JOSH TODD Interview
I had to opportunity to interview Mr. Josh Todd prior his show on March 8, 2004, & I got to say hello to his entire solo band, hang out on the bands RV, & wander the backstage area (if you wanna call it that!) at the venue. David, his tour manager was very cordial & polite, as was Josh, the band, & even his merchandise man/RV driver! After I interview was over Josh said to me that I reminded him of his old guitar player Paris from Slamhound, which I thought was really cool!
Rock N Roll Experience: How has the tour been so far...how have people been reacting to the new material?
Josh Todd: It's been really great, it's a slow build because we're a small company, not being on a major label, it's been really great
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you own part of the record company?
Josh Todd: yes...I don't wanna get into how much of it I own, but I have a partner, Todd Meager, he's the business side of things & I'm the creative side.
Rock N Roll Experience: What happened with Buck Cherry?
Josh Todd: Alot of things, it just wasn't one thing, it was a breakdown of...first of all it all started happening at the beginning of the Time Bomb cycle, alot of things internally with our record label & our management & then during that tour I think we all just stopped respecting one another & eventually 3 of the guys quite at the end of the tour & it was just Keith & I & we started the band & there we were left with the band & we tried to keep it together for about 7 months, we wrote about 20 songs for record 3, & at that point in time when we hooked up with the GNR guys, we did a show with them at the Randy Castillo benefit & it was really cool & we didn't have a band situation going so we were like, maybe we should call these guys & they were thinking the same thing, so we got a band together for about a month & wrote 9 songs & it was alot of fun, it wasn't like the GNR thing or the Velvet Revolver, or anything like that.
Rock N Roll Experience: How come you didn't become the singer for Velvet Revolver?
Josh Todd: I don't know
Rock N Roll Experience: Did you audition for Velvet Revolver?
Josh Todd: I didn't audition. it was just a band, we played a show together & we decided to write some songs & then it became this big thing after that, so no, I mean it just didn't work out.
Rock N Roll Experience: Have you heard the stuff they did with Scott Weiland?
Josh Todd: I heard that one song which was on the radio...it was alright
Rock N Roll Experience: What happened to your 1st major band Slamhound?
Josh Todd: Slamhound was a great band, I was in it for 5 years, chicks kinds fucked that band up, kind of took our drummer away, he went & pursued a chick & so did our bass player, really what was happening was we never had a, at the end of it we were like, we were on an independent label, we made a record, we were so long together without any major accomplishments that it fell apart. Eric Essex moved to Australia & he sells advertising on the radio..he;s a great guy though, I haven't spoke with paris for a long time, but one of the bass players that we had , like right before we ended the band died from a heroin overdose & that was really the last time I got down & talked with Paris after his death, but other than that, they are all doing their own thing.
Rock N Roll Experience: You write so much about drugs in your lyrics, do you still use drugs?
Josh Todd: not anymore
Rock N Roll Experience: Which ones did you do?
Josh Todd: I never did heroin, but I did everything else, alot of acid, alcohol is my main thing, speed, cocaine.
Rock N Roll Experience: What drug was the hardest for you to kick?
Josh Todd: alcohol
Rock N Roll Experience: What was your drink of choice?
Josh Todd: Beer, lots of beer. At the end I was like drinking alot of Jack Daniels, I was popping alot of pills, smoking weed, doing acid, it was like the last bit, & then I got arrested, got a DUI, & that was my moment of clarity
Rock N Roll Experience: Did you do any time in jail?
Josh Todd: No, I didn't do any time, but at the same time I had knocked up a girl so when my daughter was born, all of these things were coming down on me at one time & I made a decision.
Rock N Roll Experience: Tell me about your current band & how you found them
Josh Todd: I was at a newsstand & thinking I'm like a week out of Buck Cherry & everything & I'm thinking, what am I gonna do, I want fresh young guys, I don't wanna deal with anymore egos, I'm over that, so I just picked up a music connection, which is a music magazine in LA, & started thumbing threw it & saw this ad that jumped out at me & I called one ad & it was kind of a joke at first & I called the ad & no one picked up & I was like hey, this is Josh, I'm a singer just calling about the ad & I called my producer who produced this record & he also did the Slamhound record, he;s known me for years, & I told him I was doing it & he was like,that's so great, you gotta show up & I'm like, alright, so I showed up I listened through the door to make sure they could play & I'm like FUCK, I gotta go in & I went in & Jesse, the big guy, he noticed me right off, he said aren't you the guy from Buck Cherry & I'm like yeah, let's just jam man, so we started jamming & it was just electric & the chemistry was great & I actually wrote the melodies to "Circles" & "Burn" that day & then we just started rehearsing 5 days a week for 5 months, we wrote like 30 songs for this record.
Rock N Roll Experience: Are you playing any new songs that are not on the "You Made Me" CD live?
Josh Todd: Yeah, we play a song called "Death March" & "Famous" & we kind of rotate 1 song a night, "False Idols"
Rock N Roll Experience: Are you playing any covers?
Josh Todd: We have a cover of "Dirty Diana" but we aren't playing it live yet
Rock N Roll Experience: How do you keep your voice in such good shape?
Josh Todd: I do warm-ups, scales, I take really good care of myself, that's part of it, I do alot of cardio too, I box, that's how I take care of my voice, you gotta have good wind, you gotta make sure you're warm & you gotta make sure you have alot of rest & alot of water.
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you smoke?
Josh Todd: no, but I used to, I used to smoke everything.
Rock N Roll Experience: Good, because I hate to see someone with an amazing voice like yours smoke & lose it, but then again, look at Brian Johnson from AC/DC, he smokes alot & hasn't lost it yet.
Josh Todd: Yeah, but he did kind of lose his voice there for a little while & then he got it back on "Stiff Upper Lip" which is one of my favorite AC/DC records, it's fuckin great...I don't know what he did, I think he had some kind of operation of something because he's fucking amazing on that record....old school Brian.
Rock N Roll Experience: Have you ever considered doing an AC/DC cover, because you have the voice for it.
Josh Todd: Everybody thinks that, but it's really hard for me to sing AC/DC stuff. We talked about maybe doing "Problem Child", some Bonn Scott stuff.
Rock N Roll Experience: Why did Yogi leave Buck Cherry?
Josh Todd: I don't think he was happy.
Rock N Roll Experience: What is the song "Broken" about?
Josh Todd: When I listen to the music of that song, it brought me back to the glory days of couch surfing & being with dysfunctional mates...females, & just being completely reckless & drug addiction...my early days in Hollywood...Love Dead is actually taken from a Slamhound song called "Love Dead", it was one off my favorite Slamhound songs, so I wanted to kind of bring it back.
Rock N Roll Experience: What does "Stay Gold" on your knuckles mean?
Josh Todd: Ever seen the movie The Outsiders? It's a Stevie Wonder song & it's taken from a poem too
Rock N Roll Experience: Why is this new CD so much darker than the BuckCherry stuff?
Josh Todd: If you've ever listened to Slamhound, where I came from, it's not too far off, I wanted to get away from a blues based rock record, I'm over it, it's like we did that again & it didn't have any substantial commercial success & that's not totally what I'm out for, I really wanted to just be happy & whenever I follow my heart everything works, like when I left Slamhound & started playing just a rock/blues based band everybody was laughing at us & they were like, that's never gonna fly & I'm like, whatever, I'm enjoying myself & that's it & eventually we got this huge buzz & all this shit starts happening & we got a record deal, so whatever.