Buckcherry are just a good old-fashioned rock band fusing all the fun elements of what I term the classic era of that genre – the eighties. They are frequent visitors to the UK, and I enjoy the band a lot and a live show is always a guarantee of a solid night’s entertainment. Ahead of their latest album, Warpaint, they returned to Manchester as part of a three-band bill, with openers Adelitas Way making their debut visit. Sandwiching them and Buckcherry would be Hoobastank who are celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the release of The Reason album. While billed initially as a co-headlining tour, it was clear that actually, Buckcherry would be in headlining position. I headed along to the legendary Ritz venue in the afternoon for a busy schedule, as I had arranged interviews with all three bands on the bill.
After many delays ahead of the band’s Manchester show, I was finally afforded the opportunity to have a chat with the lead singer of Buckcherry, Josh Todd, while the opening band on the bill, Adelitas Way, finished their set on stage. Josh began by apologizing for the earlier scheduling issues.
ANTIHERO: It’s alright, Josh. These things happen, you know. Show days. Back in the UK again, you seem to spend a lot of your time here.
Josh Todd: Yeah.
ANTIHERO: Is it sort of a long-term marketing strategy to crack the UK or is it somewhere where you personally favor?
Josh Todd: No. We love the UK. We do well here, you know, so, yeah. When were we here last? Last year?
ANTIHERO: Yes, I think that it was.
Josh Todd: Yeah. I think it’s good to come here once a year. That’s what we try to do.
ANTIHERO: You also have a huge following over here as well.
Josh Todd: I mean, we got a new record dropping March 8th, Warpaint.
ANTIHERO: Will you be back for that or you going to be showcasing that new album tonight?
Josh Todd: Well, we’re here now, so we’re going to do the introduction here. I mean we got like ten shows in the UK or something like that and then we’re going to drop the record March 8th. We’re probably going to be back after the new year or maybe later on in the year.
ANTIHERO: Will you be trying out some new songs on these dates?
Josh Todd: Tonight. Yeah. Three songs.
ANTIHERO: In 2017, you brought out your solo album, just wondering if that’s going to be a one-off or if you have songs already earmarked for another solo release?
Josh Todd: One record at a time. I mean, we had a lot of fun making the Conflict record and it’s a great record. The point was to create a whole other brand to go to, to give Buckcherry a rest and so on and so forth. Yeah, I mean, right now I’m concentrating on Buckcherry and we’ll see.
ANTIHERO: I agree, and it also allowed yourself as an artist to explore something different creatively. What in your life are you most proud of? Is it something personal or something that you’ve done with the band?
Josh Todd: My sobriety. I’m 24 years sober now.
ANTIHERO: Great! Congratulations on achieving that. People have said to me that Josh on stage is totally worlds apart from how you are off it.
Josh Todd: Oh, completely. Yeah. You know, it’s a side of me and I express a lot of sides to me in the songs and records, but it’s night and day.
ANTIHERO: It’s the age of the internet. I mean, I’m sure you must’ve read something said about you. What’s the craziest thing that you’ve read about yourself which isn’t true?
Josh Todd: I don’t read about myself. You can’t allow yourself to get caught up in all that negativity. You know, I’ve been really practicing not being on the internet. I don’t watch the news anymore. I only do about five minutes tops a day of social media. That’s all I give myself up to now so, you know.
ANTIHERO: Is it because you were reading things that were negative and then you find yourself drawn into that and spending more time on that than you want to?
Josh Todd: No. I’m working on a spiritual programme now. It’s not helpful.- For me personally, I have to get away from self. So, it’s not healthy for me.
ANTIHERO: I see where you are coming from. Tell me about your interests outside of music. What do you do enjoy when you are not touring or creating music in the studio?
Josh Todd: Well, I spend a lot of time with my family but hobbies outside are … I like to race go-carts and tune on them and put them together and set ’em up to drive. I really love racing.
ANTIHERO: And the acting? Was that something that you just touched on in the past or something you’d like to pursue much further?
