Buckcherry shows its serious side on its new CD

If Buckcherry’s latest CD, Time Bomb, doesn’t connect with audiences, it won’t be due to a lack of effort. The extra effort began with songwriting. As the band’s primary songwriters, singer Joshua Todd and guitarist Todd Nelson wrote about 35 songs, from which a final 12 tunes were selected for Time Bomb.

“We really wanted to be thorough. That was the main reason why we wrote all those songs,” Todd said. “It takes a lot of songs to get you a record where you can listen to it from beginning to end and be pleased with it.”

Todd was a study in advance preparation, as he set his sights on improving two key areas of his involvement with the band.

“On the first record (1999’s Buckcherry), I did a lot of improvisation in the rehearsal room coming up with melodies,” he said. “This time, I took a lot more time with the music, and in return, it gave us a more melodic record. … I also went to a vocal coach and learned a lot more about my voice and kind of expanded my range on this record.”

Buckcherry’s progress doesn’t mean fans won’t recognize the band on Time Bomb. The album has its share of full-throttle rock songs that combine elements of punk and metal, with a good deal of melody. The band, however, has branched out a bit musically, with some songs taking on more of a power-pop sound.

All the effort that went into Time Bomb may come as something of a surprise, considering the band has been known largely for its rowdy lifestyle. Part of that image was created by the band’s hit single, “Lit Up” from Buckcherry, which prominently featured the refrain: “I love the cocaine.”

Time Bomb doesn’t shy away from similar themes either. Several songs make references to sex, partying and the ups and downs of the rock lifestyle. Todd said that, in general, he feels it’s only right that some of his lyrics reflect the wilder side of life that he enjoys.

“I think it’s more about understanding the wild side of things, because I’ve experienced it,” he said. “I love celebration. I love excess, and I love to witness all that, and I love to be a part of it. I love to write about it.”

This noted, Time Bomb also exhibits a more thoughtful side to the band’s music. Songs like “Helpless” and the tender love song “Without You” show a good deal of vulnerability. Both tracks demonstrate that Buckcherry can craft effective ballads.

In general, Todd feels Buckcherry’s fans have understood that there’s a serious and sensitive side to go along with the upbeat, sometimes salacious songs the band writes.

“I think you would be selling everybody short if they didn’t have their own minds to interpret it the way they want to,” he said. “And ‘Lit Up’ is only one song. People who are into this band understand a lot more about Buckcherry than just ‘Lit Up.’ … There are always people like that in every audience, people who are really into the band and people who are just kind of there.

"So, do I worry about other people? Absolutely not."