LA’s hard rockin’, hard partyin’ heroes Buckcherry have survived more band and personal problems than most. Lead singer Josh Todd has lived through them all and barely survived to tell his tales.
Thankfully, though, he has and his band is back with arguably the album of their career. Confessions contains a lifetime of those stories and thoughts based loosely around the seven deadly sins and tied up with Todd’s personal demons. Read the Geeks of Doom review HERE.
Fresh from successful support and headline shows, Josh Todd and Buckcherry are ready for the summer festival season and the chance to share their Confessions with the world.
Geeks of Doom: Confessions was originally conceived as a film, were you writing a screenplay?
Josh Todd: No, it all kind of happened organically the way it rolled out. It started with Keith [Nelson, guitarist] and I talking around the idea over the years of doing a record that revolves around the seven sins and so record six came up and just thought, Now is the time, let’s do something out of the box, something a little different from what we’ve always done. So we just started writing songs on the sins and at that time I was writing a script on my own life and the guys challenged me to write a story that went along with the record and the record could be the soundtrack of the movie. So I condensed my life story down to a 30-minute short film and wrote a script. Songs like “Nothing Left But Tears” and “The Truth” and those type of songs came out because in the script there’s a love interest and that’s how those songs came to be. We just packaged it all together into a great LP and it takes you on a journey and we’re really proud of it.
Geeks of Doom: Is the film going to happen?
Josh Todd: This is the problem, when we started it we had no idea. We’re not in the movie business so we didn’t know how much it was going to cost and it is a costly thing. We’ve been trying to get the funds together and now there’s talk about coupling it with the live performance DVD and trying to get it out before the end of the year.
Geeks of Doom: When you were writing it did it change your views on anything? “Gluttony” for example is about trying to live in moderation.
Josh Todd: Yeah, I struggled with moderation my whole life…I write all the lyrics for Buckcherry so as a storyteller it was a lot of fun for me. It was also really, really challenging because over the years so many people have done their take on the seven sins, bands and movies and everything, so we wanted to make sure we represented them in a really good way and a record that would go down and be remembered so people would always refer back to it. That’s a lot of pressure when you’re going in to write lyrics so I really worked hard on them. I wrote and re-wrote songs, I spent hours and hours and hours on this record. Looking back on it I’m glad I did, but at the end of the process I was so tired and frustrated and I was just ready to be done with it. But now that it’s done I listen back to it and I’m so pleased.
Geeks of Doom: Did you have that time to recharge and go back to it fresh?
Josh Todd: Yeah, I had to step away from it because I was so close to it at that time. It was such a personal record for me that once I was done I had to stop listening to it for a while. It took a while for the record to actually get out, it has been done since March 2011, that’s when we finished writing it so we’ve been sitting on it for months. I’m kind of glad we did because I needed to get away from that for a second. Now I’m excited playing all these songs live, it’s been a lot of fun.
Geeks of Doom: So it’s not draining anymore to revisit it?
Josh Todd: No. I mean, when you’re creating something you’re so close to it that you start to lose perspective on it, if it’s even good anymore. That’s the tough part about making records, at some point you have to say, This is it, this is the record. And you have to stop, you have to know when you’ve reached your limit…as a writer, as a band, we kind of know when we’ve exhausted the songwriting process for that moment and we know when to move on.
Geeks of Doom: The track “Sloth” came from your experience of your dad’s suicide. When you decided to write that song did you already know what you wanted to say to him?
Josh Todd: No. I wanted to tell the story of the day that it happened and how I felt and how it affected me. Songs are short stories and they’re about emotions…so I had to relive that experience which was very difficult for me. I cried a couple times. I broke down when I was writing that and even when I was recording the vocals it was really hard for me to get through. Keith, he was really good with me, very patient and let me go through what I had to go through to get where I had to go on that song. But a lot of people have been commenting on that song in a good way. It is very sorrowful, a sad song in a way, but it’s just my story and I wanted to tell my story through song. The most slothful act is suicide so that’s why I wrote about it.
Geeks of Doom: Does it give you an added level of satisfaction to know that you put so much of yourself into these songs and people are responding so positively to the album?
Josh Todd: The one thing I love about Buckcherry is we don’t have any boundaries and we don’t have any rules. I want to be honest with our art and our record because when I leave this earth I want to leave something that people can go back to, that want to do this for a living and get inspired. Something that is inspiring even if just one person [gets inspired], that’s great. If you can get a hundred thousand people, that’s great. I want to say what I feel and not worry about who’s it going to affect, are they going to be offended. I don’t think about any of that shit. I get some music, I have some kind of direction I want to go in my head with it and just do what feels right and that’s what I’ve always done. I think that’s what the charm is about [Buck]cherry; we go out there and just tell it like it is and if you like it great, if you don’t fuck off!
Geeks of Doom: That’s very true! You’re just finishing a tour with Kid Rock – how is that?
Josh Todd: The tours been really great. I just like what Kid Rock stands for. He says what he wants to do and he’s had to slay a lot of dragons over the years in the music biz, just like us and he’s always stuck to his guns and he puts on a great live show. It’s been such a cool rock and roll experience this tour and now we’ve been getting a lot of new fans and that’s what it’s all about.
Geeks of Doom: This summer you’re coming over to the UK for the Download festival. Are you looking forward to that?
Josh Todd: Fuck yeah! Yeah, we played it before and Download used to be Donington right, back in the day? We’ve seen so many incredible live DVDs of Donington so it was always a place where we wanted to play. We got an opportunity to play there in the past, we were on really early and there was still a ton of people there! It doesn’t matter if the stage is small or big or whatever, we’ve got the same mentality when we step on that stage and it’s just to give the people their money’s worth, that’s really our main goal. We love playing over there [in the UK] and the crowds really love and respect rock and roll for all the right reasons. It’s not radio driven, it’s more if you’re real rock and roll then they like who you are and that’s what’s cool.
Geeks of Doom: That’s right, we don’t really have any rock stations (on national radio), it’s very much driven by the people.
Josh Todd: Yeah, it’s real. When people get into your band they get into all your records and all your songs, not just they want to hear the hits. They’re just into the whole thing and they seem to invest in you for life and that’s really cool.
Geeks of Doom: Which songs have you been playing most off the new album when you play live?
Josh Todd: Right now we’ve been playing “Gluttony”, “Wrath”, “The Truth” and “Air”. We haven’t had a lot of time to rehearse these songs because on the Kid Rock tour we don’t have any sound checks so we’re basically trying rehearsal in our dressing room and then going out and doing it live. It’s pretty challenging for us because we’re a band that likes to rehearse so we’re trying to get as much rehearsal in as we can. Everybody wants to hear a different song so that’s the hard part. We got five other records or material of songs that we have to rotate. It’s kind of challenging now making a setlist, it’s a lot of work!
But this record in particular we’re starting to get a lot of requests to perform the whole record. Maybe at some point we’ll just go out and we’ll do a tour and just do Confessions which might be cool.
Geeks of Doom: Absolutely! Do you have any more tour plans for this year?
Josh Todd: Oh yeah, man. We’re going to finish up this tour in the states with Kid Rock then we’re going to Australia and Japan and then we’re working on a European tour in the summer, do the festivals then hopefully tear up with another band that I can’t mention at the moment until it’s nailed down.
Confessions is out now:
U.S. Deluxe CD, CD, and MP3 Download
UK CD & MP3.