Buckcherry finds success with 'Confessions'

Rock ā€™nā€™ roll band headed to Estero with Kid Rock

Chris Bradshaw/for ShipRocked
Josh Todd and Keith Nelson, left, of Buckcherry performing on the rock cruise "ShipRocked" in November 2011.

Photo by Chris Bradshaw

Chris Bradshaw/for ShipRocked Josh Todd and Keith Nelson, left, of Buckcherry performing on the rock cruise "ShipRocked" in November 2011.

When Los Angeles rock group Buckcherry performed in Fort Myers in April 2007, singer and founding member Josh Todd dodged a water bottle thrown from the crowd.

"Missed me ... you punk!," Todd shot back, taunting him from the stage.

Chris Bradshaw/Special to the Daily News
Keith Nelson, left, and Stevie D. of Buckcherry play in 2011 in Tampa. The band will perform again Monday  with Kid Rock at Germain Arena.

Photo by Chris Bradshaw

Chris Bradshaw/Special to the Daily News Keith Nelson, left, and Stevie D. of Buckcherry play in 2011 in Tampa. The band will perform again Monday with Kid Rock at Germain Arena.

"I've never been hit with anything," Todd recently shared during a phone call from the road. "I've done boxing training for years. I've been taught how to slip punches really quick."

The ability to bob and weave might play a part in how Buckcherry continues to thrive 14 years after its debut record, brazenly championing good ol' rock 'n' roll with everlasting grit. The band returns to the area with Kid Rock on Monday at Germain Arena, the day before it releases its sixth studio album, "Confessions."

"The core of the record is the seven deadly sins," Todd said. "Keith (Nelson, guitarist and fellow founding member) and I had always thrown around the idea of doing a record around the seven sins. But it's only seven songs and not a full LP. So then I thought, let's do the seven sins and the four elements and that's where (the songs) 'Air' and 'Water' came from."

Todd, 42, also wrote a screenplay, loosely based on his life, to thematically pair with the album. The short film is in production.

The first single, "Gluttony," also the first track on the album, was released to radio last month and is getting steady airplay on local rock station 99X.

If you go

What: Kid Rock featuring Buckcherry and Hellbound Glory

When: 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18

Where: Germain Arena, 11000 Everglades Parkway, Estero

Cost: $27.50-$87.50, plus fees

Information/Tickets: germainarena.com or 239-948-7825

Kid Rock performs during halftime of an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans at Ford Field in Detroit on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. The musician will be at Germain Arena on Feb. 18, 2013 as part of his 'Rebel Soul' tour.

Photo by Associated Press

Kid Rock performs during halftime of an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans at Ford Field in Detroit on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. The musician will be at Germain Arena on Feb. 18, 2013 as part of his "Rebel Soul" tour.

Although the songs can stand on their own without the seven sins thread connecting them, a straightthrough listen of the 13 tracks is an emotional, melodic ride; as cutting as it is tender.

On the album's second track, "Wrath," the band belts out one of the funkiest rock riffs this side of Zeppelin's "Black Dog" as Todd proclaims, "Hey man/Do you want to get a fist so hard/Do you want to see who's in charge/I'm gonna show you your future." It's quintessential Buckcherry: fiery lyrics from an emotion-ravaged gut with a killer groove.

The band might be best known for its edgy rock anthems ("Crazy Bitch," "Lit Up"), but as the "Confessions" album conveys, Buckcherry is about dynamics.

"The Truth" is a rock ballad that might top the success of its 2007 radio hit, "Sorry." The rockin' serenade "Water" has a mid-tempo verse and bridge that builds to a pedal-to-the-metal chorus; its moving, compassionate lyrics ("When I see your face it's my escape" and "It feels so good to be with someone you always knew") tug the heartstrings.

The song sequence of "Air," "Sloth," "Pride," "Envy" showcases the band's songwriting depth with grand choruses and keen composition.

"The song I'm most proud of, lyrically, is 'Pride.' It's kind of poetic," Todd said. "I'm a big fan of Jim Morrison, and I always wanted to write a song where it was kind of 'spoken word' over some music. And I think that's off the beaten path for us and very cool."

Even with buzz of "Confessions" being the band's best record to date, Todd is a realist who seems to view the present through his years of weathering a ruthless industry.

"Until it hits the public, you never know. But I feel like the record is a game changer," Todd said. "I think it's the best record we've ever done, a career-defining moment for us. We worked really, really hard on it."

Todd thinks it's some of his best lyric writing and the most personal.

"Sometimes you got to go to that place where you were in a lot of pain in order to come up with great (expletive). Because great (expletive) comes out of that," he said.

Since its inception, Buckcherry has endured ups and downs, a lengthy hiatus, lineup and label changes; things that have destroyed many a band.

"We're relentless. We don't give up," Todd said. "Whenever our backs are against the wall, whenever outside forces are trying to ruin us, that's when we come together and shine the brightest."

Hellbound Glory, with musical influences from Hank Williams, Jr. to Nirvana, will open the show for Kid Rock and Buckcherry at Germain Arena on Monday, February 18. The website bio of the Reno, NV-based band describes its sound as 'distilled of equal parts melody and bar-room-thump.'

Hellbound Glory, with musical influences from Hank Williams, Jr. to Nirvana, will open the show for Kid Rock and Buckcherry at Germain Arena on Monday, February 18. The website bio of the Reno, NV-based band describes its sound as "distilled of equal parts melody and bar-room-thump."

Buckcherry's tour partner, Kid Rock, also has a history of not giving up.

Todd met Kid Rock in Orlando in the late 1990s at the Sapphire Supper Club, a small live music venue now called the Social.

"He was in an RV at the time and we were in a van," Todd said.

Buckcherry did a full tour with him in 2001.

"He's always been the same guy. That's why I love the guy," Todd said of Kid Rock. "He hasn't lost sight of what's real, and I love artists like that. He's not afraid. That's why he's so cool.

"It's going to be a fun tour."

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