.

Q&A: Josh Todd of Buckcherry on Porn, Lyrics and His First Time

"I wanted something that reminds me of what can happen when I unzip my pants"

May 10, 2001
Josh Todd
Josh Todd.
Frank Mullen/WireImage

Like Jimmy Page and Ace Frehley trying to make themselves heard over the engines of three or four planes that have just touched ground on an international runway, like the Ramones and AC/DC in a block-party battle of the bands, Buckcherry's Time Bomb is the sound of every youth who has had his life saved by rock & roll. Vocalist Josh Todd, guitarist Keith Nelson, bassist J.B. and drummer Devon Glenn are joined on Time Bomb by a second guitarist, Yogi, and together they slam down thirteen tracks that sound as tight as if they had been touring for fifteen straight months. They had. Todd spoke from his hometown of Los Angeles, where the band was stopping for a Los Angeles minute between gigs in Japan and the Midwest.

Why is the band called Buckcherry?
Buckcherry was actually the name of a transvestite with a very large penis who used to frequent our shows, and we have not seen him since. He always used to bum cigarettes off of Keith. We've heard recently that he's doing Michael Jackson impersonations in Vegas, but nobody's actually seen him.

You're the same person who wrote the words "I'm a big-dick motherfucking porno star" and "Your Mona Lisa eyes will comfort me the rest of my life." Those lyrics don't really seem to proceed from the same mind.
They do, though. Why not? I can explore my sick mind, I can explore my love mind, I can explore my dark mind. I have homicidal thoughts, and maybe that's one part of the day, and then in another part of the day I just want to be in love. And then I see a porno, and I'm just like, yeah, I just want to get in there and, you know, get physical.

You've got a big tattoo of the word "chaos" on your lower abdomen. Why?
I love the word, because it really describes what goes on between my ears from time to time.

But the tattoo is not between your ears. It's where it should be describing what goes on between your pelvic bones from time to time.
That's true. And I added a black widow below that, too. Because I love spiders, and also because I kind of wanted something that really reminds me of what can happen when I unzip my pants.

And the "chaos" wasn't enough?
No. I needed something a little lower.

Tell me about your first kiss.
I was in sixth grade, and everybody who was into kissing went behind the handball wall after school. And there was this girl, she had a great mouth. And she had this funny walk, she kind of walked with her ass up in the air, like a cat walks. And I just fucking loved that – her ass, and she had a big mouth, and I was just like, "That's the one." So I worked on it and worked on it, and I finally got her behind the handball wall. It was amazing. I got the tongue and everything. Then we started playing truth or dare and I was just in la-la land – it was great. But let's talk about the first time I got laid.

OK.
The first time I got laid, I was thirteen.

Come on. That's just rock-star talk.
No, I swear to God. And it would never have happened if it wasn't for the girl. She was this very tomboyish girl. I was really into surfing when I was a kid – I was a typical California kid. I was hanging out with my sister's boyfriend in Manhattan Beach, at the surf shop there, and this girl comes in, my age, and she was one of the top female surfers in her class. And I was totally into that at the time, so we just really got along. And then she called me out of the blue, on a school night, and she was like, "Listen, it's my birthday, I've got a limo, and I want to come and see you." And I was like, "It's a school night, you can't come now – but, oh, I guess, all right." And she said, "But I've got my friend with me, do you have a friend for her?" And I go, "Yeah, I got my buddy Graham, I'll call him." So he came over, and we were waiting for these girls, and my mom goes to sleep, it's getting really late. So my mom's crashed, my sister's hanging out, the limo pulls up, my sister and her boyfriend are partying out there with the limo driver, and we go in the house. And she was just going for it. She basically led me into the bedroom, and her friend came in, and my friend came in. I don't know if it was her first time, but it was my first time and it was Graham's first time. And we just went at it. I was on the floor of my bedroom, and he had the bed. It was terrifying and great, and then after I was like, "Yea-heah!"

Well, since you were thirteen, I bet it was terrifying and great and brief.
It was brief. But great. And then I got my dick sucked afterward, so I was like, "God, I'm getting everything, I can't believe this." And then I went dormant. For a year and a half after, there was nothing. But at least I got it out of the way. I could say, "Hey, I got laid."

Yeah, but I bet none of your friends believed you. I don't.
No, I swear to God. It happened.

And what records are you listening to right now?
I listen to anything from the Geto Boys to the new PJ Harvey record. Chris Cornell's solo record, Euphoria Morning, is great, and I'm always listening to Prince.

What's the first record you bought?
I remember the first record that was given to me - my dad gave me the Eagles' The Long Run.

Well, that sure doesn't show up in the music you make.
No. I didn't really care for it too much. But it got me going, you know, it started me.

This story is from the May 10th, 2001 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com