lisa pikaard is all lit up again …
Lust drives Buckcherry’s greatest successes but now, “Greed,” “Sloth,” and the other sins are making their marks as well. With a new album, a screenplay, and a global tour, Buckcherry is trying to conquer the world. Back with its new album, Confessions, the band is ready to have everyone singing, rocking out, and breaking a few rules.
Buckcherry is most commonly known for hits like “Crazy Bitch,” and “Too Drunk…” songs that are fun and sexually charged. The new album, however, takes creative writing a step further. Josh Todd has written an album that has a song for each and every deadly sin (as well as a few other tunes); more importantly, he has written a screenplay about those very songs and sins that is currently in the process of becoming a movie. The creative works of Buckcherry obviously have no boundaries and it will certainly be interesting to see how Todd’s writing will transfer from music to film.
Buckcherry certainly has a lot on its plate between the film and touring with Kid Rock, but that hasn’t stopped the band from promoting “Gluttony,” the first single from Confessions. The song has been hitting radio waves since December and is precisely what we’ve come to expect from Buckcherry, a high energy, hard hitting rock track. The new album which came out in February, is jam-packed with similar tracks as well as a few of the power ballads that have brought Buckcherry some success in the past as well.
Pop-Break spoke with lead guitarist and founding member, Keith Nelson about his favorite deadly sin, the new album, the screenplay, and the Jersey shore.
Pop-Break: So what’s going on? You guys are on tour right now, aren’t you?
Keith Nelson: We are on tour. We are in Columbus, Ohio today.
PB: Very nice. You guys are on tour with Kid Rock, right?
PB: How did that come about?
KN: You know we’ve been friends with Rock for a long time actually, going back to the late ’90s and we got offered to go out and support him on a two months worth of shows and we jumped at the chance. It’s great.
PB: That is so crazy. You guys have toured with so many different musicians it’s insane.
KN: Yeah, we’ve been on a lot of different tours; we’ve been very fortunate.
PB: Well you guys have your new album out right now, which is awesome by the way.
KN: Thank you.
PB: How is the crowd responding to the new music?
KN: We’ve been getting a really great response. “Gluttony” seems to be going over really well. That’s the first single off the album and we’ve been throwing in the various songs from the record every night and it seems to be working really well.
PB: So the new album has the theme of the seven deadly sins and all that, which is crazy, was it hard for you guys to write songs with that focus in mind?
KN: Well I think the fact that Josh came up with the storyline that goes along with the record made it a little bit easier. But it’s not the most uplifting of topics to write about but we persevered. We had a good time making this record. We had so many things up in the air from the business side of how the record was coming out, changing managers, a lot of stuff behind the scenes that the record seemed to be a nice relief from all of that.
PB: So the rumors are out there about the album having something to do with a screenplay and I know you mentioned the story written behind it, what’s going on with that?
KN: Well the story’s written, a director is in place, the movie’s cast, the locations have been scouted, now we’re just waiting for the funding to come through just so we can actually pull the trigger and start filming.
PB: That is awesome. What made you guys decide to make the leap into doing that as well?
KN: I mean, the way all these ideas came together, it really all kind of started out as a Josh and I talking about doing an EP on the seven deadly sins which is seven songs and one thing led to another and the more we talked about it, the more the ideas just kind of start rolling and it just became this thing. I think it was Stevie, the other guitar player, who mentioned Josh writing a screen play to go along with it, to give everything kind of a touchstone foundation for the lyrics and Josh just took that idea and ran with it. And that’s how we got where we’re at.
PB: So which of the seven deadly sins is your favorite?
KN: A favorite? I mean they’re all … how do you pick your favorite sin? You know lust seems to be the one that comes up the most.
KN: That’s the one that seems like it’s the most designed to enjoy. I don’t know if you really enjoy anger or sloth or any of those other ones.
PB: That’s very true. I mean speaking of that, you guys have a lot of your, you know, nitty gritty, dirty sex songs, because of that, you guys have kind of had that image of a rockstar persona. So what would people be surprised to know about you that doesn’t fit that persona?
KN: What would be … I think they would be shocked to see what our backstage rider looks like.
KN: It’s pretty boring actually.
PB: Well that would probably be a little shocking. But you guys have had so much success with a lot of songs along that theme so it’s really cool to see you guys tackle all the sins.
KN: Well I think that those kind of themes appear everywhere on our records if you look. There’s always been songs that haven’t been about that but they’re not the ones most sensationalized. So it was fun for us. It was fun for the departures of our norm and kind of push the boundaries and ourselves in a way.
PB: Well you guys actually have been around for a really long time and had your hiatus in the middle and lineup changes, from where you started to where you are now, what do you think has changed the most?
KN: Umm … geez! I think this lineup of the band is indicative of what Josh and I had in mind when we first started making music together. And this lineup has been together for eight years and we’ve made more records than the previous lineup. We’ve played more shows, we’ve been more successful. I think that the biggest difference, that was your question, I think that we’re more confident in what we do than ever before. We know that if the five of us agree then that’s really all we need to move forward. We’re not very swayed by outside opinion.
PB: It’s really good to hear that in the music industry. It’s not often that that is the case.
PB: So if you could go back to the beginning though and give yourself some advice, what would it be?
KN: I would say it’s only rock ‘n’ roll. There aren’t really that many big deals, you know? Lighten up and have a good time.
PB: Awesome. Alright, well back to the new album, obviously the theme of the seven deadly sins is a religious concept. Now have you guys witnessed any backlash or any comments thrown at you from either religious organizations or fanatics or anything like that?
KN: We haven’t really sparked up that kind of thing. But you know, who knows where this will all go. But we haven’t really seen it. I thought for sure when we put Jesus in our video for “Gluttony” that we were going to get some protestors, but so far it has been pretty mild.
PB: Well I’m excited because you guys are going to be hitting the Jersey shore and playing Jenkinson’s in May and we’re really excited to have you guys on that stage because the shore should be back together again.
PB: Now Jersey has a really big cover band scene, it’s huge. Cover bands play all the time, including at Jenkinson’s, and one of their staples, even still to this day, is “Crazy Bitch.” Did you ever expect that song to be as prevalent as it still is today when you guys were first recording it?
KN: I mean, no. That song was put on that record as kind of an afterthought. [laughter] It really was. I mean there’s no way you can anticipate that, you know? I have to say, we’re on tour with Kid Rock and he actually covers that song. I think it’s the first time that we’ve ever been opening for an artist who has actually covered us so that’s a compliment of the highest order.
PB: That’s really cool. So you guys obviously are on the road now; I know that your schedule is taking you everywhere including to the other side of the planet from us, down to Sydney, Australia. Where has been your favorite place that you have traveled to touring with the band?
KN: Well I’m going to say Jersey. Fuck it.
KN: Fuck yeah! We have such a great time there. We’ve played some of our earliest shows there and I got my first tattoo on the Jersey shore.
PB: And what tattoo is that?
KN: I’ve got an eagle on the top of my right shoulder when I was eighteen years old in Jersey and you know Jersey has been such a breeding ground of such great music. I mean all the obvious choices, but Southside Johnny, and all that great stuff that has come from Jersey, obviously Bruce and Bon Jovi and so much great music. The Skid Row guys, My Chemical Romance. I mean there are many awesome places to go in the world. We’ve been almost everywhere but, you know, I’m going to say my favorite place right now is Jersey.
PB: That’s a great friggin’ answer. I love it. I love that you do love us here in Jersey!