June 23, 2018
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Buckcherry’s formula for success is simple, straightforward 2nd time around

L.A. band Buckcherry will be in Portland Tuesday for a concert at Asylum, 121 Center St.
By Andrew Neff, BDN Staff

The answer is immediate when co-founder and lead guitarist Keith Nelson is asked what’s made the second time around so successful for rock band Buckcherry.

“We got together basically in 2005, and it was a pretty quick conversation,” Nelson recalled during a recent phone interview. “Basically, it was also pretty simple: If we’re going to do this again, we have to do it our way.”

And what does “our way” mean for the five-man band from Los Angeles?

“Exactly what you’re hearing and seeing from us: A rock and roll band playing rock and roll music,” Nelson said.

Nelson’s rock ’n’ roll band will be in Portland Tuesday for a concert at Asylum, 121 Center St. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. with sets by opening bands Heaven’s Basement and One Bad Son. Tickets are $38 in advance and $41 at the door.

Buckcherry’s no-frills, back-to-business approach has been a hit, both on the charts — where hits like “Crazy Bitch” and “Sorry” were Top 100 mainstays at Nos. 59 and 39, respectively — and in life.

“In the long run, it definitely served us to have those two incarnations and go-arounds,” Nelson said. “We’re really finding our unique voice in the landscape of rock and roll. As far as our sound, it’s just rock and roll.”

It’s that basic approach that all five band members — Nelson, lead singer Josh Todd, guitarist Stevie D., bassist Jimmy Ashhurst and drummer Xavier Muriel — agree on.

“There’s a tremendous work ethic, first of all, and camaraderie centered around all of us having the same head space and wanting the same thing,” Nelson explained. “We may disagree sometimes, but we all come together to get there. We all basically have the same goal.”

While AC/DC is a strong musical influence for all of Buckcherry’s members, it’s one of the main things — along with a love of tattoos and the same tattoo artist — that brought Todd and Nelson together in the first place.

“There are so many different things that go into it,” Nelson said. “I have my favorite songwriters and guitar players. We all have our own bag of influences: Anything that’s good, basically.”

The band is in the midst of a North American tour promoting their sixth studio album, “Confessions,” scheduled for a Feb. 19 release. The album’s theme is the seven deadly sins and “Gluttony,” the first single, is available for purchase on iTunes.

“The two best things about this career are the live show experience and the creative process that goes with making the songs,” Nelson said. “It’s incredible. We all still really connect with what it’s like being in the audience. As an artist, you really can’t take it for granted, even when the days run together and you do so many shows.”

Nelson thinks this is the third time the band’s played a show in Maine, and despite this one coming in the dead of winter, he’s excited about it.

“We don’t get there very often so it’s nice to just be there and get a chance,” Nelson said. “We’ve been up to Bangor. Josh and I are really big Stephen King fans. In fact, he picked our ‘Black Butterfly’ album as one of his favorites.”

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