*Editor’s note: This is a rough translation of the interview, designed to be readable with all the Uhhs, Umms, and repeated words taken out. While this transcription may not be perfect, the basic statements should reflect what the speaker was trying to get across*
(Matt Bechtel) Alright. Well, Josh, thank you for joining Book Brilliant today. How are you doing today?
(Josh Todd) I’m good, man. I’m just at home. A couple of our guys, I don’t know if you saw on our socials, got COVID while we were out on the road and, they’re already negative. So just waiting to get back to the tour, we resume on the 29th of this month. So I’m at home right now and just kind of enjoying it, you know, it was unexpected, but, I’m just glad everybody’s okay and doing well and we’ll get back to it.
That’s good. Did you, did you ever get COVID by chance?
I did not, no. We’ve all been vaccinated. Some of us got different vaccinations. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it, but I had Moderna, those two guys that got it had Johnson & Johnson, but the vaccines did exactly what they were supposed to do. They had very mild symptoms for probably six days and that was it. And they tested negative. So I’m really grateful for that.
Yeah. I worked at a, a Budweiser wholesaler throughout 2020, and I was in the public all the time and I got it at the very tail end of 2020, but luckily for my wife and I, it was very mild.
That’s good. And now you have antibodies. That’s great.
Yeah. And I got the vaccine as well, so it should be good. So I wanted to ask you, you know, my first question is what kind of reader are you? What kind of books do you read and how often, and do you read on the tour?
Man, you know, I read a lot and on tour, it’s really essential for me, you know? I read a lot to enhance my songwriting and lyric writing cause that’s what I do, you know, in Buckcherry and for other people as well. I’m a true crime fanatic pretty much. So it’s hard for me to get away from true crime. I always try and get away from it and I’ll get a book and I’ll be like, “okay, it was alright.” But, I always want to go back to true crime.
So I read a lot of true crime. I’m fascinated with like, I like puzzles, so a crime scene is like a puzzle to me. So it’s very interesting. And I like the criminology side of it, how they figure something out from nothing, it’s pretty cool.
Have you ever read anything by John Douglas?
I have, yeah, I read Mindhunter by him and they made a great series show on Netflix about him. He was the first FBI profiler. I read that book, it was an amazing book. I read it years ago and it was really good.
Yeah. So when I was 18 all I wanted to do in my whole life was basically be in a band right? And then, when I wasn’t in a band I thought, “Well, maybe I would want to work for the FBI”. And so I had actually read all of his books and I sent him a letter, and he’s the nicest guy. He responded back with a handwritten letter, he signed the book, the book was Law and Disorder. He signed it and he sent a picture that I have framed that he signed that as well. So I have a lot of love for that guy.
Yeah. We’re going to have on the show, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Jack Garcia, but he infiltrated the Gambino crime family for the FBI. And so he’s going to be on. You know, what’s funny is I’m sitting right behind my true crime section here. But his book is Making Jack Falcone and it’s about infiltrating the Gambino crime family.
Can you hold that up? So I can take a picture of that. Cause I need a new book. Hold that up, thank you.
I’m going to hyperlink, all of this. And I can also send you an email, any books I recommend, because we’re probably going to talk about a lot, but that book’s interesting. And him and Jay Dobbins are friends and he infiltrated the Hell’s Angels. And so I’m going to have both of them on at the same time. It’s going to be a good time. Yeah. So the true crime, I didn’t expect you to say that. Do you have any favorites in that category of true crime?
On my first tour, I remember reading The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez because I grew up in Southern California and I befriended the kid as a teenager, but when he was uh, added his 2 cents into the crime, I don’t know if you saw the Richard Ramirez documentary on Netflix, but, anyways, there was a kid, and he went down to Southern California to commit some murders at one point. And there was a kid who ID’d him, he saw the strange car in his neighborhood and he gave the police the license plate number, and that’s how they got the first fingerprint of him. He always wear gloves and he took his glove off to adjust the mirror on this stolen car. It was a stolen vehicle.
