The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




on mixing up the live set, the new EP, meeting AC/DC and getting his Funk on…




Few bands have, over the last twenty years, so consistently kept the fires of real Rock and Roll burning as brightly as Buckcherry. Part Hard Rock, part Punk, and brimming with attitude; the band has survived seismic shifts in the music industry, loss of band members, a hiatus that lasted three years and not only managed to come through it all unscathed they’ve risen like a phoenix, seemingly capable reinvigorating themselves at will. Last year we had the notorious ‘F**K EP’ and what was the best Buckcherry album in years – ‘Rock N Roll’ – an album that takes it all back to basics and then expands the sound – throwing in all we love about the band and taking us to a few new destinations along the way.

Essentially you see Buckcherry is right – label it how you like, this is all just Rock N Roll, and Buckcherry’s brand of magic comes from where Josh Todd’s punk met the Hard Rock cool of guitarist Keith Nelson. Few bands get it this right for this long and few manage to keep it sounding so essential. If you like real Rock and Roll this is as good as it gets. We caught up with Josh to talk about bringing the band Downunder later this year…


Mark: Thank you so much for talking to The Rockpit today Josh


Josh: Hi Mark, how you doing?


Mark: Good thanks Josh. The big news Down under of course is that we get to see Buckcherry back here in 2016, so great to see you back so soon after promising you would be when you came out with Steel Panther.


Josh: Yeah we’re looking forward to coming over in March.


Mark: It’s not far off now! I notice you’ve got a gap at the start of the year before you come over, what are getting up to? A welcome break or are you recording again?


Josh: Actually we just got off the road December 6th, we completed a three month run in The States and Canada, so yeah we are actually recording right now, we’re working on some new songs for an EP that we want to put out and we also recorded a new song for a bonus track on the re-release of the new album and the second single ‘The Feeling Never Dies’ which is going to be cool.


Mark: You’re particularly productive at the moment with the new album and the series of Eps; has there been a change in the band’s mentality towards recording or just that you are particularly productive at the moment?


Josh: No, no we just really like to work; we’re all really passionate about Buckcherry. The only time we had a hiatus was after ‘Time Bomb’ but since ‘15’ we’ve made a lot of records and we either seem to be touring or making new music, because that’s what we do, it’s our business, it’s our passion.


Mark: And it’s great for fans, the new album ‘Rock N Roll’ that came out here back in August is one of the best yet, it’s got that huge Buckcherry energy, but it’s also quite diverse, there’s a lot of cool sounds going on there!


Josh: Yeah, you know after ‘Confessions’ which was a pretty emotional record for us, that we took a lot of time over, and it had that theme to it of the seven (deadly) sins… it was a kind of heavy record for us, so we just wanted to get back to making a fun up-tempo rock and roll record cause that’s what it’s all about and I’m glad you like it, I think it is one of our best. I like it that it is just ten songs, we always wanted to make ten song records and now that we have our own label we get to do what we want!


Mark: I know that you and Keith musically come from very different backgrounds but when we put you guys together we get pure Rock and Roll – what’s the essence of Rock and Roll for you? Josh: (laughs) For me it’s like honesty and no rules! Mark: I caught you over in the States at the Earthday Birthday in Orlando last year. I think every time I’ve seen you you’ve played a different set, which is one of the things I love – that you always get something different! Is that a spontaneous thing or pre-planned?


Josh: No I make up the setlist right before we go on. I try to see how I’m feeling from a vocal standpoint in the mornings and make an assessment, based on things like that and what we’ve done the night before. I mean there’s always going to be the usual suspects like ‘Crazy Bitch’; ‘Lit Up’ and all those songs but yeah, we mix shit up on the night because we’ve been touring a long time and we want it to be interesting for us too. So we’re always throwing ourselves curveballs to keep ourselves on our toes!


Mark: I’m a fan and I love that variety, very unlike a band like say AC/DC who play the same set every night on tour, and who I understand you and Keith bonded over back in the day?


Josh: Well I understand that, I understand why they would do that on such a huge tour and we can do that but, you know I just think it’s more interesting,… I mean we have people who tour with us, who travel from show to show and State to State and who come up to us at meet and greets and say things like ‘This is my 37th Buckcherry show’ or ‘This is my 50th show’ and when you hear that a lot from an audience you want to make that interesting for people – make it fun.


