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The VilleBillies 2011

To say the eight-member hip-hop-alt-country-rock band the VilleBillies are busy these days would be a drastic understatement, especially for two of the band’s most prolific members, Demi Demaree and Dustin “Tuck” Tucker, who are also in the midst of debuting and promoting their new hip-hop project called BassDrumAliens.

As for their self-proclaimed mothership of all projects, the VilleBillies are heating up once again after a two-year stint with a new album titled Appetite For Dysfunction (due out this summer) along with a few high-profile shows recently announced. The first will come Derby-eve on Friday, May 6th at The Vernon Club , and also the following Friday, May 13th, where they’ll be kicking off the Paddock Concert Series at Churchill Downs. At the Derby, on Saturday, May 7th, the VilleBillies will have a booth in the infield where they’ll be passing out free tickets to the May 13th show in the Paddock inside Churchill Downs.  No plans yet confirmed on whether they’ll be hitting the road for a tour to celebrate the release for Appetite for Dysfunction.

VilleBillies on the red carpet at Churchill Downs' opening night

‘Talk To Me’ is the album’s first single, and was debuted during their HullabaLou performance last summer, along with a video that followed shortly thereafter. If you haven’t yet seen the song’s video, it will more than likely leave you scratching your head once you do.

“The song is a dark song. It’s not happy like it sounds,” Tuck commented on the subject of ‘Talk To Me.’

Demi also added, “It goes through the emotions of love, from the most beautiful purest piece of it, to the darker side of it.”

Aside from the VilleBillies, other members of the band are also involved with a number of side projects like BassDrumAliens, Plan of Man, Gentlemen Hounds, Million Dollar Records, and Melted Clock Studios. Melted Clock Studios is a video production company that shoots and produces music videos for artists – including all the VilleBillies’ own music videos – along with a number of comedy skits that both Demi and Tuck are sometimes featured in. Just google “Melted Clock Studios” and let yourself be entertained.

As for what’s next for the VilleBillies, the focus right now is for the band to concentrate on finishing and releasing Appetite for Dysfunction this summer.

“We just have a lot of fun with this stuff, you know? Anyway we can be creative is what we’re going to do. We’re not stuck to one thing,” Demi commented on the band’s various side projects. “There is just so much creativity in us, and so many goals, and so many things we want to accomplish that if we weren’t working on new stuff, then we’d be depressed.

Tuck went on to say, “I’m happy where I’m at right now because I can make, record, and listen to my own music. If I couldn’t do that, then I’d be really depressed. All the other stuff is just bonuses. But I’m not going to lie. I’d really like to take it to that next level.”

**Please note this video was recorded prior to a recent venue change announced for the Derby-eve show on Friday, May 6th.

Churchill Downs Paddock Concert Series
The VilleBillies  


Friday, May 13th 

Churchill Downs

700 Central Ave.

8 pm 

All Ages

FREE

** This story is also published at Louisville.com

Photos: Courtesy of the VilleBillies

BTD&TDBS Album Artwork

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

by Black Stone Cherry

Roadrunner Records
Produced by: Howard Benson

In Stores: May 31, 2011

Kentucky-natives Black Stone Cherry has taken their shirts off for their junior release via Roadrunner Records. While extending their traditional heart-felt southern style of rock n’ roll, they’ve finally flexed their lyrical muscle with occasional salaciousness and plenty of blunt statements.

After five years of canvassing the U.S., Canada & Europe with bands like Black Label Society, Buckcherry, Nickelback, Def Leppard and Hinder, Black Stone Cherry now shows some of their tour-mates semblance.

On “White Trash Millionaire” you’ll hear some Zakk Wylde-esque guitar chops and bold Buckcherry-ish lyrical decrees like “…Ain’t got much and I don’t care, count your cash and kiss my ass, this whole damn world gonna know I been here, I got two zig-zags and you know I’ll share…”

Their once southern-darling adolescence begins to bolt with songs like “Let Me See You Shake,” and “Blame It On The Boom Boom”, where BSC firmly plants their flag of sexual appreciation for the opposite sex.

They also introduce their first recorded cover song of Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” with plenty of their own influence added, and do manage to stay true to their polite Kentucky-boy roots on “Like I Roll,” where you get heart-felt admissions of “…I roll to the hills of my old Kentucky home, back to the place where my heart belongs…”

**This review also posted at Louisville.com

Ratterman in the studio

Wax Fang’s Kevin Ratterman is a busy man in the music business these days. So busy that he never really got around to pursuing his family’s business of operating funeral homes in the Louisville area. Instead, he picked up on another family trait; music.

From the time he was a child he would aspire to his older brother Blaine, an “excellent drummer” as described by Ratterman, and his father’s band, The Epics’ drummer as well. So, growing up he essentially had ready access to full drum kit in his basement. No surprises that he too would learn to play drums. Led Zeppelin and Mötley Crüe were two bands he cited that he learned to play to growing up.

