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Buckcherry frontman Josh Todd

Buckcherry frontman Josh Todd

History repeats itself. It always does.

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Last Edited by: Angela AJ Jenson November 7th, 2008.

Buckcherry is known as a party band, coming from the sleazier side of the rock n roll world. No one gets into your line of work thinking about steady paychecks and taking on responsibility. That's actually the opposite of what attracts people to the profession. But you've taken on quite a bit of responsibility and have a family relying on that paycheck. Which is better- the fantasy of rock superstardom or the reality of being a working musician?

Oh, being a working musician, definitely. I mean the fantasy is much grander than the actual job, but if it's what you're passionate about and you love it, as it is with us, then there's nothing better. It's great when you start to make a living at it. But no, it's not like limousines, hookers and blow. It's a lot more work than people think.

How does sober living fit into the 'sex drugs and rock n roll' philosophy?

I don't know. I don't really think about it as 'sober living.' We host the party every night. I got a good 10 years of getting loaded. I mean extremely loaded. I did it, and now it's like the other end of the spectrum. I'm enjoying it.

What are the benefits?

I wake up every morning knowing what I did the night before. Consistently performing a great rock n roll show every night. I've played shows loaded and it's not something you'd want to spend your money on, I can tell you that.

It wasn't too long ago that Vince Neil and so many other 80s rockers were on the state fair circuit. Cock rock was fading into obscurity, reduced to a novelty side show. What do you think happened to change the public perception about those aging rockstars and that style of party rock in general?

I just think history repeats itself. It always does. The market has been saturated with these asexual bands that barely know how to play their instruments. They have no talent. They learn their instruments well enough to put it in a computer and manipulate it there. But they can't perform live. I think people are getting back to rock n roll being a celebration. You'd go to the show to meet someone and have sex with them and get drunk and disorderly. You'd go to get away from everything.

There is speculation among industry insiders that arena bands don't exist anymore. The only way a band can draw a crowd that size is if they're from the pre-internet era. [Eleven Seven Music CEO] Allen Kovac said, “The music industry’s culture of failure is predicated on manufactured music for an invisible fanbase. Buckcherry have proven that real rock sells to real fans." How do real rock and real fans connect to each other in a digital world of disposable music?

Well it all starts out with songs. You gotta have great songs. We focus on making songs and records and being able to do it live. The thing about when we go in and record, we don't put anything on the songs that we can't perform in a live setting. We always have a song on the radio and we're always touring behind it. We show up and we give 110%. People know when they come see us, they're going to see a great rock show. It's hard to get to that arena status. This is our 4th record and we're just now getting there. You gotta stick to your game plan and stay committed to your sound and doing your own thing.

Did the new brand of rock breathe life into the classics, or did the resurgence of the classics lend credibility to modern dude rock?

I just think we had such a long period of time where there were no guitar solos and no guitar heroes. Now kids are starting to get into it again. It's fun again. They grow their hair long and they bang their heads. In the hey day I think it got oversaturated with hair bands. Things changed. Now we've had almost 2 decades of Weezer and Nirvana and the whole Seattle thing. Some great music came out of that, but I think kids just want to rock again.

Artists don't usually write songs setting out to make a hit. Are you ever surprised by what becomes a single or which songs are particularly popular among your fans?

It always seems like the songs we're not focused on as singles become the singles. It's hard to pick them. As a songwriter, when you've been in the process for a long time, you're so exhausted and you're so close to the music that it's hard to have and clear perspective of what's gonna work on radio. That's when we turn to our team for their perspective and advice and we form a game plan.

My next question is kind of a strange one. I've never asked an artist this before, but you seem like the best possible person to comment. A lot of the artists I've interviewed talked about the artistic credibility of their lyrics and their deep, poetic nature. Buckcherry is unapologetic strip club music. Can you make a case for your style of songwriting? What is the artistic value of lyrics that aren't particularly deep?

I'm glad you brought that up. We've been the black sheep in the industry for a long time. We're not deep. We don't take ourselves that seriously. AC/DC built an empire on simplicity. Simplicity is definitely an art form. It's not easy to write a simple, great rock song that is timeless and will still be amazing in 10 years. That's the challenge. If I just write crazy deep lyrics that only I can relate to, I don't know how exciting that would be to me over time. It's about having the connection with the audience. That's the best part. You're behind the scenes writing a song, but what you're waiting for is that kid who has been saving his money and waiting months to hear this song live and he's singing it at the top of his lungs. Finally, everything makes sense to him. When I see that, I see myself in my youth. Going to rock shows was everything to me. I finally felt like that was where I needed to be.

Freddie Mercury said...some journalist asking what do you want people to think of Queen when you're gone? He said 'I just want people to remember having a good time' or something like that. I thought that was amazing. That's what we want. It's a celebration of life. Let's do this. Let yourself go and let's have a blast! If it never happens again from this point on, I want to remember it always being the best.

In a review of your new album, Black Butterfly, Spin called you a mysoginist. The review was actually pretty positive, overall, but that word in particular seemed a bit strong. What do you think?

That's definitely not the case. I don't know why they would say that. I guess because I wrote 'Crazy Bitch.' I also wrote 'Sorry.' That's a problem with magazines. I don't think people take the time to sit with the record. If you've done your research, you would know that's definitely not the case. I love women.

Alright, well that's all the time we have. Thanks for talking to me!

Thank you.

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