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Buckcherry – Josh Todd

Hailing from the land of sun, sand and serious waves, AKA Southern California, Buckcherry Lead Vocalist Josh Todd originally thought his career would be professional surfing. As fate had it however, this turned out not to be the case as Buckcherry has successfully racked up nine albums since their self-titled debut album released in 1999, which went Gold. Now, these extraordinarily talented hard rock musicians have again displayed their amazing abilities with their latest album HEllBOUND and are out touring basically nonstop. Florida fans can check out their new music and past fans favorites February 4th at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, FL, February 5th at The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon in Fort Myers, FL and February 6th at Henrys Depot in Sanford, Fl.

Catching up with this extremely busy remarkable musician, Todd revealed some details about the new music, how he became a professional musician and what fans can look forward to with Buckcherry.

SFL Music: Let’s talk about the tour. You guys are going everywhere. What can fans look forward to with the new show?
Josh Todd: It’s a really great record HEllBOUND and you know, we’ve already done 106 shows this year. So, it’s a fine oiled machine. The live show is really great! This is our ninth record. We have a lot of songs to you know, sift through and it always makes for a great night. Everybody’s been really happy.

SFL Music: That’s awesome. Fans are looking forward to it. The new album HEllBOUND, what inspired it?
Todd: There was just so much to talk about, to write about. You know, we wrote the whole thing in 2020. It was actually a big shift in gears for us because we had dropped a record in 2019 and we were expecting to tour more on it and then COVID hit, and you know what happened then. So, you know, being in the United States, we had like the election madness. We had the racial tension, the gun violence. All the stuff that was going on. The protesting and everything. It was just a, is it real kind of crazy time, and so whenever Buckcherry historically has been backed against a wall like that and there’s a lot of adversity going on, we always make our best records. That’s what happened when we made 15 (released in 2006 which went double Platinum with hits like “Crazy Bitch” and “Sorry”) and now HEllBOUND. We just hunker down and really made that our focus so that we could weather the storm of all the madness that was going on around us. So, I think that’s why it’s so good.

SFL Music: What inspires you when you write your music? It sounds like what’s going on around you?
Todd: Yeah. I mean, we’re not a like a political band or anything, but I write all the lyrics and melodies and I really take from the lives around me. My experiences in life. I’m always in a lot of different places, so I get a lot of inspiration from that. You know, songwriting is storytelling, and I read a lot of books and that really helps me and enhances my lyric writing as well. So, all those things are what put me in the zone you know, when I get down to writing. I think one thing about Buckcherry is we’re always putting out records. We’re always like you know, working that muscle. That songwriting muscle and that’s really important as well.

SFL Music: What type of books do you like to read?
Todd: Mostly true crime. I’m a true crime fanatic, and so I always go there. I’m reading a book on this guy Arthur Shawcross right now which is insane, and then I’m gonna go read a book about Ed Kemper after that. I’ve read about the Night Stalker and then the original Night Stalker, and then if I’m not reading about true crime, I read about pandemics and this was way before the pandemic. I think one of my favorite books about pandemic stuff, the Ebola virus actually, is The Hot Zone. I couldn’t put it down.

SFL Music: Oh really? Was there anything that people could learn from that? About what we’re going through now?
Todd: The Hot Zone? I think we could’ve been more prepared, but I mean, now we’re gonna be prepared because this is really the way of life now because you know, we are at a place where we’re really depleting our resources and we’re overpopulated and whenever that happens, and global warming, all that you know, equals pandemics and parasites actually. Parasites are moving now into the United States because it’s getting warmer. So, parasites that we never saw, that you know, remained in like the jungles, are starting to move up, and they’re finding them in places like Texas and Oklahoma and stuff. Also, like fungus you know, that we don’t do a lot of research on. That’s also becoming a problem as well. So, this is it. We got to really prepare for this type of stuff and hire the right people to do the preventative things that we got to do to keep everything working, and do what we got to do to you know, love our environment and get that back into shape.

SFL Music: Speaking of working, hardworking, you guys definitely have been. What would you recommend to sustain the successful longevity that you have?
Todd: Oh man. You know, first and foremost and I always say this, is passion. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing then there’s no way you’re going to maintain it. I can only speak for myself. I’m super passionate. Everybody in this band is passionate, and this is the only thing in my life that I could find that made me happy consistently. So, I was like, this is all I’m gonna focus on (he laughed). So, that’s what I did and here we are going in our 24th year, nine records and you know, it’s still going and super grateful.

SFL Music: You’ve worked with many people too. What would you say you have taken away over the years that’s contributed to today?
Todd: I’m a student of the game. I want to always remain teachable and every time I’m out with you know, a big band, I always am doing my homework. Even if I’m sitting side stage and enjoying the show, I’m putting stuff in the bank. I’m thinking about stuff maybe that another band did that I could add to my bag of tricks and you know, I think that’s what everybody does to a certain degree. So, that’s what I take away for me, and it started with our first tour with Kiss and the list goes on. We’ve been really fortunate.

SFL Music: What made you go into music as a career?
Todd: Before I stared singing, I had a knack for writing words. I would do a lot of creative writing, poetry and stuff, and I always had a giant music collection and I love music. Then, there was only one band at my high school. My first passion was surfing. I grew up in Southern California, and so I wanted to be a professional surfer when I was a kid. So, I would surf a lot, and the drummer of that band was surfing with me one day and he’s like, “hey we need a singer. You want to come down and like you know, audition?” And I go, yeah! I don’t even know why he asked me. Maybe because I had a big music collection and I knew a lot about bands, but I wasn’t really singing. I never sang before. So, I just went down there. I had my grandfather, he bought me a cheap microphone and I plugged it into the, I’ll never forget, I plugged it into a guitar amp and I started screaming. It was like a little punk rock band and I just started screaming, and I had a lot of piss and vinegar in me. Then just right when I started doing that, we were only doing covers, cover songs and then I said, hey, do you got any original music? And then the guitar player was like, “yeah.” And I go, give me an original guitar lick. So, he played like a riff and I just got down on the floor and I just started writing lyrics and melodies you know, and we wrote a song that day. That was it. I was just like; this is all I want to do. This is amazing, and they were into having me in the band and that was it. That was my first and I never stopped since. I was fifteen.