Today, not only is he Wax Fang’s animated drummer, but he’s started to take on a new endeavor in the world of music; album production. Some of his first two projects: My Morning Jacket’s Circuital and The Broken Spurs’ Natural Disaster, both of whose albums he played an integral role in developing the sound for. Not to shabby for a production-newbie, right?

“I essentially put the studio together,” Ratterman explained when talking about the make-shift studio he built in a church gymnasium to record Circuital, the new My Morning Jacket album due out May 31 on ATO Records.

“We were recording everything live, which means you have to automatically – when you’re doing stuff like that – ‘accept’ a lot of things you wouldn’t normally accept,” he explained about the sound output from the live recording process as compared to a studio. I can’t help but to think, at this point, that he must be a perfectionist, because when you listen to Circuital’s title track (released last week by MMJ) you can barely tell it was recorded live, in my opinion. They’re a few subtle hints, but nothing that the average listener will really notice. Just us music junkies.

Currently Ratterman has no future production plans with MMJ, but he described the experience with recording with the band as “one of my crowning achievements in my life.”

As for his own band, Wax Fang, Ratterman announced that they have recorded a new album and EP, and that they would probably be out later in the fall of 2011 once they have wrapped up the label shopping process. Apparently they have options. For more updates on Wax Fang, check the band’s website at WaxFang.com

Here is the raw video from my interview:

** This interview also posted at Louisville.com


Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone.

Despite moving to a smaller location last year, Louisville’s Ear X-tacy is still one of our nation’s best record stores, as declared by Rolling Stone magazine. Hopefully they’ll be around to make next year’s list again….

This is also posted at Louisville.com

"Circuital" album artwork

Almost three years since their last release of Evil Urges in 2008, My Morning Jacket is giving away the album’s title track Circuital, via the band’s website. Circuital is due out in stores on May 31st, via ATO Records. The band has been gearing it all up by releasing songs from each of their five live shows at NYC’s Terminal 5 this past October.

Circuital was laid down almost entirely live in a Church gymnasium here in Louisville. MMJ’s honest spirit and human spontaneity are felt throughout the song, a seven minute musical epic, and yet another near-reinvention of their sound.
If this song is but a hint of what the rest of the album will be like, we’re in for another musical masterpiece from Louisville’s greatest musical export.

Check back at Louisville.com, or here on my blog at LouisvilleScuttlebutt.com for a complete album review on Circuital as soon as I get my hands on it.

Don’t forget to catch them live next time they’re in your area. There is still no Louisville show yet announced, but I can’t imagine them not debuting the release of Circuital at ear x-tacy or somewhere else in their hometown.

04/17:  Lexington, KY @ Memorial Coliseum
05/20:  Gulf Shores, AL @ Hangout Festival
06/02-06/05:  Ozark, AR @ Wakarusa Festival
06/05:  Hunter, NY @ Mountain Jam
06/09-06/12:  Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Festival
06/17:  Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
06/22:  Los Angeles, CA @ Pantages Theatre
06/24: Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre
06/26:  Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
06/28:  Portland, OR @ Edgefield
06/29:  Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum
06/30-07/03:  Quincy, CA @ High Sierra Music Festival
07/11:  Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
07/12:  Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
07/16: Southwold  @ Latitude Festival
07/17: London  @ Somerset House
08/04:  Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

** This preview also posted at Louisville.com

When Bowling Green, Kentucky-native Cage the Elephant released their self-titled debut album in 2009, some referred to them as saviors of the whole funk-punk music genre, thanks to hit singles like “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” and “Back Against The Wall,” a pair of songs that has virtually made the band household names after experiencing some moderate billboard chart success coupled with high profile gigs like Bonnaroo, Lallapalooza and an appearance on Late Show with Dave Letterman.

The band is making their return to Kentucky – this Friday April 1st at Headliners Music Hall – in support of their sophomore album Thank You Happy Birthday, which dropped this past January on Jive Records. Debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart, Cage The Elephant launched the new year with a ferocious kick of gut-grabbing rock & roll and an album that lead-singer Matt Schultz described as “bringing him back to life.” Whatever that means.

Schultz, who self-admittedly once struggled with a methadone addiction, also struggled to formulate coherent or somewhat interesting responses in a recent interview leading up to their sold-out Louisville show. And although he hinted at a 3rd album that is apparently already in the works, he stopped short of dropping any other interesting tidbits of information on anything he was asked about. Listen for yourself:



So, needless to say, Schultz and the rest of the Cage The Elephant crew will be looking to bringing themselves and their sound “back to life” by the time they take the stage at Headliner’s this Friday, the 3rd date on a lengthy summer tour which canvases the U.S. (including a return to Louisville on May 5th for the Derby festival) and also takes them to Europe, Canada, and Japan. That is of course as long as they can manage to moderate their substance intake while simultaneously building on their path to rock n‘ roll stardom.