The guy that I knew, the kid, I befriended him when he was a teenager, but he was a kid at the time. He just saw a car that was kind of out of place in his neighborhood. And intuitively just wrote down the license plate. And that was the beginning to the end of Richard Ramirez, finally ID-ing this guy. It’s just crazy because I befriended this kid in my school and he was this kid, he was super cool. He had long hair and all the girls liked him. And he was the first kid I knew that had a sport bike, a crotch rocket. I thought he was so cool.
Anyways, I went to his house and on his wall, there was a plaque that said “From the LAPD. Thank you for the apprehension and capture of Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker” and it had his name on it. And I was like, “Dude, what is this?” And then he told me the whole story. And I was like, “Wow, man, this is like crazy” I mean it really scared us as kids when, during that time, it was really scary for all of people who lived in Orange County.
I mean, we were just, everybody was so worried that he was going to come and break into your home or whatever. And, and so that was something that I watched. I read The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez out on the road, it’s out of print, but you can order it. And it was great. And from that point on, I kept searching for documentaries on television about him, because it was such a crazy story. He had a crazy childhood and a crazy crime spree and a crazy ending to the crime spree. So I’m like, “This is going to be like the best docu-series ever. When is it coming out?” And it was so long before it finally got somewhere like on Netflix. It just happened, you know, I mean, as far as getting a docu-series cause he’s been dead a while so I really liked that.
I’m also fascinated with pandemics way before this one, this one’s kind of burned me out on them now, but I read a book way back in the day called the Hot Zone. I couldn’t put that down. That was a great book and I like spiritual books. I like the Four Agreements, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, stuff like that. And then, you know, just a lot of true crime. Let’s see if I can find any more.
I’ve got I think the Four Agreements right next to me, I’ve got like half the books you just referenced there, like right next to me.
Oh, wow. That’s cool. We get along well. I’ve been doing meditation for awhile and I studied this guy, Dr. Joe Dispenza, and he’s got a bunch of books out. The first one I read was You are the Placebo amazing book. If anybody, if any of your viewers are struggling with any kind of ailments or challenges in their life, it’s a really good book to read and to empower yourself through meditation.
It’s incredible. This guy has got an incredible story as well on top of it. And, um, let’s see, stand by. I’m just looking through all my stuff so much. You’re good to carry on line.
So my mom actually lived in Chico during right when the Manson murders were going on. I live in, I live in Nebraska and she didn’t move out here until she was in seventh grade. So sucks for her, I guess. But she was there around the time of Altamont, which she didn’t remember at all. There’s a good book if you’re familiar with the Altamont, the Rolling Stones incident.
I read Helter Skelter.
Yeah okay. Yeah, there you go. But she had lived there and she told me growing up about how scared she was, and so when the movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” came out, I was like, “mom, you have to watch this.” She loved it. And I think people who lived in California during that time period really connected with that movie. Have you seen that?
Oh I’m not sure if I’ve seen that. I read Helter Skelter. But I can’t say if I’ve seen it or not. I’m also a big, Ann Rule fan. I’ve read her books. There’s a really great book, one of her first books, The Stranger Beside Me, because she had actually befriended Ted Bundy before he was Ted Bundy as just a friend.
She worked at this like suicide hotline and he volunteered to work there and she befriended him. She became his friend. After she figured out who he was, once he got arrested and everything, she used to visit him. But that’s a really crazy book. The Stranger Beside Me.
His girlfriend just wrote a book, his ex-girlfriend or wife. I don’t know what it’s called.
I’ve heard about that.
You said you have, or haven’t heard that?
No, I’ve heard about that. And I don’t know if you’ve seen that Ted Bundy, confessions tapes on Netflix. It is crazy, man. It gives you chills up your spine. When you hear him talking, like whispering to that priest through the jail bars. I was like, oh my God, it was just so haunting.