SFL Music: You have a strong voice. Did you take lessons? How did you train yourself?
Todd: I tried to take lessons, and it was a female vocal coach and she gave me a Police record. She goes, “go home and learn “Every Breath You Take”.” I wish I would have taken her direction because you know, I just wasn’t into The Police at that time, but now I love The Police and I understand why they’re so great, but at the time, I was listening to like BACK IN BLACK. So, I come back to her and I said, hey I didn’t learn this song. I want to sing like this, and I gave her the BACK IN BLACK record. She goes, “oh we don’t teach that here.” I go, Ok. Thank you, and I left and I had just self-taught myself, and I learned really bad habits and I wish I wouldn’t have done that. It was all the way up to after the first record and the first record tour where I started having vocal fatigue and I was like; I need help. That’s when I started really becoming a student of the voice and you know, technical technique and good vocal training and I got really into it at that point, but it wasn’t until then, and I had already created all these bad habits. So, I basically had to you know, teach myself how to sing again.

SFL Music: Well, you did a great job!
Todd: Thanks.

SFL Music: You’re welcome. What would you recommend to up-and-coming musicians?
Todd: I would recommend massive action, and have an open mind because I think a lot of young bands, they get into their game and you know, it’s just the five of them and four of them and they have some you know, maybe success on a local level, right? Or they can sell out a club in their home town, right? And they get some attention and maybe they get a record deal, but they kind of rest on that and that’s really when the work begins. When you get a record deal, the work begins because now you got to put something out that is gonna be timeless. That’s gonna have hits. That’s gonna give you a foundation and a fan base so that you can continue to do it, and so many bands don’t. I mean, I can’t even tell, you know it’s like less than 1% of people that get to have longevity in this business and do it for a living. So, you know, massive action. Be open minded. Be a student of the game and really serve the song. Do whatever’s best for the song. Wherever that comes from. If it comes from an outside song writer. If it comes from somebody else in your band. If there’s something that’s better for the song, then just do what’s best for the song and you’ll be so much happier. I only know this because I did it all the wrong way.

SFL Music: Trial and error, right?
Todd: Yeah, yeah (he laughed).

SFL Music: That’s really good advice. What about videos? I saw some of the videos from Hellbound. Are there anymore coming out or anything else fans can look forward to?
Todd: Videos, yes. I mean, we’re gonna do a video for every song. The next song we’re doing a video for is “54321” and we’re gonna have, actually have the director that did “So Hott” and “Hellbound” and “Wasting No More Time”, he’s gonna come out on the road with us and it’s gonna be a live on the road type video. It’s gonna be really cool.

SFL Music: What were the inspirations for some of those songs like “So Hott” and “Hellbound”?
Todd: “Hellbound” is about the first time, the first show I ever did. So, that’s when I knew I was hell bound. That’s when knew (he chuckled) there was no turning back. That I gave my soul to rock and roll. That’s what I always said to myself. Just as a fun thing, but that’s when it was done for me. Like I, I played a house party in Orange County California. I was fifteen years old and the place was packed and I’ll never forget it, and it changed my life and that was it. So that’s what “Hellbound”’s about and then “So Hott”. “So Hott” is like, it’s a phrase we always said when we were kids in Orange County California. It was something we said a lot, so that always resonated with me. I always wanted to do a song where so hot was the title and made it fit, and the actual video is about like, the celebrity is slowly fading away. There is not gonna be, you know what I mean, because everything’s so diluted. Just like the rock star has faded away. It’s like everything is diluted because of the internet and the information and now, like a YouTuber can become a star. Anybody can become a star overnight if they have the right thing that resonates to the right people, and so “So Hott” is kind of about that. A small-town girl that’s hot and she’s just surfing the web and seeing all these profiles of females that have like crazy followers and they’re basically getting it on their looks and what they’re putting out online. So, she decides to just start kind of going through her closet and taking some video footage and pictures of herself and you know, sexier outfits, and all of the sudden she sees her followers go through the roof, and it’s just kind of a take on that. It’s really about girl power. It’s not about you know, objectifying a woman, but Its more about girl power and that’s what it’s about.

SFL Music: The “54321” video is going to be done on the road?
Todd: Yeah, we’re going to have the guy out with us, so he’s going to get a lot of like candid footage. Backstage footage and mix it in with live show footage. It’s just gonna be all about Cherry and what we’re the best about. What people don’t get to see from this band. Not just a performance video, but more along the lines of our lives out there on the road you know, ‘cause that’s really the majority of our life.

SFL Music: You guys have a long tour. How do you keep up your stamina? Do you work out?
Todd: Yeah, you know, clean living. I’ve been sober from drugs and alcohol for twenty-seven years, so that definitely helps and you know, just really strict on my diet when I’m out there on the road for singing purposes. It’s very boring stuff. You know, being a singer, you got to be pretty disciplined on everything you put in your body because your body’s your instrument. So, that’s how I keep it up.

SFL Music: Was there anything else for readers to know about?
Todd: Just you know, if you don’t have the Hellbound, go get it. We’re going out with The Lacs and that’s gonna be, and then we’re going to be opening up for Alice Cooper after that tour. So, we’re gonna be touring all of 2022, and just to come out and have fun. Celebrate life.

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