Cage The Elephant / Biffy Clyro / Sleeper Agent
Friday, April 1st
Headliners Music Hall
1386 Lexington Rd.
7 pm
All Ages
SOLD OUT

** This preview is also posted at Louisville.com

Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry is a band who knows how to create timeless rock ‘n roll music while introducing new and innovative sounds, and the Edmonton-natives are at it again, announcing a new record titled “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” which is set to hit stores on May 31. This marks their 3rd release on one of rock ‘n roll’s premiere record companies Roadrunner Records.

While the band’s last record, “Folklore and Superstition,” was a compelling tribute to brotherhood and history, the new album is the summation of a year in the life of the band. Every emotion, triumph, loss, romance and everything in between was the inspirational backdrop for “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.”

This marks the first time Black Stone Cherry has not recorded in the South, this time taking up residence in Los Angeles to work with famed producer Howard Benson (Theory of a Deadman, Daughtry, Three Days Grace). The new surroundings allowed them to strengthen their relationships as both band members and friends, ultimately a detail that sets “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” above previous recordings.  The raw intensity that pervades the music on this album harkens back to the early days of Black Stone Cherry, when they were a bunch of blue-collar guys just making music together for the hell of it.

The band admits “When we first began writing music, we hadn’t traveled very far out of our home state of Kentucky.  Now, ten years later, we’ve traveled the world and experienced things we never imagined we would.”

The album’s first single White Trash Millionaire, set to hit airwaves in April, pairs Robertson’s soulful delivery with the urgent and infectious rhythms of his fellow players. Sure, this is Southern rock at heart; but the concept is universal: just take what the world gives you and make that work. You can preview the song now:

Play White Trash Millionaire by Black Stone Cherry

“This album is the culmination of all of the everyday ups and downs life throws at you,” says the band.  “Sonically, you’ll hear some of the meanest sounding guitar riffs we’ve ever laid down, and at the same time, you’ll find ballads that will tug on your heartstrings.  We wanted the album’s intensity to match that of our live show.  We’re very proud of this album and excited for our fans to hear it!”

To celebrate the release of “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” Black Stone Cherry is participating in an ongoing partnership with Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon. The promotion brings 450,000 Black Stone Cherry branded bottles to shelves nationwide through June, including special mp3 offers and a chance to win a trip to meet the band at one of their shows.

Black Stone Cherry is set to have quite the busy spring, with tours with Hinder and Alter Bridge on the horizon:

4/8 @ Lucky Star Casino- Clinton, OK (with Hinder)
4/9 @ St. Mary’s University – San Antonio, TX (Fiesta Oyster Bake w. Hinder, Saving Abel)
4/12 @ Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO (with Hinder)
4/13 @ The Great Salt Air – Salt Lake City, UT (with Hinder)
4/15 @ Showbox SoDo – Seattle, WA (with Hinder)
4/17 @ Knitting Factory Concert House – Spokane, WA (with Hinder)
4/19 @ Knitting Factory Concert House – Boise, ID (with Hinder)
4/21 @ Roseland Theater – Portland, OR (with Alter Bridge)
4/22 @ Knitting Factory – Reno, NV (with Hinder)
4/23 @ House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV (with Alter Bridge)
4/24 @ The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA (with Alter Bridge)
4/26 @ SLO Brewing Company – San Luis Obispo, CA
4/27 @ The Grove – Anaheim, CA (with Alter Bridge)
4/29 @ The Great Salt Air – Magna, UT (with Alter Bridge)
4/30 @ Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO (with Alter Bridge)
5/2 @ House of Blues – Chicago, IL (with Alter Bridge)
5/3 @ House of Blues – Chicago, IL (with Alter Bridge)
5/7 @ Metrolina Expo – Charlotte, NC (AVALANCHE 2011 w. Avenged Sevenfold, Godsmack, Theory of a Deadman)
5/8 @ NorVa – Norfolk, VA (with Alter Bridge)
5/10 @ Valarium – Knoxville, TN (with Alter Bridge)
5/11 @ Cannery Ballroom – Nashville, TN (with Alter Bridge)
5/12 @ Piere’s Entertainment Center – Ft. Wayne, IN (with Alter Bridge)
5/15 @ The Machine Shop – Flint, MI
5/17 @ The Palladium – Worcester, MA (with Alter Bridge)
5/18 @ Northern Lights – Albany, NY (with Alter Bridge)
5/19 @ Best Buy Theatre – New York, NY (with Alter Bridge)

Here is a short video of BSC in the studio:

** This press release also posted on Louisville.com


Merle Haggard & Kris Kristofferson’s March 4th gig at Horseshoe Casino was billed as an “acoustic performance.” But, upon first entering The Showroom, the first thing I laid eyes on was a couple of Fender Telecasters sitting in their cradles. Good. Looks like The Hag and The Highwayman are going to sing more then just a few campfire country songs and, instead, give us a little of that Bakersfield sound that Haggard made famous many years ago. Maybe they’re feeling good tonight and waited to start drinking after lunch. Maybe that whole “acoustic performance” billing is the promoter’s insurance policy just incase these boys do decide to start drinking before lunch and don’t feel like standing up all night. Maybe. Who knows. Whatever the case was, it worked. Right off the bat, the feeling was we were going to get more than what we thought we would be getting from these 70-something year old country musicians.