Mark: Well I think I’m into double figures with this run in Australia, not bad for someone from Down-under!


Josh: Oh wow that’s cool.


Mark: I first saw you at that date in Sydney in ’99 – I think the first album had only been out a short while then.


Josh: We were really green at that point – we were a baby band! That’s crazy.


Mark: A couple of questions now from our readers, this first one I’m sure you’ve been asked a million times before, but bear with us! Laura asks, what was your first tattoo and when did you get it?


Josh: Oh my first tattoo! It was on my wrist, I was fucked up and I’d just turned eighteen. I tried to when I was sixteen but I was underage and they carded me. So I got this Betty Boop on my wrist it was probably the size of a lighter and the guy, the tattoo artist was drunk and it was horrible, it was such a bad decision! And since then I’ve had it covered up, but I just wanted to be tattooed.


Mark: How do you think you band’s sound has evolved over the years?


Josh: I think we’ve just got more comfortable being who we are. I mean when you come to that realisation as a band it’s magical, when you instantly know what will work and what won’t as Buckcherry. I mean we haven’t reinvented the wheel – we put out rock records! We’re just a rock band but what I think is unique about this band is the honesty that you hear and the fact that, you know, I have a voice that doesn’t really sound like everyone else so when you hear it all put together and when you add that chemistry of Keith and I’s song-writing it makes this unique flavour and hopefully that’s what people get from it. And then really we’ve always based our reputation on our live show and when people come to see us they have a lot of fun and they keep coming back – so that’s what it’s all about for us.


Mark: You’ve played and toured with some great musicians over the years, who have you learnt most off and who has been the most inspiring for you?


Josh: Well AC/DC we got to do five shows with them in the States and that was our rock and roll fantasy come true! Not only were the shows amazing, and we’re all huge fans, but after the last show we got to hang out with the band backstage and they couldn’t have been more humble and kind. They took the time to answer all our questions and hang out with us and it was unreal! I sat on the couch next to Angus and talked about music while his wife made us hot tea and Brian Johnson was walking around the room telling jokes, and I was like ‘Wow this is like unreal’. For us at the time, when we’d just done the ‘Time Bomb’ record it taught us a lot. That’s the one I can really always talk about!


Mark: That must be so inspiring to meet your heroes early in your career and find them like that, normal nice guys. Do you still listen to a lot of Punk these days or have your tastes changed over the years?


Josh: No not at all, I like to listen to a lot of old school Funk now and I just like great songs, I listen to a lot of Pop too, anything at all that’s good.


Mark: I loved ‘Tight Pants’ off the new record, that song is so cool!


Josh: Oh yeah, we play that live every night, it’s so much fun to play! I went through another James Brown phase and after all that is where ‘Tight Pants’ came from!


Mark: I hope we get to hear a lot more Funk like that from you; you wear that sound particularly well!


Josh: You’ll be pleased with our new EP then; there will be a lot like that!


Mark: Do you have the name for the EP yet?


Josh: I do, but I don’t want to give it away just yet! We put out an EP ‘Fuck’ last year and again we’re going for a theme and I think you’re going to like it!


Mark: Sounds very cool! It’s that time now were we get to ask you the big two questions starting with… If you could have been a ‘Fly on the wall’ for the creation of any great album from any period, just to see how the magic happened and it all came together, what would it have been for you?


Josh: Wow! I’d like to have been there for The Cult’s Electric, I think that’s such a great album from top to bottom; and of course ‘Appetite for Destruction’.


Mark: Too great albums. And the really easy closing question, just to wrap it all up: ‘What is the meaning of life?’


Josh: What is the meaning of life? Wow - That’s a tough one, just to wrap it up – wow that’s tough! (laughs) I think, you know, it’s figuring out your place. How you can contribute to life with who you are, what you’ve got, all your tools, how you can add something to the whole set up and really enrich other people’s lives.


Mark: That’s a great answer and that you so much for taking the time to talk today, we really appreciate it.


Josh: My pleasure, see you soon.



Josh Todd spoke to Mark Rockpit - January 2016  


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