Metal Wani's Adam Hayward conducted an interview with BODY COUNT frontman Ice-T and guitarist Ernie C. at this year's Download festival, which was held last weekend at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On maintaining a strong social message on the band's recent "Bloodlust" studio album:
Ice-T: "I mean, that's what I've always been about. That's who Ice-T is. He's going to tell some jokes, he's going to talk a little bullshit, but bottom-line, he's a serious cat that talks about serious issues that a lot of people shy away from because they're worried about how they'll be received. I'm still talking shit about the cops while playing a cop on TV. It would be so easy to shy away from it, but this shit is real and TV is fake. I'm acting. But here it's real. I'm talking about shit that has to be dealt with. So, the band, that's our identity. That's what we are. We're going to come out, we're going to talk about a few topics, but at the same time, it's got to be fun. It can't become so preachy that you turn out. So, that's the trick to how to thread the line, thread the needle to where you're speaking about topics, but not getting overbearing."
On the variety of guests found on "Bloodlust", including Dave Mustaine (MEGADETH), Randy Blythe (LAMB OF GOD) and Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY):
Ice-T: "We always have people that love the band in the shadows. Like, Duff [McKagan] from GUNS ['N ROSES] is a big fan… Chris Barnes, who I worked with in SIX FEET UNDER, original CANNIBAL CORPSE. They're fans. They're, like, 'Yo, Ice. When you're ready to make an album. Call me!' See, I you're a band, you'll be making music, then out of nowhere, you'll go 'That don't sound like us, but that sounded like BODY COUNT.' Then you might call, 'Ice, we made some shit that really sounds like you motherfuckers.' We've learned how to collaborate with people and let the best of them shine without losing our identity. You heard all of those groups in our album, but you can't say it sounds any different than us. The trick is to get the best of them by maintaining you. When you are fortunate enough to have somebody like Randy Blythe willing to be on your record; they don't fuck with everybody. SLAYER don't let you remake 'Raining Blood'. They don't let people. When you hit that point with these people and say 'Yeah, fuck it. Okay.' That's a great moment.
"Dave Mustaine, he did the intro for our album and a guitar solo and Dave made it clear: 'Ice, I don't do this for anybody else. I'm not featured on people's records.' I'm like, 'Yeah, that makes it special, so we appreciate it.' It's mutual respect, that's what you're saying. They're able to look at us and say 'I get it.' We became friends with Henry Rollins, BUTTHOLE SURFERS, a lot of these bands, Trent Reznor [NINE INCH NAILS]. Real musicians respect being unique. Be unique. Do something that I'm not doing and couldn't even do if I wanted to do it. No matter what, they couldn't be BODY COUNT and I couldn't be them. Therefore, that's where the respect lies. If you sound like us too much, I ain't fucking with you because now I think you're trying to steal my shit. Like, one of the bands we got to know this year is POWER TRIP. I hear, at some points, some of our vibe, but it's not us. It's them. But, I respect it, but I like the sound. That type of shit. They ain't paying me to say I like POWER TRIP, but if Riley [Gale, vocals] says 'We need to fuck around.' It's going to be dope. [Laughs]"
On BODY COUNT's immediate future:
Ice-T: "We're going to make another album. Next year, we're going to go into the studio and try to outdo 'Bloodlust'. We have a title: 'Carnivore'. Our goal is just to outdo our last album. That's it. Not outdo any other band…we think 'Bloodlust' was better than 'Manslaughter', Now we got to outdo 'Bloodlust'. That's our goal. If you can't, you shouldn't do that next album."
On life on the touring and festival circuit:
Ice-T: "We're real low-key, we leave it all on the stage. We watch the other bands and pick up what we think is good. We're big fans of everybody. This touring shit is a drag at some point. Riding these fucking tour buses and all that shit, it's hard work. But, the fans, like I was saying, I don't give a fuck if Jimi Hendrix came back from the grave, I wouldn't sleep in a fucking tent to see any motherfucking body. So, when these fans come out, I want to give them an incredible show because their commitment is beyond my commitment. We respect it, but it's muddy and grimy and crazy out here."
"Bloodlust" was released in March 2017 via Century Media Records. The disc was recorded with producer Will Putney (MISS MAY I, UPON A BURNING BODY), who also helmed 2014's "Manslaughter". The effort also contains BODY COUNT's medley of the SLAYER songs "Postmortem" and "Raining Blood".