So, after this suited casino employee / stage announcer came out and gave his best Michael Buffer “Are you ready to have fun tonight?” impersonation, the ceiling lights dimmed and the stage lighting took over. Then, moments later, before a raucous audience, Kris Kristofferson calmly walked out into the stage light with guitar in hand. An acoustic guitar I might point out. Also joining Kristofferson onstage were six other band members (whose real names I wish I knew) that consisted of a dobro player who looked like Junior Soprano, a young cat probably not older than 25 on one of two Telecasters, and a silver-haired fiddle player that resembled a young Del McCoury. There was also a keyboarder, an upright bass player, and a drummer to round out the rest of the band. Again, hardly an acoustic performance.

Before Kristofferson could lead into the second song, Haggard would suddenly appear from backstage, quickly making his way to the lone Telecaster still sitting in its cradle. He was dressed in a black pinstripe suit, and seemed eager to play as he waved to the audience and stepped up to his mic.

Even though Haggard’s rowdy and outlaw’ish days are long behind him, he still didn’t hesitate to play the songs that once defined that persona long ago, like “Mama Tried,” “Workin’ Man Blues,” “Daddy Frank,” and “Okie From Muskogee,” a song that was preempted by some candid comments by Haggard on how he misses Mary Jane and how his wife still teases him today with second-hand smoke. He also played a few of his later songs like “Runnaway Mama.” Pretty typical of what you should expect at a Haggard concert I suppose.

After his sixth song, Haggard finally introduced himself along with Kristofferson and the band. Not that anyone in the audience didn’t know otherwise, but it still came with much applause and enthusiasm by the audience.

Over two hours later Haggard and Kristofferson would conclude with a tribute to longtime friend Johnny Cash, with a cover of “Folsom Prison Blues,” with both Haggard and Kristofferson alternating on the verses and chorus. At the songs conclusion, Haggard and Kristofferson left stage almost as quietly as they both came on, even though their band kept playing an instrumental rendition of Cash’s hit for several minutes thereafter. There was no encore song, but I don’t think many people expected one after a two hour plus performance. I guess when you’ve been recording and touring for nearly a half-decade you gotta start cutting out some of the formalities, right?

** This review also posted at Louisville.com

Photos: C. Michael Stewart Photography

Louisville’s My Morning Jacket is set to release their sixth studio album, “Circuital” on April 12th. In the meantime, in celebration of “Circuital”, My Morning Jacket will giveaway free weekly downloads via their website (www.MyMorningJacket.com) of live songs recorded from their October 2010 performance at NYC’s Terminal 5. This giveaway is said to last for six weeks and will feature one brand new song from the new album on the last week.

The first song released on March 3rd was a live recording of Butch Casidy off their debut album “The Tennessee Fire.”

“Circuital” was recorded here in Louisville and Nashville, and was co-produced by Jim James and Tucker Martine (R.E.M., Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists). Rumor has it that they have yet again reinvented their sound while remaining close to their roots as musicians.

MMJ will also be launching a busy summer concert season on April 17th at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, KY, and then back in Louisville on May 31st to celebrate the release of Circuital.

But, what is known right now is here:

April 17
Lexington, KY – Memorial Coliseum
May 20-22 Gulf Shores, AL – Hangout Festival
May 31 Louisville, KY – The Palace
June 02-05 Ozark, AR – Wakarusa Festival
June 02-05 Hunter, NY – Mountain Jam
June 09-12 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Festival
June 30 – July 03 Quincy, CA – High Sierra Music Festival

Here is a video from Jim James and Patrick Hallahan’s solo performance of One Big Holiday in December 2010 at Headliners.

** This preview also published at Louisville.com


“Natural Disaster”
by The Broken Spurs
SonaBLAST! records
Produced by Kevin Ratterman & The Broken Spurs

This album is raw. And when I say raw, I mean it sounds almost as if they plugged all their instruments directly into a tape deck, pressed record, and recorded it all in one take. But this is no discredit to album’s producer, Kevin Ratterman of Wax Fang, who seemingly captured the band’s true essence from the lack of overproduction.

You may just do a double-take on the opening track, Shackles Down, thinking you just came across a never-released Rolling Stones recording. That is as soon as you hear lead singer Adam Kramer’s Jaggerish vocal style. 

