Josh Todd Bucks Gn'R

Singer moves beyond aborted supergroup

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Former Buckcherry frontman Josh Todd is currently mixing his first solo album, a project that came to fruition only after a failed attempt at becoming the frontman of a new group featuring three former Guns n' Roses members.

Todd teamed with a group of unknown musicians for the project, which he describes as "new school meets old school," and will now consider whether to shop it to labels or take it to the public through alternate means.

Late last year, however, the gangly, tattooed vocalist thought his next career move was to be on a considerably grander scale. After a spirited and much-talked-about superstar club gig in Hollywood with ex-Gn'R players Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, and former Buckcherry guitarist Keith Nelson, Todd teamed with the ad hoc group in a local studio to explore further possibilities. The quintet worked five days a week for a month and came up with ten songs.

"It was amazing, the band was slamming," Todd says. "And then Slash just came in one day and just shitcanned the whole thing. He said, 'I can't do this anymore.' And we were like, 'What?' It was a real drag 'cause the energy in that room was so amazing, and it could have been a really great thing if the egos would have let it [be]. There were just too many chiefs in the tribe."

According to Todd, Slash soon began downplaying the experience. "All of a sudden [Slash] is in the press saying they're auditioning singers now, and they auditioned me. And I'm like, 'What are you talking about, man? You didn't audition me? We did a show together!' It was just so stupid."

"I don't know what his deal is," Todd continues. "I don't know if he was not confident in the lineup . . . I was just so pissed off that I wasted a month of my time."

The vocalist took a decidedly different route for his solo project, answering a classified advertisement in a Los Angeles music magazine placed by unknown musicians in search of a frontman. The ad cited the Deftones and At the Drive-In as influences, bands that appealed to Todd as he looked to move beyond the gritty Sunset Strip rock of Buckcherry. "I just said I was Josh, a singer, and I'd like to check it out," Todd says. "And they were like, 'OK, man, but we don't want anybody who's not dedicated.' And I was like, 'OK . . .'"

The new group worked, and was a far cry from the Gn'R episode. "I love these guys and I don't care that they're no-name guys," Todd says. "It's really hard to get a group of guys who've had enormous careers in a room and get anything accomplished. [This] was so effortless and so much fun. That's where the creativity comes in, and that's where you make great records."

Meanwhile, Slash and company have since taken their vocalist search to VH1, which will document the tryouts for a new television show. "How gay is that?" says Todd. "What the fuck? He's turning to reality TV? It's like American Idol with the Gn'R band, you know? I just think that totally takes away from what it could have been, but, whatever."