Josh Todd: No. No. I did a lot of it. There was a lot of opportunities at that point in time and the last thing I did was a hit show called Bones in the states. Now, it’s a lot of fun but I want to be … If I’m going to do it again, I want to be … have a bigger role and…
ANTIHERO: Something that you want to go on to develop?
Josh Todd: I’d like to have a role where I can kind of put my own thing into and so hopefully it’ll present itself at some point.
ANTIHERO: Is that something that’s always interested you, the acting side of things?
Josh Todd: My father acted. He was really passionate about it. I think it’s just in our family, you know, the entertainment … He could sing too and play the guitar and, so, I didn’t really think about it because it’s just always been kind of acceptable in my home.
ANTIHERO: Do you go back and listen to your earlier albums or prefer to focus on the next one?
Josh Todd: Yeah. I’ll listen to old records. I don’t sit and listen to myself though. I don’t watch myself or listen to myself. I usually will listen to old records if I want to review a song I haven’t sung in a while or stuff like that. You know, I’m always writing songs. Always kind of moving forward.
ANTIHERO: The band line-up has changed a lot over the years since you first started. Is it kind of the way things evolved naturally? Or perhaps you have found it particularly difficult to get a settled lineup?
Josh Todd: You know…
ANTIHERO: Not lookin’ to dig any dirt just wondering how it’s evolved over time.
Josh Todd: there’s no real dirt. It’s like, Buckcherry‘s been around 20 years now. Our first record was in 1999 and, in the history of all the revolving band members, only two people we fired. Everybody else left. They quit, you know, and there’s nothing you can do about somebody who doesn’t want to do it anymore. So, our whole thing is we just keep on keepin’ on and I started this thing from nothing and, so, I’m very passionate about it and it’s going to happen as long as I’m wanting to do it, you know?
ANTIHERO: You spend a lot of time touring. I just wondered if there’s a particularly favorite country, maybe cultures, people that you particularly like going back to?
Josh Todd: I really love going to Japan.
ANTIHERO: A lot of people say that.
Josh Todd: I feel really connected to that place. It’s a lovely culture and it’s just a crazy landscape too. There are high mountain ranges and the ocean and crazy cities and they have the country part of Japan. It’s very beautiful. They’re very humble people and nice. I enjoy that.
ANTIHERO: There are many changes since you first started in music. The Internet. Fewer record companies. The whole business has changed. It’s become less supportive of acts. Do you find it easier or more difficult to be a musician these days?
Josh Todd: I think it’s more difficult to get attention on your, whatever you’re doing because people are kind of inundated with information now. It’s like now we live in this ADD society where every body’s flipping through their stuff and their feeds and it’s like … “Oh, some body’s dropping a record? Oh cool.” Then you’re on to the next story and the next story and then before you know it somebody goes, “Hey man. Did you ever listen to my record?” And you’re like, “You put a record out?” You don’t even know. Where before, you know, it was all a controlled marketplace. Radio was kind of controlled. It was controlled, like, when you were going to get a record. There wasn’t all this stuff that you had to, like, give people songs and streaming and all this stuff. It’s changed. I don’t think it’s set bands up to … I think that the next thing to go will be the records. People won’t make full records anymore because it’s very labor intensive and then – by the time you put it out it’s like you get very little mileage out of it where you used to be able to get a lot of mileage out of it. I think the way of the future is just singles, you know.
ANTIHERO: Does it not cause you disillusionment that that’s it? The way that it is these days?That it’s come to that? Where bands are not going to be bringing out albums?
Josh Todd: But whatever. What are you gonna do? You can’t turn back time, you know.
ANTIHERO: Just a final one. Who would you personally like to interview?
Josh Todd: Who would I like to interview? Oh wow. I’d really love to interview Prince or James Brown or Stevie Wonder.
ANTIHERO: Okay. That’s great. Thank you very much.
Josh Todd: Yeah. Great to chat to you, Mark. Thank you.