Interview by Tracey Moyle – Music Maven Events.
Australia, prepare to rock harder than you have done in a very long time! Buckcherry are bringing back that classic hard rock sound and the energetically sexy rock n roll attitude they have made their core sound for the last 20 years.
They’re bringing Swedish Glam Metal Gods Hardcore Superstar and their thrashy sleaze rock with them and taking our own Bad Moon Born along for the crazy amped up ride.
After eight studio albums and several line up changes over their years Buckcherry have endured, built a dedicated fan-base and stayed completely true to the dream founding member and front man Josh Todd had back when being a rock start was a growing dream.
I spoke to Josh about the upcoming 20th Anniversary tour, the new album ‘Warpaint’, the importance of keeping fit on tour and so much more.
Hi Josh thanks for talking to Good Call Live and congratulations on 20 years of Buckcherry, the new album ‘Warpaint’ and upcoming Australian tour!
“Hey thanks, it’s an absolute pleasure. We’re excited to be coming over.”
It’s your 8th studio album, you must be so pumped to have the chance to be doing what you love after so many years.
“Yeah I’m really grateful and I know how hard it is and that being said we did work very hard for it. What can I say, it’s a dream come true. It’s what I dreamed about when I was a kid, I wanted to be in one band for my whole career and have a catalogue of music and it’s happening.”
You’ve been touring ‘Warpaint’ since January is it?
“Yeah we’ve been touring since January, we’ve put in over 100 shows and the band is really hitting on all cylinders right now. It’s the best lot of musicians we’ve ever had in this band.”
I’ve heard you can play up to 200 shows a year. Obviously it’s something you love doing, playing live?
“Yeah many years of that consistently, but you know that’s the best part of the business for sure is being on stage. Everything else is, you know, can be challenging at times so the big pay off is being on stage.”
You would have to keep yourselves pretty fit and healthy to keep going? I’ve spoken to a lot of younger local bands who focus pretty hard on fitness for touring. Is that something that keeps you guys going or are you just full of natural energy?
“As a singer I can only speak from that point of view, you know you gotta be fit if you want to do this for two decades. This set is very physically demanding for me you know ,I have to be fit and I like being fit anyway, it was part of my whole set up even before I started singing. I am also really competitive, like today is my day off and I went and found a tennis court nearby and I went and hit balls for a hour and it was really good conditioning because its super hot and humid out and so that’s what I did today.”
The new album ‘Warpaint’ is full of brilliant hard rock driven tracks in true Buckcherry style, the title track is a great example, but you are so good at keeping the sound fresh with each track having its own personality. Right Now is kind of a funky rap track. Radio Song is the softer track. No Regrets has a great punk sound to it. But still it’s Buckcherry without doubt. Being the only original member after 20 years, do you do the majority of the song writing? Or do you all contribute to the songs? And does it have to do with what is influencing you at the time.?
“Yeah I am one of the major songwriters of Buckcherry and I have been since day one. I started this thing on a little four track in my bedroom but right now Stevie (D) and I are doing all of the major song writing and you know, we collaborated with a song writer on the track Right Now. Really we’re just doing whatever is best for the song. As far as like, the dynamics of a Buckcherry record, you know we always have that, we have like, slower tempo songs and mid tempo songs and fast songs and rockers and all that stuff and that’s always been on every Buckcherry record and I think that’s what was great about all the older rock records, you know, they had a lot of dynamics, a lot of melodies and that’s something that’s kind of missed in rock music these days and I’m certainly glad we still do that you know.”
I had that conversation with another American artist and it was the same I think it was Leigh Kakaty of Pop Evil I was talking to, their songs have a evolving sound to them and the same with all Buckcherry albums there’s a song for every mood. You don’t feel like you’re listening to the same song over again. Like AC/DC and no offence to AC/DC at all but it all has a distinctive sound.
“Yeah, you know the thing with AC/DC, they’re a great example, you know, simplicity is an art form, it’s really hard to do and they’ve had this same model, as far as, how they write songs and they keep reinventing the same model and making it work, you know. They’re one of those exceptions to the rule that can just continue to do that and its always great and I think part of that is because, you know, it’s got soul. Those older rock bands have soul. They were listening to the right type of artists. Those bands were influenced by African American artists and that’s why the old rock bands were so cool. You know, AC/DC you can dance to it, you can fuck to it, you can party to it, that’s what’s great about AC/DC you know, and that being said, the records I really like all had all different flavours because I’m a sensitive guy and sometimes I want to hear a slow song, sometimes I want to hear a sad song. Sometimes I wanna hear a different groove you know, and that’s why I like bands like Aerosmith and Led Zepplin and bands like that who had a lot of dynamics in their records.”
