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Buckcherry


Los Angeles' Buckcherry on the cover of Maximum Ink in November 2008 CD: Black Butterfly
Record Label: 11-7 Recording/Atlantic Records
by Mike Huberty
November 2008

Originally coming on strong at the end of the 90’s with their fists-in-the-air ode to cocaine addiction, “Lit Up”, SoCal hard rockers, BUCKCHERRY, experienced a sophomore slump with their second album, Time Bomb, and the original band broke up.  After flirting with what would eventually become Velvet Revolver, distinctive screamer, Josh Todd, and guitarist-songwriter Keith Nelson reformed the band in 2005 with new members and have led the group to even bigger success in this decade with their biggest single (the ubiquitous “Crazy Bitch”) and two new albums. The second of which, Black Butterfly, was just released in September and the band is hitting the road in November with Avenged Sevenfold to promote their new release.

Keith Nelson is excited when talking about BUCKCHERRY’s resurgence. “We just came home from Japan and before that we were on Cruefest [the Motley Crue summer festival] and it was a lot of fun, a summer camp for the criminally insane and a rolling circus,” Nelson says, “now we start the new tour on November 4th.” That’s Election Day in the United States, so I ask him if there’s any candidate they’re supporting. “Well, in Japan they call it Erection Day,” he jokes, to which all I can do is groan, but at least he’s got a lot of life in him. “I don’t think any candidate really wants BUCKCHERRY in their corner,” he laughs, “politics is something that we decidedly do not get involved in.”

After hearing “Crazy Bitch” screamed by drunken girls at every bar I’ve been to for the past three years, I had to ask him where the song came from. “We wrote it before we parted ways the first time, that song survived our hiatus,” he says. “I still had the demo and someone at management said we should try it. In fact, we ended up learning it right before we went in to record it.” I ask if he knew beforehand what kind of impact it would end up having. “I know my mom is really proud of it and all her church friends,” he responds, “Everybody at the PTA meetings is happy to see me. Really, I didn’t think the song would ever be played on the radio because of our refusal to edit it. At one point we took the F word out of the song and it didn’t work, so we just put it out there and then the video was played 9 million times on our website!”

Asking about the hiatus and what happened to the original band, Nelson is forthcoming and honest. “Josh and I left because everyone else jumped ship,” he says. “Time Bomb didn’t do as well as they thought it was going to do. And when you go through a period like that and you’re not commercially as well-received, you find out what is motivating people to be in a rock band, some people want to be rock stars and buy a big house and not go to work, and some people want to be in a band because they love the music. You find out who’s who when the money dries up.” But when it comes to the new group, he’s more than enthusiastic. “First of all,” he says, “the musicianship is on such a higher level with these guys, but they also bring a brotherhood and sense of camaraderie that the old band just never had and that brotherhood is probably the biggest thing.”

And now that they’re back on top, I ask him if they ever miss the old days. He responds, “We talk about it all the time, whether it’s playing the Viper Room for the first time or being in a van in a different state. But when we put the band back together, we were getting that same feeling. We were definitely starting from zero and driving in a van to San Diego or to Long Beach. We’re lucky now, I enjoy a nice tour bus and arena, and I appreciate it.”

And speaking of arenas, BUCKCHERRY will be in Madison with AVENGED SEVENFOLD at the Alliant Energy Center on November 14th. As to what to expect, Nelson says, “live rock and roll is a dying breed of musician, there are very few bands that can pull it off without bells and whistles and backing tracks and pyrotechnics, we’re five guys who genuinely love what we’re doing. It’s the next wave of American rock and roll band.”

Purchase Black Butterfly on Amazon.com
Download Black Butterfly on Amazon.com

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