Have you ever heard of the book The Last Victim?
So this kid is a brilliant kid. It’s a very sad story, but it’s a true story about this kid in high school who decided he wanted to be in the behavioral science unit, kind of like I wanted to do. And he was thinking, you know, “how the heck am I going to get into the FBI?” So he’s like, “I’m going to become friends with a bunch of serial killers. And I am going to get in the FBI like that. I’m going to impress them.” And so what he did was he would study all of these guys and he would become pen pals with them. He became pen pals with Dahmer, like right before Dahmer died, which it was rare that he would respond.
But what this kid would do is he would figure out what their victim type was, and this is where it’s kind of dark and disturbing. He would send these letters to subtly, make it seem like he was the type of victim that they would have wanted. And so he would really just appeal to them. And he became friends with Ramirez, all Ramirez really wanted was like porn and stuff so he would just kind of act like he was in a cult that worshiped Ramirez and had all these girls. And so he was pen pals with Ramirez. And the book got its name because he got really close with John Wayne Gacy and John Wayne Gacy actually paid to have a phone added into this kid’s room to call him all the time. And he actually went and visited Gacy. And how the whole thing, when it gets to that point in the book, it gets pretty disturbing. And the sad news about this kid though, is that he killed himself on June 6th, 2006. And so the people that knew him said that the Gacy incident, and just being around that darkness just truly affected him. I don’t know if that’s directly related or not, but that’s why the book’s called the last victim. It’s an interesting read, but like I said, it is sad. I mean, it’s definitely a sad read.
That’s interesting because there’s a similar situation too, I guess there’s this well-known comedian/actor that was married to this woman and she became obsessed with who they call the original night stalker. They just arrested him. The guy, I forget his name, but that was so, do you know this? She got so obsessed with the case, then she died.
Yeah. So she, I don’t know if it was a directly correlated. I think she had overdosed on some pain pills but I she was working really hard on that case, but that book is disturbing. Have you read it?
I’ve read it. It’s so disturbing.
It’s hard when you’ve got, when you’re married and stuff and you read that book, it will literally change your life. Like I change now when I close my curtains, they talked about how he would window peak. And so I close my curtains now so that way, if somebody were to ever try to look through the window, they would only be able to see a wall. Like my friend had called me once when he was on vacation and he was like, “Hey, I need you to go in my house and grab something”. And I walk in his house and all of his windows are open and I’m like *gasps*, and I go and close them, people don’t realize it but you can peek into a window and you can see a lot. And so that was one takeaway I got from the book, but yeah, that’s a hard one to, to finish.
He was a really brave guy. Like the things he would like do, you know, just to go in and be brave enough to go in and know there’s a male and a female in there and you’re going to overtake them. It’s pretty, uh, it’s pretty crazy.
It really is. And that’s kind of why it bothers me because, you know, when you hear about Ted Bundy or you hear about Dahmer and you hear about maybe people that kill prostitutes, you’re kind of thinking like, “Well, I’m not in those situations. I’m not a prostitute. I don’t have to worry”, but hell when a guy’s breaking into your house and you’re married. I mean, that could happen to anybody theoretically. And so I think that’s why that stuff is more chilling. And I think it’s more chilling to men, especially because that’s one that, you know, it’s like you just don’t ever really, I don’t think guys really worried about being victims of serial killers.
Yeah. Yeah it’s a crazy story.
So I just listened to all your songs from Slamhound to Buckcherry, to your solo stuff. And I got questions on a couple of those, but you had written a song about the book, A Child Called It. And I read that when I was younger and that’s a really disturbing book and it’s just sad. Are there any other songs that are actually based off of books that maybe people wouldn’t realize or pick up on, on the first take?
