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INTERVIEW: JOSH TODD of BUCKCHERRY – March 2019

| 12 March 2019 | Reply

 

According to a recent press release: “Rockers Buckcherry are teaming up with Gear Gods to share exclusive behind the scenes footage of the making of Warpaint. The video is part two of a series of videos that will premiere on Gear Gods to promote the band’s upcoming full-length album. Warpaint, Buckcherry’s forthcoming LP, is set for release on March 8th via RED MUSIC. The album was produced by the legendary Mike Plotnikoff (Chris Cornell, Nita Strauss & Halestorm), who previously produced the band’s platinum certified album 15, catapulting the band to superstardom with the top ten hits “Crazy Bitch” and “Sorry.” We get frontman Josh Todd to discuss new music, touring, and much more…

Toddstar: Josh, thank you so much for taking time out, man. I really appreciate it with everything you guys have going on right now.

Josh: Yeah, thanks man. It’s been quite a ride. Eighth record, 20 years in the game, it’s a really good record.

Toddstar: What I’ve heard of it is amazing. I was one of the guys that actually did the pre-sale so I can’t wait for that thing to show up in my mail next Thursday or Friday.

Josh: Oh, awesome! Thank you!

Toddstar: We’re talking about the album Warpaint. What can you tell us about this album that your fans may or may not grab the first or second time they listen through it, Josh?

Josh: What they may or may not grab? I don’t know! I just think as a whole, song to song, I encourage everybody who get it to sit down and listen from one to 11. We worked super hard on this. We wrote 30 songs for an 11 song record so it goes to show you how much songwriting we did. We started in November, of 2017, Stevie and I, and we knew we had a lot to overcome. There was a lot of change that had taken in place with Buckcherry and a lot of times since the last record. So we knew it had to be really good, and it’s so reminiscent of the songwriting process that happened before the 15 record. So it’s very special, the Warpaint record. And to have this kind of record so late in our career is really cool, and I’m really excited. And I’m so glad it’s about to hit the streets because it’s been a long process.

Toddstar: It’s definitely been a long process and a long wait for the fans as well. I know, again, I’m chomping at the bit to listen to it top to bottom. Going through this album and through this process Josh, like you said there were some changes and there’s been some times since the last album; you referenced 15 and that resurgence. What about this process gave you that feeling of that process you had before 15?

Josh: Well you know, whenever there’s a lot of change and a lot of change within Buckcherry, and that’s what happened, Keith and Xavier left the fold and so there was a lineup change. And before that, Buckcherry just wasn’t in a good place. We weren’t all focused on the same thing. And it’s really hard to have success when that is going on. So the lineup change was really great. We got Kevin Roentgen on guitar and into the fold and Francis Ruiz on the drums, and we just became a pirate ship again, and a gang. And it just became exciting to be in Buckcherry again, and so with that going on, it really made for great songwriting. We were all, Stevie and I were also going through a lot in our personal lives and that’s always good for songwriting. And then we also had this huge goal to overcome all this adversity and we’ve been up against the wall so many times throughout the 20 years that it was, it kind of ignited a flame in us. And that’s why it’s so good!

Toddstar: Listening to the songs that I’ve heard – “Warpaint,” “Bent,” and “Head Like a Hole” – what is it about these songs that in your mind made them Buckcherry songs? You’ve done other projects with Stevie… Year of The Tiger album as Josh Todd And The Conflict and Spraygun War which I loved! That was a totally left field project. How do you guys write these songs and think, this is a Buckcherry song not a Josh and Stevie song?

