BUCKCHERRY - Dive Into The Seven Sins

February 7, 2013, 4 years ago

By Aaron Small

buckcherry feature

A noose, a severed boar’s head on a platter, free-flowing wine, girls making out, drug use, and a heavily tattooed band rocking hard – all appropriate for a seedy night club, but imagine that laundry list being hung out to dry inside of a church! Well that’s exactly what transpires in BUCKCHERRY’s new video for the song ‘Gluttony’ (scroll down to view), taken from their brand new album Confessions, due in stores February 19th.

Surely, filming such deviant escapades inside the First Christian Church of North Hollywood, located in Studio City, California was no easy task. “What we did was, we didn’t let them know we were shooting that type of song,” admits Buckcherry vocalist Josh Todd. “It’s funny because we were there for about half the day, and some of the church personnel came walking through and oh my god, they were horrified! They started chatting up each other, and I knew we better get this wrapped up or it’s going to get ugly; because we had Jesus there and everything. It was such a contradiction, but that’s the beauty of it and that’s why it works.” Incidentally, the congregation in the video is made up entirely of Buckcherry fans and not extras. “We put a thing out on the Internet and everybody showed up; they were great all day. We did another video shoot the next day for ‘Wrath’ at a boxing gym, and they all showed up, it was cool.”

The Confessions album cover (pictured above) features a very ornate looking book with two clasps to hold it shut. Josh reveals, “It’s an old, old bible that we found online actually; we just kind of recreated it. The actual cover (pictured below) is on the inside of that. We had this guy Ewok, who’s a really well-known, graffiti-type artist from New York, who’s never done a rock band before, and he did drawings for all the sins as well as the cover; it’s really good.”

Speaking of sin, Confessions is a thematic record about The Seven Deadly Sins, but not really a pure concept album. “No, it’s still a rock ‘n roll record, it’s still a Buckcherry record. We always wanted to do a record around the sins, a few other bands have done their take on it and we just wanted to do our take on it. As a lyric writer, it was really challenging, fun, and a lot of hard work. I’m so proud of songs like ‘Pride’ and ‘Greed’, and ‘Gluttony’ of course. I just felt like, when I look back at all this, I’m going to be pleased.”

Interspersed among the seven songs, each named after a sin, are six other tracks. Combining ‘Sloth’ with ‘Water’ or ‘Air’ for example didn’t prove difficult at all. “No, because originally we were going to do The Seven Sins And The Four Elements; that was going to be the whole record, 11 songs. So we did a few of the elements, and then I wrote this screenplay for a short film to go along with the record, but the funding is… we got the director, we got it casted, we got the locations, but we’ve had some issues with the funding, so we’re still working on that. The record is like the soundtrack to the movie, and it all kind of goes hand in hand. At some point we’re going to try and get that out.”

BLACK VEIL BRIDES very recently did the same thing, filming a 45-minute movie, Legion Of The Black, to coincide with the release of their new album, Wretched And Divine. “Well, I mean, people did this type of stuff in the ‘70s. I think bands eventually get to a place where they want to try something – we’re not a concept-record type band; I’ve never been a fan of concept records honestly. But the seven sins are timeless and when moderation is a very hard thing for you, which it is for me, I love the sins! Diving into them is so exciting for me. I feel like, as a rock band with the edge and the way we are musically, we were going to do it the right way. I felt we could put a great record together and have a theme. The sins, like I said, I think everybody’s struggled with one of them at least.”

It’s something we’re all guilty of. Everybody at some point in their lives experiences lust or envy, the list goes on. “Right, but it’s like everything, if you can’t moderate it and you do it in excess, eventually it gets the better of you. That’s always a struggle for me. And then I’ve never believed in organized religion and being a sinner and all that, so I like that aspect of it being a little bit controversial.”

According to the press release for the upcoming, aforementioned film, it’s based on the trials and tribulations of Josh’s childhood and transformation into adulthood. “In the story, this boy comes home from school and he finds his father dead, he killed himself. That’s when it starts, he’s a teenage boy. And through the grieving process he acts out all the seven sins, and in the process he meets 11 truths. Then at the end of the film, he learns how to forgive his father, and rides off into the sunset with this chick. So that’s loosely based on my life; it happened to me when I was ten. But it shaped me as an artist for sure, because that was the turning point of when a lot of things changed for me because I kind of blacked it out. Then when I became a teenager, that’s when I started getting into really aggressive music, started using drugs and alcohol. It wasn’t because of that, but that was definitely a turning point to go more into the dark side.”

Buckcherry guitarist Keith Nelson commented on Josh’s lyrics in a recent interview stating, “they’re intensely personal.” Yet the man who made his mark with ‘Lit Up’ and ‘Crazy Bitch’ is obviously comfortable sharing secrets from his past. “I am now; it’s our sixth record and I’ve been in this business almost 20 years. I’m ready to tell my story because it’s interesting to me, I think it’s a good story, and if one person can relate to it and get some joy out of it, then that’s awesome!”

A plethora of songs were written in preparation for Confessions, some of which, although they didn’t make the cut this time, may surface at a later date. “I don’t know how many there was, but we wrote a lot,” confirms Josh. “There’s one song we held back that I think is a single. We just had too many songs in that mid-tempo range, but it’s a good song. We’ll probably use that on the next record. We got about three songs that I think would make good on another record. But usually when we don’t put songs on a record, they’re just not up to par with the body of work as far as how they’re moving us.”

The deluxe version of Confessions features two bonus tracks: ‘Give Em What They Want’ and ‘When The Fire Starts’. Josh’s “favourite of the two is ‘When The Fire Starts’, it’s very aggressive and more punk rock, it’s cool. ‘Give Em What They Want’ is just kind of a rock song, but people like it.”

Keith and Marti Frederiksen (MÖTLEY CRÜE, AEROSMITH) worked as producers on Confessions. “It was the same with Black Butterfly, All Night Long. Marti acts as a sixth band member; he’s really good with arrangements, songwriting and melodies. He’s great with singers, and he sings in the same range as me, so when I’m recording vocals, if he needs to explain an idea to me, he sings it to me and I get it. It’s a good relationship we’ve had over the years so we just keep it; he’s super talented!”

A five-minute video showcasing the making of Confessions was posted on YouTube, and the atmosphere in the recording studio seems to be very comfortable and relaxed, but at the same time very serious. “Right, yeah. That’s the way it is. We butt heads on certain things but with us, we want to do what’s best for the song; so whatever that is. But we have to go down the roads that we got to go down. If Keith has an idea and I don’t really understand what he’s fucking talking about, I’ll do what he’s asking if it’s a vocal thing or a musical thing. Then we’ll play it out, cause we may find something cool down that road that we may keep and it may be better, but if it’s not better than where we started, we just scrap it.”

The album title, Confessions, is not the name of a song. “Well, Confessions was the title of the screenplay… and if you listen to the songs, they’re kind of poetic in that way. It’s confessing everything that you think and what you really want to do, as opposed to what society is telling you to do. That’s what it’s all about.”

Earlier in the interview, Josh stated he’s never believed in organized religion, but for a lot of people, going to the confessional booth is a huge part of their life. “I think that’s amazing because they feel safe and they can be honest, without feeling like they’re going to be judged. That’s really important. That’s probably the best part about any religion that I’ve heard of. But when you get into the punishing god, and you’re a sinner, and you can’t be gay, and all that bullshit that goes with it – and the fucking money aspect of it all, that’s where I’m just like, this is such horseshit.”

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