Buckcherry has been through it. “We’ve outlasted rap-rock, grunge, all that stuff,” says Josh Todd, singer for the Los Angeles band. With guitarist Keith Nelson, he’s one of only two remaining original members of the Buckcherry lineup that drove the hard rock anthem “Lit Up” into our hearts and minds in 1999. The band has survived shifting tastes, burnout, lawsuits and Napster; in fact, Buckcherry even survived Todd’s quitting the band temporarily in 2002.
The reason Buckcherry keeps going—the reason the band continues putting out albums such as 2010’s All Night Long—is the same one that drove AC/DC, Aerosmith and Mötley Crüe before them: They’re a blisteringly loud hard rock party band, and playing live is what such bands do. Todd even bristles at the idea that the band’s last record was tailor-made for playing live.
“All of our records are built for the live setting,” Todd says. “Buckcherry doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles; what you hear is what you get. When we do live shows, we don’t run samples through the PA like a lot of these rock bands are doing. We want to give an honest representation of what we are.”
“What we are” is pretty much personified by the title track of “All Night Long.” It opens on a stomping beat (with cowbell!) and a snarling, Stones-like riff from Nelson; Todd joins the party by invoking pretty much every rock-and-roll idiom you’ve ever uttered in moments of passion, intoxication or karaoke. “You know you got it when you’re having fun. … You scream and you shout this is what it’s all about,” howls Todd, and sweet holy diver, he’s absolutely right. There’s a reason Buckcherry survives: because of our need, too often denied, to rock out with our proverbial tubesock out.
Buckcherry will keep improving their kick-butt rock ’n’ roll as long as we’re willing to bang our heads to it. “A lot of people thought we couldn’t top ‘Lit Up,’” Todd says, “and we did, with ‘Crazy Bitch.’ Then we topped that with ‘Sorry.’ I just wanna continue to find those hits—the hits that change your life.”