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| March 30, 2006 | 0 Comments

What Happens In Buckcherry Stays In Buckcherry

Like the hourly commercials you now see on TV prodding you to get into trouble in Las Vegas, Buckcherry is the Sin City of rock ‘n’ roll, egging you on to stop shoegazing and have some fucking fun. What once might have been too raunchy, too racy, too much for the general public seems now to be in demand. Their songs have been said to incite frenzy — sometimes X-rated, always memorable.

Appearing: August 4th at The Pearl Room in Mokena.

“We played New Year’s Eve at the Viper Room, and during ‘Lit Up’ two people were fucking on top of our merch boxes!” singer Josh Todd remembers. “I guess they were off in the corner, bangin’.”

“Historically, since we’ve been out playing that song, something happens to people in the audience,” says guitarist Keith Nelson. “And it amazes me every time it happens, though it shouldn’t — we should be used to it — but we’ve seen random acts of weird sexual stuff go down in a venue during that song.”

“Yeah, we’ve had two girls eat each other out, we’ve had a guy get his dick sucked behind the PA speakers . . .”

“. . . behind the side fills, we were onstage and we could see him.”

Buckcherry, too, got a little suck job of their own: after releasing two records on Dreamworks, the chaos of the music business had sapped their strength (and the fun out of it). Throughout a two-year respite from the music industry, Todd and Nelson couldn’t ignore the warm, red blood of rock ‘n’ roll pulsating through their veins. So with a new attitude, a little growth, and a lot of determination to do it their way this time, they employed the help of some friends and, yes, put the band back together.

When their self-titled debut LP was released in 1999, bands like Lit, Sugar Ray, Limp Bizkit, and Korn topped the charts. Buckcherry fell somewhere between the cracks, appealing instead to those fans who a) weren’t satisfied by any of the above, and b) pined for the days when rock bands embodied the [un]holy trinity of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Buckcherry fit those tight, leather pants perfectly — writing songs about all the taboos, temptations, and vices that make rocks stars rebels and fans want to be them.

Their balls-to-the-wall, big rock still pays homage to rock’s roots with blues-influenced riffs, powerhouse beats, and rabble-rousing lyrics that made bands like Guns N’ Roses and The Black Crowes household names. Songs like “Lit Up,” “Check Your Head,” and “For The Movies” — all from their first LP — reached enough fans to hit the charts and earn them opening slots for legends AC/DC, Aerosmith, and even KISS. But after their second LP, Time Bomb, failed to sell beyond what the first did, the predictable artist/label fallout and band implosion followed.

Last year, however, Todd and Nelson reconvened and decided to make a fresh start. Bringing in longtime friend and guitarist Stevie D (who lived and played in Chicago for awhile), bassist Jimmy Ashurst, and drummer Xavier Muriel, Buckcherry recorded their new record in 15 days. Aptly titled 15, Todd says he thinks they’ve written their best LP yet. From the first note, 15 grabs you by the ass and shakes you. This time around their songs are more cohesive, tighter, with more lasting melodies and even some effective ballads (“Carousel,” “Sorry”) that are sincere without being sappy, slowed without losing their rock grit.

Penelope Biver

To find out what else happens in Buckcherry, pick up the April issue of Illinois Entertainer throughout Chicagoland.

Category: Features, Monthly

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