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Exclusive: Guitarist Ernie C raises the Body Count through ‘Manslaughter’ Part 2

So, is everything new on this album, aside from the covers?

Sumerian Records

We’re covering Suicidal on this record [‘Institutionalized’], and people are asking why. I mean, it’s SUICIDAL! We love Suicidal! It’s not like we’re trying to butcher their song. We just brought it up to date and want to let people know that we respect Mike [Muir] and like that band a whole lot.

The interesting thing is that we had to get clearance to do that song. And we looked around for the publisher of that song, and it ended up being Glen Friedman, who was Ice’s photographer all the back to “Rhyme Pays[1987]. He owns the rights, and he was a big part of the punk movement. It was really funny that it all came full circle.

And we did ’99 Problems’ to remind people that it was originally an Ice-T song and not a Jay-Z song. We were just trying to hit people over the head and let them know what’s really going on. [Laughs]

Does it ever bother you that you have three albums in the band’s catalogue that most people don’t even know exist?

Not really, I mean, there’s one in there that I don’t really care for. We play songs off the records we like, and it’s not weird to play them. This record has a lot of good songs on it, so it’s going to be hard to figure out which ones are going to make it into the set list.

How did the track order come together for the new album? Something else that is significant about Body Count albums is that they flow from beginning to end like a complete listening experience.

Ice likes doing that. He likes listening to them in the car. He will actually drive around and program the songs so that they flow together. Then he sends them to me, and I listen to them. Then he sent them to the guys at Sumerian, and they liked the way it flowed. And that’s something they weren’t really aware of, being so young in the music business, that we knew from actually making records.

Like the first album, it went from a cop getting shot at the beginning to ‘Cop Killer’ at the end; they flow a certain way. And the iTunes Generation really doesn’t know about that, because they just buy songs the way they do. But if you come across an artist that is used to creating albums, you know, LPs, you know you are going to get a product that has a beginning and an end with a flow through the entire experience without interruption.

What’s with the voodoo obsession?

[Laughs] That’s Ice’s thing! [Laughs] He put Coco on the record! And that song [‘Black Voodoo Sex’] is a continuation of ‘Voodoo’ from the first record. There’s a lot on this album that picks up from the past. We had “The Winner Loses” on the first record, and it picks up here with “Back To Rehab.” And I had actually quit drinking in the past five years, so there’s truth in that. We’re trying to keep things true to form.

What was the motivation behind ‘Pop Bubble’?

I like that song a lot. I really like Ice’s lyric at the end, “F*** bloggers, F*** bulls*** hype; Ice is on one tonight.” You can get famous now by not doing anything! Justin Bieber and all these kids on television are taking so much away from music that “pop music” is a brand now. Even rock bands are brands now. During the day, band’s used to stand for something, but now nothing is going on with these bands; what is their message? It’s not that I’m too old, I hang around these kids, it’s just that they have no motivation at all.

Why is Body Count not an ongoing entity? Why does it come out of the woodwork every several years and then disappear again?

We don’t do Body Count just to keep making records. We have to have the time to do it, to feel like we want to do it. It takes a lot of work and time and energy, and we don’t want to waste any of it. This record is a good record. You can hear that we took the time and did the work. It sounds exciting. We don’t want to saturate the market with Body Count product every year that might be good or might be bad. Right now is a good time for Body Count.

How do you feel about going out on the road with these really heavy bands like Cannibal Corpse and Suicide Silence?

Oh, I think we fit right in. I feel really good about that. Korn actually opened for us in Europe, so sharing the stage with them is not that far-fetched. I think we fit exactly with those bands, though Ice doesn’t growl. But we’re definitely a match with the same energy level. We’re singing the same thing, but people understand what Ice is saying. [Laughs]

Do you have any touring plans for after the Mayhem Fest?

We’re going to do spot dates here and there on the weekends. Ice is going back to “Law and Order,” because that’s like his day-job. And next year, we’re planning to do Europe. And hopefully, we’ll be able to begin working on a record while we’re in Europe and try new songs out on the road. The band is good right now.

Since the theme of Body Count in 2014 seems to be one of coming full-circle, does the message from 1992 still stand? Would you still f*** a Martian?

[Laughs] You have no idea until one comes across your path! You might be like, “Whoa, never saw one of those before!” But you never know, it could be a fun night! [Laughs]

Catch Body Count on tour this summer as part of the Rockstar Energy Drink: Mayhem Festival on the following dates:

  • July 5 at San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA
  • July 6 at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA
  • July 8 at White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, WA
  • July 11 at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix, AZ
  • July 12 at Isleta Amphitheater in Albuquerque, NM
  • July 14 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO
  • July 16 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, MO
  • July 17 at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI
  • July 18 at The Rave / Eagles Club in Milwaukee, WI
  • July 19 at Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville, IN
  • July 20 at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL
  • July 22 at Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA
  • July 23 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY
  • July 25 at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto, ON, Can.
  • July 26 at First Niagara Pavilion in Burgettstown, PA
  • July 27 at Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, CT
  • July 29 at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Darien Center, NY
  • August 1 at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ
  • August 2 at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton, PA
  • August 3 at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA
  • August 5 at Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta, GA
  • August 9 at Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas, TX
  • August 10 at Heavy Montreal in Montreal, QC, Can.
  • August 16 at GWAR-BQ 2014 in Richmond, VA
  • August 23 at Commodore Barry Park in New York, NY
  • August 24 at Commodore Barry Park in New York, NY

“Manslaughter” is currently available at iTunes, Amazon, and Amazon Digital.

Keep up with Body Count’s activities at Facebook and its official website.

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