BUCKCHERRY vocalist Josh Todd recently appeared on the "Appetite For Distortion" podcast. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his influences:
Josh: "I guess I'm kind of a mutt, because I just crammed in all these different types of music. My foundation was really aggressive punk rock records, but I would sneak into my sister's room and listen to Stevie Wonder and Prince and Billy Idol... Then my mother would play records around the house — Rod Stewart, THE EAGLES, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers — so I'd listen to all that. I just was absorbing everything, and it kind of created this style of what I am. I think the reason why I kind of stand out when you hear me is [that] I was so underdeveloped. I wasn't a vocalist. I had a knack at writing — I was always doing creative writing before I got into bands, so I would write poetry and do all kinds of stuff. Then when I started getting into bands, I had a knack for lyrics and melodies. That's where my strong point was, and then I had to develop my voice later. I think that's what made it kind of its own thing. It's worked against us and it's worked for us a lot of time. The charm of it is, when you hear BUCKCHERRY, you know it's us. That's the good part."
On BUCKCHERRY's original guitarist, Keith Nelson:
Josh: "It got really weird, the last three years before the split. It just wasn't a band anymore. We weren't aligned; we weren't all focused on the same things; we didn't all want the same things. Everything happens for a reason, and it's been nothing but great things for all of us. I can't speak for Keith or Xavier [Muriel, former drummer], but I just hope that they are really happy in their lives. That's all I care about, really, because at the end of the day, that's all you want for people. I can't harbor resentment or anger towards anybody. At the time, there was a lot of stuff that rubbed me the wrong way, but since then, I've really worked through it a lot, and now, looking back, it just needed to happen. Now, everything's really amazing. With every lineup change in BUCKCHERRY's history, it's always gotten better, so I had that to kind of reflect on when all this was going down, so I was just optimistic about the whole thing."
On his motivation to keep BUCKCHERRY going:
Josh: "BUCKCHERRY's my baby. I started this from nothing. I started it from sitting on the edge of my bed writing songs on a four-track. That's when I met Keith, and we started writing together at that point. I'm very passionate about it. I needed to take breaks from it, [but] I'm always creating songs. I write all the time; I sing all the time. That being said, the JOSH TODD AND THE CONFLICT record was amazing — I got to go back to my heavier roots, and we had so much fun doing that record. That was kind of like Stevie [D., guitars] and I, we were just really getting used to our songwriting language during that record process, and it just came out really well. It set us up for the next phase of BUCKCHERRY. I'm always going to be passionate about BUCKCHERRY. It's my baby. All the words you hear, everything came from my soul and my personal life and the lives around me. It's very personal to me, so as long as I want to do it, it's going to happen. That being said, I never wanted to have changing lineups. I never even thought about that. I just wanted to be in one band and make my mark and have a catalog of music. That's what I wanted, but I didn't know what being on the road for 20 years was going to do to the people. It is really hard being on the road for as long as we've been on the road. You've got to have really good mind-power, because you can lose your soul out on the road. Eventually, the friends fall by the wayside. You have this weird circus life that no one understands, so your personal life gets really small. A lot of people can't handle it. I've seen it take out band guys and crew guys and just wreck people's lives. That's why I think — I can't speak for them — but a lot of the people that have left the band... Not a lot of people have been fired from BUCKCHERRY. There's actually two, I think, and everybody else left on their own free will. You can't do anything about that, so we just have to keep moving on."
On how he prepares for BUCKCHERRY's concerts:
Josh: "I get into a mental state before I walk on stage. I take about an hour — I call it my hour of power — and I get focused, I get grateful. I turn myself into an instrument. That's what you've got to do with vocals. It's really good to get in a ritual of that kind of stuff because you're not always [in] the best physical condition when you're on the road. You could be going through all kinds of different stuff... Every singer's got a different [regimen]. Of course, I do vocal scales. That gets my voice ready to go. I do that every day, and that's about 35 minutes. The rest of the time, I just listen to music that inspires me. I have different kind of phases I go through. Lately, I've been in an old funk phase where I listen to James Brown and some of the old disco songs, Donna Summer and stuff like that. I just dance and get my body loose and get with my band and interact with my band. We just have a nice time, and we say a prayer. The prayer is always mandatory. We thank God for the opportunity and what we get to do and the longevity that we've had and the people that have paid their money to come see us tonight. All of that is working up to stepping on that stage, so by the time we get to the stage, we're just fired up that we get another opportunity."
On his favorite tour hobbies:
Josh: "I make a point — Stevie too — we always are trying to learn new things when we're on the road, and that's hard to do when you're pretty stationary. You have to find things to stimulate your mind outside of music. We meditate; we're both sober guys, so we work a lot on that... I really look forward to Waffle House, because they don't have Waffle House on the West Coast. I really love Waffle House — 24/7. Usually, they have a jukebox in there, and they have great songs — a lot of old-school R&B and funk. Everybody who works at Waffle House, they're all people that are just trying to do good in their lives, and I love that. It's just a big love-fest every time I go into a Waffle House. It's also a place — my oldest daughter, she lives in Tennessee, and it's something that we've always bonded over. Every time I see her, we get Waffle House and we listen to music. It's kind of near and dear to me."
On the band's cover of NINE INCH NAILS' "Head Like A Hole":
Josh: "I was always a big fan of the 'Pretty Hate Machine' record. When I heard it, I was like, 'This sounds like an electronic, independent punk rock record. This is dope.' I just felt like there was a lot of honesty there, and I felt like this guy has stuck to his guns and made this music that is unique to himself and it's really cool and it's reckless. The lyrics are awesome; I love his voice. I just was picking a song that was in my wheelhouse vocally, and words that I could really be passionate about and connect to, and a song on top of it that I thought would translate into being a great rock song... It was just kind of an experiment. We were all set up to record 'Warpaint', and I said, 'Hey, let's jam out the song and see if we can make it sound like us.' Mike Plotnikoff, our producer, was recording us and we didn't know it. He did a rough mix of it and cranked it up, and I was like, 'Damn, this is amazing — it sounds like a BUCKCHERRY song.' We played it for our people and everybody loved it, and it just kept hanging around, and it made the record finally. As long as I felt confident performing it and singing it, I don't care if [Trent Reznor] likes it or he doesn't like it. I just know for myself, I'm pleased with it. That's all that matters. At the end of the day, he's not going to be hanging out every time we step on stage. We've got to own that stuff when we get on stage."
BUCKCHERRY is in to tour in support of its latest album, "Warpaint", which was released in March via Century Media/RED Music. The 12-song record was produced by Plotnikoff, whose previous collaboration with the band was the platinum-certified album "15".