But as you venture through this album, you’ll soon understand that The Broken Spurs have created a truly original sound of their own, primarily defined by a barrage of guitar-fueled-cock-n-ball-straight-up rock-n-roll. No wonder they were asked to open for AC/DC in Freedom Hall with songs like these.

The peak of “Natural Disaster” comes right at the album’s midway point, with Jawbanger, a down-right raw and dirty rock-n-roll song that starts with a banging bass line and then whose vocals and guitars start rivaling one another for supremacy. At the song’s bridge, Kramer belts out an in-your-face riding of his Gretsch Firebird guitar’s “E” chord that may just make your own jaw drop, as you realize what Louisville rock-n-roll sounds like. 

Not one of the songs really seem to disappoint or stray away from the high-energy, guitar-laden spirit the album carries. Other impressive tracks is Shackles Down, Natural Disaster, Runnin, and Steal Your Thunder.

So, for those out there who try to proclaim that “rock-n-roll is dead,” well, here is recorded proof that maybe you should quit with that bullsh*t. 

And for all you real rock-n-roll junkies, here your soundtrack for the whole “rock-n-roll ISN’T dead” campaign.

** This review is also published at Louisville.com

I’ve got one thing I’d like to say upfront about the Jägermeister Music Tour, which brought The Damned Things, All That Remains, Hellyeah, and Buckcherry to Louisville on Wednesday, February 9th: “I’m glad it came, and I’m even more glad it’s over!” And I could careless if I ever see another metal show again, but I’m sure this won’t be the last because I just love observing the debauchery that goes along with these shows, just as much as you love reading about it.

And while the rest of the throngs of fans who packed in Expo 5 to near capacity, I’m sure they were praying to porcelain gods come the next morning. Jägermeister’s biggest contribution to the tour I suppose. Me? I’m just glad to have made it out alive, in one piece, not physically assaulted, with my camera in-hand, memory in-tact, and coherent enough to sum up the experience. No Jägermeister for me. Been there. Done that. No thanks.

One thing about metal shows these days is that you get an overdose of virtually anything you’d expect to get an overdose of. It’s a complete f**king annihilation and assault on all of your sensory preceptors, your liver, and sometimes your patience. There is too much booze, too little free space, too many decibel level breaches, too much visual stimulation (you know what I mean), too much temptation, too many incomprehensible vocal onslaughts, and too many crazy neanderthals running around acting like drunken monkeys. But that’s OK. That’s what makes it a metal show to begin with and that is exactly what everyone came here to engage in on this night. Speaking of which, Chad Gray, lead vocals for Hellyeah, while onstage, declared “This sh*t is f**kin therapy.” My guess is he wasn’t talking about Jägermeister in this instance, but then again you never know.


The Damned Things – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

Leading off the night was The Damned Things, a hard rock super-group consisting of members from Every Time I Die, Fall Out Boy, and Scott Ian from Anthrax. They’ve got an interesting sound, which isn’t as metalish as some might expect, but definitely a summation of who is in the band. While their set wasn’t necessarily aw-inspiring, given the talent within the band, it definitely wasn’t anything to grumble at either, although I think they will continue to get better if time allows it. It’s gotta be hard to keep a band together like this with all the other projects they may or may not be involved with.


All That Remains – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

All That Remains, an intense death metal act was up next. Now, I admit, I missed most of their set. But for good reason. The University of Louisville basketball team was in OT with Notre Dame on the road. And when Louisville Basketball is on TV, nothing else much exists. Sorry folks, I would’ve liked to have caught more of the musical ferocity that ATR demonstrated in their opening song, but the timing was just bad.


Hellyeah – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

Next came, what would turn out to be, the climax of the entire night – another supergroup – Hellyeah. Now for those of you that have lived in a cave the last four or five years, Hellyeah is a masterful concoction of former members from Pantera, Mudvayne, Damage Plan, Rebel Meets Rebel, and Nothingface.

Once Hellyeah took the stage, they owned it. The crowd responded to almost every note and word coming lead vocalist Chad Gray’s voice. Drummer Vinny Paul also took a moment to make a memorial shout-out to former bandmate, the late “Dimebag” Darrell Abbot, much to the audience’s appeasement.


Chad Gray of Hell Yeah – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

Hellyeah electrified the audience – most of which spent the entire time moshing and crowd surfing – with their southern-metal style of rock-n-roll. They only slowed the musical pace down once with their hit single and sing-a-long favorite “Alcohualin Ass.”

Hellyeah, hands-down, no questions asked, gave the best performance of the night. They basically proved that they should be headlining the damn Jägermeister Music Tour if you ask me.


