Buckcherry's Stevie D. On Warpaint, Trent Reznor, And Rock 'N' Roll

PHOTO CREDIT: JEREMY SAFFER Can you believe it's been almost twenty years since Buckcherry released their self-titled debut and hit t...

Can you believe it's been almost twenty years since Buckcherry released their self-titled debut and hit the airwaves with "Lit Up?" The band will be releasing their latest album, Warpaint, on March 8th. They are currently on tour with Joyous Wolf which will bring them to Jacksonville, NC's The Tarheel on April 7th and Greenville, SC's The Firmament on April 11th. We sat down with guitarist Stevie D. to discuss the new album, the band's songwriting process, Nine Inch Nails, and rock 'n' roll becoming a footnote.

Buckcherry will be releasing Warpaint on March 8th. Tell us about the album.
Buckcherry hasn't released an album in several years. The band splintered a couple years ago. We carried on as Josh Todd & The Conflict, to keep our songwriting and touring legs going. We got another record deal by writing thirty or forty songs, whittled it down to twenty, and then narrowed that down to eleven.

I've listened to it and really feel it's one of your strongest albums.
Great! Thank you. We're really proud of it. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this one for sure.

There's a lot of different styles going on there, but it's still Buckcherry.
We've very conscious about who Buckcherry is and what we sound like. With the new lineup and just wanting to keep things fresh, we stayed true to the integrity of who Buckcherry is, but we also widened the spectrum a little. We used some newer technology, some drop tunings here and there. All in all, it's a Buckcherry album.

What's your favorite song on the album?
That's so tough. They're all my favorite babies, you know what I mean? I do love "Back Down." It's a kind of Crowesy, Stonesy riff. Very rock 'n' roll. I also like "No Regrets." It's kind of a punk rock ditty. I get to exercise my chicken pickin' muscles. I like that one a lot, too.

What's your favorite riff?
"Warpaint" is a great standard rock 'n' roll meat-and-potatoes '70s guitar riff. "Back Down" has a great riff. Those two stick out for me right now. Then again, that could change later today.

Years ago, songs like "Radio Song" would have been a surefire hit song. Why do you think it's so hard for rock 'n' roll to get heard on Top 40 radio now?
Rock 'n' roll is not popular music right now. If you look at the charts, it's all hip hop and pop music. It's changed. People have changed. Kids are different now. I hope rock 'n' roll doesn't end up like a footnote like jazz or blues and I don't think it will, but right now, rock music is definitely at a disadvantage to the rest. There's also modern country music, which seems like regurgitated '80s rock to me. You could probably find your rock music on country radio.

What led you guys to cover Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like A Hole?"
We've always been huge fans of Trent Reznor. To warm up the setting in the studio, we always go over some covers. One day, [producer] Mike Plotnikoff hit Record and that one came back sounding really cool. We layered bits on top and saw it all the way through. The label flipped out and wanted us to put it out.

Has Reznor heard it yet?
I don't know. I know he knows that we love him. He's like the modern day Bowie, a musical genius. I would imagine that he's heard it.

Warpaint is your first album in nearly four years. What's the songwriting process like for you guys?
I usually write a riff or I write verses and choruses and send them to Josh. If he connects, then I'll finish the song and he'll come here to my studio in the house and sing it. We also do it a different way where he'll send me a melody line and lyric for a chorus. If I connect with it, then I will build a whole song around it. That's how we did it for 90% of the album. We've also written with a guy named Johnny Andrews for one and also with Kevin Roentgen, our new guitar player, for another.

You guys are getting ready to hit the road with Joyous Wolf. What can fans expect this time around?
A high-energy rock 'n' roll show. Both bands are carrying the torch for straight-up rock 'n' roll. We don't use tracks or triggers. We deliver the music like the albums or better.

Final question: you're in charge of a music festival and you can get any five acts, living or dead, to perform on the bill with you. Who do you pick?
AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles. And how about for some fun, some Prince?

What song do you all perform together as the final jam?
How about "Let It Be" by the Beatles?

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Strange Carolinas is the Travelogue Of The Offbeat, a wry look at the interesting, unique, and offbeat roadside attractions, people, music, art, food, and festivals in North and South Carolina.


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