First I wanted to thank you for being so cool a few years ago when I met you and Keith in Buffalo.
You guys tore that show up.
I know. Lenny (Kravitz) didn’t bring too many people to that show, did he?
No. And what was even worse was that you guys had almost no stage to perform on.
I know that. We’ve got a stage this time around.
Good, because you guys were the best band out there that night.
How is everything now?
It’s been great. We’ve been having a lot of fun.
The new album is no nonsense rock ‘n’ roll. What in the hell happened to rock?
I don’t know. There’s not a lot anymore. It seems like a lot of people in the press don’t give a shit about our music. Maybe it’s because they can’t place us. I don’t know. I don’t know what the fucking deal is and I don’t really give a shit.
See, that is what I like about you guys. You write songs that seem to be saying, ‘Hey, if you don’t like it, then F U. If you do, then great.’
Totally. That is the kind of music I grew up on. I grew up on records where people had no control issues and no one was trying to control their creativity, bands like Minor Threat and Black Flag and the old Replacements. They were on independent labels and they were making honest records. All we want to do is make honest records, you know?
We want no boundaries.
Were you ever worried about people making a big deal out of the lyrics of “Lit Up”?
Not really, because it isn’t an advertisement for cocaine. It was just where Josh simply talks about his first experience with the drug. I don’t think Kurt Cobain actually wanted people to rape him when he wrote “Rape Me”. It’s not to be taken literally. We are not glorifying cocaine, but I can tell you we are glorifying making your own decisions.
Is it crazy to think that there are kids all over the world playing your songs at parties and it’s like this anthem?
It’s a trip. Music has always been a thing where I can mark every moment in time, whether it was high school or grade school or summer vacations, and the music of that moment has always marked that time for me. And to think that people are doing the same thing with our music is totally flattering. I just don’t even know what to say about it.
The new single is, “For The Movies”, right? That is my favorite song on the album.
Yeah, there is a good story behind that song. We had made the record and left the studio and went right into rehearsals right after that. And we came up with the song in rehearsals, and we were so jazzed about that we took our own money and went to the studio where we made our demos and recorded it on our own in a day, we did it for five or six hundred dollars. And we had the tape and played it for our A&R guy at the label and our manager flipped for it. We took the same recording and mixed it ourselves.
Who did Josh write “Baby” about?
– Michele ([email protected])
Well, Josh writes the lyrics. I don’t know. (laughs)
Is it true you’d never heard Never Mind The Bullocks before working with Steve Jones? – tim murrah ([email protected])
I heard it, but I didn’t own it. I wasn’t a rabid Sex Pistols fan, but I definitely knew who he was. I know he is the godfather of punk. No, seriously though, Jonesy is great; he is definitely the godfather of punk.
How did you hook up with Steve Jones?
Jonesy? Well, he came to a lot of our shows. He actually had driven a long way to see us at one show. We had some mutual friends and he was just a really nice guy. He’s a friend of the band. He wanted to be involved with us and wanted to work with us to get a record out.
Had he produced before?
I think he’d produced his own records, but I don’t think he had produced bands and I know that is something he really wants to start to do. He is going to be a great producer.
Steve definitely has that rock star persona.
He is so out there, man. He is cool as shit.
Do you have a favorite song to play live?
I love to play “Baby” live, but I also look forward to playing “Dead Again” live.
Were there any songs that when you first wrote and recorded it you thought, ‘Wow, this is a great song?’
Most of the songs I felt like that about didn’t make the record for whatever reason. We had a song called “Strong Mind” that I thought, ‘Fuck, I can’t believe we wrote that song.’
Maybe it’ll be a B-side or something?
Maybe the next record. It definitely isn’t gone.
Have you written anything new?
Yeah. We are playing new stuff now and also stuff that didn’t make the record. We don’t want to make a long record where you put sixteen songs on it and the listener gets bored. Just because you can put seventy-five minutes on a cd doesn’t mean you should. We just decided to go with eleven or twelve songs. There is a song called “Riding” that we wrote after we recorded the record, and “Elvis Glory”.
Will there be collaboration with Yogi since he didn’t appear on the record?
– shadi ( [email protected])
I think we’ll write these songs the way we wrote these songs. We have an open door policy; there is no one sitting there going, ‘I write the songs, so you can’t write them.’ We write as a band, because we are a band.
When you push your voice, does it get hurt or has it become natural?
You have to know how to push it right. You can push it and hurt yourself. That all has to do with warming up. I do warm-ups before the show. It’s a muscle and you need to warm it up like a muscle.
Are the songs from your life experience?
Well, we write all kinds of ways. I wrote a lot of these lyrics and melodies on the road. Keith and I would piece together music on the road. We have this Roland eight-track machine that we take on the bus and we pieced it all together when we got home. But then again, some we put together from beginning to end at home. Like with “Porno Star”, Yogi came up with that riff and I thought it was so nasty that I had to write something to it. I had to find some subject matter that was nasty and I just got done watching this documentary on this porn star’s life. They showed all his rides, all these motorcycles and shit, and every morning he’d get up and just fuck chicks. He’d direct movies and stuff and I thought, ‘Fuck, what a great life.’ Hell, if you’ve got a big old hog like that then you’ve got to fucking show the world. (laughs)
He’s living the life.
I think every guy’s watched a porno flick or watched himself fucking his old lady in the mirror and thought, ‘Hey, I might be able to do this.’
Making home movies, debating whether to send them in. (we both laugh)
Okay, speaking of “Porno Star”. You guys can get crazy like that, but you also can slow it down, but not get all weak about it.
Right, right. I’m glad you noticed that. It’s really important for us as songwriters to touch every part of the human emotion. Songs are about capturing feelings. That is going to come up. There are moments when I’m just chilling and I want something slow.
Why did you make the hidden track hidden?
I wrote that song on piano in the studio, and then I grabbed Yogi because I only had the basic chords down and he plays better, and I wrote the lyrics. We just laid it down raw and we tried to add music to it, but it never sounded as good as the raw piano. Although it didn’t sound great for a body of work, I wanted to make it something for people to discover.
Did you have some really crappy jobs while you were trying to get signed?
– Michele ([email protected])
Dude, the worst fucking jobs. I’ve done everything from landscaping to roofing to telephone sales, retail store for like five bucks an hour. Josh used to work in a warehouse, he used to wash cars. So we’ve all had shit jobs up to the day we got our record deal.
Which of your tattoos really means a lot to you?
This one means a lot to me (points to a tattoo of a swallow on his right forearm), it’s for my mom. And I have (turns away from me) this tattoo on my back that says ‘rock ‘n’ roll’. They all hurt.
Outside I could hear Josh singing, “If you want love, you got it” His voice echoed throughout the corridor and sounded as smooth as silk. Their manager peeked his head in to tell us that they had to take off for sound check.
We ventured out into the hall where I met up with Josh.
Keith asked, “Hey, who did you write “Baby” about?”
“Well, I didn’t write it for anyone, you know? It’s about trying to find that perfect lover, you know?” Josh explained. “And the chorus is about fucking.” Everyone laughs.
“Is that why you like playing it so much?” I asked Keith.
“Yep”, he said with a big grin.
We continued to chat for ten minutes as they waited to be brought onstage. Josh talked about the tour and how he couldn’t believe that just months ago they were playing to a handful of people, and now in big hockey arenas. I shook hands with Josh and Keith and took off to eat, waiting to catch them later that night. Buckcherry are superstars onstage and off. In a world starving for rock stars, all I can say is that people obviously aren’t looking very hard. I certainly found some that day.
+ charlie craine