I’d have to think. We have a song called “Broken Glass”. That was about The Art of War. We just dropped a song called “Gun” on our new record “Hellbound” and that’s about Bonnie and Clyde. My daughter was doing a Bonnie and Clyde play at the time and I just became obsessed with this story. I thought it was just crazy, crazy and cool. So I wrote that song about that. And a child called it, I got that from my oldest daughter. We were on vacation and she was like finishing this book and I’m looking at the cover and I go, “what are you reading?”
And then she told me, she’s like, “It’s so hard to get through this book” and she was telling me about it and I go, “I want to read it when you’re done”, you know? And then I became obsessed and there’s three of them. I read two, A Child Called It and the next one. And then it became a little too much for me. We wrote “Rescue Me” and “A Child Called It”, those two songs came from that book.
I have actually only read two out of the three as well I think that by the time you finish the second one, man, It’s hard to roll into the third one.
Very sad. I had, I had enough at that point I was like, “Okay, that’s all I can take”.
Yeah. That’s that’s a hard one. The Art of War, I just read that for the first time last year, I heard a lot of people referencing it and finally sat down and chipped away at it. Have you ever read The Prince by Machiavelli?
That’s one that people kind of put that next to the art of war.
I would like to get the list of all your recommendations and then I’ll just get through them, you know, because I need some new books that are great and I’ve really run the gamut on true crime right now, you know? So it’d be nice to find some new stuff that I haven’t.
Yeah I’ll grab your email and I’ll email a bunch to you. There’s another band that I just interviewed the singer and I’m like, “Man, I’ve got like five books I’ll give you, I don’t know If on tour if it’s a pain to read” and he was like, “No, bring them to the show.” Your guys’ show in Lincoln or in Omaha just got postponed. I don’t know if you know when that’ll be back around, but I’ll have to drop by and give you a couple hand-selected recommendations.
Yeah or just give me the titles too, because I don’t like taking like physical books with me. I do Kindle because it’s just as a traveler, you know, I’ll just go buy them, you know, digitally.
It’s cheaper that way too. I haven’t, I’m going to have to start getting into the Kindle more because as you can see, I got a whole room of books behind me, which my wife’s not as big of a fan.
She’s like, all right. I got to move through this phase, you know.
We’re looking for a house and as we’re looking at houses, I have to find a room specifically for our books. I mean, every house we go to it’s like “And this room could be your book room”
Right but I mean that’s your passion, you know? And that’s like a whole different thing, you know?
Yeah. I wanted to ask since I mentioned Slamhound, when I was listening to that album, I thought of something kind of funny. And there’s a reason why I’m asking you this, when you were just starting out, was there anybody that people said like, “Oh, you remind me of this guy…” Did you ever hear that about any singer back in the day?
I was very unpolished, not vocally trained. I had a lot of emotion, but not a lot of technique, you know? And, I don’t know. I was filled with a lot of piss and vinegar at that time in my life.
I was very young when I recorded those songs. I was 19. I don’t know, they said I sounded like Bon Scott at one time, I really liked Brian Johnson. I was really into AC/DC. I don’t think I sounded like that because my whole foundation was punk rock bands, you know, independent punk rock records, so I had this punk foundation and then I started getting into rock like later on in my life. So I don’t know. It’s just a weird blob of influences that make me up.
Well, the re the reason I ask is because I get compared to you a lot, I’m in a band, and I hear a lot of the times people will say, they’ll either say I remind them of Josh Todd from Buckcherry, or “the guy from Buckcherry”, which it’s a hard rock band and you’ve definitely been a big influence in my life and I watched a lot of you growing up and I’ve been covering “Lit Up” since I was like 16 in bars. So I thought that that was kind of funny. I almost hear that every show we would play, people don’t usually say the band sounds like Buckcherry, they just say that I remind them of you, I guess.
That’s interesting. It’s interesting. Cause I’m a hard one to, uh, you know, I have a very unique voice. So, yoif you sound like me, then you, you must sound like me.
