One of rock’s most prolific vocalists, Josh Todd (Buckcherry) has returned with an amazing new project, Josh Todd & The Conflict. Together with longtime friend and Buckcherry guitarist Stevie Dacanay (Stevie D), the new group is about to launch their debut album, Year of The Tiger on Sept 15 .
The new offering takes Todd back to his roots. A time when four-piece, raw, guitar-driven aggression is combined with expressive lyrics delivered with heart and soul. In addition to Todd's signature style the tasty, ten-track compilation also contains an ubiquitous version of the late Prince's track, "Erotic City".
Expect Josh Todd & The Conflict to be touring extensively this fall with dates to be announced worldwide.
Josh Todd & The Conflict is: Josh Todd, Stevie Dacanay, Sean Winchester, Greg Cash.
AXS recently spoke with Josh Todd about The Conflict and their debut album in this exclusive new interview.
AXS: How did this new project come about?
Josh Todd: Buckcherry was touring a lot last year and I was itching to make new music. So Stevie D and I were walking through a parking lot on a day off and as we were walking, I told him that I needed someone to make me some beats. Stevie said he could do it so we wound up starting this electronic project called Spraygun War. We did it all on our own, worked really hard and had a lot of fun. It was during that process that we realized we had really good songwriting chemistry.
After we had gotten off the road there was so much weirdness and disarray going on in the Buckcherry camp, and by that point I was ready to make a rock record. I had come up in four-piece bands with more aggressive music and really wanted to get back to my roots. So, Spraygun War sort of morphed into Josh Todd and The Conflict. But it’s always been my intention to create two different bands.
AXS: How would you describe the music of Josh Todd & The Conflict as compared to Buckcherry?
JT: It’s a different animal. It’s much more aggressive and heavier but it still has my flavor and way of writing. I really feel like I was in a position where I needed to make the record of my career again. It’s one of my best, and not just because it’s my newest. It’s a ten-song record and when I listen to it from top to bottom I never get bored.
AXS: Did the songwriting process change much for this project?
JT: Stevie figured out my songwriting language when we did the Spraygun War EP. Back then, I'd come to him with an idea about what to accomplish and he'd come back with the music. That experience prepped us for this moment in time. I could just tell him what I wanted and he could just do it, and other times he’d just send me a musical track. That's what happened with “Year of the Tiger”. He sent me that track and it was so great that I realized it was something I needed to hit out of the park, melodically. Stevie wrote all the music, I wrote all the lyrics and melodies and we collaborated on every song together.
AXS: Let’s discuss a few more tracks from Year of The Tiger, starting with “Rain”.
JT: I had always battled with karma and goodwill and what it does to you. You have these people who are saints and get taken advantage of and suffer these horrible deaths. I wanted to create a character that didn't give a sh#t about the consequence and was going to live his life against the grain. I was actually in the shower when the melody came to me and later recorded it into my phone. The next day, I got together with Stevie and recorded the whole track with no music. I told him I wanted it to be heavy with a “We Will Rock You” beat and a signature, iconic guitar solo in the middle. He put music to it and the next day we had the song.
AXS: The band does a killer version of Prince’s song “Erotic City”. What made you decide to cover it?
JT: Stevie and I are big Prince fans. I loved the Prince that was dirty and nasty [at the beginning of his career] because he was such an outlaw. He was doing all these things no one in pop music was doing. So, I picked “Erotic City” and said let’s take a swing and see what happens. We did and it quickly took on a life of its own.
AXS: What are your tour plans like for Josh Todd and The Conflict?
JT: We’ve got a proper tour starting in October that we’ll be announcing soon. Right now, we're doing a show in Las Vegas with Franky Perez on Sept 2. The new album is out on September 15 and the following night we’ll be having a record release party at The Roxy in Hollywood, California.
AXS: Can you give me an update on Buckcherry?
JT: Buckcherry is in the best place it’s been in three years and we have the best players we’ve ever had. We’ve got Sean Winchester on drums, who’s also pulling double duty in The Conflict, and we’ve got Kevin Roentgen on guitar. Stevie and I have known Kevin from his days in Soul as well as American Pearl. He’s amazing.
AXS: Of all the highlights of your career are there any that stand out as most memorable?
JT: There are so many accomplishments, like playing and being onstage with my heroes like AC/DC, KISS and Aerosmith. But I think it would be selling a platinum record after we'd been on hiatus for two years. Everyone said we couldn’t sell rock records and no one would sign us. Then going on to make the album 15 and selling 1.6 million records was pretty extraordinary and an amazing comeback story.
AXS: What are you most looking forward to about this new project, Josh Todd and The Conflict?
JT: I'm looking forward to building this house from the ground up. It's been challenging at some of the junctions we've gotten to but The Conflict story is almost identical to the 15 story. It's a good sign. I'm hell bent on making The Conflict something special.