With seven albums and almost a decade of making music together, Josh Todd (vocals), Keith Nelson (guitar), Stevie D. Kelly (bass), and Lemieux Xavier Muriel (drums) have made buckcherry a standard for rock lovers everywhere. Their newest release, Rock ‘N’ Roll, is a fun party album, tailor-made to remind listeners why they are buckcherry fans. From the first note to the last chord, the music compels you to jump and sing along.
Music requires a leap of faith. It can be agonizing to create music, because there are endless variations to each piece. Nelson can name many songs by other artists that he considers perfect, but admits that when it comes to his own music, it is much harder. Often, the key is knowing when to stop. He explained, “I had a friend once tell me, he was in a very successful band in the 80s, and he said, ‘You never really finish a record. You just stop.’ And I guess it is just kind of knowing when to stop.” buckcherry recently formed their own record company and are discovering new avenues of creativity and challenge. The pressure to make decisions is at once familiar and difficult. buckcherry has always demanded the best from themselves musically and that has not changed. On the business side, Todd says, “The nerve-wracking thing is keeping up with all the details.” The business aspects of the music industry are complicated and demanding, but buckcherry exceeded expectations and projections with the first release under their own label.
The door swings both ways. For buckcherry, lending their time and considerable talents to good causes is personally fulfilling. They played for the troops at Twentynine Palms this year and last year performed at the Love Ride concert that donated all proceeds to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. They believe that you must give in order to receive and enjoy the chance to give back.
There’s more to come. For Nelson and Todd, music is an opportunity to learn without limits. Nelson describes playing guitar as “always evolving. I started playing the guitar not to be a shredding guitar player, but to write songs. The instrument, to me, over the years is constantly evolved. I don’t think you really get there, it’s kind of a journey. That’s the awesome thing about music is that if you’re open to it…it’s a journey.” Todd would like to master an instrument and has taken piano lessons, which he would like to continue. Most importantly, Todd is learning more about his own voice and different ways to use it every day.
The band’s live performance is a total package. It is fun, high energy, and engaging. buckcherry has some of the most dedicated fans around and the full house at the Agora Theatre in Cleveland cheered and sang with each song. The music was fast-paced and buckcherry had as much fun as the audience as they featured songs from Rock ‘N’ Roll, which has quickly become a fan favorite. The people around me relayed numerous buckcherry stories, some of past concerts or previous recordings, but it seemed like everyone had a “Crazy Bitch” story. It was a thrilling show and the crowd lingered long after it was over, not wanting the festivities to end. Currently, buckcherry is touring in support of Rock ‘N’ Roll and will continue to develop new projects for their fledgling record label.