INTERVIEW: Josh Todd (BUCKCHERRY)
Levi: Hey Josh. How are you?
Josh: Levi. How are you mate? I'm good.
Levi: Yeah. Good man. How are you doing? How's the interviews going so far?
Josh: Going good. A lot from Australia.
Levi: Yeah. That's awesome man. I saw you guys for the first time live, it was in 2013. It was just such a cool lineup because you guys played with Steel Panther, who I love, and also Fozzy with Chris Jericho. That just sounds like the funnest guys you could ever tour with. How was it? How was the shows?
Josh: What a great time. Those guys were a lot of fun to tour with. We hadn't been back in Australia for awhile so it was really great for us. We've been itching to get back there. There are so many places ... It's a big country. We enjoyed it and they love rock and roll there. That's what it's all about.
Levi: I've always been curious. Steel Panther, are those guys like they are onstage, offstage? Are they the same guys just when you're on the road?
Josh: I don't know. We all are friendly with those guys but we don't spend a whole lot of time with them offstage. They're pretty mellow. They've been doing it for a long time. They just love what they're doing.
Levi: Yeah. I always just wondered how much of it was serious and how much was just parody but I guess that's just part of the mystery of Steel Panther. Definitely was a cool show man. It was great seeing you guys.
Josh: They love that era of rock and roll, of course, as you can see that. They're just really clever on how they put it all together.
Levi: Do you prefer playing live or in the studio?
Josh: Everything leads to the other thing. They're all linked. I really like songwriting. I don't like sitting around in the studio. I like to just go in and do my work and leave. I don't like to sit there for hours and hours and hours. You have Keith. He's okay with that so that's why he does it. I can't stand it. I like to ... I come home and I work on my lyrics and melodies and I get a lot of rehearsal. I work it all out so that by the time we get to the studio, everything is already ... All the arrangements are done. All the lyrics are written. I got to just go in there and capture the performance so that's what that is.
The real chaos is then getting in front of an audience and you see how they react to these songs that we've created from nothing. That's what it's all about right there.
Levi: Have you got a chance to play any of the new songs from Rock n Roll live?
Josh: Yeah. We've been playing Bring It On Back live but now we start back up a week from today in New Jersey. We're going to start playing Tight Pants and The Madness and some of the other songs. It's going to be fun.
Levi: Yeah. It's definitely a cool album. Are you more proud of this album than stuff you've done in the past? Do you think it's one of your best?
Josh: Yeah. I think this record is definitely one of our best. It's on our own record label too, F-Bomb Records. It's a 10-song record. It's the rock record we always wanted to make. We've always had our hands tied with our record labels. They always wanted 12-song records. I just feel like that's too long of a record. So now we get to do things the way we like to do them and we're getting great response.
Levi: Yeah. I know you guys were a bit annoyed a few years ago. One of your albums leaked onto BitTorrent. You guys have been around for 20 years and you've seen the change from physical music to streaming music. I'm just wondering, what do you think of these new services like Spotify? I know I met Cradle of Filth not long ago and they said they haven't seen a cent from Spotify. I'm wondering, you guys seen much money from streaming services? Is that going to be the future of music and do you think it's a good future?
Josh: Yeah, it's hard. The music business is changing dramatically almost from quarter to quarter in the whole year. It's just ... There are pros and cons but at the end of the day places like Spotify and these streaming services get somebody hooked on Buckcherry and they show up at our live show and they become lifelong fans. That's what it's all about.
People are going to get music one way or another. When I was a kid, I had very limited budget and I love music. I go down to my friend's house down the street and I would make demo cassette recordings of playlists off all his records. You just had to buy a cassette so like it's 3 bucks. I had to spend 10 bucks, 15 bucks on a record and I had to get all these songs. But at the end of the day, the bands I was turned on to, I would go see them live. Then I would eventually get to the record store and buy a record. I think it's just happening the same in a different way.
The only thing I don't like about what's going on these days is that I think technology has really generated a lot of mediocre products. There's no more controlled market. Kids can manipulate their vocals and manipulate their instruments through a computer and they don't have to be really great at it. They never have to be really great at their craft. Because of it, there's a lot of just muddy sounding bands that are completely forgettable. That's the drag of it all. I want to see more Guitar Heroes. Now I want to see more charismatic singer front men who write songs and they can play them and they can perform. They know how to work an audience. Something that's going to have longevity. That's the key thing, in rock music at least. Pop music is doing fantastic.
Levi: Yeah. I was just thinking the other day all these great bands at headline festivals now ... You've got Iron Maiden, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne. These guys are only going to be around maybe 10 more years at most. You think there's going to be a next wave of Metallicas and Judas Priests and Iron Maidens, guys that can fill that void? Do you think what we've got now is good enough?
Josh: I don't think it's going to be like that. I think there will be great metal bands that will come out but it's going to be a different type of thing. It's not going to be like back then when you were like waiting in line to go get a record because everything was controlled back then. Music, they released it on radio. You didn't have this world wide web where you could just go and search anything from your couch all over the world. It's just never going to be like that again.
Are there ever going to be bands that come out and they have a really long career? There's going to be that. Eventually that's going to happen. Somebody ... A group of guys that have that X-factor, that have that special thing, and they've managed to weather the storm and go through all the growth periods and the peaks and the valleys. I think that will happen. It's happening with us.
Levi: Yeah. I don't know a whole lot about Buckcherry's history so I'll ask you now. Just looking on your Wikipedia, it says you guys disbanded for 2 years. I think it was between 2003 and 2005. What was the official story with that? Why did you guys break up for a little while?
Josh: That's actually correct. After our second record, Time Bomb, 3 of our band members had quit. 3 other guys had quit. It was just Keith and I kind of holding up the fort. At that point in time, we just went in and started writing songs for the third Buckcherry record. Some of those songs came out on 15. One of them was Crazy Bitch.
Levi: Oh, wow.
Josh: That's what we did for a little while. We couldn't find the right replacements. We couldn't find the right band members. Everybody thought we had a lot of money and we didn't have any money. At that point in time, we were just writing demos like and we did the Keen Art project with Slash, Duff and Matt and me and Keith. That happened. That was going on for a month or so. That didn't work out so it was just a lot, a lot of setbacks at one time. It was just time for Keith and I to take a break, take a hiatus. It wasn't because of any bad feelings or anything. We just had to go our separate ways for the time being.
Then eventually ... It was always in the back of our head what we wanted to do. Actually, I reached out to Keith because he had something going on in his personal life and I just wanted to say hello to him as a friend. Then we just started talking and shortly after that ... We had these 3 guys in mind at that time. We didn't really audition anybody. We just went in with these 3
guys and we had one rehearsal. We all left there with smiles on our faces. We just said, "All right. If you guys want to do this, come here on Wednesday, or whatever, and bring studio gear in." So everybody
came. Everybody showed up and we just started working.