Keeping Your Guard Up In The Digital Age

16 March 2016 | 7:23 pm | Shane Pinnegar

“Our bread and butter is always touring and that is what keeps the band alive."

More Buckcherry More Buckcherry

Let’s start with a quick recap: in the past three years Buckcherry have released two hugely popular albums plus one EP, formed their own record label, released a range of Crazy Bitch branded sex toys, and toured relentlessly.

“I think it's the product of a lot of years of really hard work," says Buckcherry guitarist, Keith Nelson, "and really just an amazing fan base that has been very loyal and has supported a rock and roll band in a time when it's not really hip to be in a rock'n'roll band.”

It’s not only about music in the Buckcherry camp anymore. Running your own label takes time and effort, as does administering the business side of their sex toy and tattoo equipment ranges, but Nelson is quick to point out where his priorities lie.

“Our bread and butter is always touring,” he explains, “and that is what keeps the band alive. Everything else is really just kind of a way to spread our wings a little bit and experiment, but I wouldn't say that we're relying on any of those ancillary sources of income to keep the lights on at home!

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

“Those are fun things to do, but really we're a rock'n'roll band. We make rock'n’roll records. We play rock shows.”

And, of course, those products wouldn’t sell unless the name Buckcherry stood for quality rock'n'roll.

“Yeah I think so,” Nelson concurs. “None of it would mean anything without the music and songs.”

With the music industry’s downturn and the band members getting certain addictions under control, the days of Guns N’ Roses-style legendary backstage decadence seems to be in the past. Does it still get crazy backstage at a Buckcherry concert?

“There have been times when it's everything that you thought it would be and more,” he chuckles. “The unprintable, the unmentionable... these days we all have our head on straight. The most important thing is doing the show and showing up for it. Really it all comes back to the music and playing the music and what you've got to do to do that every night.

“Being in a different city every night sounds really glamorous, but it's a lot of work and travelling really takes a lot out of you. To do it as much as we do, you really just want to save it up for the show. I have to say it's probably a lot tamer than your imagination wants it to be!”

Not to mention the need to be more careful, too. The rise of the mobile phone and social media, YouTube, means nothing is private any more.

“That stuff it out of control,” Nelson says through gritted teeth. “Every person has a vehicle to broadcast themselves and they do it so proudly these days, so you've definitely got to keep your guard up a little bit.”

Nelson is renowned for having a mighty impressive guitar collection, but he admits he has downsized recently.

“At one time it was almost in the two hundreds,” he explains, “but right now it's probably around about a hundred I have. I really have tried over the past two years to consolidate and go for some really special instruments as opposed to just amassing a big collection of them.

“To me, they're like a painter's colours. None of them are owned just because they're collectible. They're all owned because they do a certain thing. Two Les Pauls can sound a lot different and really bring certain things to the table. Needless to say, I don't need to rent anything when I go to make a record!”

Originally published in X-Press Magazine