By Troy Culpan
“Isn’t it bazaar that all we are is a band, two guitars, drums, bass and a vocalist and we just write about our experiences and our lives around us and what we did and we’re like this thing, and I don’t know one other band that’s making new, traditional rock and roll records and this has been going on since our first record in 1999."
From their self titled debut album way back in 1999 which delivered unto the world anthems such as Lit Up and Dead Again, to 2006’s 15 which featured Crazy Bitch and Sorry, to the infamous Fuck EP (where each song had everyone’s favourite F word in its title), and included the live staple Say Fuck It, Buckcherry have the songs to make you move. And on album number seven, opening track Bring It On Back has the riffs and refrain of another BC classic. Buckcherry uphold the unwritten commandments of rock music: Riotous energy, sexy swagger, primal chops and a lifestyle that can’t be switched off. They know no other way.
We gave Buckcherry front man Josh Todd a call to talk about the band’s upcoming Australasian tour, as well as their latest album ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’, live shows, and he gives us his take on the state of rock music…
We’re here because you’re heading back to Australia & New Zealand in March for a tour, these being headline shows, what can fans expect at a full Buckcherry show?
You can expect a lot of piss and vinegar *laughs* just high energy and low IQ pretty much *laughs*no, listen, we put on a great rock show, we kind of pride ourselves on our shows and stage show, its 100% live there’s no tracks or triggers or any of that bullshit. You’re gonna come and have a fuckin’ good time I’ll tell you that.
You’ve been back a few times over the last few years which is great, after that long break beforehand between tours what do you think it is about Buckcherry that Australian audiences just dig?
Oh we’re rock and roll that’s why you fuckin’ love us, you love us because we’re honest, you love our honesty and our purity and you want to just fuckin’ give a shit, right?
To me Buckcherry are one of the only bands out there truly upholding that rock and roll attitude and style and not putting it on if you know what I mean. What is it about being in Buckcherry that allows you to do this?
Isn’t it bazaar that all we are is a band, two guitars, drums, bass and a vocalist and we just write about our experiences and our lives around us and what we did and we’re like this thing, and I don’t know one other band that’s making new, traditional rock and roll records and this has been going on since our first record in 1999. We haven’t been mainstream and it’s just survival you know?
I mean you even named your newest album ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’. It’s the only name it could’ve been, right?
Yeah that’s why we titled the record ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’, I mean that’s just something that Keith and I threw around for a long time, but it was just the right time to call it what it is. People have been telling us that rock and roll is dead since 1999…
Now, there are certain songs that people instantly relate to a band, and it would be fair to say that ‘Crazy Bitch’ is definitely one of yours. At ten years old now is it great seeing the reaction that one still gets when you belt it out?
It’s insane, you know we wrote that song so quick, just didn’t think much of it we thought it would be a fun song to put on a record and would probably be a lot of fun with our core audience and they might like that song live and that would be it. It would never be on the radio and it’s become kind of a phenomenon, so we’re very grateful and thank God for that song, it resurrected our career at that point in time.
Oh yeah and the whole ‘15’ album was a turning point for you guys, it must have been refreshing when that happened?
Yeah it was real refreshing because the best part is that everybody told us we couldn’t sell rock records, nobody would sign the record in the United States, our manager had to find this independent label to put this record out and then 1.6 million albums later we proved them all wrong and shoved it right up their ass.
You’ve also been doing this for over twenty years, and the industry and music is in a much different place now, what for you has been the biggest and most notable change you’ve witnessed over the last twenty years?
God, you know… so much stuff, it’s changing at such a rapid state, I think you know the biggest changes is there’s no more controlled market place you know what I mean? When we first started it was like everything was kind of controlled on the radio, there wasn’t any internet and to get a record you got it when the record drops and you had to go buy the record so you didn’t know the songs, you couldn’t sample the songs before you bought the record or anything like that. So there’s no more of that, the industry has changed our income a lot, that’s our biggest gripe, not a lot of people buy records anymore, they don’t go out and buy a full length album, they’ll just buy songs and I even do that, I don’t buy a full record anymore… maybe an old greatest hits or something like that *laughs* I’d rather buy songs and make a playlist and just make sure it’s great songs before I buy them, you know?
That just means that bands need to step up in the live department, which is what works for you and you do so well…
Well, I agree you know but we have a good core audience that buys our records no matter what but I want to get to a bigger level and all the younger fans and all that, that’s the challenge.
There’s been talk for a while now about a live DVD, is that something still on the cards?
You know a live DVD is hard, they cost a lot to make, you have to learn how to do it cost effectively because the return isn’t very great on that. I know that’s what everybody wants but we have to at the end of the day break it down to how we’re gonna do it. We either break even or we get a return on our investment *laughs* so we’re working on it, it’s really the right show and the right place, we really want to do a show in LA, it’s our backyard and would be cheaper for us as far as the production is going to cost us but that’s not as fun for us with the audience, it would be much funner to do it somewhere outside of the United States somewhere where things get crazy, like Japan or Australia or somewhere like that.
So, besides Buckcherry, who if anyone can you see as a new band out there flying the flag for Rock and Roll?
New bands? I don’t even know, I don’t listen to too much new rock because it’s just a turd, honestly… I don’t want to say that anybody’s art is crap and I’m not going to talk shit on any bands or anything, but what I hear when I try to listen to new rock is that it’s very muddy, there’s not a lot of dynamic, there’s not a lot of soul, there’s not a lot of charismatic front men, there’s not a lot of guitar heroes and that’s why I think rock is in the place that it’s at. You go from one band to the next and you can’t tell who’s who anymore and it’s just kind of bland, that’s the word for it. So I listen to a lot of old school songs, listen to a lot of fun music, I listen to a lot of pop, there’s a lot of great songs out there and I just like the songs that are written by the songwriters.
Well let’s hope rock does come back…
I don’t really give a shit if it comes back, we’re gonna keep doing it and there’s a huge void to be filled and you just need to come to a Buckcherry show.
Lastly, let’s try and see if we can predict the future, so finish this sentence for me, the one thing Buckcherry wants to do in 2016 is…
Become a worldwide arena rock band!
Buckcherry New Zealand & Australia Tour
Sunday, March 13: Kings Arms, Auckland
Monday, March 14: 170 Russell, Melbourne
Tuesday, March 15: Max Watts, Brisbane
Friday, March 18: Metro, Sydney
Saturday, March 19: Metropolis, Perth
Tickets on sale HERE
Presented by Killrockstar & Soundworks Touring
Interview courtesy of maytherockbewithyou.com