Josh Todd & Jimmy Ashhurst of Buckcherry – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

So, by the time Buckcherry made it to the stage, they had big shoes to fill with what Hellyeah just brought before them. The bar was definitely raised, and I’m not talking about the one that the Jägermeister was coming from. On top of that, Expo 5, for some reason, had a noticeably smaller audience by the time Buckcherry made it to the stage. But, Buckcherry brought out their classic high-energy unique style of hard rock-n-roll to what was still a large crowd that hung around for them, and delivered a much-anticipated and sought-after performance.


Buckcherry – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

Josh Todd and company spent the entire set dancing around on stage and shedding another article of clothing as each song concluded. They took their audience on a ride through most of the music that made them who they are including “Sorry,” “Lit Up,” “All Night Long” and closed out the night with a rendition of “Crazy Bitch” mixed with some sampling of a few cover songs. No encore song though after that once the stage went dark.

In a recent interview before the show, I asked Josh Todd what Louisville should expect from a Buckcherry show. His response: “High energy. Low I.Q.” Well, Josh. Mission accomplished.

This review also posted at Louisville.com

Leading up to Buckcherry’s concert on February 9th at Expo 5, lead singer Josh Todd chatted with Louisville.com’s Jason Ashcraft. Check out what he had to say about sex, tattoos, and — of course — Buckcherry’s upcoming trip to the Bluegrass state.

Interviewed by Jason Ashcraft on January 6, 2011

Ok this is Jason Ashcraft with Louisville.com, and I am here with Josh Todd from Buckcherry. How are you doing Josh?

Todd: Whats up man I’m great.

Cool, how are things out in L.A.?

It’s a nice day today but it has been raining like crazy here, which is kinda unusual for LA but we definitely needed the water.

Well it’s a frozen tundra here in Louisville so no good news there. But I’ll tell you what. Lets go ahead and get this interview started on a good foot here. Josh, you got a choice here; you’ve got Sarah Palin, Paula Dean Buffet, and Lady Gaga.  You gotta f**k one, marry one, and kill one, GO!

Oh wow, umm, let’s see, I’d definitely like to f**k Sarah Palin, so let’s do that. And then uh…marry one and kill one?

Yeah, you gotta kill one and marry one and you got Paula Dean Buffet and Lady Gaga left.

Whose Paula Dean Buffet?

(laughing) She’s a big fat ugly cook actually. I thought you might know her.

(laughing) Alright let’s kill her and I’ll marry Lady Gaga.

(laughing) Ok. Alright cool, well you know you’re coming to Louisville on February 9th, is there anything that stands out in your mind about Louisville, when you think about Louisville, Kentucky?

Anything that stands out in my mind? Umm, nah, you know we haven’t been there for a while I don’t think. You know, it’s all the same for us, you know? When we get on stage it doesn’t really matter where we are at. We just like to give the audience their money’s worth, you know? That’s what Buckcherry is all about its kinda what we base our reputation on is our live shows. So we’re just gonna come and bring it, you know? This is a great rock n’ roll tour. We haven’t headlined for a while so we’re really excited. We’ve got 5 records to pick our song selection from. I spent a lot of time when we got back from Europe, actually it was a year last year, really constructing a cool headlining set and I think everyones really gonna be happy.

Anything that stands out in your mind about the state of Kentucky?

The state of Kentucky?

Yeah.

Anything that stands out in my mind? No.

Yeah, we export a lot of things. Some of probably which you have consumed. Any brown liquor that you like from Kentucky?

(laughing) Uh not that I can think of. Like certain kinds of moonshine or something? I dunno know. What are you talking about?

Bourbon, I was trying to get you to pick out your favorite bourbon.  But maybe you’re not a bourbon drinker.

I’m not a bourbon drinker.

No? Well were going to have to make you a bourbon drinker when you’re in Kentucky on February 9th.

Ok, well there will be a lot of Jaegermeister there because it is the Jaegermeister music tour and…

That is true.

…and so I think that will be flowing like water.

(laughing) Cool.  Well, you’ve kinda of already touched a little bit on my next question, but I’ll go ahead and ask it anyway just in case you have some extra things you want to add. Tell me a little bit about what the fans should expect when they come to see you guys on February 9th at Expo 5. Especially if they’ve never seen you before.

High energy. Low IQ. Really.

High energy, low IQ? Good answer. (laughing) Alright, cool.

Next question I’ve got is I was wondering if the song “Crazy Bitch”, which was one of your – I think is your only song you’ve had nominated for a Grammy – was that written about any one person in particular? And if so, who?

It was actually our second song nominated for a Grammy. “Lit Up” got nominated on our first record.