I don’t know if you listened to our album, I don’t know if you would, if you would take away from that. I was thinking about that, but there must be something about live, about playing live. My biggest influences honestly, were Vince, Neil, Axl rose, you, and then Anthony Keidis from Red Hot Chili Peppers. I used to watch your guys’ clips growing up.
That’s cool man, that’s really cool. I love Axl. He’s an amazing singer. Absolutely. Have you ever seen, Axl/DC, Axl doing AC/DC when he went out and did those shows? Did you see him sitting down with a cast on belting out AC/DC? Amazing.
It’s weird. Especially to do that sitting down with a broken leg.
I liked that it, he was already like up here to me, but when I saw that, I was like, wow, man. He’s like, he’s the coolest. The show must go on and to continue to do an AC/DC set sitting in a chair is pretty amazing at his age.
Yeah, that’s a, that’s a cool story about him. There was a Dr. Music interview you did, and you had talked about bucket list items and wanting to go to Africa and maybe be around some gorillas. Have you ever read anything by like Jane Goodall or anything like that with Africa?
No. No, I haven’t. My wife and I, we really like wildlife shows, you know, like we like “Planet Earth” and stuff like that. We’ll just be glued for hours, you know? And I’m just fascinated with the animal kingdom and how it all works together. And Africa is just so incredible, they just basically have everything there. Every extreme of life is there and so I would like to go see that at some point. Even though it’s like a beating to get there and you gotta take all kinds of vaccinations. At some point when I got enough time away from traveling, like my music career has gotta be over for a little bit, then I’ll go because right now, the only way I’m getting on a plane is if I know I’m going to get a paycheck at the end of it because I’ve traveled for 23 years extensively, so I’m tired. Like a vacation for me is just being home, So at some point when I get done with this, I’m definitely gonna do it.
That’s quite the thing to say, though, a vacation for you is just being at home. That puts that into perspective. My understanding from people who have toured seriously is it’s not like you’re just sitting when you go into a city, you’re not visiting all the tourist sites and the museums and hanging out all day and then you go play.
It’s nothing like that. It’s a lot of solitude. It’s a lot of empty dressing rooms and hotel rooms and it’s nothing like that. I mean some of our band guys, they’re very adventurous. They like to go and do like sightseeing stuff on their days off but me being a singer, my whole thing is so physical that when I have a day off, I just don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to talk to anybody. I don’t want to go anywhere. I just want to relax. Without a show to do you get ready for the next run of shows that week. It’s just a lot different than what people think.
How do you keep, I was wondering this, you know, what’s your diet and how do you keep a diet on the road? Cause I imagine that’s gotta be hard.
Yeah. It takes a lot of discipline, you know, especially the older you get, you know, I’m 50 now. And so, I have to work harder to do the same things that I did when I was in my twenties and thirties, you know? So that being said, I don’t want to bore you with all this stuff, but I drink room temperature water. I don’t drink a lot of carbonated drinks. I don’t drink anything cold. I stay away from tomato based products. Anything that will give you acid reflux is no good for a singer.
And then I don’t eat for a few hours before I go to bed. Like I literally eat dinner and then wait like two hours and then I do a show and then maybe I’m up for a couple hours before I go to bed. And I eat no food at that point. I just hydrate with liquids, maybe I’ll have a banana or something, but that’s about it, man. It’s really boring being a singer because you gotta take care of yourself because you can’t just go to the store and buy new strings and put them on your guitar and you’ll be in tune ready to go, you know?
No, well, they probably think we have the easy job. But yeah, I was really fascinated when I heard you say that you don’t drink water on stage because how I typically approach a show is, chug water onstage and blow my voice out every show.
Yeah. And what temperature is that water you’re chugging?
Well, by the time I’m playing the show, it’s probably room temperature, but I start out cold.
So, yeah, that’s, this is not good, you know, do you do in vocal warmups?
