Interviews

Published on August 5th, 2004 | by Gerry Galipault

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Life goes on after Buckcherry

What’s a lead singer to do when his band has broken up? In Josh Todd’s case, answer a “vocalist wanted” ad.

“I just cold-called the ad,” the former Buckcherry frontman said recently. “I was at a newsstand and I saw this particular magazine, Music Connection, and I thumbed through it. I saw the ad. I wanted to find some young players to work with, and this one ad jumped out at me.

“I called the guy and left him a message. I didn’t say who I was. I said, ‘I’m Josh, I’m a singer. Call me back,’ and that was it. Eventually, we set up a rehearsal and started jammin’ and it was instant chemistry. We all had smiles from ear to ear. I just knew I’d be seeing them again.”

“I was born in L.A. and raised in Orange County, Calif. I’ve been a surfer and a skateboarder since I was a kid. This is my kind of crowd. We’re getting a lot more new fans from this record, a lot of young fans,” Todd said. “BC tended to get a little retro, although retro’s a lot more hipper now than when we were doing it. This record now is better for the atmosphere today for kids.”

It wasn’t long before one of the players recognized the multitattooed Todd, whose band Buckcherry “Lit Up” rock radio in 1999 and garnered a gold record for its self-titled debut DreamWorks album. By the group’s second album, “Time Bomb,” in 2001, the magic had faded. Todd was ready to move on and try something new.

“The cat was out of the bag when the guys first met me,” Todd said of his new band mates, “but I just didn’t really want to talk about BC. I just grabbed the mic and I said ‘Let’s get started,’ and they started playing some original songs and I was adlibbing. That was it.”

At first, Todd and company – Jesse Logan (guitars), Mike Hewitt (guitars), Mark John (bass) and Kent Ross (drums) – went under the banner Shotsfired, but Todd’s manager and business manager talked him out of it.

“They started telling me of all the advantages of having it under my name, and after a while, I started agreeing with them,” Todd said. “I was really reluctant at first, because I had always been in a band since I was like 16, so it was strange to take in at first. It’s definitely not a solo thing; it’s a band. But the band was really supportive, so we went ahead with it.”

Their debut album, “You Made Me” (Hear here), was released in January, through TODD Entertainment/XSRecords (distributed by Navarre). “Shine,” the first single, did just that at Active Rock radio stations across the country. And since then, they’ve logged a lot of miles on the road.

In late July, they shared the stage with The Who and Aerosmith at The Rock Odyssey festival in Yokohama and Osaka, playing to 66,000 and 35,000 people.

“It was great,” Todd said. “The Who will probably never get on a stage together again, and it was their first Japanese performance. It was a gigantic stage, and we just had a blast. It’ll go down in my journals, that and AC/DC. We opened for them back in our Buckcherry days. That, for me, was probably my best rock ‘n’ roll experience. They were so humble and so kind, so cool. I’m a huge AC/DC fan.”

This weekend, the band will perform at the X Games at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

“I was born in L.A. and raised in Orange County, Calif. I’ve been a surfer and a skateboarder since I was a kid. This is my kind of crowd. We’re getting a lot more new fans from this record, a lot of young fans,” Todd said. “BC tended to get a little retro, although retro’s a lot more hipper now than when we were doing it. This record now is better for the atmosphere today for kids.”

“You Made Me” has some things in common with Buckcherry, but it has more of a metal influence, complete with screaming riffs and Todd’s growling vocals.

See fan reviews at Amazon.com and you will find two camps: Those who either love “You Made Me” or want Buckcherry back.

“God, I love that – they either love it or hate it, and I would hate to be in between,” Todd said. “I’ve never been in between in my whole career. Haters are good. Bad press is good press, in my opinion. People who are really attached to Buckcherry and are like 35 years old, they’re not gonna get it. But we’re not looking for that. We’re looking for kids that are like 16 to 25; that’s what this band is geared for.

“We’re working real hard. The music business is in disarray, as you know, and we’re doing the best we can right now.”

THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT: “I think it was Minor Threat’s ‘Out of Step.’ They were a punk band; the singer later became the singer of Fugazi. The first record that was given to me was from my father, The Eagles’ ‘The Long Run.’ Some of the songs are okay, but it was a little old for me.”

THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER WENT TO: “The Ramones at Fenders Ballroom in Long Beach, Calif., before it got burnt down. It was fucking madness. I had no idea what a pit was, and I just squeezed myself up as far as I could to the stage. I was like two people back from the stage, and they started out with ‘Blitzkreig Bop,’ and with the first note, it was frightening for me because I was laid almost completely flat on the floor. It was scary and exciting at the same time. Then I lost my shoe, and I had to get out of the pit. I went to the back of the club and sat against the wall, and this big fat skinhead came walking up to me and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, he’s gonna kick my ass.’ He just sat next to me, didn’t say a word to me; he pulled out a joint and started smoking it. He hit me on the shoulder and passed the joint to me. I was like, ‘Yes! This is great. I want to do this every fuckin’ night!’ I had found my people.”

THE WORST JOB I’VE EVER HAD: “I worked for a temp service, and I got placed in a recycling center in the back of a grocery store, shoveling everyone’s cans and plastic shit. It stunk like trash. It sucked. It was hot. Fortunately, it did not last long.”

ON THE WEB: www.joshtodd.com.

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About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



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