Body Count’s Ernie C + Vincent Price Talk ‘Manslaughter’ Album, Mayhem Festival + More
Welcome back Body Count! The veteran Ice-T-led band hasn't released an album for years, but are staging a big comeback in 2014 with their 'Manslaughter' disc and a run on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour. Body Count have been on the tips of most act's tongues when the question is asked which Mayhem Festival band that they want to check out, and the fans definitely proved that theory on opening day at this year's event.
Loudwire had a chance to speak with Body Count's Ernie C. and Vincent Price during the Mayhem kickoff in San Bernardino about taking part in the bug summer festival trek, their 'Manslaughter' album and more. Check out our chat below.
We're all glad to have Body Count back together. I know it's been a while since you guys have done an album. Can you talk about bringing it back around and getting everything going again?
Ernie C: It was time. We hadn't done a record in almost eight years. The climate is great for a Body Count record. It felt right. We're not doing a record for the sake of doing a record, it was the right time. Ice is available to play and he was into it, so here we are.
'Manslaughter' -- how did it become the title of the album?
Vincent Price: 'Manslaughter' is based on the whole industry and how everything has been going these days. These bands, these songs, everything. When we came about writing these songs, we just felt they were so different and Body Count was just more current then. We just want to basically come and take everything over.
'Talk S--t, Get Shot' -- love that track and the video is awesome. Talk about the track and then the video.
EC: It's a rule of life! Body Count brings everything to the extreme. You can talk s--t and get punched but we say talk s--t get shot. Body Count is an extreme band. So we wrote the song, just as it goes to bloggers and to people on the Internet who just say things and don't realize that it affects people. You can't get shot from words, words are something you can get in trouble about. That's what that song is about. The video -- it was very interesting. Just shooting people in the street.[laughs]
Love that video.
EC: Did you hear the thing that was going around that we only shoot white people in the video? Someone dissected it that much, that we only shoot white people. Ice's answer to that was that they only brought white people for us to shoot. [laughs] If they would have brought Mexicans, Black people or White people, we would have shot them. That's who the director brought and the director was a white kid so, just arrest that one.
Can you talk about the energy that Body Count brings to the stage and your thoughts on getting a chance to play Mayhem?
VP: We have a lot of energy to let out. That's what we're about ready to do today and that's what we're going to continue doing for a long time. Ernie and myself, we've been waiting for the right people to do this band and now we have it. We have a lot of energy. So people really haven't seen anything yet.
'B-tch in the Pit' is a great song.
EC: It's the song about the empowerment of women. That's what that song is really about. We saw a girl that was controlling in the pit. So that's the song for women to be dominant on.
Being onstage, can you take me into the experience of what it's like to see the pit thrashing about. How awesome is that to see?
I dig it. The first time this band ever played, we opened for DRI back in the day. The kids starting moshing to us. We didn't know what it was but we thought it was cool. So as the band developed and got older, more mature, we understood what the pit was and what made it revolve. So, we have a good combination of songs to get the pit going now, for the way pits are now. Fast pits, and there are slow pits now that go slower beat, not fast moshing.
Ernie, you started the band with Ice-T. What's it been like seeing Body Count evolve over the years?
EC: It's interesting because I've been doing the band for 24 years, 25 years basically. We've lost three members over the years. This combination is the best ones I've had since the beginning. Everyone is one removed from the person who's passed. Vince is the second bass player, we had another bass player and he -- it was the third member of the band. The band had time to heal. We were playing too soon after someone passed. Now the band has grieved and now we're out playing and it feels damn good again. I feel like a kid out here!
I just talked to Ill Nino, they were talking about how they can't wait to see you guys play. They've been around, you've been around and a lot of these guys on the tour are the younger generation. How does it feel to know that you guys are at the place where you could teach these guys a few thins?
VP: Well, these bands have been around for kind of a long time but they also take hiatuses too. To think about exactly what they want to do again. I know those guys are big fans, I met them, I was on tour with those guys. I was working for a band called Wicked Wisdom. What I would do, instead of giving out business cards every tour I would go and press up at least 100 Body Count shirts. I'd just pass them out to people, they'd be like -- cool! People still think this band is not relevant and has not been doing anything, but now people are getting the chance to see that the band has never left. They're still here and still doing the same stuff.
EC: The things we talked about on the first record are still relevant today, there is still police brutality. There's more racism now, the Donald Sterling thing, racism is still alive. Nothing has changed in the 25 years since the first record. The songs we wrote then, you can still play 'Cop Killer' and everyone still understands what that is.
A lot of things haven't changed, has anything changed for you? Especially the way touring is nowadays.
EC: The music business has changed for the worse I think. Things we used to do for free they charge for, which we don't like. We used to come out and do meet and greets and just sign everyone's stuff, now the record company says we can't do that. You can't do this. We're selling a bundle, we're selling a helicopter ride with you. [laughs] You can't do things you used to do for free.
On this tour, a lot of great bands. You'll get to see other bands. Any bands in particular you want to check out on a daily basis?
VP: I'm going to make a point to watch as many bands out here that's possible and see what they're about. I know about Korn, I see those guys many times. They used to open up for Body Count back in the day. Avenged Sevenfold, I did tours with those guys. I'm also a guitar tech as well. I'm going to check out every band. That's what I do, I watch the bands and see what they bring and -- I'm a fan of music.
Ernie, you grew up playing rock music. What were the bands you were getting started on?
EC: Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. I'm a left handed guitar player and Black so everyone associates Hendrix. I listened to Hendrix, but Hendrix is more flash. Ritchie Blackmore was playing some stuff, that's what I was listening to. Hendrix was cool, if you want to get flashy. I got moves from him, he had good songs. Blackmore and Page, that's my thing.
After Mayhem is over, any ideas or thoughts of what's coming down the road?
VP: We just have to keep going. Another record, more touring, everything. We never left.
EC: We just want to be able to do another record. This time everything looks well, the record has been well perceived and we're out playing on the best possible place we can play and the best possible position. Let's see what happens next summer. We might be doing the headlining stage, no telling. We're just here to play.
Our thanks to Body Count's Ernie C. and Vincent Price. Pick up the 'Manslaughter' album at iTunes and Amazon. And look for Body Count on the road this summer as part of the Mayhem Festival at these locations.
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