Buckcherry – Across The Ocean


It is going to be a big year for Buckcherry as they celebrate the release of their seventh album Rock ‘n Roll with a string of Australian dates and a number of other releases planned. It is also the tenth anniversary of the release Crazy Bitch. Across The Ocean got to speak to front man Josh Todd about the headline tour of Australia and the new album.


Morning, how are you Josh?

Really good buddy, living the dream! Living the dream!

The band is well overdue for a tour down under?

Yeah man! We’re looking forward to it, we’re going to be doing headline shows, it will be sick!

Is Adelaide likely to get a late minute show?

Are we going to throw another show in, is that what you’re asking? [YES!] The dates are set as we’re going to Japan straight after for more shows.

The new album Rock ‘n Roll is a bold statement, did you feel the pressure making this one when most people would be expecting another Lit Up?

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves because every time we make a record we want something that you put on you will leave on. Even though everything’s changed with how people are buying music we’ve got the mentality we want to make a great record from top to bottom. One thing that’s feeling great about Buckcherry is having our own record label called F-Bomb Records which is the first record on it. We finally got to make a ten song record, we’ve never wanted to make an album longer than ten songs as we thought it was too much. Our favourite records are ten song records, some of them are nine songs. This is the first ten song record that we’ve put out, I love it because you put it on and you can leave it on and by the time you’re sick of Buckcherry it’s over with and you can move on to other music. That’s what is fun with this record! It’s fun and it has some dynamics, it’s soulful, hits you over the head and moves you.

Does the digital age change the way you think about delivering albums?

I think for everybody there’s that one band or handful of bands that will take in their album from go to woe when it comes out. That doesn’t happen too much anymore, even I’m like that. I’ll go on iTunes when a record comes out I’ll listen to the first chorus of the songs and it’s whatever songs that I feel like are great to buy. It’s based on the sample that I’ve heard and that’s what everybody does. I just want to fill up my iPod with great songs. I don’t just a bunch of filler bullshit and that’s why I think it is unnecessary to make these twelve or fourteen song records because I don’t think there is a person that would want to listen to one artist that long. People have a thirty minute threshold in them depending on how excited they are about you before they want to move on to some other flavours. That’s what’s changed! What I don’t like about it is no more controlled market taste so artist don’t get paid very much on their song writing craft. That takes years to develop to write songs in a way that a large audience can relate to and want to buy them. It doesn’t come very easy, it takes a long time to craft song writing abilities. People should be paid for that. That’s the thing that sucks.

Was there the usual sorts of challenges that came up during the recording of Rock ‘n Roll?

Buckcherry records for us are easy and fun, nothing is ever easy as there will always be the challenge like ‘oh this fucking chorus is not working’. It’s like how many times I fucking write this thing it doesn’t sound great and all I’m about is greatness and so is everyone else in the band. Some songs just take a long time to come around, in the past we used to start songs very quickly and then they would jump out at us right away. Now, we just learn ‘the verse is so good, we got to get this chorus as good as the verse’. So, we’ll sit, write and rewrite a song and take a lot more time than we used to. We just learn a lot more and the records keep getting better and better.

Do you end up writing more than you need and do the leftovers get used somewhere else?

We do have some songs that end up on the cutting room floor and every time we go back to revisit those we’ll say we’ll start another writing cycle. There’s a reason why we didn’t use them on the record and we’ll go back to something ‘oh yeah, this song is kind of a turd, that’s why we didn’t use it’. Usually we don’t use anything that has been hanging around unless we feel that there is one part that is really good, then let’s work on that.

It is early days but are there any ideas floating around for album number eight given you have more freedom having your own label?

There’s lots of stuff going on right now, we grew up on EP’s and we made one called Fuck. It really went over well and a lot of people loved it. So we are writing and recording a new EP now. Then that gets recorded with a new original Buckcherry song called Getting Started to be re-released with Rock ‘n Roll. We’re releasing our second single off Rock ‘n Roll called The Feeling Never Dies and we have a guest singer coming in on that track [country music star Gretchen Wilson], which will be a good surprise for everybody. That’s what’s going on right now which is a lot plus our tour. Also we have our ten year anniversary of Crazy Bitch this year so there’s a lot of great stuff happening for Buckcherry.

Ten years! It feel like time flies?

It’s crazy, that song has taken on a life of its own. Pretty cool!

Do you think a live album is on the cards for Buckcherry?

We’ve been asked that a lot and we’ve brought it up with our team. The demand for DVD isn’t that good. We want to put together something like that but we want it to be the right situation so that we can budget it right. A live DVD or a live this, you have to shoot a lot of footage, find a location you can get great audio from and then have a six or seven camera team to get the angles costs money. We have to find what’s going to be the most cost effective way to do it.

Is this Australian tour focused primarily on the new album? Is the set list a challenge to work out without playing for three or four hours to do the back catalogue justice?

I can’t sing two hours of this stuff, I’d be dead! I make a set list every day and we have the usual stuff that we play like Crazy Bitch, Sorry and songs off the 15 record. They are the big records and people want to hear those songs and then I rotate six or seven songs every night so it is really hard and not only do I want to please the audience but I want to please my band making sure they are in to it to. It is challenging but I’m getting pretty good over the years at making them fun. It really depends on the day and the situation. I’ll walk through the venue in the morning and get a feel for the place, talk to the promoter and what sort of demographic will be showing up and gear the set up for what I think will happen.

What do you look forward to the most when touring Australia?

We’re just looking forward to being out of the United States and playing in front of an international audience. I just feel like when we go to Australia you guys appreciate rock ‘n roll for all the right reasons and the States we’re pretty spoilt , sometimes audiences are just singles driven and they don’t get in to your entire career or the nooks and crannies of your records. I feel that when we get out the United States there’s people who know songs that aren’t singles and are way more committed as fans. That’s what we experience when we come to Australia. That will be the best part of it. We have a busy schedule so we won’t be able to hang out and do touristy type of stuff. I grew up in Southern California so I grew up surfing and skate boarding, going to Australia I want to go surfing.

Is there a story behind each one of your tattoos?

No! That would be a long winded answer. I can tell you one! The suicide chain of hearts on my back is my favourite piece, a huge piece that came to me in a dream. It’s the only king in the deck with a knife through his head, that’s pretty cool. I had a suicide in my family so that’s something personal for me which is framed by two words that I dig which say ‘love on top, die on the bottom’ and I love those words. I’m a lyric writer and I really cherish that piece, my favourite piece. There is a guy in Australia that I really want to meet, can you put the word out? His name is David Sera who is a big karting champion over there, I race go karts, tell him I really want to meet him.

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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