Cool

No, “Crazy Bitch” isn’t about anybody in particular. But I can tell you how the whole idea was sparked. I was driving around LA, it was way back when the Paris Hilton sex tape had just came out. And I was just listening to the radio just kinda laughing in my truck thinking, ‘how funny it was that somebody could really launch their entertainment career off of a homemade porno.’ And then I started reminiscing about all the crazy broads I had been with from about 18 to 25.  I couldn’t really attract a sane girl, so I just started singing this chorus in my truck and I remember I called Pete because I didn’t wanna forget it. So I sang it on his machine. I sang the chorus to him and I told him how I wanted the music to go and and he came up with the music and it just we wrote that song really fast, and then it just sat around for a few years before it got onto a record.

So you wrote that a long time before 15 actually came out is what you’re saying?

Well the majority of it. It wasn’t complete and ready to be on a record. I mean we still had to finish the ending but the majority of the song was written for a while, yeah.

Ok. Definitely, probably a song – I mean you’ve got quite a few songs obviously out there that made you just really well known – but I think that’s (“Crazy Bitch”) probably one that kinda pushed you over the edge in terms of getting you into the main stream market.

It definitely helped, but then “Sorry” came a long and out did “Crazy Bitch.” Which a lot of people don’t think about. But yeah, it really helped us get back into the lime-light which is something we needed.

Cool, so what has been your greatest memory or accomplishment so far with Buckcherry?

You know I think it’s coming back against-all-odds on 15 and selling over a million copies in a climate where you know people weren’t selling rock records like that. And really believing in what we were because everybody had kinda counted us out the industry turned their backs on us nobody would sign us in the states. A lot of things went down during that time and we just had to believe in ourselves. And it all kinda happened organically it was really, the people who loved us then were there, and they made it all happen on the internet and on the radio. I’m just grateful for a second shot but you know having that come back and making it happen the way we did was something, and the best form of revenge.

That’s very cool, very cool.  Alright. Next thing I got here is I’d like to know – you guys have toured with a lot of musicians and bands over the years – tell me, say, your top 2 that have been some of your favorite musicians and bands to tour with?

Wow! Well the number one would be AC/DC. You know, we got to do 6 shows with them and that was a rock-n-roll fantasy come true, you know. They’re so amazing. Those guys are just the kings of rock n roll. It was really just an amazing experience. Those guys were really humble and sweet to us. It couldn’t have been more than….. it was more than I could’ve asked for.  I sat on the couch next to Angus and talked to him about his career while his wife made us tea, you know? It was like, it was the coolest thing ever. And let’s see, Aerosmith was a big one we got to do a couple shows with them. One of them was the millennium new year’s show in Osaka, Japan ill never forget that.  Meeting James Brown at Woodstock 99′ was a big highlight for us.  We played with Iggy Pop at the Detriot state theater. We loved that, ya know? There are just so many the list just goes on and on.

Gotcha. Well cool. Good response on what you did provide though, so thanks.

Alright. Next one I got here is; your bassist Jimmy Ashherst, was recently featured in a book called “Sex Tips From Rock Stars” what kind of tips can you offer?

About what? Sex?

(laughing) Yeah.

I don’t know, huh….well, like, what is the question?

Well I was feeding off the fact that your bassist Jimmy Ashherst was featured in a book that was recently published called “Sex Tips From Rock Stars” and I was just trying to see if you had any tips or anything that you could offer.

Always wear a condom.

(laughing) Always wear a condom? Good.

Always.

(laughing) Always. Alright, cool.

(laughing) Doesn’t matter how hot the chick is; wear a condom, that’s how you ‘keep the power.’

(laughing) Excellent, excellent.  Alright cool.

Alright, the next question I got here is; what is going to be your next tattoo and where is it going to go?

My next tattoo? I’m getting tattooed actually in a week. I’m gonna get my legs…..I got some tattoos on my legs, but I’m gonna start sleeving-up my legs. I’m doing ,like, I’m doing background stuff like wind bars and stuff like that, you know? Cherry blossoms and stuff like Japanese art. It’s going on my legs!

Yep, good stuff.  You got a tattoo artist you’d like to throw some props out to?

Kevin Quinn, Los Angeles, California. He’s amazing and he’s been tattooing for over 20 years. He’s done the majority of all my work and the majority of a lot of everybody else in Buckcherry. The list goes on and on and he is incredible.  He’s very private so you know, you gotta search for him, but he’s out there on the internet. You can find him, I think its KevinQuinn.org and if you wanna get a great tattoo that’s the guy to go see.

Excellent, cool.  Alright last thing, well one of the last things I got here. I’ve got 2 more actually. What, if anything, is there left that you want to accomplish as a musician?

I wanna be a worldwide arena-rock band, you know? I wanna be able to play arenas worldwide, headline them, and put the asses in the seats. That’s really the goal, and that’s what were trying to accomplish, you know? It’s very difficult, as you know, in this climate.  People aren’t selling records like they used to. You have to really, really work hard out there on the road to make it happen, so that’s what we’re doing.

Has your iTunes sales and your digital sales been comparable to your actual tangible CD sales?

