Coming on the heels of Buckcherry’s platinum 2006 comeback album “15,” the group’s fourth release, “Black Butterfly,” hasn’t exactly taken over the world.
It debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 when it was released in September and hasn’t launched a single as impactful as its predecessor’s “Crazy Bitch” and “Sorry.” But if it feels like the hard rocking Los Angeles quintet’s momentum has stalled, frontman Josh Todd says the group has learned the virtues of patience.
“The ‘15’ run was over two years,” explains Todd (né Gruber), 38, who regrouped Buckcherry with guitarist and co-writer Keith Nelson in 2005 after a three-year hiatus. “We played over 300 shows to get that record platinum, so we definitely know it’s a long, long process.
“We’re not a band that you see in the press and on television all the time. We’re a band that has had this career for 10 years now, but there’s still a lot of markets that are untapped and a lot of awareness still needs to happen for Buckcherry. So we’re just working on chipping away at that stone.”
And the group — whose signature hit, 1999’s “Lit Up,” boasts an “I love the cocaine” refrain — is accenting that work with some good deeds.
Todd was inspired to write a pair of songs on “Black Butterfly” — “Rescue Me” and “A Child Called It” — by Dave Pelzer’s book “A Child Called It,” one of three memoirs he wrote about his experience with child abuse and foster care. Todd’s daughter, now 15, was reading the book during a family vacation and, curious, he picked it up to see what it was about.
“I was really, really inspired by this guy’s perseverance to get through all that and have somewhat of a normal life,” Todd explains. “I just wanted to do the book justice and draw some attention to it.”
In addition to the songs, Buckcherry started the Rescue Me Campaign to help raise awareness of and funds for child abuse prevention. The group recorded an acoustic version of “Rescue Me” for its Web site and made a public service announcement to promote the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (www.childhelp.org, (800) 422-4453). It’s also headlining a fundraising concert for Childhelp on Friday at the Fillmore New York.
Childhelp, Todd says, is “the best Web site I’ve found as far as helping kids that have been through” abuse and adds that in addition to awareness, he and his bandmates “just hope that maybe people will donate money and help the people who are helping out these kids ... so they have a shot at a good life.”
Buckcherry, meanwhile, is starting to contemplate its own future. Todd says the group “has some songs in the works” for its next album, but he prefers to keep the focus on “Black Butterfly” for now.
“There’s a lot of great songs on the record,” Todd says, “so we’re going to spend a lot of time playing it out so everybody can grasp what’s going on with it, just like we did with (2006’s platinum) ‘15.’ We have a lot of work ahead of us still this year.”
Buckcherry, Chevelle, Pop Evil and Royal Bliss perform at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (May 14) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Tickets are $42.50 and $32.50 with $101 4-packs available for the balcony. Call (313) 961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com.
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