Black Stone Cherry’s Chris Robertson Discusses ‘Magic Mountain’ Album and Kentucky Roots
Black Stone Cherry are on their way back with the new album ‘Magic Mountain’ due out May 6. Frontman Chris Robertson recently spoke with ‘Loudwire Nights’ host Full Metal Jackie about the disc and also talked about getting their start in Kentucky and what fans can expect from their upcoming live shows. Check out Full Metal Jackie’s chat with Black Stone Cherry’s Chris Robertson below.
It’s ‘Loudwire Nights,’ Full Metal Jackie on the show with us this evening, Black Stone Cherry frontman Chris Robertson. How’s it going Chris?
Going awesome. Just, enjoying some time home in Kentucky, and the weather’s actually nice today, it’s not cold or snowing, so it’s awesome.
Well that’s good. Happy to have you on the show, we’re very excited about this new Black Stone Cherry album, the fourth studio album, it’s called ‘Magic Mountain.’ It’s coming out May 6. Lots of growth can be heard between the first album and ‘Between the Devil and Deep Blue Sea.’ The bar was pretty high for ‘Magic Mountain’ in terms of songwriting and performance. What did you hope to be able to do even better this time around and how did you do it?
Well you know like, for us, ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ was kind of a different record. It was a little more commercial than what we had done in the past, and that’s what we were going for. You know there’s a lot of pressure from the label on that record. Trying to break wide open at radio. So we did a lot of co-writing and stuff like that, with outside songwriters, and for the new album, the majority of the songs, you know with the exception, of I think, just three or four songs, they’re all written by the band and only the band, which is awesome for us, because those songs come across, there’s a certain element of honesty in these songs that we’ve never hit before with our songwriting.
And obviously, you know the first single, ‘Me and Mary Jane,’ is more of a party song, and the song that was added as we were down to the end of the record, ‘Fiesta Del Fuego’ is another party song but the record is a lot deeper than that, you know. Those are just two summertime songs, you know. It’s spring break, who doesn’t want to hear party songs?
But you know, this record, for us, everybody is always saying that we’re much better live than on record. So when we went to record this record we really wanted to try to capture that energy the best we could so we didn’t go back and do a lot of fixing, and a lot of overdubs, we just kind of jammed the songs and they came out as they are.
Chris, what would sound different about your band if you were from anywhere else but Kentucky and why?
I think if we were from anywhere but where we’re from, we wouldn’t be Black Stone Cherry. We would have had a different, cooler band name, and we would have all, you know, I guess the coolest thing about where we’re from is the fact that, the competition around here as far as local bands when we were starting up, none of the local bands sounded the same. All the bands were different. You had your super modern rock band which was a band Gear. You had a band called Sixth Floor, who was kind of a stoner rock band, and then you had our buddies in this band called Pilot, who were more of your Tool, kind of math rock. And then we had some buddies that had this like reggae rock band called Trip.
So we were kind of the only Southern hard rock band in the area, and the fact that we didn’t have to compete to get in bars every night, you know, to do a bunch of covers and stuff like that, really helped shape the band because we could write our own songs and kind of pave our own way because we didn’t have anybody looking over our shoulder. We didn’t have that pressure to fit into a scene per se.
Black Stone Cherry definitely takes its music to another level live onstage. Chris how many songs off the new album are you already working up for the live set, and can you already tell which ones will go off the hook with even more intensity?
You know, we’re currently doing two songs off the new album. We’re doing ‘Me and Mary Jane’ and ‘Fiesta Del Fuego,’ and as far as working them up, we don’t really do anything, but at sound check, we’ll run over the song once you know what I mean? We’re a band, and unfortunately, we’re one of the few bands, and I mean this with all respect, we’re one of the few bands that actually play all their instruments on the record, so we don’t have to get into a rehearsal space and work up the songs. We just run through them once or twice at sound check to make sure everybody remembers their parts and go for it.
I’m really looking forward to playing ‘Runaway,’ when we do the headlining shows. That song’s probably my favorite song I’ve ever written. And then I’m also looking forward to doing ‘Never Surrender’ just because it’s heavy. It’s probably the heaviest song we’ve ever recorded so, it’s going to be fun to do live.
It’s Full Metal Jackie, again Chris Robertson from Black Stone Cherry with us. Pick up ‘Magic Mountain.’ It’ll be out in stores May 6. The band will be on tour through the end of May. Chris, I really appreciate you taking the time, and I’ll see you out there.
Awesome. Thanks for having me.
Our thanks to Black Stone Cherry’s Chris Robertson for taking the time to chat. The band’s ‘Magic Mountain’ disc is currently available for pre-order at Amazon and iTunes. You can listen to ‘Loudwire Nights’ with host Full Metal Jackie Monday through Friday at 7PM through Midnight on more than 20 stations across America. To find out where you can hear ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.
Listen to Black Stone Cherry’s ‘Magic Mountain’ Album [via Yahoo! Music]