Tue, 12 May 2009 07:27:52
“It feels like we've been out on the road since the '70s,” laughs Buckcherry guitarist Keith Nelson. An appropriate statement from a man in the midst of what could possibly become the tour that never ends. Beyond that, the mere mention of the 1970s by one of the torch-bearers of today’s rock n’ roll brings up the notion that Buckcherry is one the few modern acts who still hold onto the same no-frills, blue-collar attitude that the likes of AC/DC and Aerosmith brought to the forefront of music some thirty years ago.
They’ve been lit up with crazy bitch after crazy bitch, but now they’re giving some back by donating their time and music to child abuse prevention. While traveling to New York City, one show at a time, for a May 15th charity show at The Irving Plaza that will see proceeds going to the child abuse awareness organization, Childhelp, ARTISTDirect caught up with Nelson for an update on one of rock’s hardest working bands.
How did you guys get involved with Childhelp?
We had written the song, “Rescue Me,” and obviously, it was a song about child abuse. I’m not exactly sure how we got connected with them, but the connection between the band and the charity was a good one. We really wanted to help raise awareness about child abuse and this seemed like a good way to do it.
Buckcherry has come a long way from writing hits about cocaine to speaking out against something like child abuse.
“Lit Up?” That’s still very much there. That’s all still a part of the psyche of the band. What happened with “Rescue Me” is that Josh [Todd, vocals] read the book, A Child Called It that inspired him to write those lyrics. So, we found a place it for them, musically and the song made its way to the record.
The last few months have seen the band playing arena after arena. Are you looking forward to playing a more intimate venue like The Irving Plaza?
I prefer that. It’s a lot more fun to be able to feel the energy of the crowd and be that close. It’s a very enjoyable experience for us.
The day after that, you get the other end of the spectrum when you play at The Preakness with ZZ Top.
ZZ Top is one of our favorite bands and we’ve already played a couple of shows with them. We played with them at a festival last year in Ohio and we played Sturgis with them a few years ago. The Preakness gig is just going to be an off-the-hook afternoon of rock n' roll. There are something like 100,000 people are coming to that show!
What goes through your mind when you’re playing in front of a crowd that massive?
It’s a challenge either way. Playing in front of a crowd like does present different challenges than playing in front of smaller crowds. I don’t really know what goes through my head when I’m in front of that many people. I just get up there and do it and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take our music to that many people at once.
Those two shows aside, you’ve got a busy summer ahead of you.
We’ve been out since June of last year and we’re stay out through the end of this year. There’s still a lot of work to do and a lot of shows ahead of us. We’re just really kind of getting warmed up. We’re road dogs.
I noticed on this tour you’ve been hitting a lot of smaller markets and cities that don’t get the chance to see too many big name tour packages come through.
This is very much a working class band and, if you notice, we’re keeping the ticket prices pretty low on this tour. We’re playing places that are out of the way where most bands don’t go because we’re all about taking our music to the people that want to hear it. We could play New York, L.A. and Chicago then go home, but what kind of fun would that be? It wouldn’t be any fun at all. We’re a live band, and we feel at home out here on the road.
So what do you have in store for the hoards of Buckcherry fans when they come out to see you?
Midgets. We’re going to be shooting midgets out of cannons. And we’ve got people that are actually going to burn up in flames.
Ha, really now!
No man, we’re gonna go out there and do what we do best, which is deliver a kick-ass rock n’ roll set. You’ll get a chance to see five guys onstage, doing what they love to do without the help of backing tapes or musicians behind the curtain. No Pro-Tools rigs back there, no samples, just five guys playing rock n’ roll; the way it should be.
Do you guys have anything planned once you finally come off the road? Are you looking forward to chilling out at home or have you already started talking about a new album?
We haven’t talked about making a new record yet, so I don’t know. I guess we’ll just wait until after the first of the year to see. I know we’ve talked about heading over to Europe for a while after the first of the year. So, probably more dates ahead; more road work.
You just don’t quit do you?
No, we don’t know how.
With that in mind, where do you see Buckcherry in the next five to ten years?
Probably on the road somewhere, with the bus parked in some parking lot. There are all of these grandiose things that people to like say, but the reality is that this is a working rock n’ roll band, so we’ll probably be on the road working somewhere.
How do keep that mindset through all the glitz and glamour of the rock n’ roll lifestyle and remain true what the music is really all about?
I don’t know if we really shield ourselves from any of it. We just make sure that the music comes first and worry about everything else afterwards. We’ve all avoided rehab for the last four years, so we must be doing something right.