Uh, I don’t do it. No, I don’t. I’m just, I’m just hopping right into it.
That’ll really, really contribute to vocal fatigue. So you got to do vocal warmups and what my teacher tells me, Mark Baxter, the great Mark Baxter, uh, is there’s vocalizing and they’re singing, you know? So you go from your speaking voice to, you have to get to your singing voice, and there’s like this gap, between your singing voice and your speaking voice. And you got to bridge that gap with vocal warmups. You start stretching out your folds, getting them ready so that by the time you put them at maximum capacity, you don’t damage your vocal folds because you’re not going to not stretch your muscles and then go in and pick up 400 pounds and just start going like that and think that you’re not going to be sore and your muscles aren’t going to be ripped. You’re not going to be able to do that for five days. What you’re doing is you’re putting all this trauma on your vocal folds without even stretching them, and so you’re wondering why you’re blowing your voice out. That’s what’s contributing to it and I do vocal warm downs as well. So I vocal warmup. Then I sing, then I vocal warm down and then I’m back to my speaking voice. So there’s this whole thing that I do and then when I’m not singing on days off, I still vocalize, I still do scales, not a lot, like maybe I’ll do 20 minutes, but I still get my voice nice and limber on the days off.
Yeah I was watching, there’s like an hour long video of you talking to a group of people and giving them lessons and I was listened to it and I was like, “I’m doing everything wrong.” I just thought that you just power through it.
I mean, I was the same way though. I learned all this from doing it all wrong.
Well, I appreciate you giving me those tips cause I’m going to have to do it because it sucks to be done at one in the morning and then you can’t hardly talk.
Well, you know what you’re going to find that you have more of a range than you thought you ever had because when you vocalize you find you start getting to new ranges in your vocals. Like I have this falsetto that I use now where I never had falsetto in my early days, you know? And you find all this out by vocalizing a lot and start learning that it’s not more air pressure, it’s less air pressure to get to where you want to go. All those being said, just start studying it like you would a guitar or a piano, you got to study the voice or you’re not going to learn. Like my whole thing is what new range could I get in on this record?
What new part of my voice can I incorporate into my melodies to elevate my game? To transition from where I can see the growth and I can totally see the growth from record one. When I had no vocal coach to my ninth record, “Hellbound” now, it’s tremendous. So just remain teachable all the time and the great thing about the time that we live in is it’s the time of ambition. So all you have to have is ambition, you can go on YouTube and you can learn anything that you want.
As long as you have ambition, you can put in an hour a day for two years and you can master something without even spending a dime. I’m doing it right now. I do it with all kinds of stuff. I learn all kinds of stuff outside of music, because it’s stimulating for me, like right now, I’m like obsessed with bass fishing. So I am learning all about bass fishing. I’m going bass fishing with my son after I get off this call with you. I’m studying how guys are using lures and crank bait and top water lure and when you use them and what colors and times, and I’m just going nuts with it and it’s so fun and I’m just YouTube-ing all this stuff and it’s amazing. Right. And I did it with all kinds of stuff on YouTube and that’s like the most exciting part about what’s going on these days.
Yeah. That, that’s absolutely true. Um, the bass fish thing, that’s really interesting. There’s a good book about fishing and I can’t think of the name, but there’s a movie made about it with Brad Pitt. Does that ring a bell? Zach, could you look that up for me? Look up like movie with Brad Pitt fly fishing and then drop me a message.
Fly fishing, that’s more like trout and salmon, right?
Yeah but it’s a great book about fishing regardless. I was going to say too, in preparation of this, I’d heard you say that you love big cats so I grabbed a chunk of, I got a whole chunk of books about tigers that are absolutely fascinating.
They’re crazy stories. If you’ve ever seen the movie “The Ghost in the Darkness”, Have you seen that with Val Kimmer that’s about lions?
