An avid skateboarder and frequent donator to Tony Hawk’s charity, Josh Todd is definitely one seriously down-to-earth dude. I got a chance to hang out with the vocalist for Buckcherry when they hit up Toronto for Candian Music Week (CMW). He had some seriously cool stuff to say regarding his band, his music, staying connected with home and tattoos… among other things. Check it out!
Okay, before I get down to the nitty-gritty I need to settle a debate; the name Buckcherry it’s a spin off of Chuck Berry?
Josh: There’s two stories, when we were first clubbing, when we first started playing clubs and stuff there was this transvestite who used to bum cigarettes off Keith.
Josh: And his name was Buckcherry and we didn’t think much of it at that point. Then after we got signed and we had to make our first record we were told that we had to change our name because of copyright issues and stuff, and the band was originally called Sparrow. We couldn’t come up with a name and we kept arguing about it back and forth, back and forth, and Keith, this entire time, was reading a book on Chuck Berry’s life. And he had a quote in there that was like “Record labels make you do all kinds of things you don’t want to do like turn your name upside down like Chuck Berry, Buck Cherry.” And we’re like, “There it is again!” So you know, we just decided to go with it, you know it couldn’t be that weird that we heard that twice, you know?
Yeah, it definitely was a sign!
It’s a wicked name though, so it definitely worked out for the best!
Josh: Yeah, thanks!
No problem man! Well, you guys have a link to YouPorn.com on your website. [Laughs] Where did this come from?
Josh: Really? Hmm…
It’s in the “external links”?
Josh: Oh! We’ve got a lot of you know, when we’re on the road just to get one out when we need to you know? By ourselves in our hotel rooms, that’s probably why, you know, we use YouPorn a lot!
It actually comes before the “Favourite Charities” thing too.
Josh: [laughing] Oh yeah? That’s great!
Well, as a lover of the female body myself; I can see it being more important then Tony Hawk’s charity. [Both laugh]
Josh: Yeah! No, Tony Hawk’s charity is rad man! I donate to that quite often and, you know, it’s for public skate parks.
Josh: You know, keep kids off, you know, doin’, you know, they go to the skate park, it’s free, you know it’s for concrete skate parks all around the world you know? So it’s a really cool charity!
Alright, so you guys are big supporters of charities then?
Josh: I am, I am. That particular charity, yeah, we all have our different charities that we like to do but that’s one of mine.
Cool! Yeah, no, it’s definitely one like, I know there’s some around here, not as many in the city but definitely north of the city and yeah, no, lots of kids go there.
Josh: Yeah, you know, it’s a good outlet for kids, you know, keep’em on the right track, you know, just doin’ something athletic and fun…
For sure man! Yeah, so your MySpace has a few samples of some of your songs, I notice a lot of bands are doing this. So why tease the fans with only a little bit of the song?
Josh: Um! I don’t know, maybe it’s to, so you’re, so the page will boot up quicker, I don’t know what it is, you know? Maybe just to give them a dose of what the record’s like so they can go, you know, get the full version on like iTunes or whatever, you know. I’m not to sure.
Okay, that’s alright! Well back to your website, it proclaims that your latest release, Black Butterfly, is your best record yet. What makes it your best record?
Josh: Um, you know, I just think that, you know, we’ve matured a lot as far as song-writing goes and it really shows on this record and the record takes you on a journey and you know we’ve spent the longest time writing this record then we ever have for any other of our previous records so I think it really shows in the song-writing and, you know, the record as a whole. So that’s why I said it, you know, very passionate about it.
Cool! So what is the “black butterfly” and what does it mean?
Josh: “Black Butterfly” was a song actually, that didn’t make the record that we wrote. And I was kind of obsessed with butterflies at the time and I wanted to write a song called “Black Butterfly” so we did, and it was a great song but we had too many, it was kind of a mid-tempo song, we had so many to choose from that we had to pick, you know, the ones that showed up on the record were the ones that had to be on the record at that time. But that song will resurface and we actually had a different title, and I can’t remember what it was at this point in time but Keith at the last minute he was like, “Why don’t we title the record Black Butterfly and we could make it like this like iconic image and we can put it on the merch and be like, across the board it’d be great!” and I was like “That’s fuckin’ great! Let’s do that!” So…
Yeah, that’s really cool! So did you guys come up with a different meaning for it then from the original song or…
Josh: No, it’s not like, we just thought it was like, you know, “Butterflies are bitchin’!” and, you know, and it’s black like my soul! [Both laugh] But you know, there’s not like, deep meaning behind it but you know, it’s just that we love butterflies and we just thought that it’s just kind of like encompassed the whole body of work because you know, there’s peaks and valleys and you know.
