Let's talk about the new album Warpaint. What can you tell us about this album?
We worked super hard on this record. We wrote 30 songs for an 11 song record so it goes to show you how much songwriting we did. We started in November, of 2017, Stevie and I, and we knew we had a lot to overcome. There was a lot of change that had taken in place with Buckcherry and a lot of time since the last record. So we knew it had to be really good, and it’s so reminiscent of the songwriting process that happened before the 15 record. So it’s very special, the Warpaint record. And to have this kind of record so late in our career is really cool, and I’m really excited.
Talk a little about the changes Buckcherry has been through and how that impacted the writing process for the new record?
Well, Keith and Xavier left the band so there was a lineup change. And before that, Buckcherry just wasn’t in a good place. We weren’t all focused on the same thing. And it’s really hard to have success when that is going on. So the lineup change was really great. We got Kevin Roentgen on guitar and into the fold and Francis Ruiz on the drums. And it just became exciting to be in Buckcherry again. It really made for great songwriting. Stevie and I were also going through a lot in our personal lives and that’s always good for songwriting.
You have been playing some smaller venues on the current tour. What is it about a small venue that drives home the vibe and groove of a Buckcherry show?
I think every band likes to get back to that at some point because it reminds them of when they started. You start out in small clubs and you build it from there. So I think that when I get in an atmosphere like that, I can only speak for myself, it really ignites me, it’s fun, and you kind of get back to what I like to call my punk rock roots. And you get to do a show that’s maybe different than when you’re on a arena tour. It’s more raw and in your face. And you can really see the reactions from the crowd because you’re so close to them.
Is there one song off the new album that you think will hold up best in your catalog as time goes by?
That’s a good question. Man, I like to think all Buckcherry songs are timeless because of what we do. It’s so hard to predict. I mean, I really think that “Bent,” it’s one of those, it’s a first time listen song. When I hear that song, I cannot stand how I feel inside, and I hear that first line, I’m there! I’m like, this is, I’m locked! It’s hitting my emotions. I’m like, this is amazing! I got to hear the rest of this song! Who is this? That’s the way I feel about that song. It’s like one of those instant grat tracks. I think “Bent” is one of those songs and on the slower side of things, we wrote this song called “Radio Song,” and it’s like what I like to call Buckcherry’s “Purple Rain.” I feel like it’s one of the coolest songs we’ve written. It was really heartfelt, and I was going through a lot of transition so I think that’s one song that people are going to, it’s really going to resonate with people.
2019 is Buckcherry's 20th Anniversary,That's a huge accomplishment. What would you say is the one thing that’s stayed the same in Buckcherry throughout your time together?
The work ethic has stayed the same, I can only speak for myself but I’ve been working from record to record, if I’m not making a Buckcherry record I’m writing other songs, I’m making another record or collaborating on songs, I’m just a student of the game and since I embarked on a music career when I was fifteen. I really haven’t looked back and I think you know the thing about my career is I always wanted to be in one band for a long time and make a catalog of music and its definitely coming true, this marks twenty years in the game for us, eight records and I’m so proud of it, and my goal with Buckcherry is to make ten records, that would be really great that’s a good number for me. I’m just taking it one day at a time and just focusing on what’s in front of me with ‘Warpaint’. I’m very pleased and proud of the music and work I've done.
Do you have a song you never get bored of playing live?
That's a good question. There’s a song called ‘Slammin’ that I never get bored of because it’s just right in my wheelhouse vocally and I like the groove, it’s fun to dance too.
What do you enjoy the most about taking your music on the road?
Touring is the big payoff. You write and re-write in your dirty and dark rehearsal room and then you get the compositions together and you finally record them----you listen to them 100 times before you get to the stage and perform them. Then you get to see how the general public reacts to them--- that’s what we live for, the live experience. That’s the best part of this business hands down.