Yeah, well you’ll get what I mean after listening to the audio clip attached haha .
Anyhow, I had the privilege of speaking with Josh Todd of Buckcherry the other day as Pop Evil and Cherry will be cranking out their hits at Kewadin on Aug 3 with an outdoor concert that is sure to bring out the masses.
Before delving into some deep and dark things, I will just format a structured Q & A I had at the beginning with Josh.
Who was your main influence to start singing?
“Umm, probably Ian Mackaye from Minor Threat”
Who is your favourite Canadian band or singer?
“My favourite Canadian band is The Tea Party and singer…I don’t know his name but I like him”
When you are not on tour, what do you do for leisure?
“Spend time with my family and race Go Carts”
Is there anybody in Rock or Metal that you hate right now? (laughter)
“I don’t hate anything or anyone”
Bands like Ghost are kinda new ; who would say in the rock circles is a band that is newer and that you like?
“I don’t’ really listen you know to too much rock; it’s not that really dangerous for me. I really think Hip Hop is where it’s at right now. I just like it because there is no filter, they do what they want to do by creating their own language and style. There is a lot of diversity between artists. I like the Usual Suspects, I like Drake, I like Cardi B, Post Malone.”
What was your favourite album growing up ?
“Out of Step by Minor Threat”
What vehicle are you currently driving ?
(laughter) “a Dodge Grand Caravan”
How did Buckcherry get its’ name ?
“it’s a two part answer ; at the beginning we were called Sparrow and there was this transvestite that would come to our shows and bum cigarettes from our guitar player Keith, and his name was Buck Cherry. The other side is that when we got our first record deal, there were some copyright issues with our name and so we were doing the name game and Keith at the time was reading a book about Chuck Berry and there was a quote about record companies trying to turn your name upside down and we went with it” (Buck Cherry)
This part of the piece a personal but I have no qualms and Josh was receptive me publishing the next part. As a write who has fought his liquid demons off and of for many years, I asked Josh about his drug and alcohol use as it is well known that he has had his demons. I referred to one of BC’s albums called Confessions which dealt with this issue and the seven deadly sins. Here is how he responded.
“I value my sobriety more than anything else in my life and without it I would have nothing. I am coming up on twenty five years in November and I got sober when I was twenty three. I started getting loaded when I was 13 and I was a horrible alcoholic and at the end of my drinking and using, I was passing out like twice a day. I was a mess ; at one point point I had got alcohol poisoning and another time I was arrested for a DUI and was court ordered to attend AA and so I started going to these meetings you know. I remember being at this meeting and this dude who had a nine to five job started talking and he wasn’t a musician but his drinking had been like mine, so I related to him and that’s when I decided to raise my hand as a new comer and then I was off to the races.”
So, alot of alcoholics when out of town or whatever, will look up the local AA meetings, is that the case with you when you are on tour or are you strong enough to bus/fly into a city and play a show and still maintain your sobriety?
“No, actually B4 I called you ;….umm actually….. a guy in our crew is sober and another guy in the band is sober and so I was already looking around for meetings and said hey I’m gonna hit a meeting today so if you wanna go (with me) let’s go. It’s so easy to find meetings in every city world wide. It’s amazing.”
That part of the chat was most powerful to me and I told Josh that with his honesty he is probably going to reach and help a reader and that is great. He also confirmed that the same goes with drugs. “Yeah, I did a lot of drugs, but not anymore”
I then moved on to a few other questions that BC fans might be interested in knowing. Everyone who knows of Josh, knows his love for ink. I asked him about their new album WARPAINT and how the name came about. I had already researched it but needed to confirm the answer that I read from a quote in a 2012 interview on the same topic.
“I was always fascinated with heavily tattooed people as a child so um…I love it; and also the native Americans used to tattoo themselves when they were reaching milestones in their lives and when they went from being boys to men, they would get tattoed, and women would get tattoed during pregnancy and I thought that was kind of awesome. But on a different note, Warpaint was a song before it was an album title and so I have always liked one-word titles and thought it was BOLD and we could do a lot with the artwork and we went with it.”
I asked him what his favourite cut off of Warpaint is as I really like Bent. “yeah, Bent was a sleeper track at the end just shined… but I think my favourite song is called Back Down… I like the arrangement, the melodies, and how the bridge opens up… good listen”
I then asked Josh about how he felt when he got sober and looked back at the song Cocaine which is pretty sensitive even though Eric Clapton and Ozzy have written similar songs. The one difference, in my opinion, was that BC’s song was more blatant. I asked him if he had any regrets writing that song as per his younger fans.
“No, no, I don’t have any regrets, everything is a learning experience; I wrote that song sober. I wrote the song in like five minutes and I didn’t think about it much. I remember the first time I did a line of cocaine was in my apartment off an ouija board. I had a blast and at the time it was an eye-opening experience. I enjoyed it, but alcohol and drugs only served a purpose for a short period of time and then it went dark. I talk about my experiences in life and if people don’t like it……well there is nothing I can do you know.”
Josh actually asked me about my struggles as I was quite honest and frank about them with him and told him I could relate. If any readers are struggling with alcohol, please take this advice from the lead singer of Buckcherry.
“The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is ironclad, it’s an amazing book and it has all the tools you need. The thing I’m saying is the drinking and using are just a symptom of the problem and problem is a spiritual malady so once you address the spiritual malady then it’s very easy to stay sober and you’ll wanna stay sober”
I want to publicly thank Josh for his honesty and for being humble enough to let me publish this as I understand for some people issues of this nature are something that some people want to keep private. Josh was very generous with his time and did not back down or deflect any question. Some of the things we talked about I haven’t published as I think the bottom line is what you read above.
Buckcherry opens for Pop Evil at Kewadin Casino, Salt Ste. Marie, Michigan, on Saturday, August 3 at 8 p.m. Remember that this is an outdoor event.
Ernest Skinner was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie. After attending Humber College, Ernest worked in industry, management and front line customer service before realizing that writing was his real passion. Rock Talk has been a staple of Mr. Skinner's abilities and since its inception he has interviewed members of Judas Priest, Kingdom Come, The Guess Who, Loverboy, Helix, etc. Adrian Vandenberg, Carlos Cavazo, John Corabi, Rudy Sarzo, Sass Jordan, Lee Aaron, Darby Mills, Bill Hudson II. Currently, Ernest is a freelance writer who submits to various establishments. Ernest has had his work published in MUEN Magazine, and many other news sites. Please welcome him and share his pieces.
Latest posts by Ernest Skinner (see all)