It’s the true story about these lions that were killing these railroad workers, like systematically killed hundreds of people and it’s about these hunters that went out to kill them and as corny as it sounds, the hunters started to feel like they’re being hunted themselves. And there’s a couple of similar stories of that with tigers. The books are fascinating just about the lives of tigers and everything. I know you’re a big animal guy.
Yeah, this is our newest, we named him “Lion” his name’s Lion because he looks, he’s got the lion colors, and then you can’t see them right now, but he’s got one blue eye and one brown eye just like David Bowie. We love him. He’s been such a great addition to the family, really enjoying him.
Do you not mind the puppy training phase?
No, because my wife is really good with that. I mean, when I met my wife, she had three boxers and they were so well-trained and, she’s really good with dogs. So she’s taught us a lot during that. And then transitioning to this one, I mean, it’s a little challenging at the beginning because they’re just chewing on everything and then you got to potty train them and stuff, but he’s really good. He’s really smart and we’re just staying on top of it. My son, my daughter, and my wife, and I, we were running shifts and keeping them on track.
Yes, it looks like you’re doing good. I don’t have any puppies anymore. The last puppy I trained was our all black German shepherd and all black German shepherds are awesome. But man, you have to be vigilant and on guard with them.
So I know that you’re a huge, a boxing fan. This past Sunday I watched the movie “Salton Sea”, and then I watched the documentary called Lokation, which I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it, but it’s about McGregor vs Khabib and it’s on YouTube. And it’s a fascinating documentary just showing some of the behind the scenes of that. Do you follow UFC like you do boxing or?
I don’t know as much about it. I’ve been a boxing fan for a long time and I do a boxing workout but I like the UFC, I just don’t know a whole lot about the guys. I know who McGregor is, of course and I’ve seen some of his fights, who doesn’t know who he is, but yeah. I just love what they do, the preparation before and the mind, not only the body that they have to prepare, but it’s a big mind game as well, and he’s really good at the mind game, like Muhammad Ali was and Floyd Mayweather was. There’s not a lot of guys that can put the whole package together because that’s a huge part of it.
Yeah, absolutely. I was going to ask if you were ever a fan of Tommy Morrison at all back in the day?
Amazing, amazing. It’s such a shame that he, you know, what happened to him, but he was a power house man. That guy was a wrecking machine.
Yeah. When he passed he lived in Norfolk, Nebraska for a long time before he had passed and he passed in Omaha actually, cause I knew people who worked with them at the YMCA, cause he worked at a YMCA in Nebraska for a while, which was kind of crazy. That’s a sad story. And I don’t know if you’ve heard, but like his, I think it’s his wife or his girlfriend are filing a lawsuit against the athletic commission because she was saying that he never actually had AIDs. She said that that was false and basically that his whole life went down the tubes because he had a false positive on an AIDs test somehow. But this is all like relatively recent.
I don’t think so, I mean, if they tested him again and he was negative, I’m sure that he would have been fine and fought, you know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know the facts, but common sense tells me that the boxing commission probably tested him several times and it was the same outcome.
Well, yeah you would think a guy would be tested a lot. And like I said, I don’t know all the details of the case and I’m not saying that I necessarily believe that, but it’s interesting.
I’d be happy. I have an open mind about it. You know, like what their evidence is.
Yeah. Have you ever read Mike Tyson’s book by chance?
No. I read Kevin Hart’s book. I don’t read a lot of memoirs. I remember I read the guy in “Jackass”, Steve-O’s I read his book. I actually liked the book. I read Kevin Hart’s book, I read George Carlin’s book, but no, I haven’t read his, Mike Tyson.
Tyson’s is interesting. I mean, Tyson, he goes into all of it, man. And it’s actually a good book worth your time.
I bet it is, he is a very honest guy and I bet that would be a great book. He doesn’t sugar coat anything and he tells it like it is. And I liked that about him.