You know, it’s starting to even out more now. But it used to be only like the digital sales used to be only like 10 percent of our sales, but now it’s becoming harder and harder to actually go out and buy a physical CD. There’s only like a few places now like Bestbuy, Wal-Mart, and Target, you know? And some of those, from what I understand, Wal Mart is downsizing their music section and Target as well ,so you know, it’s a big drag.

Yeah. Yeah, the world is a changing for sure.

So you got any last words, anything you wanna just put out there that I can publicize?

Yeah! Come to the Jaegermeister Music Tour, you know? It’s gonna rock and were gonna have a lot of fun. There’s a lot of other great bands on the bill other than us and its gonna be a ‘great bang for your buck!’

Excellent. Josh, I really appreciate the time you’ve spent here.  We’re looking forward to seeing you, and I know that I can confidently say – with knowing a lot of Louisville’s music scene – that I think it’s gonna be a great show and we’ll be looking forward to seeing you guys here on February 9th.  Thanks a lot and good luck to you.

Alright buddy. bye bye.

This review is also posted at Louisville.com

My question:

From: Jason Ashcraft
Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2011 4:17 PM
To: publisher@courier-journal.com; bivory@courier-journal.com
Subject: News in bad taste

(Ironically this story link no longer exists)
http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20110106/NEWS01/301060072/Pets+fed+on+woman+who+was+dead+in+her+home+for+22+days

This headline and story focus is a horrible and unethical way to present the fact that investigators are searching for a next-of-kin. Animals feeding on a decomposing body is not even remotely considered newsworthy nor should it be the focus of this story. Why does it matter to the general public and readers that animals fed on a decomposing body? We get it. They’re animals. What service have you done by exposing this information other than pissing on a dead person’s grave? Investigators are searching for a next of kin. That’s it. That’s the only reason something like this should be published or even considered newsworthy. Get some morals over there and have respect for family members who haven’t learned of their relatives death. Stuff like this is one of many reasons your media is struggling……

-end-

Their answer:


RE: News in bad taste

Mr. Ashcraft,

I am the managing editor of the CJ and was asked to respond to your email. First, I want to thank you for taking the time to write. You raise some good points, many of which we discussed yesterday before deciding to go with the short news item, provided to us by the Jefferson County coroner, about this woman’s tragic death.
It could be argued that this small item will do more than the usual next-of-kin notice to raise awareness of the need to take care of and check in on our community’s most vulnerable citizens.
That said, I understand your concerns, and will bring them up with other editors here.

Again, thank you for writing.
Jean Porter

-end-


My
Jarhead response (not emailed):

Good. But are you suggesting that the Jefferson County coroner’s office has two methods of finding a next of kin, one faster and more efficient than the other? I’m referencing your comment “this small item will do more than the usual next-of-kin notice to raise awareness of the need?”

You need any other advice on anything else?

If you’ve lived here in our beloved Derby-city for a long time, then there is a good chance that you’re probably already over Thunder Over Louisville. It’s just a bunch of fireworks, right? Or maybe because it essentially generates Louisville’s biggest annual city-wide traffic jam, and packs the Jefferson County Detention Center to near capacity. Something of the sort.

But, hey, it’s also the kick-off of the Derby Festival here in the bluegrass state; our little annual tradition and time to shine, right? And, on the flip side it creates one of the city’s best few weeks of the year for live music and concerts across almost every conceivable musical style.

Friday night’s 
Thunder-eve celebration will bring us Louisville’s own Wax Fang at Zanzabar in Germantown. This wildly powerful psychedelic rock band produces a lot of sound for being a just a trio, and will be in the midst of a short mini-Kentucky tour hitting Bowling Green, Louisville and Lexington in a three-night stretch.

Still being a fairly young band by Louisville standards, Wax Fang has come a long way, and made a pretty bold statement about themselves as musicians. Led by Scott Carney on guitars and vocals, Kevin Ratterman on drums, and Jacob Heustis on Bass, you’ll surely get an intense and aggressive dose of guitars, while Carney’s impressive tenor will at-times bring a euphoric sense to their music, much like Pink Floyd did, a band Wax Fang has been often compared to.

Wax Fang landed an opening slot with fellow Louisville-counterparts My Morning Jacket on their fall tour, and then were basically handpicked by Spoon for another opening performance, and then received the opportunity to perform at SXSW, which eventually landed them their first record deal with Absolutely Kosher Records. 

They don’t play out that often, so this Friday’s show may be the last in Louisville for another 6-7 month stint. That is unless you can catch Scott Carney out playing a random solo acoustic gig, something that happens with a little more frequency than the entire band.

Wax Fang / The Features
Friday, April 15
Zanzabar
2100 South Preston Street
9:00
$10
21 and up

Checkout this Wax Fang performance of “Majestic”:

** This preview also posted at Louisville.com

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