“Crazy Bitch,” one of Buckcherry’s most requested songs, was released in 2005 and the band thought it was time for an update. Thus, they brought in Wifisfuneral, who gave the 4x platinum tune a bit of a hip-hop spin. “We call it “Crazy Bitch 2020” and it’s been something that’s been in the works for years and years and years,” the band’s frontman, Josh Todd, tells American Songwriter. “We had this idea like a decade ago and we could never get it over the finish line. It was always that we would get a lot of lip service from our people around us at that time and never could quite get it going. Cut to now and it was just the right time,” he adds.
A self-proclaimed hip-hop fan, Todd, says he came up with the original tune while driving in his car and began singing it acapella. At the time, he envisioned it as a simple rock tune with a hip-hop groove. “I always wanted to do a remix and a collaboration with somebody to bring it into that vein,” he says, adding that he’s always been inspired by the rock/hip-hop fusion that Aerosmith did back in the day with Run DMC. The track, per Todd, is a big strip club anthem. “And at strip clubs, they are now mainly dancing to hip-hop now so now we’ve merged it into this hip-hop/rock collaboration,” he says, joking that the band’s latest maneuver will likely do it’s part to keep it as an adult entertainment mainstay. “I would love to see it going on in a club with the new version. That would be fun,” jokes Todd.
To bring his vision to life, Todd and the band turned to former Fugees producer Joe Nicolo. They re-recorded their parts, leaving spaces in for a collaboration, and were then linked up with Wifisfuneral. “Joe had worked with him in the past and said he was the perfect guy,” says Todd, who instantly reached out. “We already had the track laid out with the slots where he could do his runs. We wanted an artist to come in there and make it their own and give them the verses and have them throughout the track and it worked out great,” he says. And the video, which drops on February ___, per Todd, “is awesome as well.”
Buckcherry released its eight studio album, Warpaint, in 2019, and is still busy touring it around the globe. And while they are taking a beat on writing new songs, the band members are still focusing on putting out new tracks for its fans. “We’re recording some of our old catalog acoustically, which we’re releasing periodically. And then we have some other things in the works that I don’t want to talk about just yet,” says Todd, who assures us that “there’s definitely going to be a lot of new Buckcherry music this year – but not a new record.”
So far, the band is looking at putting acoustic renditions of its classic tracks like “Sorry” and “For the Movies.” And Todd says the process thus far has been a blast. “After you’ve heard the song one way for a long time and when it’s stripped down, it’s very fun to listen to. And a lot of songs start like that. So it’s always cool to get back to that and do it organically like that,” he explains. And don’t rule out a full evening of acoustic Buckcherry music. Todd says the band just might do some acoustic sets in select cities. “We’re trying to figure all that out,” he adds, calling it something he’s “always wanted to do.”
Since the band’s 1995 inception, there have been many member, label, and management changes, all of which have influenced the songwriting process. But Todd says his personal process has remained largely the same. And this many years into the game, he’s just as passionate about creating new music as he’s ever been. “That’s the reason I got into this when I was 15 and got my first band. It was the songwriting that was really attractive to me. I wasn’t really a technically sound singer at the time. I never took a singing lesson until after the first record so it was really the writing that I had a knack for,” he explains. Prior to his transition in music, the frontman say she was always doing creative writing and lyric writing and poetry. “And so by the time I got to the songwriting, I just was so intrigued by writing songs and that’s what kicked it off,” he reveals.
The band’s process these days involves Todd writing the lyrics and melodies and then bouncing it off a collaborative partner, which for the past few years, has been his guitarist and backup vocalist Stevie D. “To develop a songwriting language with somebody takes takes a lot of time. You have to write and rewrite and be around each other a lot and kinda know exactly the strong points or weak points of each other so that you can work off each other. And that’s what we did,” says Todd. The duo began their creative collaboration in 2017 with the release of Todd’s side project, Josh Todd and the Conflict’s, debut album Year of the Tiger. “It was a great experience for us and we had fun and there wasn’t a whole lot of pressure. And so that was a great way for us to do something from the ground up and get it over the finish line and do it all together,” he explains. So when it was time to create Warpaint, the duo already had a system down.
Going forward, Todd is conflicted between his passion for putting out full length albums and the idea of dropping songs to appease the short-lived attention spans of today’s music listeners. “It takes you months and months and months to write a record and it’s like a blip on the screen when you drop it. And that’s a drag,” he says, citing an article he recently read about how a person’s attention span whittled has down to 7 seconds in 2020. “It’s happening right now that people don’t even know we dropped a record last year. They just don’t even know it because now people are so inundated with information and you go on your Instagram page and you’re just flipping through hundreds and hundreds of people’s promotion and stories and what they’re doing and updates. And it’s like you’re literally dwelling on maybe some of this stuff for two seconds. And so as artists it’s like, forget it,” he says, noting that it’s a tough call to decide to put an 11-song album out that people might not even potentially be able to discover. But for now, the plan is meet in the middle – to appease the diehard Buckcherry fans with future albums on the horizon and simultaneously drop songs as the band does them, which is the goal of this acoustic re-recording idea. “You have to have constant content, as you know. But we love to work. We love to be in the process of either recording or performing. So it’s fun for me!” he proclaims.