Buckcherry (Josh Todd on vocals, Keith Nelson on guitar, Jimmy Ashurst on bass, Stevie D. on guitar and Xavier Muriel on drums) is back with the follow up to their smashingly commercially successful album 15. When a band like Buckcherry hits the mainstream, the core fans sometimes fight back. For some reason, Buckcherry has been able to hold on to their old school fans while picking up legions of new fans without having to compromise a thing. Staying true to the grit, the grime, the sleaze and the slime that is rock n’ roll, Buckcherry has climbed up the slippery ladder of success in the music industry rung by rung and are now sitting at the top serving as an inspiration to garage bands coast to coast.
Their fourth studio album, Black Butterfly, dropped on September 16th. Working again with producer and writer Marti Frederiksen , the band fell right back into the studio after their lengthy touring schedule for 15. With influences to the glory days of rock the songs for Black Butterfly range from the party anthem “Too Drunk” to the balladesque “Don’t Go Away” to the opening, fist in the face rocker “Rescue Me”. There’s a little something for everyone on this one on this one.
Drawn to the stage like moths to a flame Buckcherry are aready back on the road in support of Black Butterfly, this band never stops…..so a great big thank you for lead singer Josh Todd for taking some time out of his day to talk to us about the new album.
Interviewed by: Ellen Leonard & Mary Ouellette | September 2008
You just finished up Cruefest and your set was one of the highlights if not the set of the night for a lot of fans, you seem to take a lot of pride in your live show and that’s where you really shine, would you agree that you feel most at home on a live stage?
Definitely! That’s when all the hard work pays off – being locked up in a rehearsal room at home and working day in and day out on songs, when you finally get to be in front of the people that’s when you get to see it all come full circle. It’s really exciting!
You are a madman onstage, how do you stay in such great shape? You don’t seem to stand still for a second.
I work out, actually. I have this regimen of kind of a boxing workout where I do push-ups and sit-ups and jump rope to keep my cardio up. It helps me sing better.
Where do you find time to do that in your crazy schedule?
I do it in the morning when I wake up.
Your album dropped on Tuesday….did you do anything special to celebrate on that day?
Yeah we played a show in Moline, IL and celebrated it with a great rock show.
After the success of your last album, did you feel any pressure going into the writing process for the new album?
Yeah, there’s always more pressure when you’ve had a successful record. We just kind of got back to the basics, which is being in a band and writing songs for the sake of writing songs, and it all worked out!
Did you feel you had to live up to any standard or was it just a natural progression for you?
No, I felt like we had to elevate our game and dig deeper on this writing cycle than any other writing cycle because a lot of people were looking at us to outdo 15. That was going to be hard work because that’s a really great record.
The songs on the album cover a range of styles. What are the highlights on the album for you personally?
I really like “Power To You”, “Rescue Me”, and “Dreams”. I like the whole record I have to say, but those are some of the highlights.
A lot of your songs tell pretty personal tales about your life and on this album you wrote the song “Fallout” that tells another chapter of your story, do you want to elaborate on the song for us?
That’s kind of written in the third person. When I heard that music it made me feel sinister and evil, I wanted to write it from a perspective of somebody who felt like they had just lost everything in their lives and they were broken hearted in every area and didn’t care anymore. They were on a mission to self destruct. I’ve often felt that way.
You worked with producer/songwriter Marti Frederiksen again on this album who co-wrote a few of the songs on your last album. What was it like with him as producer and did he contribute to the writing on Black Butterfly as well?
Yeah! He co-wrote three or four songs. Marti’s just a really talented guy. He really understands and has such a great sense of song. He’s great with melodies and he was great with me when I was recording vocals and we have a great chemistry. It was so great doing a record with him.
The album is called Black Butterfly and I read that there is a song called Black Butterfly that didn’t make the album, but the name stayed. Do you think that at some point you’ll release the song?
Yeah, I think it’s going to have a different title probably, but absolutely. We want to release that song, it’s a great song! There’re a few other great songs that didn’t make the record that we’ll probably put on other records.
I heard that 15 is named 15 because it was recorded in 15 days! How long did it take you to record Black Butterfly?
It took us about 21 days.
Your song “Rescue Me” is available for download for play on “Rock Band”. Are you a gamer at all? Have you guys had a chance to play Rock Band to your own song?
Yeah! We play “Rock Band” when we’re out on the road and it’s awesome. It’s so cool to be a part of that because that’s how a lot of kids are hearing music for the first time, through gaming. We were so stoked to be a part of the rock version of the gaming community, because we weren’t on “Guitar Hero”. It was really cool, and it’s really fun to watch other people play your music!
The terrain of the music industry has changed a lot since the inception of the band but Buckcherry has always found a way to stay true to its roots and find success with it. What’s your secret?
I think part of it is believing and being passionate about what you do, and that’s what we do. Really really working on your craft and fine tuning your skills is important, and we’re always focused on that. We’re really focused on the outcome when we go in to make a record, and that’s making a great record from beginning to end, not just thinking about songs that are going to be on the radio.
You started your co-headlining tour with Avenged Sevenfold a few days ago. Avenged Sevenfold seems to have a different fanbase than Buckcherry, are you seeing this as an opportunity to introduce yourself to new fans and how has the reaction been?
That’s why we thought it would be great to tour with them, but unfortunately, you must not have heard that they had to pull out because the singer had some vocal problems that he’s dealing with. He’s going to be okay but he had to be put on four week rest, so we won’t meet up with them again until November. Right now we’re out here with Shinedown and Saving Abel and the shows have been great!
Over the years, have you noticed your fanbase change as you become more mainstream?
Absolutely! Our fanbase is anywhere from age fourteen to forty-five. We love that! That’s just what rock and roll is all about. It’s timeless and everybody can enjoy it.
Has your set changed from the set you played on Cruefest? Have you added more material from Black Butterfly?
Very much so! We get to play an hour and ten minutes here. The Cruefest set was only forty-five minutes, so we get to play about four more songs which is fantastic! It’s a good mix of everything.
What is next for the band?
We’re just going to be touring a lot since we JUST released the new record. We tour a lot. We’ll probably be touring for the next year and a half!