Buckcherry's been around for more than 10 years, yet they're seemingly just hitting their stride. The band's third album, 15, recently went platinum, and the album's fifth single, "Sorry," cracked the top 10 of The Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Believe it or not, when 15 was first released in 2006, a lot of people wrote Buckcherry off as a "has-been" band that was trying to revive their once-lukewarm career. (Mainly because their self-titled debut and 2001 follow-up, Time Bomb, failed to live up to expectations, despite their 1999 single, "Lit Up," topping Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart.) Now, two years out and counting, Buckcherry has proved the naysayers wrong and is still going strong. In fact, they just announced they'll be hitting the road with Motley Crue.
We chatted with singer Josh Todd about finding success after all these years and whether he thinks they can top it. Here's what he had to say...
Buzzworthy: You've been on an amazing journey with 15...
Josh Todd: It's a great story.
BW: It really is. Are you surprised by its success?
JT: I always knew we had it in us. We always believed in ourselves, so I'm not surprised. But, you know, I am a little surprised about how it all [unfolded] because it's kind of a fairy tale. When we started working on 15 nobody really wanted anything to do with us. So, it's kind of nice how it's come full circle.
BW: What do you attribute your success to?
JT: Hard work and perseverance. That's really what it's about. We believed in ourselves, we had a plan and we stuck to the plan no matter what. No matter how many people told us we didn't have the [right] record, we just kept moving forward. Pretty soon, things started happening. Like, "Crazy Bitch" became a phenomenon and we toured for over two years and 300 shows. Then "Sorry" took off. It's been really awesome.
BW: How did you keep your head in the game and not give up when, as you say, no one wanted anything to do with you?
JT: Well, we've been kind of the underdogs of rock'n'roll for a long time, so that didn't really discourage us. When I say no one wanted anything to do with us, I'm talking about record companies. All they did was look at the [sales] numbers. They just looked at the numbers of our last record -- our second record, which didn't get promoted at all by our label at the time -- and didn't even listen to the music. There are no more pioneers in the music business anymore, and that's the problem with the music business.
BW: Do you find it ironic that your debut album, which was released on a major label when the music business was booming, has sold less than 15?
JT: [Laughs.] Yeah, it's kind of bizarre. We had a lot of success for who we were at the time. But, yeah, at the time having a gold record wasn't a big deal. If you didn't sell 3 million or 7 million records, you weren't anybody. Now, gold records are a big deal again 'cause it's really hard to sell a million records. Not too many people are doing it anymore, especially rock bands.
BW: Now you guys have a platinum album while artists from American Idol and the Disney Channel, who get a lot of media attention, struggle to go gold...
JT: It's funny that you bring that up, 'cause in the press we are almost invisible. Aside from "Sorry," we've had very little time on TV or in magazines -- or anywhere. It's really been a very organic, grassroots campaign.
BW: Do you think 15 still has some life in it or are you ready to release a new album?
JT: I don't know. The plan is always changing. We have a lot of different options, and that's a great thing. People are looking at us much differently now; people are taking us very seriously. I think right now we just want to finish writing [a new] record and get it recorded. But I don't know if we're going to release it right away. We've got to make the right move, whatever it's going to be.
BW: Will fans see a different side of Buckcherry on your next album?
JT: We're a rock'n'roll band, so we're not going to, like, use electronic beats or anything. I think the reason Buckcherry's been successful is because we make timeless music. We make songs that don't have a lot of filler. Of course, we've matured as songwriters since we wrote 15 and we want to keep outdoing ourselves. So, that's what we're focused on. We have this song on the [new] record that's more of an epic -- it starts one place and takes you on a journey. That's something that we haven't done before. But we're really just gonna stick to the formula of making sure that you can listen to it from beginning to end and be satisfied. It's really shaping up nicely.
BW: Do you think you can duplicate 15's success?
JT: [Laughs.] I think we can surpass it. But that's a big task, so we gotta make sure we have all the songs, all the ammunition.
BW: Any idea when you might release it?
JT: We don't want to rush and put out a record and have nobody know that we have a new record out because ... you know, there's a lot of people who think that 15 is a new record because of "Sorry." I mean, we got this whole new fanbase because of that song, people that had never heard of us before. So, we're gonna ride the wave. But we are going to have the record done in the next couple of months. I can assure you that.