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Josh Todd, lead singer of Buckcherry, is a very nice man with three children. He also sings songs about cocaine and saying “fuck it”. -ed.

One of the first times I had been to Europe we were playing a festival about 2:30 in the afternoon. Very early slot for us because we hadn’t been there, we hadn’t worked our way up. And I’m starting to warm up backstage and I start getting tunnel vision on the outsides of my eyes and I knew I was going into a migraine headache, I don’t know if you’ve ever had one.

Brightest Young Things: No I haven’t, but I’ve heard, obviously, it’s just horrific, horrific pain.

Yeah. It was a hot sunny day and I’m going into a migraine and I’m like 30 minutes from walking on and there’s no backing out of it.

Brightest Young Things: And there’s nothing that works for a migraine, usually you have to be in a dark room or something.

No, yeah. But there’s one thing that I figured out that day: if a migraine’s coming on and you start working out, like you start doing heavy cardio or something, you start sweating, it goes away quicker but you still get this massive headache. I didn’t know what to do so I started like trying to not think about and I did some shadowboxing and stuff, but it hit me right when I got onstage and I started getting nauseated and it was just horrible. I couldn’t focus on singing because I was just so worried about just maintaining and not passing out because it was really hot as well. So I just limped through that one and that was a tough one. Or anytime you’re sick really have been nightmare shows, because I’ve sang through lost of sickness and that’s part of the game, you know, and it’s the worst.

Brightest Young Things: What was, do you think, the most physically debilitated you felt while performing?

One time I had bronchitis really bad and I had called the show. And we were in Jersey and it was sold out and the promoters said, “If you guys don’t go on, there’s a good chance they may like, people may start like fucking with your bus, you know, like vandalizing it.” And we’re like, ‘what?’ And I’m literally in my pajamas in my bunk and I’m like, I can’t even get through my vocal scales, I’m so sick, you know. And I’m like, ‘fuck it,’ and I just put on my stuff and I went out there and I go, I can’t sing, I can’t even talk, you know. And I got on stage and I had like maybe like 40% of a voice.

Brightest Young Things: And you performed?

Yup, did the whole show with full blown bronchitis.

Brightest Young Things: You didn’t cut songs?

No. Got off and I couldn’t sing for a week, you know, it was, I shouldn’t have done it but I didn’t want, you know.

Brightest Young Things: Did you have another show booked the next night, after Jersey?

No I had to cancel a whole week of shows.

Brightest Young Things: But no one threatened to tip over your bus?

No, no, at that point. I should have been smart and called it a lot earlier in the day, but I don’t like to cancel shows. I haven’t cancelled a show in like 4 years, so you know, whatever.

Being a singer is brutal, it sucks.

Brightest Young Things: Yeah, I couldn’t imagine, because just playing an instrument, I mean your voice is your instrument it’s something you have to use all the time.

Yeah you can just tune your strings and you can walk on with the flu, whatever, no problem, but…

As told to Jenn Tisdale and Brandon Wetherbee. Edited for clarity.