our normal equipment that we use live. I played through a Gibson Les PaulClassic and Budda SuperDrive 45 amp. Very simple. Sometimes you can overthink the sounds and end up squashing the vibe. Not us! Haha
Family Tree has this funky way of straying from being plain rock song after rock song without really deviating from the guitars/bass/drums backbone of rock ‘n roll, was this an intentional feel for the album?
-We just wanted the album to have a live, energetic, and fun sound. We went with a basic approach and didn’t want to over do it or over produce it.
You’ve just kicked off a tour for the new album, how has that been going so far?
-It’s been great so far! The new songs are going great and people seem to be loving it!
As a band your lineup has been incredibly stable across your discography, how is the chemistry in the band?
-We are very close. Very much a family. We put family first and that is what has kept us going healthy and happy.
How does a unique and exciting band like yourself find a sound within a genre as well defined and that has been around as long as rock and roll?
-We are influenced by so many different genres. We never want to put a label on ourselves or the band. We like to go from rock, blues, country, reggae, whatever we like! That’s what keeps it fresh and fun for us.
As a band, you’ve been kicking butt for a while now, but are there any goals you hope to achieve in the future?
-For sure! Still plenty more places to go and people to meet. We have done some incredible things thus far-so it’s exciting to see where else we can go and how we can grow!
“Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On”
More about Black Stone Cherry
For 17 years, Black Stone Cherry has put forth a new vicious breed of Southern rock, injecting youthful vitality and a myriad of fresh new influences into the beloved American rock tradition. To date, the band has released five critically acclaimed albums, and one well-received blues EP. Black Stone Cherry has also rocked 12,000-cap arena shows, topped the UK charts, and shared the stage with a diverse roster of superstars, including Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Motörhead, and ZZ Top.
Family Tree boasts BSC’s tried-and-true lucky number with its 13 songs, and, like all BSC releases, features songwriting contributions from each member. The result is a modern and meaty blues-based rock album, with unexpected sonic twists like punchy horn sections, barrelhouse pianos, Southern gospel organ, atmospheric synthesizer passages, and forays into funk and country.