“The greatest album of all time? AC/DC’s Back In Black”: this is the soundtrack to Buckcherry singer Josh Todd’s life

Buckcherry‘s Josh Todd looking at the camera
(Image credit: Press)

During the nu-metal comedown of the late 90s, for anyone who had forgotten what a ‘proper’ Californian rock band was supposed to sound like, Buckcherry were on hand to remind them. The band’s sleazy anthemics drove breakout hits such as Lit Up, and their feral singer Josh Todd was briefly in the frame to front the project that became Velvet Revolver. That never happened, but Todd cleaned up and kept on, steering Buckcherry through a 10-album catalogue.        

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The First Music I Remember Hearing

Once a week, my mother put on music to clean the house, and my sister and I would play while she vacuumed. One of the first records I remember hearing was Rod Stewart, Blondes Have More Fun. I remember looking at the record cover and thinking this guy was wild. 

The First Song I Performed Live

Rock And Roll by Led Zeppelin, at a house party in Orange County. I was fifteen and it was madness in there. Everybody was so drunk and rowdy. 

The Greatest Album Of All Time

Definitely Back In Black for me. Prior to that, my whole record collection was independent punk rock. Then Back In Black happened. I used to take that album to parties, put it in my back pocket then go over to the stereo, put it in when nobody was looking, sit back and watch people react.

The Guitar Hero

It would have to be Angus Young. Not only a great soloist, a great rhythm player too. And then his showmanship on top of that, and the schoolboy outfit and SG. My rock’n’roll fantasy came true: we played with AC/DC, like, four times, and I sat right next to Angus on the couch and he was the nicest, humblest, most amazing guy.

The Singer

My favourite singer of all-time is Prince. I saw him at the Universal Amphitheatre and it was unreal. He came out with a five-piece band and levelled the place. His range, his falsetto, his low voice. It was insane, the screams that he did. Not one person was sitting down at that show. 

The Songwriter

The most talented guy in the game right now is Bruno Mars. As far as songwriting and talent, this guy is untouchable. What would I say to a Classic Rock reader who thinks they don’t like Bruno Mars? Just go watch his live performances and you’ll be an instant fan.

The Best Live Band I’ve Seen

Rage Against The Machine. I saw them right when that first record was starting to pop. I had a day off and knew nothing about them. They came on and I’m like: “Who the fuck is this?” Tom Morello was making his guitar sound like a DJ rig, and Zack De La Rocha knew how to bring the crowd down and then make them explode. I walked out of there knowing that everything had changed.

The Anthem

You Shook Me All Night Long, AC/DC. Any time I hear it, I’m right there. I still turn it up.

The Most Underrated Band Of All Time

Jellyfish. There was a record back in the day called Spilt Milk [1993] that I really got into. It kinda reminded me of The Beatles in places. Back then, when I was still drinking and using, we’d just sit and listen to that record, and I just couldn’t believe they weren’t the biggest band.

The Best Record I’ve Made

Our new album, Vol. 10, is tremendous, but I think the best record we’ve made so far is Hellbound, just because we had a lot of magic in the songwriting.

The Worst Record I’ve Made

If I looked back and found one I don’t think is spectacular, it would probably be Rock ‘N’ Roll. It was a weird period for the band, just not a lot of synergy. And honestly, hearing the first record [1999’s Buckcherry] is hard for me. I was kinda undeveloped. I just hear all the flaws, in the songwriting and my voice.

My Guilty Pleasure

I love Harry Styles and there’s so many great One Direction songs. I love Night Changes so much I learnt it on guitar, and my daughter and I would sing it.

My Saturday-Night Party Song

I hate to keep bringing them up, but any AC/DC song. Maybe Dirty Deeds. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been in The Rainbow, in the dance room upstairs, rocking out to AC/DC. I’m going on twenty-nine years in recovery now, and I gotta tell ya, being sober and going out dancing is so much better than being fucked up.

My ‘In The Mood For Love’ Song

Shining Star by the Manhattans. You can get your groove on to that. 

The Song That Makes Me Cry

Sometimes It Snows In April by Prince. That song wrecks me. It makes me think of my father, and how sad it makes me that we never really got to have a relationship. I think of my mortality, too.

The Song I Want Played At My Funeral

Nah, I don’t want a funeral. Sprinkle me over the ocean, I don’t want to be in the ground. If you want to remember me, I’ve got a catalogue of music. You can always hear my voice and I wrote all those words. But I would say Buckcherry’s Dreamin’ Of You would be a good one for a funeral. 

Buckcherry’s Vol. 10 is out now via Earache.

Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.