Interview with Preacher Stone Frontman Ronnie Riddle
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I grew up in a musical family. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all sang in the church choir.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love to ride my motorcycle, read, paint, listen to music, and do chores around the house believe it or not!
How long has your band been around?
Marty Hill (guitarist) called me in 2008 and we’ve been at it ever since. 15 years!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Preacher Stone is based out of Landis, North Carolina USA. Huge influences from our lives and experiences - that’s what we write about, the common man.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Marty came up with Preacher Stone while watching the Clint Eastwood movie, “Pale Rider,” and looking at his stone fireplace.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Rocklahoma, Rocks, Ribs, and Ridges Festival, our recent first UK Tour is a particular highlight and we’ll be back there. Our tours of Europe and Scandinavia and all of the music cruises. Playing in front of 17,000 people with 38 Special in our hometown was amazing!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I really don’t have a favorite venue. I just enjoy playing in front of people who enjoy our music.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
The Fantasy version: Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Preacher Stone.
Real world: Black Stone Cherry, Jackyl, and Preacher Stone
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Embrace every aspect of the music. The van rides, the load ins, load outs, the rehearsals, the recording sessions, and the camaraderie. Love it all and do it for the love of it!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Put simply - Enjoy the ride!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“Livin’ Proof” because it’s about my friends.
“Can’t Keep a Good Man Down” because I’ve lived it.
“Old Fashioned Ass-Whippin’ Sumbitch” because it reminds me of my heroes.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I enjoy playing all our songs. The most requested are “Not Today,” “Whiskey Talkin’,” “Old Fashioned Ass Whippin’ Sumbitch,” “Hand On The Bible,” “Come on In,” “Day Late,” “Blue Collar Son,” and “Damage is Done” to name a few.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Usually Marty or Ben Robinson (guitarist) brings in an idea and everyone does their thing. It’s a very organic process. Whoever brings in an idea let’s everyone else make suggestions. As we’re working it into shape, I write the lyrics. Everyone contributes and makes suggestions. We just try things rather than argue about them.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Blue collar, working class values, friendship, love, good times, and love of your fellow man…
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Hardly ever, and they don’t last long at all. We’ve got a lot of respect for one another both as people and musicians. We’ve been through a lot together and that makes the bonds strong.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Finishing off recording then releasing our new album ‘Preacher Stone V’ later this year, touring the world and spreading the Stone! You check us out at https://preacherstoneband.com/