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Buckcherry getting back to roots

If he had a dollar for every time a young lady got naked to one of this band’s tunes, Josh Todd probably wouldn’t be bothering to talk to a journalist right now.

He wouldn’t have to.

He’d be more rich and famous than he already is and wouldn’t need to work nearly as hard as he does, doing press, road dogging it for months at a time, year in, year out.

But providing the soundtrack to the baring of so much silicone doesn’t pay the bills alone, and so the Buckcherry frontman politely fields questions about being the face of a band whose 2006 hit “Crazy Bitch” has become perhaps the definitive stripper anthem in recent years

It’s a polarizing tune: Some find it demeaning, others emboldening.

And the dudes in Buckcherry are no strangers to stirring it up. Their first hit, 1999’s “Lit Up,” testified to the pleasures of cocaine.

Think what you want of them, but when they debuted in the late ’90s at the height of the overserious nu metal boom — the rock ‘n’ roll equivalent of a moody teenager stuck in detention, bemoaning his fate — they were a welcome blast of irreverence and debauched fun, a group of hard-rock hedonists who took their partying seriously, if not themselves.

They seemed to embrace serving as mainstream rock’s leering, libidinal id, bringing sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll back to the airwaves like Guns N’ Roses did a decade before them and Van Halen a decade before that and Led Zeppelin before that and so on and so forth.

“We want to have dynamics on all our records, but for the most part, we want to host the party and have a great time,” Todd says. “That’s what life’s about. I don’t want our records to be filled with depressing crap.”

Still, despite his onstage persona as a hyena-mouthed wild man, Todd comes across as contemplative and thoughtful when he speaks, choosing his words carefully.

He says that he no longer parties much because he needs to keep himself physically fit while on the road.

When he’s not touring, he rehearses a full set every other day to maintain his voice.

“I have to be really disciplined, because my voice is my instrument, so I have to take care of myself,” he says. “It’s a lot. Looking back, I’m like, ‘Why did I set myself up for this?’ Because now I’ve got to maintain it. That’s what people want to see.”

And more than that, what people really want to see when it comes to Buckcherry is a band of larger than life rock stars to live vicariously through.

Many people may have related to Kurt Cobain, but few really wanted to be him.

Instead, they wanted to be David Lee Roth.

This is precisely the vibe that Todd is going for.

And on the band’s latest record, “All Night Long,” they go for it hard.

Sure, there’s a tune about the BP oil spill, “Our World,” but for the most part, it’s a loud, sticky love letter to long nights, short flings and regrettable decision making.

It’s a marked contrast to its predecessor, 2008’s “Black Butterfly,” which was a slightly darker, moodier affair, which, for this band, was kind of like a party with kegs full of O’Douls.

“We wanted to get back to our roots,” Todd says. “We all just felt there was a huge void in rock ‘n’ roll for rock ‘n’ roll anthems and fun songs. We’ve been doing that our whole career, but ‘Black Butterfly’ was a little bit of a departure from what we normally do. It was more of an alternative record of us, which I love. But we just wanted to get back to rocking. There’s not really a ballad on this record. For the most part, it just rocks from top to bottom.”

As a kid growing up in Southern California, Todd aspired to be a pro surfer, weaned on the sounds of Minor Threat, Black Flag and the Subhumans.

But then came AC/DC’s “Back in Black.”

“That changed my life,” Todd says. “I knew what I wanted to do.”

These days, as the frontman of a platinum-selling rock band, he’s living the dream, although he realizes that it’s mostly just that: a dream.

“You kind of think when you first start out, ‘Oh, there’s going to be limos and chicks and crazy amounts of money,’ ” Todd says with a knowing chuckle. “And it’s definitely not that.

“I never envisioned being well known,” he continues, “but I always envisioned writing songs. I wanted to write a hit record and have a lot of records with one band. I wanted to make my mark in rock ‘n’ roll with a band that evolved over time like Aerosmith, AC/DC — those types of bands. That’s all I thought about. I didn’t really think about all the stuff that comes with it. I just wanted to make timeless records.”

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.

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