I meet a lot of artists via Twitter and Joe Black was no exception. Joe came to me some time ago and initially asked me to write a review of his latest album ‘Sands Of Time‘. After I completed the review of Joe and Ball ‘n’ Chain’s album, I was impressed to ask for a subsequent interview. I love how this band rolls, they take me back to a time in my life where I really stated exploring music and all the different genres that were evolving at that time. Joe Black, the bassist of Ball ‘n’ Chain, has been in the music business for over twenty years, and his knowledge abounds in every aspect of his astute music career. So ladies and gents, meet Joe Black and the band ‘Ball ‘n’ Chain‘.
ALISON NICOLE: “WHERE DID THE NAME BALL ‘N’ CHAIN COME FROM?”
BALL ‘N’ CHAIN: ”It was just one of the names on the list when I started the band, and believe me, we had some extremely redonculaus ones - example: Frauline!” LoL
ALISON NICOLE: “HOW HAS YOUR BAND EVOLVED?”
BALL ‘N’ CHAIN: “Good question, I think we cover broader territory musically now than when I set out to just be a heavy Raunch and roll band. It’s nice to have a few different spectrums covered over what I’ll call “The journey”, lil rawer back then and experimenting with a more produced sound with keyboards and power ballads now.”
Hit up Joe Black’s website here >> www.joeblack.com
ALISON NICOLE: “LET’S NAME EVERYONE WHO’S IN THE BAND AND WHO DOES WHAT.”
BALL ‘N’ CHAIN: “Aart Knyff – Guitars, Vocals, Dobro, Lapsteel, (also engineered the new “Sands Album” – My left arm).”
Yours Truly – Bass Guitars, Vocals & Scruboard
Tom D’Amico – Multi Keyboards
John “Billy Bam Bam” – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Jeffrey Baker – Lead vocals & assorted Antics
ALISON NICOLE: “WHO STARTED THE BAND AND WHERE ARE YA’LL FROM?”
BALL ‘N’ CHAIN: ”I Did… We’re Boston Boys. There was a much more happening breakout & underground Boston scene at the time. A lot of the story is on the www.joeblack.com website. It’s rather interesting, it would make a good “behind the music” story Ha ha.”
ALISON NICOLE: “YOU’VE BEEN IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS FOR SOME 20 YEARS, WHAT’S KEPT YOU AROUND THIS LONG?”
BALL ‘N’ CHAIN: “Ya gotta be crazy to be in this business!!! Cuz, there ain’t noooo biz like show biz!!”
ALISON NICOLE: “YOUR GENRE OF MUSIC SEEMS TO BE CLASSIC ROCK-N-ROLL, WHAT GENRE DO YOU CLASSIFY YOURSELF AS?”
BALL ‘N’ CHAIN: ”I just consider us a strait forward Rock Band, a Real Rock Band. Ya Know, there are a lot of different offshoots and blends of rock out today, but I believe that strait forward rock is timeless. Who still tours coliseums? The guys that play strait forward Rock. It’s timeless. The term “Classic Rock” seems kinda Ehhh I Certainly Don’t classify us as that!!”
ALISON NICOLE: “HOW MANY ALBUMS HAVE YOU PRODUCED AND WHAT DO YOU HAVE OUT NOW?”
BALL ‘N’ CHAIN: ”I’ve done different recordings with various other artists, but there are the three ‘Ball ‘N’ Chain albums & the ‘1 Live Bootleg‘ album that I did with my old band before I started ‘Ball ‘N’ Chain‘. ‘Ball ‘N’ Chain has been kinda my Baby for many years even though I have done & shall do other stuff. The next record/disk? could either be a “Black & Knyff” album, A “Joe Black” solo album? Who knows, maybe some crazy instrumental stuff…”
ALISON NICOLE: “YOUR MUSIC HAS A RETRO ’80′s OLD SCHOOL-ROCK FEEL TO IT, ARE THEIR ANY PARTICULAR ARTISTS THAT’VE INSPIRED YOU IN THIS DIRECTION?”
BALL ‘N’ CHAIN: ”Oh ya, I enjoy a lot of different guys/bands stuff. I was a huge Black Oak Arkansas fan from the 70’s, but I truly get inspired and have a great respect for the guys/bands that have endured throughout time, decades, done it all and can still sell it! Guys like Rod Stewart, Steve Stevens, Whitesnake, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Ozzy, Bon Jovi? Even if you don’t care for all their stuff.”
ALISON NICOLE: “WHAT KIND OF VENUES DO YOU USUALLY PLAY AT?”
BALL ‘N’ CHAIN: “Where ever we can at least make the show look & sound good.
My favorite places are the old theatre’s (there are a couple of neat ones in Boston) say 500 to 5000 seaters. You can really control the sound, Lights, effects, etc., etc., and connect with the audience.”
ALISON NICOLE: “WHAT’S THE BIGGEST VENUE YOU’VE EVER PLAYED?”
BALL N’ CHAIN: ”I’ve played everything from a high school, to a Coliseum, to 2 racetracks, but I’d have to say the outdoor Rock Festivals (when ya can get em). I specifically remember one, it was this couple day outdoor Rock Festival thing in Detroit a few yrs back, but Kool.
ALISON NICOLE: HAVE YOU OPENED FOR ANY BIG NAMES YOUR FANS WOULD BE FAMILIAR WITH?”
BALL N’ CHAIN: We’ve done dates over the years with everyone from Aerosmith, Crue, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer to Twisted Sister, to you name ‘em I really couldn’t name them all. Its just part of the gig, no big deal. It’s actually fun to open for other acts, so long as they don’t bust your balls too much bout set-ups, etc. My ole drummer Bob Sutton taught me something very interesting about when they do. He used to say, “I might be going on before you, but you gotta go on when I’m done” There’s something to be learned there. Haha! Inspiring?
ALISON NICOLE: “WHAT KIND OF PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?”
BALL N’ CHAIN: Right Now I’m focused on Selling the New Ball ‘N’ Chain Album “Sands Of Time” and got the boys in rehearsals and then we’ll go for some tour dates/shows. I’d like to go to Japan, maybe Brazil, who knows, a lot depends on how the album gets received. I think it’s a damn good album, but the public decides I guess. YOU liked It Haha!”
ALISON NICOLE: “WHERE IS YOUR NEXT BIG GIG THAT WE CAN CATCH YOU GUYS ROCKIN OUT?”
BALL ‘N’ CHAIN: ”To be announced…….”
ALISON NICOLE: “WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS?”
BALL ‘N’ CHAIN: ”Standing on a stage with my Ampegs on 11, somewhere in the Galaxy…”
I hope you can see why Joe is so contagious, not just in his music, but in his personality.. He’s a most-creative soul, who lives and breathes music as much as I do. After being in the business for more than twenty years, he know’s a thing or two, and a host of fame-names to boot. One thing I truly admire about Joe is that he’s taken all his experiences, good and bad, learned from his mistakes and evolved into a music connoisseur. He’s a genius at writing and executing his visions in a song, and is truly an asset to the entire music industry, and anyone who has the distinct pleasure of working with him. Joe Black and the boys of Ball ‘n’ Chain, I thank you all for taking the time to do this interview and look forward to the rise of your latest album, ‘Sands Of Time‘…
Until next time, continue to live your life in Peace, Love and Music….
Alison Nicole Osmond