Josh Todd, lead singer of the hard rock band Buckcherry recently called NEO Music Scene to talk about the band’s new album “Rock N Roll” and their upcoming appearance at the Cleveland Agora on September 13.
Greg Drugan: Hey Josh! How are you doing?
Josh Todd: Great, How are you?
Greg Drugan: I’m good. Where are you calling me from today?
Josh Todd: I’m calling you from the racetrack in Fontana, California.
GD: Have you started your tour yet?
JT: We played a show last Friday, but we actually start the tour on Wednesday of next week.
GD: Very good. How long are you going to be out tour supporting your new record?
JT: Probably a good year and a half to two years.
GD: Wow, that’s a lot of road time. You guys just released your seventh studio album “Rock N Roll” and the majority of the band has been together for over fifteen years; to what do you attribute your longevity?
JT: You know, hard work, perseverance and the fact that Buckcherry fills a void in music. We are kind of a unique band in that we are a traditional rock and roll band but we are still making new records.
GD: Right, that was my next question; we’re about the same age, when we were growing up it seemed that there were a ton of rock bands that we could listen to. You are one of the few, true rock bands left. Where did all of the rock bands go?
JT: Well the dinosaurs have kind of fallen away. A lot of people compare us the rock bands we grew up with but we are a whole generation ahead of them, you know. Bands like Motley Crue, Aerosmith and Kiss are slowly fading away. They are getting too old to play very many shows or they don’t make new records. So we’re kind
of it! Our first record was in ’99 and here it is our seventh studio record and there’s not many rock bands out there making records like this.
GD: Right. I know that you were a big AC/DC fan growing up; what other bands have influenced you throughout your career?
JT: My whole foundation is punk rock. I grew up in Orange County, California and I’ve listened to different types of
music. My parents influenced me with the music they loved. My mom played a lot of Linda Ronstadt and Rod Stewart around the house. My dad listened to the Eagles and bands like that. But when I was a teenager and I could
buy my own music, it was punk rock. My foundation was bands like 7Seconds, Subhuman or The Replacements, GBH or Minor Threat. Those are the bands I listened to. Then I got into rock later on.
GD: Very good. I love the title of your new record “Rock N Roll”; it’s straight forward and basically sums up your band. What was the overall vibe for this record?
JT: Well, let’s talk about the title. The reason we came up with that was every time we put out a record, people would say “rock is dead.” They’ve been saying that since 1999. We’d hear, “You can’t sell rock records” or “rock is dead” and yada, yada, yada. But here we go, we have two gold records and one platinum record and we just kept rolling and did what was right in our hearts. It seemed to work out. Wait, what was your question?
GD: What was the overall vibe, I know the title is Rock N Roll, but what was the feeling in making this record.
JT: Well, Confessions (the last release) was a very personal record and it was a very theme-based record. We took a long time writing it and we toured three years on it. But this time, we just wanted to have fun
again. We wanted to make a great rock record from beginning to end, a ten-song rock record because all of our favorite records are nine or ten songs. That’s what we’ve done in the past but the record label we were on always
wanted more and more songs. That was never our intention; we always wanted ten song records. But now we can do
what we want, because we have our own label: “F-Bomb Records” and it’s a lot of fun to be in Buckcherry right now!
GD: I bet! Your new single “Tight Pants” has that traditional Buckcherry sound, but the horns seem to add a diffe
rent dimension. What made you decide to go into that direction for this song?
JT: That was actually Keith’s idea. He told me he
was putting a horn section in there and not to say anything until I heard it. I didn’t like it at first. But we started listening to it more and more with it in and we all
started to like it and that was it.
GD: What is your favorite track on this album?
JT: Probably “Rain Falling,” that’s one of the coolest Buckcherry songs we ever wrote. The melodies and the groove and the space, it’s just a cool song for us and “Tight Pants.” Probably thosetwo.
GD: How much of the new album can we expect to hear live?
JT: We’ve already played “The Madness,” “Tight Pants,” “Bring It On Back,” and we played “Sex Appeal” the other night. I mean, we can play this whole record. We will start adding stuff once we get into the groove.
GD: Thinking back as a kid growing up, what was the best concert that you attended?
JT: Wow, that’s a good question. The most memorab
le was the first concert I ever went to. It was Fender’s Ballroom in Long Beach, California and saw the Ramones and that pretty much changed my life. Cut to the best arena show, it was probably Iron Maiden. They played in
the rain and it was amazing. Also, the first time I saw Slipknot blew my mind.
GD: Do you remember the first record that you bought with your own money?
JT: Whoa, no I don’t. Good question. Maybe it was Social Distortion’s “Mommy’s Little Monster.”
GD: I love your version of “Say Fuck it.” (A cover of “I Love It” by Icona Pop) Whose idea was it to cover this pop song? You definitely put your own spin on it.
JT: That was my idea. I listen to a lot of pop music with my kids and every time I heard it I thought, “This could be a punk rock song.” The verses are so cool and I love the words in the verses. It’s so cool. It’s such a great song and it’s so simple, I thought it would be a fun one to approach in a rock way. I think it more fun to take a song not in your
genre and make it yours. I think when you listen to that song, it sounds like a Buckcherry song. The way we do it, and that was the whole point, you can always recreate a rock song but when you take a song like that, it was just a lot of fun.
GD: Do you have any plans to do something like that in the future? I think it would be great to take another pop song and make it a Buckcherry song.
JT: Absolutely! We would do something like that ag
ain sometime in the future. It just depends on the timing and everything.
GD: Very good. With technology today, it seems that everyone is on their cell phones taking pictures and recording shows instead of being in the moment. What’s your take on that?
JT: Of course I think any artist would want their
fans to be in the moment. I tell you, the worst thing is when people Facetime their friends during a show. They are holding their phone up and their friends are sitting somewhere on a couch. That pisses me off! It’s like come on, it’s bad enough that you are holding your phone up but then someone else is watching the show from a couch somewhere on their phone. It blows me away at how not in the moment people are. They are much more interested in updating their profile with pictures and video clips then they are actually having the live experience. If I had it
my way, and maybe it’s the way of the future that people will have to check their phones at the door. Or maybe it will be mandatory that people cannot bring their phones into the venue.
GD: The fan base here in Cleveland love what you do; you are one of the few rock bands out there and we’ll definitely be here to support you. Is there anything you’d like to say to your Cleveland fans?
JT: Thank you! Cleveland, we love you. We’ve played a lot of great shows there and we can’t wait to come over and rock your heads off! We’re looking for a great night of Rock and Roll and come out to the rock show!
GD: Josh, thank you so much for your time. We look forward to your show on September 13, and we hope to pack the Agora for you!
JT: Right on! We’ll see you soon!
You can download Buckcherry’s new album titled “RockN Roll” on iTunes. Check out Buckcherry live on Sept. 13 at the Cleveland Agora. For more information go to buckcherry.com