Stand by for a double shot of dirty, gritty, sleazy, street wise Rock ‘n’ Roll as Los Angeles’ notorious, multi-platinum-selling rock band BUCKCHERRY team up with special guests Sweden’s Kings of thrashy sleaze rock HARDCORE SUPERSTAR thanks to Silverback Touring.
BUCKCHERRY staunchly uphold the commandments of rock music with an arsenal of anthems primed to explode on impact live on stage and teeming with riotous energy, sexy swagger, and primal chops intact. It’s something that the boys have done since day one, but it’s more necessary now than ever. BUCKCHERRY head back to Australia for the first time since 2016. Josh Todd speaks to Hi Fi Way about the tour.
Great news with Buckcherry and Hardcore Superstar touring together. It is shaping up to be a great tour?
Yeah, it’s going to be a lot of fun, we toured with them in Europe and they’re great live and we get along with them really well. It’s going to be fun.
2019 has been a big year for Buckcherry. Have you been really pleased with how the new album Warpaint has been received by fans and by the media? Seems like it’s has received really good reviews just about everywhere.
Yeah, I don’t put a lot of weight into all that. I’m pleased with the record, for sure. We worked really hard on it. We wrote about thirty songs for an eleven song record and we were very thorough. At the end of the day when you look back, I just want a record that I can be proud of. Then, you never know what the climate, or what’s going to be happening at the moment that record drops but, everything seems to be good and I’m just going to go with it.
Did you do anything differently in terms of the way you approached this album or was there scope to improvise a bit in the studio?
It’s hard writing songs. You’ve got to write a lot of them to get a really good record. The goal is to have a record you can put on and leave on from beginning to end. The only difference was this is really reminiscent of the time period right before we dropped 15. Almost the same thing had happened, it had been three years since our last record, we had some line-up changes and it was just a lot of change and that always makes for good Buckcherry records. That’s the same thing that happened here. We had a lot to prove, Stevie and I. We are also going through a lot in our professional and personal lives, and it just made for good song writing.
Did it all go as you initially thought it would given that you mentioned you both had a lot going on in your professional and personal lives?
We really do all the drama outside of the studio, because by the time we get into the studio, we want to just be really focused, we want to know the body of work and have the arrangements already done so then it’s just time to really capture some really great performances. So, Stevie and I wrote and rewrote and did all kinds of stuff before then. We had some songs come together easy, some songs were challenging. That’s the way it is on every record making process. So, in that regard, nothing really changed. We got the body of work together, we worked with Mike Plotnikoff again, the guy who produced 15 who is just a lovely guy. It was a lot of fun making another Buckcherry record again.
Is that a tough process trying to whittle that down to the final eleven or twelve that you’re going to go with?
I always get that question. Not really, because the great songs really stick out. We made lists, our managers, our producer, Mike and myself and Stevie. We made lists and we just compared the lists. It was really only a couple songs that we had to kind of talk about as far as the final two, but there was the usual suspects and the majority of the songs, everybody had on their list. So the good songs always stick out.
Do you end up going back and revisiting those that don’t make it? Or do you start afresh when you contemplate the next album?
There was two or three that we think are really good, but we just had enough of… dynamically you want a record to work, so you’ve got so many rockers and so many mid-tempos and so many slow songs. You can only put so many on a record. There was maybe two or three songs that were contenders for a Buckcherry record. We have definitely set them aside and ones to look at when we start the new process, but you just never know.
In terms of the Buckcherry sound, I know you talked about changes and things like that, particularly with personnel, how do you think that helped shape the Buckcherry sound?
It has shaped our song writing and song writing is story telling for me. I write all the lyrics and melodies, so I have a lot of different emotions and that’s what songs are, you’re capturing an emotion in a three minute song or four minute song. I had a lot to write about, I had a lot going on. Stevie was really good at giving me good musical compositions to work with and we had already written a record together, prior to this. So our song writing language, what I like to call it was, really tight at that point.
In terms of the live show, I know here in Australia, we don’t get to see you guys all the time, but it must be a really good challenge to have trying to fit everything in in the set list and get the right balance of old and new?
It’s so hard. It’s so hard. It’s something I struggle with every night because there’s always the usual suspects that you’ve got to play like Lit Up, Crazy Bitch and Sorry. So that takes up more than half of the set and then you’ve got all these records and there’s eight of them now. At one point I said to the band, I go “Hey, let’s just do a whole set of songs that we had videos for.” And I was like, how many videos do we have? Stevie goes, “We have thirty one.” And I’m like, fuck. Not going to try to do that. That’s just too many.
So, I’m just proud. I’m proud that we’ve been in the game twenty years and we got longevity and we’ve never really been a mainstream rock act. When we dropped our first record it was all like rap rock and what I call shoe gazing rock, with all that nerd rock with all the Buddy Holly glasses and dudes with button up shirts playing rock. That’s when we came out. So we weren’t really mainstream then and we haven’t been mainstream all the way through 2000’s so I’m just happy.
I was just going to say, would you want it any other way? At least you’ve been able to do it your way and on your terms.
I don’t know. In my head I see Buckcherry much bigger than it actually is. I see it as an arena rock band. If I had it in a different way, I would have it be much bigger than it is. So. I don’t know what that means.
Is there anything you look forward to in particular when you do get down to Australia?
It’s funny because Australia’s so far from California, but I was born and raised in Southern California. So I grew up skateboarding and surfing and so, every time I go to Australia, I’m like, we just flew fourteen hours and I feel like I’m in California. So the only thing I’d like to do that I haven’t done is surf. Go to some really good beaches and surf. That would be fun, but I never have the time.
Well maybe you get down to Adelaide, we can take you down to some good surfing spots down south.
That would be good. I need somebody to lend me a board and I’ll be good.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Tickets for Buckcherry and Harcdcore Superstar through Silverback Touring…