Yeah. I was at a Goodwill a few years ago and I had found a Sugar Ray Leonard book and it was signed by him and I verified it, ike I’m looking up his signature and I’m like, “There’s no way that I just found a Sugar Ray Leonard book at Goodwill.” Sure enough, I did and bought it for like two bucks. So that was a crazy story. I had actually met Steve-O a couple of years ago and I bought his book at his show and he signed it and I was wearing a Motley Crue shirt and he’s like a Motley Crue superfan. And so he was talking to me about my shirt and I had brought in a t-shirt of my band and I was like, “Would you wear this shirt for a picture?” And he put it on and we took the picture and he’s wearing my band shirt. And man that made my week, he was just such a nice guy and cool about it.
Man. I really admired him when I read that book. I mean, I just felt like he really hung his nuts out there and went after what he wanted to do, regardless of what you think, what he’s doing is whatever. I mean, I was like, wow, man, this dude really put in the time. He, he really was passionate about what he was doing like at one point when he went to the clown thing on the boat, he went to clown college on some boat or something, I don’t know what it was. He had these really bizarre skills that he was acquiring and that he eventually found this perfect situation to showcase these bizarre skills and make a living at it and become a superstar doing what he was doing.
I was just like, “This is so incredible”. It’s a really cool story because I don’t like reading music stories because I live it and it’s just not interesting to me, you know? So I like reading about stand-up comedians and those types of journeys. It’s interesting cause it’s a different thing from than what I’ve done my whole life, you know?
Yeah I love getting the perspectives of anybody who’s a master of their craft. Speaking of mastery, there’s a book called Mastery by Robert Green, which is good, you might find that super interesting as well. But Steve-O’s book is great and man, the stories of him like with his teeth all knocked out. Reading that story though, where his teeth get all knocked out I was like groaning while reading it. Like, that sounds so painful.
I like the story where he was like, he is like, “I’m going to drink tap water at every place that I go to, to prove that that I can” I was like, “He’s so crazy man”. And basically nothing happened to him. I think something happened in one place and it wasn’t like that big of a deal as far as he got from the tap water. But. I was like, “Man, this guy’s crazy.” It a fun read for sure.
Yeah those guys, if you listened to them talk, they said that when Jackass was on tour, they said it was like the stories of Led Zepplin was like what they were living out. I mean, he said like they were smuggling crazy amounts of drugs, so many crazy stories. Some of them, they probably don’t even remember. But have you ever thought about writing a memoir or an autobiography?
People ask me that a lot. I don’t know, you know, I write all the lyrics and melodies in this band and it’s pretty much my life is in there through the whole journey going on 23 years. So to write a book, I don’t know, I would have to craft it in a way to where it would be interesting to me, not just like road stories and stuff like that. But maybe. I gotta jump off soon because I gotta not only go to the restroom, I have to go get my son at camp.
Okay, one last question then real fast. So the Josh Todd of Slamhound and the Josh Todd today, what do you think is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned? What’s the biggest difference between you today at 50 and Josh Todd at 19 years old?
Wow. Uh, remain teachable, um, patience, that life is a journey, not a destination. Don’t get caught up in the little stuff, just stay focused on your outcome and put your best foot forward and prepare yourself for whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re prepared, wholeheartedly, like whatever you’re going to do as far as songwriting singing, performing, you know? I’m a businessman as well, this is a business and I’ve had to become a businessman as well. And that was a learning curve. And now I’m doing a pretty good job at it, but that was all stuff that I had to really focus on.
Absolutely. Well, I highly recommend everybody checks out your latest album, your ninth album, “Hellbound”. It’s a great, great album, “Guns” is one of my favorite songs, as I’m listening to the whole thing, it’s like, “Oh, this is my favorite. No, actually this might be my new favorite song on the album.”
It’s a really great record.
Thank you for joining us, Josh.
Thanks so much, Zach. And make sure you send whoever the list because I want to get it. They’ll get it to me.
Okay. Sounds good, man. Thank you.