Buckcherry interview: the triumph of the trashmen

Buckcherry posing by a barn and an old truck
(Image credit: Christopher DeVargas)

Buckcherry came storming back this year with Hellbound, their ninth studio album – and one that marked them out as one of the finest trashy rock’n’roll bands around. 

This was the fifth time they’d worked with producer/songwriter Marti Frederiksen, and it elevated them to new heights, drawing from previous glories but also confirming that those belong in the past, as the band plot contemporary success. Frontman Josh Todd believes the future offers exciting opportunities. 

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How important was Marty Frederiksen as producer and co-writer to the way Hellbound turned out? 

Vital. We work really well with him, and he brings out the best in us. We hadn’t worked with him since Confessions [2013] for various reasons, but I won’t do another album without him. Marti is the sixth member of Buckcherry. 

Did the fact that the pandemic stopped all touring make it easier to concentrate on making the album? 

It did, because we could take our time. So, we could do demos for everything we wrote, then sit down with our manager and Marti and choose the ones worth putting on the album. We had 28 songs from which to select the 10 to make the record. 

How long did it take to record? 

We took a whole year to do the album, but that includes the writing and demoing process. So when we finally got into the studio, all of us were so well prepared we were able to get this done quite fast. I think I took no more than two weeks to do all my vocals. 

You’re the only constant member of Buckcherry since its formation in 1995. Do you feel like you alone carry the spirit of the band? 

I suppose I must be. But that’s never what I wanted. When Buckcherry started out, my ambition was to be in the same band with the same line-up for the duration of my career. But life got in the way.

Do the continual line-up changes help to keep the music fresh? 

It certainly helps me. Whenever someone new has come in they bring a different energy, and that keeps me on my toes. So I feel revitalised as far as the music goes. 

How did you keep yourself occupied while being unable to tour during lockdown? 

I was able to spend time with my family, which was important. I also got back into playing tennis, which I used to do quite a lot when I was younger. It felt great playing matches again, because by nature I am very competitive. 

The band went back on the road in June. Did you notice any change in audience reaction? 

So far the fans have been very enthusiastic, which is wonderful. There are covid protocols you have to follow at venues, but now I guess we’re all used to these. 

Do you believe the pandemic will have a negative impact on the future for bands such as Buckcherry? 

Rock wasn’t in a good place before the pandemic. All bands can do now is build our own tiny empire. I also feel that online marketing has become invaluable for bands to promote themselves. These days people have an attention span of just five seconds, so it’s easy for your album release to go under the radar, unless you are savvy. 

What are your plans for 2022?

We aim to spend it touring. Hellbound is our best album yet, and we want to get out there and push it as hard as we can.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.