BUCKCHERRY Singer Says Live Backing Tracks Take Away From Rock Concerts' 'Spontaneity': 'They're Becoming Like Pop Shows'
July 13, 2019
BUCKCHERRY vocalist Josh Todd recently spoke with Lee Eckley of the Toronto radio station 94.9 The Rock. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On touring at age 48:
Josh: "This is a very physically demanding gig. Thank God I went through a lot of stuff before BUCKCHERRY was born. I was in a band [SPARROW] for five years in L.A. before BUCKCHERRY got started, and I was a complete mess. There was a couple moments when it [seemed as if it] was going to have success, and it just didn't — it all imploded, and thank God, because I probably would be dead by now. I got cleaned up. I cleaned up my act a couple years before I actually got on the road with BUCKCHERRY. I have a very good regimen. I'm really passionate about my craft and always like to remain teachable, so I'm always learning new ways and new things to stay on top of it so that it makes my life easier onstage. That's all the stuff, you know, offstage that you've got to do with being a singer. It's very boring stuff, because you've got to be really disciplined in what you eat, what you drink. You've got to get a lot of sleep."
On getting clean:
Josh: "I didn't think I would make it to 30... I started getting loaded at 13, and I have a really bad problem when I pick up — I just can't stop. I was a bad alcoholic and drug addict. Thank God, certain things happened in my life that got me to get clean, like my first daughter was born, and shortly after that, I got arrested with a DUI when I was 23. That introduced me to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I got sober. That's when my life changed. Everything shifted. I was, like, 'Maybe I could do this.' I didn't know anybody lived sober. I didn't know it was even possible. I started doing it, and then I didn't want to be anything but sober."
On how his drug and alcohol abuse started:
Josh: "I was going through a lot as a kid. There was a lot of dysfunction at home, and the drugs and alcohol served a purpose at that time, but looking back, I wish I had never even dabbled in it, honestly. I just think it stunts your growth. You would not have recognized me at the end of my drinking. I was 23 and I was passing out twice a day. I was super skinny, [using] a lot of drugs. I was just a mess."
On the growing trend of bands using live backing tracks:
Josh: "A tragic thing that's happening to rock music, because of technology, a lot of pre-recorded tracks and vocals have been brought into big rock shows. They're becoming like pop shows. When you have pre-recorded tracks, you're basically playing on a grid and there's no spontaneity, and I feel like it's creating this thing where there's no more rock stars anymore... I don't think that the majority of the concert-goers know how much is pre-recorded coming out of the PA speakers. I don't want to name names, but we've been out with major acts, and I'd be standing at front of house and I'd be watching, and I'll be watching the singer, and I'm like, 'Man — I can't even hear this guy take a breath,' and then I look back at my tour manager, and he goes, 'Four of these songs, he's not singing the lead vocal.' I go, 'What?' Then you go under the stage, and there's some dude on a computer just working on Pro Tools sending all the stuff into their ears so that they can just lip sync it. I'm just blown away by what is going on... BUCKCHERRY has never been that, and we're still not that to this day, and I think that's part of our charm."
On BUCKCHERRY's most memorable tour:
Josh: "We got to do four shows with AC/DC on the 'Time Bomb' tour. That was a rock n' roll fantasy come true. We got to meet all of them after the last show — all of them in a dressing room — and they were the nicest guys. They were so humble and sweet. I sat right next to Angus [Young] and just talked to him — we were just hanging out and his wife was making us tea and we were talking. Malcolm [Young] was on the other couch, and Brian Johnson was walking around telling jokes. They had no problems with us taking pictures or doing whatever we wanted. They were totally sweet, and it was amazing... That's the cool part, when you meet your heroes and they're cool, because that doesn't always happen... They're, in my opinion, the best rock n' roll band that ever lived."
On whether he thinks about life after BUCKCHERRY:
Josh: "I think about it all the time. There's a lot of variables to that conversation – there's money, there's passion, there's all kinds of stuff. That's a tough one... I've learned a lot over the years about myself and done a lot of reflection and internal work lately, and I'm good if it stops now or if it keeps going for 10 more years. I'm just going to take it one day at a time."
Last week, BUCKCHERRY announced the final 16 shows of the North American portion of its 2019 "Warpaint" tour. The trek, which started on March 5, will total 118 North American cities once it concludes on September 26. Following the U.S shows, BUCKCHERRY will perform shows in Australia, Japan, and the U.K.
BUCKCHERRY's latest album, "Warpaint", was released on March 8 via Century Media/RED Music. The 12-song disc, featuring 11 new BUCKCHERRY songs along with a cover of the NINE INCH NAILS classic "Head Like A Hole", was produced by Mike Plotnikoff, whose last collaboration with the band was the platinum-certified album "15".