Following the release of album ‘Family Tree’ earlier this year, Black Stone Cherry are about to embark on a European Tour. Charlie Richardson caught up with drummer John Fred Young to have a chat before they hit the road.
So, how did you get initially get into playing music?
My uncle Fred (Kentucky Head Hunters) got me a drum kit when I was five years old, and my dad got me a guitar as well, and I just kind of took more to the drums. My dad had this showpiece, badass guitar and I remember him playing it on stage and he sold it so he could buy me a drum set – I never forgot that.
How did you meet the rest of the band?
Chris and I actually went to kindergarten with each other – we were the only kids with a common bond of music because his dad plays guitar. Every day after school my dad and uncle would drive us down to their band’s practice house and we would sit there for hours and try to play stuff like ‘Back in Black’ and ‘Wild Thing’. When we were freshmen in high school, John, our bass player, moved up from Florida. Ben lived in the next county over and he joined the band on Chris’s 16th Birthday and we’ve been together ever since.
What can people expect from your live shows?
Every night we are making totally new setlists – we don’t do the same set twice. We always keep in the standards though as there are six or seven songs that maybe people would riot if we didn’t play! We sometimes get a little burned out on a song, so we might drop it for a couple of shows and then the next time we play we are like: “Wow man, that’s a great song! Why weren’t we playing that?!”
And finally, are you looking forward to playing in Newcastle?
We opened for Def Leppard and Whitesnake back in 2008 in Newcastle and this guy came up to us and he was wigging out, and he takes his shirt completely off, and he has this Tony Cherry tattoo from his upper shoulder right down to his belly button – it was huge. That really floored all four of us – we just didn’t know what to say. I mean this, if it hadn’t been for y’all’s country, this band would be in a hell of a mess. The fans in the UK have really helped us to achieve what we set out to do.
Black Stone Cherry play Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle on Friday 7th December. Tickets, priced from £39.50 in advance, are available from metroradioarena.co.uk.