With six records in the bag and their latest album Confessions released back in February— Buckcherry was ready to awaken the sleepy town of Mt. Clemens on Saturday, August 31st. With most businesses closed in celebration for the holiday weekend, around seven o’clock men in their finest worn blue jeans and cut off T-shirt accompany women wearing their favorite bedazzled jeans and tight fitting rock T-shirts woke from their slumber forming a line around the block, waiting to take over the Macomb Music Theatre.
When meeting Josh Todd, front man/ lead vocalist and Keith Nelson, lead guitarist/back-up vocals; the two original members of Buckcherry, in a clandestine, coat closet sized room, were all smiles and warm greetings. Todd in a fresh baby blue T-shirt and blue jeans held a red party cup with his phone by his side, seated across for Nelson who sat comfortably on an old red loveseat; wearing a black baseball cap, matching black shirt and jeans.
The album Confessions takes the listener on a tour of the bands version of their Seven Deadly Sins. Buckcherry explored each sin either as first-handed experiences or as a by-stander mirrored within the band, with their sins out in the open Nelson had to say, "I think we have all dealt with all of those issues and continue to deal with them you know? And I mean that’s something that’s one of those common bonds between all of us.” Todd sat quietly and agreed. Nelson continued, "Josh told a really, really hard story to tell you know? That’s been there I’d say for a long time and um, I think he did it really well."
When asked if that was in regards to Todd’s father suicide, Todd kept his cool and ran his ornamented hands through his hair, “Um, it’s not just that, you know? That’s just part of the equation, you know? Like Keith was saying, it’s just the sins are classic and timeless. And it’s like something, a subject we have wanted to tackle for a long time, you know? It’s just the right timing to do it and um, it’s really you know, struggling with moderation in every aspect of your life. You know? And, I think some people deal with it more so, than others, you know? But at some point, people struggle with overeating or you know, lust issues or you know, getting too messed up, you know? All those types of things and it’s just we’ve done it a lot. It was fun as a song writer to tackle those subjects and to make them Buckcherry songs.”
Buckcherry songs bleed Rock n’ Roll and on point with any rockstar, a bad-boy persona has followed the band since they first begin in the late 90s, “we have this gang mentality when we go on stage and I think that something that we had to acquire a long time ago, because, we have been kind of the black sheep of music for a long time. We’ve been a rock band since we started in the rap/rock 90s era. Where nobody was doing this, and um, although you know, some of our hero’s are still touring live, you know, were like this, rock band of our generation. Were kind of the only ones who have maintained it, in our generation and it so weird to say that because we’re just a straight up rock n’ roll band. There’s no pre-recorded tracks there’s no bells and whistles, it’s just a rock band."
Nelson was quick to put the "persona" question to rest, "I think that the 'persona' is something that other people put on us, it’s not really anything that we think about, we kind of just go out there and do our thing, you know? Not much has changed on our end other than we are still a rock n’ roll band and we continue to evolve. But I mean, the persona, I think that’s for other people and not our call."
With the band on its 214th show of their worldwide tour when asked about playing in-front of thousands in comparison to a more intimate show of a few hundred, Todd eyes, lit up ready to give his answer, “I kind of like the dynamic of all of it. You know? I know there are some bands that all they will do is play arena shows, and although that would be nice, because I know what the take home would be from that”
Both Nelson and Todd shared a giggle but quickly got back on task as Todd went on to referred to the band as Journeymen, “We’ll play anywhere and everywhere. Any nook and cranny of the world, we have been there. We are not just jumping from big city to big city. We’re like, everywhere. And, everyone knows that about us. I think, we’re like the Journeyman and we’ll set up or we’ll go play a 500 capacity club then we’ll be in an arena the next day, then we'll be in a theatre the next day, after that and then back to a club show. It’s always the same mentality. We just want to give whosever there some inspiration and their monies worth.”
With number one hits that sent Buckcherry to stardom, from their band breaking up and getting put break together in 2005 the last eight years had been a wild ride, when respect was mention in terms of the band receiving the respect it deserves Nelson and Todd shot each other a poignant look. Todd asked Nelson, “I don’t think we really care at this point. Do we Keith?”
Nelson answered after he let out a deep breath, “No, I think we stopped caring about getting our respect about 1999 maybe, you know? It’s always been an uphill battle for us. Inside the band with business things, that would blow your mind to popular opinion.”
"It's all about the people and coming back. If they’re not coming back, something is wrong. As long as they are coming back and we have an audience, all the rest of this stuff, the media, you know? All that stuff it doesn’t really mean much because at the end of the day, do you have an audience for what you’re doing?"
The two rock n’ rollers sat up a little straighter. With the topic of fan importance still fresh, in addressing how Detroit fans are set apart from most? Todd and Nelson reminisced in their favorite memories in Michigan from performing at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit to the Machine Shop in Flint or at the, amphitheatre with Kid Rock a few times; yea, man. The Detroit fan base, I think there is such a rich musical history here in Detroit. I think, there is a rock fan, a kind of like, a working class rock fan that in flying in the face of— you know, the horrible economic situation that’s going on here. They still come out, they want a distraction. They want to be entertained and they get the f*#$ down.” Nelson, said matter of fact.
Todd summed up the topic perfect when he said, "Passionate about Rock and Roll here and that’s the best."
About the author:
Angela Santilli is a guest columnist for ClickOnDetroit.com. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in Creative Writing and Political Science