You had Mike Plotnikoff back producing again for the first time since your 2006 album ‘15’ was realased and went platinum. That’s a few years in between, I image both he and you as a band have grown a lot in that time?
“Yeah, we’d grown a lot but it was like as if we’d just pick up from where we left off as far as the camaraderie and you know, Mike is such a lovely guy. He’s a great human being on top of how talented he is. We really needed to go in and have fun making a record again and so it was just the right fit at the right time and he really liked the songs and we just got in there and banged it out and it was a lot of fun. It was effortless and that’s when we make our best product.”
Touring a new album, you must find it hard after 20 years of songs to choose which new ones to put in the set while still keeping the hard-core fans happy with classic Buckcherry? Do you find different songs are popular in different countries depending on the success of certain albums over time?
“Yeah, you know you would think that but you can’t really gauge what an audience is going to react to. You think some times in festivals when there are like, all these hard-core bands and we think, ‘we gotta play all our hardcore songs’ and we can’t play our ballads or anything like that . But I always say ‘fuck that we gotta be who we are and see what happens.’ So we go out there and play a song like Sorry in front of a bunch of fans that are coming doing hard-core bands and you would be amazed at how many grown men are just totally singing Sorry at the top of their lungs and so you never know what people are going to gravitate toward and you know when a crowd are getting so much of one speed, it’s good getting up there and giving them a different look and different taste, a different tempo, a different way of presenting the show you know. So I stick to being Buckcherry every time we go on stage and it always works out.”
And being true to yourself is probably one of the major things that has kept you guys in the industry for so long with such a large fan base.
“Yeah, you know people really gravitate towards an honest interpretation of who you really are, that’s always the best way to go because it resonates with people and they can feel that. I think it’s the energy, you know not to get too deep but I think that people can feel that.”
Your touring with Hardcore Superstar, I spoke to Jocke (Berg) recently about the tour. He said you guys have toured together before. After so many years you must have toured with some pretty awesome bands? Maybe met some of your own idols?
“So many. We’ve been blessed and we have toured with those guys and we get along really well and they bring a great live show and it’s gonna be a lot of fun. Its gonna be wild. I can only imagine us and them and an Australian audience. Its gonna be crazy. We’ve only done shows with them in Europe so its’ going to be fun to see them out of their element in a new country and that.”
We have some amazing rock talent in Australia and I’ve seen Bad Moon Born before, I think it was with Pop Evil? They are a great choice to tour with. They are amazing. So talented. I’m excited to be seeing all three of you at one gig. Have you had a chance to listen to their stuff?
“I haven’t you know, I did a phoner right before I talked to you and that was the first time I’ve heard of them and I’m definitely going to go and check them out ‘cause it’s the second time they’ve been brought up so you know I’m always excited to hear new music. There’s been so many great rock bands come out of Australia. I’m sure they’re great.”
We really appreciate that bands like Buckcherry and Hardcore Superstar remember they have fans in Australia. We get missed by some big acts who embark on supposed world tours. It’s depressing at times for huge American Rock fans like myself. Lol So on behalf of all the rock fans here I want to say thank you. Do you think it’s the distance that makes it hard?
“I don’t know what it is. There’s so many factors getting places and it comes down to money at the end of the day. Getting over there trying to make it work budget-wise. The only thing I that I’ve noticed about Australia is its pretty spread out. You gotta fly to every city you can’t be on a bus. That makes it a bit more challenging. That maybe why, but I know we are going and we’re fired up.”
When you take the tour to countries like Australia do you ever bring your families on tour with you for a bit of a sight seeing trip?
“I would but getting my family to agree to sit on a plane for 15 hours is a challenge. (laughs) I grew up in southern California and I m a surfer and a skateboarder and sun and surf, that’s what I grew up with. Sometimes I go to Sydney and I get outa the plane and I’m like god this feels like San Diego California. I just flew 15 hours to go to San Diego. (laughs) But you know I’ve always wanted to surf Australia and I never had that opportunity because every time we get a day off we gotta fly so I don’t get a chance to really do much. Which sucks but maybe one day.”
We have some beautiful beaches here so it would be a great holiday.
Thanks for your time today. I really can’t wait to see you guys when you hit The Zoo in Brisbane, I’ll be bringing bunch of friends along.
“We can’t wait. Really looking forward to it.”
Buckcherry kick off their Australian Tour with Hardcore Superstar and Bad Moon Born in Perth at The Rosemount Hotel on 8th October and take it to Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and finish up in Sydney at the Metro Theatre on 13th October.
Don’t miss a night of brilliant old school gritty rock n roll with no doubt the most energetic acts in the business. All tour dates and tickets available HERE.