Josh: Yeah, listen, the great thing about Stevie is I’ve known him since I was 19. Way before he got into Buckcherry. And what I love about Stevie is he’s like me. We want to write all kinds of songs. We don’t want to just be stuck in one genre. We want to really experiment with all kinds of songs and sounds. We were out on the road and I’m like, I want to make some music! That’s how the Spraygun War EP came about. We made that out on the road on laptops. And we had so much fun doing it. And then I wanted to get back to my heavier roots and Buckcherry at the time was going through a lot of change, and we had been over touring. And there’s a lot there. And I wanted to make a new record. And that’s how we created Josh Todd And The Conflict and got back to my more aggressive, heavier side of me. And Stevie knows all that. He’s known me for a long time, and he knows that’s my foundation. So we wrote a lot of those songs, they were in drop C, D, and so it was a much heavier record. And we knew that, that was good for Year of the Tiger. And then once we got to the Buckcherry songwriting, Stevie and I were in full song, is what I like to call it. We had really developed our songwriting language at that point. We knew exactly how to communicate with each other to get what we needed out of each other. And Stevie’s been in Buckcherry since 15. It’s not like he hasn’t been around. He knows exactly what’s great about Buckcherry and what makes Buckcherry tick, and he wasn’t given a lot of opportunities because of the politics of the band in the past. And this was his time to shine. He’s a really talented musician on every side. He can sing really well. He’s a great guitar player. And great songwriter so we had a lot of fun. And mostly the Buckcherry songs are written in four-forty tuning and D. We have some drop D songs. We did a lot of that on the Confessions record. We kind of new the perimeters we kind of had to stick to, to keep it Buckcherry, but we also wanted to bring it along to a more sonically, better sounding rock record. And there’s songs like, there’s a song called “The Alarm,” and “The Vacuum,” “Back Down,” and “No Regrets.” There’s so many cool flavors on this record. You’ll hear it soon enough, but we really bridged the gap. What I like to say is, we made a record that the Buckcherry fans that have been with us since 1999 and the new Buckcherry fans that are coming to the fold, that everybody could appreciate. That’s the way I feel.

Toddstar: That’s one thing I think you’ve always done is kind of stayed true to yourself and your Buckcherry sound. It didn’t matter whether you’re doing your solo stuff or Time Bomb, which is still one of those albums that I spin over and over and over. It’s just good rock and roll. What’s been the hardest aspect of the business for you to deal with as you’ve been trying to push, because you’re the only original member left? As you’ve been trying to carry this legacy for 20 years, what’s the hardest part of the business aspect for you to deal with?

Josh: Oh man. I really try not to dwell on the negative but there is a lot of negative in the music business. I think the hardest part is getting people to really work on your behalf outside of just your band and your manager. Because you need that. You need the whole situation, machine running in order to break a record, you know? So it’s like trying to have faith in a bunch of people that you just don’t know very well at labels and stuff like that. That’s really difficult because you handover this piece of art that you’ve labored over and been dwelling on for so long and then you’re just hoping that the people that are going to try to get it on the radio, that are going to try to help you market it in the right ways, are as passionate about it as you are. And that’s not always the case.

Toddstar: You guys start the U.S. tour on the 6th. But you guys just gone with some European dates. Were you able to road test some of these songs while you were over there? Or did you hold off on putting the new ones out there?

Josh: Oh, yeah, yeah. We didn’t want to get too deep into it because nobody knows it, but we’ve been playing the three you mentioned, “Warpaint,” “Bent,” and “Head Like A Hole.” But we’ve also been throwing out the other song called “Backdown” which is my favorite song on the record. But there’s these other slower songs, “Radio Song” and “The Hunger,” that I can’t wait to do. But we’re going to wait until the record drops. And then I just can’t wait for the record to drop so we can kind of see what songs more people are streaming than other songs. And we can kind of find what everybody’s really liking the most on the record. And then we’ll start playing it live. We’re really chomping at the bit.

Toddstar: You awe have mentioned the tour starts the 6th and here in Michigan you are playing a smaller venue, what’s it about a small joint like that, that really kind of drives home the vibe and groove of a Buckcherry show?

Josh: I think every band likes to get back to that at some point because it reminds them of when they started. You start out in small clubs and you build it from there. So I think that when I get in an atmosphere like that, I can only speak for myself, it just, it really ignites me, it’s fun, and you kind of get back to what I like to call my punk rock roots. And you get to do a show that’s maybe different than when you’re on a, you got a big production and lighting package and bigger stage. It’s more raw and in your face. And you can really see the reactions from the crowd because you’re so close to them. So that part of it is really cool.

Toddstar: The last time I saw you guys at a smaller venue, it was funny, I’m standing outside the venue waiting to come in, and here comes a guy on a skateboard and low and behold it’s you. You stopped for a second, you talked to me, and then you kept going. But you made yourself accessible. When you get a star struck fan, we know how we feel, but when was the last time that you were actually star struck Josh?

