Vickie Young of Lithium Magazine recently conducted an interview with guitarist Keith Nelson of Californian rockers BUCKCHERRY. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Lithium Magazine: Can you tell me how the band came up with the concept for the new album, “Confessions”?
Keith: Initially, Josh [Todd, vocals] and I had spoken over the last several years about doing a seven-song EP, with each song being one of the sins. Obviously, we weren’t going to make an EP, we were going to make a full-length record. As we started to write the first couple of songs — “Sloth”, “Pride”, “Gluttony” — Josh‘s lyrics started to take on a really cinematic quality. I encouraged Josh to write from his view almost from a character’s point of view. The realization happened that we’ve been doing this long enough; I trust our artistic instincts on levels other than musical. So we start writing these songs and Stevie says to Josh, “You should write a screenplay.” Josh started to write the screenplay, which started to dictate where he was going lyrically. This whole thing started to grow very organically, sonically — concepts, for the record and the artwork. I know this is a roundabout way of answering your question, but that’s how the whole concept came together. Now we have a record that stands on its own and a phenomenal screenplay, but they don’t need each other to actually work. The story is fucking awesome, and the songs stand on their own.
Lithium Magazine: Speaking of which, how do you visualize the screenplay coming to fruition? Will it be a short film or movie?
Keith: It’s a film that I think right now comes in around under an hour. We still haven’t shot it yet, but we’ve got so many things in place to do it. We’re just waiting on the final business things to get in line so we can complete it.
Lithium Magazine: Now that the video for “Gluttony” has been released, are you receiving any type of backlash for including such religious content?
Keith: No, we haven’t got any of that yet. I think so many people have overdone that kind of thing we haven’t hit anyone’s radar. I’m sure at some point somebody will protest a show or whatever the fuck. I think certainly people like MARILYN MANSON and other bands have taken it to much darker ways. I think we’re conveying what the song is about and pushing the envelope for ourselves a little.
Lithium Magazine: Have you ever had any desire to play or master any instrument outside of the guitar?
Keith: Yeah, my foray into playing music actually started as a drummer. Since I was the drummer, all the kids in the neighbourhood would come and drop off their gear at my house. They would ride skateboards and bicycles to my house on weekends and we would jam. I always had a full rein of all the instruments there and started playing on the guitar and bass. I would love to learn to play the piano. I have no skills whatsoever.
Lithium Magazine: What do you believe is the secret ingredient in the band’s longevity?
Keith: Camaraderie. I think it all starts there. When you have five guys in the same space that all get along together, it trumps any senior talent in the band. I think that’s the secret sauce that makes it really work. I’ve been in some situations where there’s some really talented motherfuckers that didn’t get along or couldn’t, just really weird.
Read the entire interview from Lithium Magazine.