With the success of Buckcherry’s 2006 RIAA platinum, Grammy-nominated album, 15 (featuring “Crazy Bitch,” and “Sorry”), the California quintet with Josh Todd (vocals), Keith Nelson (lead guitar), Stevie D. (rhythm guitar), Jimmy Ashhurst (bass), and Xavier Muriel (drums) returns with their sophomore album Black Butterfly. The 12-song record shows that the band has confidence and desire to prove that there is much more left in the music. Produced by guitarist Keith Nelson and Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith, Def Leppard, “Almost Famous,” Fuel), Buckcherry does everything they can to continue to push themselves even further after the major success of 15. “The bar’s been raised because of 15,” says frontman Josh Todd. “We spent longer on the writing process for Black Butterfly than for any of our other records. We wanted to make sure that we had the goods, because 15 was a great record. We want to continue to elevate our game.”

Nelson continues, “I think the challenge for us has been just to get back to the headspace we were in three years ago, when it was us against the world and we had to make the record of our lives. I think that’s exactly where we’re at. We haven’t changed much in the process – it’s the same rehearsal space, the same pre-production room. The only difference is the cars in the parking lot are a little nicer.” There is no doubt that 15 was the major turning point for the band and their success and that only greatens the challenge of this album because of the expectations that they have set for themselves.

After a small hiccup with the start of the band in 1999, Buckcherry took a break from each other as they continued to develop their own musical tastes elsewhere. But, in 2005 the band reunited with three new members to bring the hit album 15 to the shelves and mp3 players. The band financed the album through Japan and Canada where it went platinum, then soon after it was released in the States under Eleven Seven Music/Atlantic Records, where the hit single “Crazy Bitch” was playing on every radio station and Internet portal. It went on to sell 1.2 million digital copies making it an RIAA platinum single. It also was awarded a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance. This single along with other tracks on the album, made 15 a “must have” album.

Nelson says that Buckcherry appreciates the milestones it was able to achieve with 15. “It’s all such a gift,” he explains, “because four years ago there wasn’t a band. A lot of people left us for dead. So you can be fearful of success, or you can move on. I think being grateful and excited about how lucky we are to have this job… that’s the head space we’re in moving forward.” The band began the recording of Black Butterfly last November before heading into the studio during the spring. “That’s coming off 25 months of non-stop touring,” Nelson notes. “Nobody was really taking off on vacation. We got right back to work.”

Todd explains that the process of the upcoming album was very similar to the process of 15. He explains, “I’ll just come in with a vocal melody and we’ll build a song that way… Keith’ll put his magic on it, and Jimmy or Stevie will add their input as well, and we hash it together in a room,” he explains. “We just tried not to overthink it. The challenge is to not get all caught up in ‘Are they hits? Are they good enough? Is it gonna be great?’ We just finish the songs and start tearing them apart once we have a body of work that we can look at.” During the recording process, the band continued to find new and interesting sounds that they thought would appeal to the fans that favored “Crazy Bitch” and “Lit Up.” “We like to be well-rounded. We don’t want to be just one speed,” Todd says. “We’re always going to have songs that are gonna be great on Hot AC and Top 40 radio. We always have ballads on our records. It’s OK as long as we stay true to our roots, which is rock ‘n’ roll.”

Buckcherry continues to strengthen their musical rock diversity, with the up-beat songs, such as “Rescue Me,” and “A Child Called It.” But they broaden their horizons with “Don’t Go Away,” adding a smooth melodic tempo, talking about being with loved one so far away. Yet, the albums first hit single “Too Drunk,” a sexy track that pushes the band in yet another direction, keeping the rock tradition. “I just wanted something that was funky,” notes Todd, “so Keith and Stevie collaborated on it and just turned it into something with a lot of space to tell a story.” “Too Drunk” is about the story of their upcoming childhood as kids.

Frederiksen added to the process once again, as her previously co-wrote two songs, “Sorry” and “Next 2 You,” on 15. “After that,” Nelson notes, “the seed was planted that maybe we could work together as producers on the new album. We had a great sort of vibe with him, and he seemed like the perfect choice.” Todd says that Frederiksen – who co-wrote four of Black Butterfly’s songs and also sang backing vocals – “is really great with melody, and he’s a great musician as well. He understands every aspect of how a rock song is put together, and he really helps us to make our ideas gel.”

With Black Butterfly being one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year, both “Sorry” and “Crazy Bitch” continue to play on radio stations across the world and remain on active radio and singles charts. Buckcherry is looking forward to returning to the road, first with Motley Crue and the Crue Fest tour then continue with world wide headlining tours. “That’s the heart of who we are, playing live,” Todd says. “We’ve always prided ourselves on our live show, and that’s why we have this really great foundation when we go out there. I feel like we really bring the thunder. When we come to your town we really are focused on giving you you’re money’s worth. We’re adamant about bringing that to the table every night, and nothing’s ever gonna change that.”

Look for Black Butterfly in stores NOW!!!

Article by: Benjamin Farber


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