Josh: Wow! That’s a really good question. I don’t get star struck from musicians. I’m big into racing, motor sports, and boxing. So, it was years ago. I met, randomly, ran into Floyd Mayweather in a lobby of a Vegas hotel. I was checking us out. I got up super early. It was like, I think it was like 6 a.m., in the morning, or 7 a.m. because we had to catch an early flight. And I had watched the Floyd Mayweather – Shane Mosley fight. I was at the MGM for that. And I saw him and he kicked Mosley’s ass, and I guess he was just up from that night. He’d thrown an after party so he was with some guys and friend of his and he was walking through the lobby, and it was like a ghost town in the lobby at 6 a.m. in Vegas. And I see him coming towards me and out loud I just go, I can’t fucking believe this! And I was just like, “I love you! And you’re amazing!” And he was so fucking sweet. He just walked up and gave me a hug. And I didn’t even think of taking out my phone. He just gave me a hug and I was like, last night was amazing, the performance was great, I was there. And he was like, thank you and I appreciate that. And then he just walked off. And I’m standing there just blown away! And I’m like, fuck! I didn’t get a picture with him! But that was it. That was probably the last time I was really star struck.

Toddstar: On the other side of that coin, what’s it like for you when you get that fan that screams out, fuck, I can’t believe this and they’re meeting you?

Josh: It’s weird because I never think about it. I live in L.A. so nobody recognizes me here. Occasionally I’ll be at the like the Chicken Café and I’ll get some detectives that are there eating lunch, and they’ll come up to me and they’re into rock and they love Buckcherry, and that’s really flattering. But everybody’s too cool for school in L.A. Nobody says anything here. So I don’t ever think about it. And then when I go on the road it’s like a whole different thing. And so I’m totally flattered. I never think about that kind of stuff. I’m only thinking about the work. So when somebody comes up to me it’s just like, hi, I’m so glad, and what do you want to do? You want to take a picture? It’s nice to meet you, and that’s about it. It’s awesome! At the end of the day, and I always do this in my personal practice, I do meditation and stuff like that, and I always want to remain teachable. Everybody’s got their own situation and story and nobody’s above or below anybody else. And I always remember that. It’s the people that make Buckcherry thrive, and Buckcherry provides a service that makes people happy and I just look at it that way. It’s like this synergy and it’s amazing and I’m just grateful! I’m grateful that I get to do what I love for a living.

Toddstar: I know you’re busy so I want to let you go, but I got two more quick ones for you Josh. With The Dirt coming out, and I know you’re all too familiar with the Motley Crue, you guys toured with them back in the day, if they were to make a movie about Buckcherry who would you want to play you?

Josh: Oh wow! It would have to be a really diverse actor. I would want somebody who… I don’t know who these young guns are. It would have to be somebody young because I would want to tell the story of me, I’d want to start with the childhood because that’s really what molds the artist. You remember the movie The Basketball Diaries? A young Leo DiCaprio? It would have to be a guy like that who is something like that. Lanky, skinny, could really be all kinds of different things, a really good actor. Something like that because I’ve had a lot of stuff. There’s a lot of history there. And that would be cool. But I don’t know if that will ever happen but we’ll see.

Toddstar: As you get ready the set list for the tour and we’ve talked about the three singles that came out that you guys are playing. What song off the new album do you think will hold up best in your catalog as time goes by?

Josh: Wow! That’s a good question. Man, I like to think all Buckcherry songs are timeless because of what we do. It’s so hard to predict. I mean, I really think that “Bent,” it’s one of those, it’s a first time listen song. When I hear that song, I cannot stand how I feel inside, and I hear that first line, I’m there! I’m like, this is, I’m locked! It’s hitting my emotions. I’m like, this is amazing! I got to hear the rest of this song! Who is this? That’s the way I feel about that song. It’s like one of those instant grat tracks. I think “Bent” is one of those songs and on the slower side of things, we wrote this song called “Radio Song,” and it’s like what I like to call Buckcherry’s “Purple Rain.” I feel like it’s one of the coolest songs we’ve written. It was really heartfelt, and I was going through a lot of transition so I think that’s one song that people are going to, it’s really going to resonate with people.

Toddstar: Awesome. Well again Josh, I can’t thank you enough for your time – I know you guys are ramping up for one hell of a run here. Can’t wait to see you in the Detroit area!

Josh: Thanks man! We love Michigan! So many memorable shows! And I appreciate it. Make sure you say hello.

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Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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