Buckcherry exude a sleazy, sexy hard rock vibe that pays homage to classic rock ‘n’ roll tenets: decadence, excess and loose women. Formed in 1995 by frontman Josh Todd and guitarist Keith Nelson in Los Angeles, Buckcherry offer the same danger and strip-club titillation of an earlier L.A. band, Guns N’ Roses
. In subsequent years, the Buckcherry lineup has fluctuated, but Todd and Nelson have remained the two permanent members.
Igniting on Their Debut:
Buckcherry’s 1999 debut, simply titled Buckcherry, established the groundwork for the band’s musical style. Drawing from Guns N’ Roses and also old-school L.A. punk, but with a more radio-friendly sheen, Buckcherry trafficked in unapologetically good-time rock, a respite from the angst that had dominated most ‘90s bands. The opening track “Lit Up,” Buckcherry’s biggest hit, celebrated cocaine with revving riffs, and the rest of the album followed its lead in embracing hedonism without reservation. The album eventually went gold.
A Real 'Bomb':
The band’s sophomore release, 2001’s Time Bomb, proved to be a critical and commercial disappointment. The bad-boy attitude remained, but the album lacked the combustible singles that made Buckcherry such guilty-pleasure fun. For their part, Buckcherry blamed personnel changes at their floundering label, Dreamworks, for Time Bomb’s inability to catch fire.
Buckcherry Take a Break:
After Time Bomb
, Buckcherry went on hiatus, and the core members pursued other interests. Todd released a solo album, 2004’s meager-selling You Made Me
, and he and Nelson worked with former Guns N’ Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum, sparking rumors that Todd would be the lead singer of Slash’s supergroup Velvet Revolver
, a job that eventually went to ex-Stone Temple Pilots
singer Scott Weiland.
Call It a Comeback:
When Buckcherry reunited officially for their third album, 2006’s 15
, Todd and Nelson had parted ways with the rest of the original lineup. 15
proved to be an impressive comeback that ran the gamut of radio formats. “Crazy Bitch” was a hard-stomping sex song supported by a highly suggestive video, while “Sorry” was a sad-eyed acoustic ballad. Spawning a total of five singles, 15
went platinum in the United States and reaffirmed Buckcherry’s commercial standing.
In September 2008, Buckcherry released their fourth album, Black Butterfly
. The first single, “Too Drunk,” takes a page from “Crazy Bitch” with its frank sexual content, but the song demonstrates a more groove-based approach than previous Buckcherry tracks.
'All Night Long':
After releasing their first live album, Live & Loud 2009
, in 2009, Buckcherry returned on August 3, 2010 with All Night Long
, their fifth studio album. Leading off with the title-track single, the record emphasized hard-rock tunes, but the album also made room for the ballads “I Want You” and “Bliss.”
Josh Todd, on getting Buckcherry back together after the hiatus.
“I think the time away made us really appreciate what we have. It was our baby. We were very passionate about it. And I think Keith and I realized that we have a really good songwriting chemistry. Not that I didn’t realize that before, but absence does make the heart grow fonder.” (Live-Metal.net, April 16, 2006)
Keith Nelson, on why “Lit Up” was such a huge hit.
“It’s got a good guitar riff and it’s got a cool lyric and it’s short, simple, and to-the-point. It’s the kind of thing that didn’t really require a lot of thought.” (Yahoo! Music, March 23, 2001)
Keith Nelson, on the band’s bad-boy persona.
“We’ve already had guys arrested, we’ve had children out of wedlock, we’ve wrecked cars, we’ve bought Harleys, we’ve gotten tattooed, you know, we’ve pierced body parts … We’ve got porn stars in the camp, we’ve got Playboy bunnies, we’ve done every cliché-dumb-rock thing that you can possibly do, we’ve done more drugs and spilt more booze than some bands have drank and ... what else do you have to do to be more rock?” (Yahoo! Music, March 23, 2001)
Josh Todd, on personal career highlights.
“Playing with AC/DC was a dream come true. Meeting those guys was awesome. They were really amazing guys, very humble. It was the best rock n’ roll experience of my life.” (Live-Metal.net, April 16, 2006)
- Josh Todd and Keith Nelson met through a tattoo artist.
- 15 got its name from the number of days it took to record the album.
- One of Todd’s inspirations while writing Black Butterfly was A Child Called “It”, a memoir by Dave Pelzer about his experience surviving child abuse.