[noticing a butterfly tattoo] Yeah, I see you’ve got one on your hand there too!
Josh: Yeah! I got a black one on my [ankle].
Josh: Yeah! [Rolls up his pant leg to display tattoo] That one!
Oh, cool! With a skull and everything! Obviously the fans aren’t gonna be able to see it because of this being transcribed is there any place they can check that out? Like obviously you have a lot of tattoos…
Josh: On my leg? No, but there’s plenty of pictures of my hand on the internet.
There you go kids! Check it out! [Both laugh] Can you give us a little insight into the various lyrics on the album?
Josh: Yeah, there’s a, what in particular?
Um, throw out your favourite line, I guess. If you have one.
Josh: Let me just think, um, “Give me all I want, it’s all about love and not about money.” That’s probably one of my favourite lines.
Alright, what does that mean to you?
Josh: Exactly what it says, you know it just, I had to like, sometimes when we get down to writing songs when we’ve been out on the road and we live these double lives kind of, you know? And I have to get back to the reason why I started doing this. It was really just about passion for music, you know, and a passion to express myself and play rock ‘n’ roll you know and that’s why I love that line, there’s a lot of different types of songs on the record, you know. I was obsessed with this book called A Child Called It, I don’t know if you’ve ever read it but it’s about this horrible child abuse case and it really kind of felt like kind of like the book found me. And we wrote a song called “A Child Called It” a song called “Rescue Me” and it’s kind of about this kid and his journey, you know and what he had to endure and how he overcame it and it was really inspiring you know, and it’s kind of a book that’s really popular and a lot of people have read it so we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from that and because of that we’re gonna try and do this show for child abuse awareness in Los Angeles. And although I was never abused as a child I really felt for this kid, you know, and knowing that so many kids, you know, deal with that coming up is just heart-breaking you know? I have kids of my own and it was infuriating, you know, and so I felt like, you know, maybe if we write this song we’ll draw some attention to it, and somebody gets help you know?
Yeah and definitely with that festival too! That sounds like a really interesting book I’ll have to check it out. You said you kind of live a double life, do you have another job?
Josh: No, no! It’s like we’re out on the road and it’s just like, you know, all the time and like so, and you know we have our families at home so like we’re out here lost in translation so you get home it’s like foreign to us so, you know? So it’s sort of like this circus life and home life that you have to juggle and try to get some balance, it’s really difficult.
Oh! Okay, so how do you manage to balance the two?
Josh: Try to stay connected, try to go home as much as I can and, you know, I do a lot of video-chatting with my family, that really helps to you know, to stay connected visually, you know?
The internet’s great for that.
Josh: Yeah, it’s great for that!
Yeah, I can’t even imagine being away from somebody for that long like that’s gotta be ridiculous!
Josh: Yeah we try to pace it, you know, so that we’re never more then like two weeks without going home for like at least a couple days, then fly back out, you know?
Well that’s good! Yeah, well you guys are still touring North America and even hitting up Europe come June, have you begun writing any new songs as of yet?
Josh: Yeah, we’ve been writing. We have a few songs in the works and a few layovers from Black Butterfly and we’re gonna put it all together, you’ll hear it pretty soon, you know when we have some time and it’s going to be really cool. I don’t want to kind of give it away, what we’re gonna do with the next record but it’s gonna be, you know, different for us. And I think it’s gonna give the fans kind of a little more insight into what, you know, what we can do as artists you know? And just kind of expand, just kind of what Buckcherry’s all about and build a career you know?
Cool, so you can’t give us any teasers whatsoever?
Josh: I can’t you know, because I just, you know, I don’t want to talk about it until it’s completed you know? It’s gonna be good, everybody’s gonna be happy, you know, it’s gonna just be, you know, it’s not like we’re going to do something completely different but we’re gonna still write just Buckcherry songs you know but I think this next body of work is going to be really special.