Buckcherry Talk "Wherever I Go"
Thu, 03 May 2012 16:54:24
"We put a lot of heart and soul into what we're doing," declares Buckcherry guitarist Keith Nelson.
That's an understatement. Buckcherry put more heart into their music than most. In fact, it's the very reason they're so impactful and important to modern rock at large. On their brand new song, "Wherever I Go", available on Avengers Assemble the soundtrack to The Avengers, the group spins a personal tale of "going it alone" against all odds. Frontman Josh Todd's lyrics are inspiring, especially once the stadium-size refrain kicks in. Plus, the guitar superpowers stand unparalleled during the solo. It's an epic anthem worthy of an Avenger. However, it's still just a prelude to group's forthcoming epic, Confessions, out later this year.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Buckcherry axe-slinger Keith Nelson breaks down "Wherever I Go", talks superheroes, his playlist, and more.
How did "Wherever I Go" come about?
We basically had the opportunity to be a part of the movie. We understand and appreciate the size and weight of having a song as part of a soundtrack. When we were approached, we were actually in writing mode for Confessions. We'd been working on a few ideas, and Stevie had this riff that seemed appropriate. We had just started writing "Wherever I Go" and thought it would be a good candidate for The Avengers so we finished it with that in mind.
Was it originally going to be a Confessions track?
It was early enough in the process that we weren't really sure. We had spoken about the idea of the record and had written a few songs. We were just trying to write the best songs we could because we were in writing mode without any real concept in mind lyrically. Early on, there were a lot of songs we'd written that don't thematically fit into the record. We were simply writing, and that's when this song came about. As we continued down the path and got more and more focused on what our outcome was, then everything started to sharpen up towards the goal of the record.
Where is the track coming from thematically?
Lyrically, I think it's definitely a tormented person. The lyric is "Wherever I go, my mind goes with me" so there's a bit of torment in there. I think Josh really felt a connection to a few of the characters in the movie.
The Avengers are almost like a band because they have these superpowers but they also have human emotions.
Exactly! The music needed to convey a little bit of the darkness and carry some of the weight of the humanity of each character. That weight and humanity were what we were trying to get across.
How did the riff evolve?
It was one of those round-robin riffs. We were all sitting there throwing stuff at each other. Stevie actually came in with that main part of the riff. Stevie and I started with that, making a quick demo with the drum machine. It was a bit like we start every idea. We brought it to the band and everybody plugged in. Then, it had this bombastic quality to it. We were all really excited early on. All of the ideas that have come out of this new record have all arisen from the five of us in a room literally playing everything from the beginning stages to the finish. We'd make a demo, rewrite it, and play it again. I think the energy of the five of us crafting this all the way through to the end really comes across. This is truly a product of the five of us standing there and getting it right without worrying about the clock or the calendar.
Which one of The Avengers have you always been a fan of?
When I was a kid, Thor was one of the characters I really liked. I connected with him for sure.
It's really exciting to be a part of this. Usually, you have a soundtrack with one or two artists that are well-known and then a bunch of new artists you don't really know about it. I saw the lineup of Avengers Assemble, and I heard some of the songs and thought, "This is really great. It's a special littler fraternity on this record." We're very excited to be a part of it. Soundgarden haven't done anything on the recording side for so long so to be a part of their next chapter is pretty cool as well. We're big Soundgarden fans. I'm really glad to see those guys back at it.
Has "Wherever I Go" become a part of the set?
We get to really make some cool setlists every night, and we're playing "Wherever I Go".
What's on the horizon for you?
There will be a couple final touches on Confessions and more touring.
What are you listening to right now?
I'm listening to The Black Keys' new record. Actually, I've been listening to the first The White Stripes record a lot too for some reason. I'm really a fan of what Jack White does. There aren't enough musicians in rock 'n' roll doing the history lesson and understanding where our music comes from. I'm really stoked to see someone like Jack who has done the history lesson. For the most part, all of my favorite music is 30 years older or more [Laughs]. As a guitar player, Hubert Sumlin was my introduction to the blues through Howlin' Wolf. The first blues record I ever got was Howlin' Wolf's The Real Folk Blues. I've been listening to that a lot lately too. I got reintroduced to the record with Hubert Sumlin's passing and all of the press around it. That's a good one.
Have you heard "Wherever I Go"?