In the early part of 2013 Buckcherry put out what I consider to be their best album yet, Confessions. Every song is a home run, and I played it for about a month straight. So when I was given the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with guitarist Keith Nelson a few hours before showtime here in Dallas I jumped at the chance, are you kidding me?? He’s a real cool laid-back guy, and it was cool getting a little insight into the world of Buckcherry. Take a look:
Amps: First of all, the new record Confessions. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing this by now, but I think it’s the best record you guys have done yet. And it seems to me like this is the most personal Buckcherry record yet.
Keith: Well, thank you very much. And yeah, definitely. Josh (Todd, vocals…Duh!) and I had been talking about doing a record based on the Seven Deadly Sins for a long time. You know, seven songs for seven sins. And as we started to write those songs we kind of put it to Josh to come up with a story behind them. And he had already been working on a screenplay loosely based on some events in his life. So we married the two ideas together, the events in his life with the Seven Deadly Sins, and that’s how we came up with this record.
Amps: Lyrically, it just seemed more serious.
Keith: Oh definitely darker thematically and I think sonically it’s the heaviest, darkest record we’ve done. There are no real party anthems on this one. So I could see why you’d say that.
Amps: So how have the shows been going?
Keith: Oh, great! We’re about 220 shows in since we finished the record and we’re booked all the way up till Christmas and we’re already putting January and February of next year together, so we’re gonna get a good long run out of this one.
Amps: You guys really are a road band, though. I saw you guys with KISS in ’09 and you just ripped it up.
Keith: We pretty much haven’t stopped since then.
Amps: You did two nights at the Viper Room last spring. My friend out there said it was incredible.
Keith: Yeah, two nights, and we played different sets each night. That was a LOT of fun. It was fun for us to do that especially since that’s the club we got signed out of back in the day. It was great to go back there and do a couple nights, just have fun. Plus it’s half a mile from my house (laughs)!
Amps: What guitar players past or present do you like to listen to?
Keith: Oh man, it’s a long list. I’ll try to give you the short one. Paul Kossoff from Free is one of my favorite guys, and Keith Richards, Malcolm and Angus from AC/DC, Joe and Brad from Aerosmith, Jimmy Page. All the obvious ones, you know? I’m old school.
Amps: Any Spinal Tap moments this tour? Or has it all been smooth sailing?
Keith: (Bursts out laughing) There’s been so many fuckin’ Spinal Tap moments it’s almost embarrassing. It’s that movie, man. I can see why a lot of the bands back then were offended when it came out, but I just think it’s funny. And when you go out on the road and tour, you see how spot-on some of those moments are, and you can’t help but laugh. Really, really funny! We’ve actually been in venues where we left the dressing room, took a wrong turn and we couldn’t find the stage!
Amps: Ok. You had the brief hiatus, and since then it’s been a steady stream of records. What’s the overall vibe of the band these days?
Keith: The overall vibe of the band is really good, man. We all really get along, and I think the camaraderie really comes through on our records and our live show. And it plays a part in the fact that we’ve been able to do 200+ shows on every record that we’ve made since ’05. You can’t really go out and tour like this and keep up the same kind of output we’ve had without it being a bunch of guys who love what they’re doing and get along well.
Amps: Josh is kind of a maniac up there. What’s it like sometimes when you look over and see him doing his thing?
Keith: You know, it’s just…Josh is a special guy. And this is a special band. It’s great. I know him as that guy, I know him as the guy offstage as well, and they’re definitely two different people. And he’s one of the best at what he does.
Amps: What newer bands are you listening to?
Keith: Vintage Trouble is a band that we all dig. The Temperance Movement out of the UK. Rival Sons is another one. Another good band from the UK that we toured with over there, The Howling. Those are the newer bands that have gotten my attention, for sure.
Amps: What’s the ONE CD people would be shocked to hear you own?
Keith: Terence Trent D’Arby – Introducing the Hardline…love that record. That gets played a LOT in my house when I’m home. Something about it, I dunno. It’s a moment in time for me, maybe. I love it.
Amps: What’s next for Buckcherry?
Keith: We’re taking a few weeks off for the first time since last Christmas. Then we’re gonna go to South America, over to Europe for five weeks, then down to Australia for ten days, which will take us into this Christmas. So, touring, touring, touring, then back at it mid-January.
Amps: What’s your favorite track on Confessions?
Keith: “Water”. At least today. Yesterday it was “Greed”. Tomorrow it might be “Pride”, but today it’s “Water”.
Amps: Hey Keith, thanks for taking a few minutes with me, and have a kickass show.
Keith: No problem. Best of luck to you with your site.
Needless to say, Keith, Josh, and the rest of the Buckcherry boys put on one hellacious show at Trees Dallas that night. You can read my review of it below. But I highly recommend experiencing a Buckcherry show in person if you haven’t been lucky enough to catch one.