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Buckcherry’s Josh Todd Pledges Allegiance to High-Energy Rock ‘n’ Roll

Josh Todd
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Buckcherry have been kicking it as a band since 1995. And for Josh Todd, being the rock group’s frontman is more than just a job — it’s a lifestyle.

“I’m very passionate about this band. I built it from the ground up with teeth, so to see it come full circle is such an accomplishment for us,” Todd tells us in an exclusive interview. “To be nominated for Grammys and travel the world and see people in South America and Europe and all over these places is a blessing.”

Todd and the men of Buckcherry are poised to co-headline the 2011 Rock Allegiance Tour with label-mates Papa Roach, leading a lineup that includes Puddle of Mudd, P.O.D., RED, Crossfade and Drive A. Speaking right before a headlining gig in Clearlake, Iowa, Todd checked in with Loudwire to talk about Rock Allegiance and why the band’s latest album, ‘All Night Long,’ is the “quintessential Buckcherry record.”

You’re co-heading the Rock Allegiance Tour with label-mates Papa Roach. It’s an impressive bill that includes Puddle of Mudd, P.O.D and Crossfade, to name a few. Do you have a history with most of these bands?

Yeah, we’ve done extensive touring with Papa Roach and we’ve done lots of shows with the other guys. It’s going to be a fun tour, and the package is a good price. Great bands, great songs and a good live performance. There aren’t really any purely rock ‘n’ roll festivals going on right now, and we wanted to accomplish that and make it worth everyone’s while with a ticket price [$25] that was economic. Lots of entertainment and bang for buck.

What can fans expect from Buckcherry on the Rock Allegiance tour?

A really good time. High-energy rock ‘n’ roll. We came out early on and based our reputation on the live show, and love to bring the party and give 110 percent every night

In many ways, those high-energy live shows and connecting with the fans at your gigs are what helps set your band apart from a lot of other rock acts.

Absolutely. We’ve based our reputation on our live show, and we really get together before shows every night and hang out and listen to music and reminisce about what it’s like to be at a rock show. We put ourselves in the positions of people coming to rock show, and that was a huge thing to us growing up. We remember what it’s like to base our whole week around going to the rock show. We think about it all the time.

It was such a release, and for me, it was more than a rock show. It was about being able to be with people who knew the spirit of what was going on inside of me. A lot of kids feel that way. They feel like they’re outcasts, but when they going to a rock show to see their favorite band, they can be themselves, and I think that’s very important.

Your latest album, ‘All Night Long,’ came out a year ago and entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 10. What do you think it is about this album that strikes a chord with fans?

I think it’s the quintessential Buckcherry record. We got back to our roots and really concentrated on making a rock record with anthems and big choruses. The goal, for us, was to make something you can put in and leave in. We didn’t want a record that fast-forwards to songs you like. We wanted something where you could just put it in and leave it in — something you can lose yourself in. We got a great response from it, and it’s a lot of fun playing those songs live.

Did you set out to capture the energy and spirit of a Buckcherry show on the album?

We always have that in mind. Whenever I’m writing lyrics, I have our audience in mind and our live shows how it’s going to come across in front of people on stage. We don’t record anything we can’t do live. With so many samples and so much going on, that takes away from the song. When they go out, every rock band has lots of sampling running: vocal samples and musical samples. It’s like you go to the show and you’re listening to the record through the PA instead of having a live experience, and we’ve never done that. We never use samples live. That’s part of what makes us unique, and when it comes out of your radio, you know what band it is. I’ve always thought if you lay down a song with just bass and guitar and vocals and it doesn’t sound great, it’s probably not a great song.

You’ve released three singles from the album: the title track, ‘Dead’ and ‘It’s a Party.’ Are you planning to release another single off the disc, or are you guys already talking about the next album?

We’re talking about that right now. We’re thinking the new single will be ‘Recovery,’ because that’s what everybody really likes on the record. It’s gotten a great response online and at the live shows, and it has a good meaning and people are really digging it.

Buckcherry are known for serving the troops by playing overseas. Any plans for a USO tour anytime soon?

Yeah, it’s really important for us. Right before we were set to go out there the last time, our drummer got an infection in his hand. He got a wood chip in there from his drum sticks and got an infection in his hand. Over time, it got bad, and his doctor said he had to have surgery to get it out right away or he would have major problems with his hand. So, we weren’t able to go on the tour, but we’re looking to go back soon.

Finally, what’s the chemistry like between you and guitarist Keith Nelson?

Keith and I are complete opposites, and that’s why we work well together. It’s a great relationship. We’ve been writing songs for 15 years now. Whenever I’ve got something going in my head and know how I want a song to come out, I always take it to him, and he understands my songwriting language. To hear us talk about songs, you’d think it’s a foreign language, but he understands what I‘m getting at and can bring it out the way I hear it in my head, and vice versa. We really enjoy it. We had kind of a hiatus after our second record, and when we got back together to record again, I think we really realized how special it was after having some time apart.

Watch the Buckcherry ‘It’s a Party’ Video

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