Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman

1st Mar 2013 | 10:41

Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman

“I think you’ve just got to be the real deal in whatever you’re doing,” says Josh Todd, Buckcherry’s snake-hipped, bare-chested, potty-mouthed vocalist. I’ve got to believe it.” Anyone catching the Cherry on touring supporting new album Confessions will certainly see a frontman that is the real deal.

Not only that, but given that he was raised taking notes on some of punk’s finest, copping moves from ‘80s icons and sharing stages with rock royalty, he knows plenty about the ingredients needed to make an incredible frontman. And lucky for you, when we tracked him down he was more than happy to share a few pointers.

Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Keep your edge

“My foundation was punk rock records. I liked Olga from The Toy Dolls and I liked Ian McCabe from Minor Threat. I really dug those guys. I liked Ian because he was really menacing looking and I really liked his lyrics. They really spoke to me when I was a kid. The Toy Dolls were more pop punk-y, more of a party band and Olga was just real skinny, lanky, guitar player/singer and he just had a cool style and attitude, he always wore these square sunglasses. He’d get on the shoulders of his bass player and play ‘Wipeout’ every night – I just thought he was cool.

“I think you’ve just got to be the real deal in whatever you’re doing. I’ve got to believe it. The frontmen that I like are guys that had enough of an edge to them so guys would like them and they had enough flair so girls would like them. That, to me, is the perfect package for a frontman.”

Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Work the stage

“I love Jim Morrison, and I also think Prince is amazing, and Stevie Wonder. I think Jim was really great with managing the mystery. He was great at pulling people in and then exploding on stage. He was the master of that. From what I've read about him he would read books on crowd control. If you watch him perform he could be very subtle and then he’d just erupt. I like that. He was cool and sexual at times, but very masculine. He was just a great frontman and he wrote amazing lyrics.”

Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Favour substance over style

“When I got more into rock music I was really into Bon Scott. Bon had a very distinctive voice. He had a voice when you heard it you knew it was Bon Scott. Nobody could sing like him. He had a lot of soul too. He was a pretty humble guy and he didn’t give a shit about flash or flair, he just came out in ripped up jeans and laid it down. I love Brian Johnson, too. We got to do five shows with them [in 2000] and it was our rock ‘n’ roll dreams come true for all of us. It was amazing. We got to hang out with all those guys in one room, and they were the most humble, nicest people. It pays off when you meet your heroes and they’re super cool.”

Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Be cool

“I dug Ian Astbury from The Cult. Ian is the coolest frontman you’ll ever see. I saw him a lot as a kid, I would go to shows, I saw him in the Holy Barbarians and The Cult and I just thought he was always so confident on stage. He had a lot more rock than Jim Morrison but he had a very Jim Morrison type vibe to him and he was very fun to watch. The tone of his voice I always loved as well. He’d work the tambourine as well, he’s so fucking cool.”

Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Be the perfect package

“Steve Tyler [and] Axl Rose [are] amazing. The first time I saw Aerosmith live is when we were playing with them. I never saw them live when I was younger, which I wish I would have. But, I got the opportunity to stand side stage and listen to Steven’s monitor mix, what an amazing vocalist. He puts it all together, he dances, he’s got it all. He’s the perfect package, guys want to be him, girls want to f*** him. That’s the perfect frontman you can have, same thing goes with Axl Rose. Axl intimidated me and I love that, I want to feel the danger when I’m watching rock ‘n’ roll. I want to feel like, ‘Wow, this guy is the real deal,’ and that’s how I feel about Axl. He’s a true artist.”

Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Buckcherry's Josh Todd on how to be the perfect frontman
Stay committed to your craft

“I don’t think enough people are committed to their craft today. There needs to be more of that. Because of technology you can be a very average singer but record a song and be perfectly in key manipulating your voice and end up with a perfect song. Then you go out on the live stage and it’s not recreated well. Rock music is now becoming like a Britney Spears concert because there’s so many new bands running tracks through the PA while they play live because they can’t perform it live. They’re running vocals through the PA, instruments, it’s really easy for a vocalist to hit a note when there’s a perfectly on key vocal running through the PA. I think that’s lost and that’s the charm of Buckcherry and other bands out there not using tracks. You’re supposed to earn it and be able to do it."

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