Meet Francis Ruiz and Kelly Lemieux on episode 148 of the podcast. Francis plays drums and Kelly plays bass for the band Buckcherry, and they had a day off to talk about touring the world and keeping rock and roll alive. Both Francis and Kelly are relatively new members of the band, but Buckcherry has been going strong since 1995 and shows no signs of slowing down. Francis talks more about what led him to become a drummer, and Kelly reveals how he got involved with School of Rock.
Jeff: I want to thank you guys so much for joining me on the show, and I want to start kind of in the present as we're recording right now, but we'll get into the future because as we're recording this right now, you guys are currently on tour on the Warpaint Tour. How is that going? How is the Buckcherry fans digging you guys?
Francis Ruiz: It's cool. I think we're about 87 shows, I think, right about now in already since just this year, since January.
Kelly LeMieux: I don't count.
Jeff: I wouldn't either.
Francis Ruiz: No, we weren't counting. We kind of did a count for some reason that-
Kelly LeMieux: Somebody did it the other day, it was at 81 but that was like six shows ago.
Francis Ruiz: Yeah. So we're just hitting it hard everywhere and we're already booked into December so we're not even halfway done. By the end of this year it's going to be, we're going to-
Kelly LeMieux: We're like half way through this tour right now, which started in March.
Francis Ruiz: Yeah.
Jeff: Oh Gosh.
Kelly LeMieux: Right?
Francis Ruiz: [crosstalk 00:01:01].
Kelly LeMieux: No, actually yeah, we're getting towards the backside.
Francis Ruiz: Second leg of the US tour and we've already done UK and Europe already earlier this year. We're going to be going back there later in this year and Japan and Australia in September.
Kelly LeMieux: Yeah, I think so.
Jeff: Yeah, yeah. So I saw your tour dates that you guys are going to Japan, you guys are going to the UK. I love asking this question for bands that tour the world like you guys, is it a different response in different countries? Cause I've heard mixed reactions from other musicians that I've talked to. Do you get a larger response say in Japan than you do in the UK? Is there a place that is way crazier than just playing in the States?
Kelly LeMieux: South America is way crazier, Argentina, and that's just from past experience with other bands that I've played in. They will yell so loud that it is almost overpowering the PA sometimes. One of my old bands had a song with horns at the beginning, it was very...and we didn't bring horns on that tour because it's expensive, and they were yelling out the horn lines louder than the actual...we were like just with our mouths open like...what the fuck?
Jeff: That's crazy.
Kelly LeMieux: South Americans definitely go nuts.
Francis Ruiz: They're used to doing all those soccer chants.
Kelly LeMieux: Yeah, "ole, ole, ole, ole." You just start that and let them go and then you can just...it's total pandering.
Francis Ruiz: Yeah.
Jeff: One of the things that I've noticed myself is watching countless live performances of my favorite acts in different countries and stuff like that and talking to musicians like yourself, that tour the world is that it seems to be going to live music in other countries is an experience, where we are kind of passe about it in the States now. Do you guys feel that way?
Francis Ruiz: Well, I mean America is oversaturated with everything, people are all over the place.
Jeff: There's too much to do.
Francis Ruiz: But that's not to say that people still love going to live shows, every one of our shows has been just-
Kelly LeMieux: Even if they're prerecorded tracks-
Francis Ruiz: No, are shows aren't.
Kelly LeMieux: [inaudible 00:03:18].
Francis Ruiz: Sounds tracks.
Kelly LeMieux: I'm just saying.
Francis Ruiz: We don't use any triggering, any sampling, any tracks.
Kelly LeMieux: Which is another conversation.
Francis Ruiz: Yes. So our shows completely live and that's one thing that the bands always pride themselves on, and it's great, but the thing is the interaction between the fans and the band at our shows, the energy is always up there, everybody's always having a great time. You don't get a bunch of wallflowers that are just sitting there just kind of like zombies watching the show, which is great.
Kelly LeMieux: Although, not to interrupt, but I will say some cities are just more excitable than other cities. It doesn't even have to do with countries, I don't think.
Kelly LeMieux: It just depends on that particular city cause...shit, where were we just at? We were just in Illinois, where was that at a couple of months...yeah, and the crowd.
Francis Ruiz: Champagne?
Kelly LeMieux: Champagne, and that's just it, yeah. It makes it a little easier too when the crowds, they kind of lift you up a little bit more. Yeah, but I would say the city differs also just as much from country to country. Japan is kind of a trip, they're awesome when you're playing. They're loud, they're going and then as soon as you stop playing they just get quiet and they listen, they're like...a little disconcerting if you don't know to expect it.
Francis Ruiz: Yeah.
Jeff: That's so weird. It's so cool to hear too because I mean especially coming from you guys, because I mean talking with a band like Buckcherry, you guys bring it every single night no matter what. So it's impossible like you said to be a wallflower, I mean you're not going to go to a Buckcherry show and just sit there like that, that's impossible. And it's also cool because I'm talking to the rhythm section here and you guys keep that pocket like no other, I got to commend you for it, especially in your live performances. It's just so amazing to behold. Is there, with this tour that you guys are on right now, is there a moment in the set that's your favorite that you can't wait to get to every night? Or is it always different?
Francis Ruiz: For me, well we do a different set every night.
Francis Ruiz: There's the core songs that have to be in the set every night, because if we don't play-
Kelly LeMieux: Now for eight records, certain songs you have to play.
Francis Ruiz: Yeah. We'll get lynched at after the show if we don't play certain songs, but I mean, the set changes every night but it always has the same type of flow. I mean, it just rolls really naturally, it's constructed to where it stays energetic. We have the ballads in there.
Kelly LeMieux: You got the ups and the ups and the downs in the backup again and then little bit backside mellow and then tongue-in-cheeky towards the end and then you "Crazy Bitch" on them, and then-
Francis Ruiz: Yeah, so there's no low point in the set for me, and I think for the audience too, everybody's full of energy the entire time.
Kelly LeMieux: Ironically there's a couple of...I was just thinking about it last night. But last night, because we just did three in a row, and like I said, we've been out for a while and I'm usually like Johnny up time and let's do this, and even when I'm tired I'm like that. But I was actually, when we got to "Sorry," towards the backside of the set, I was like, I think I'm just going to chill out physically for a moment here and just save it up because...
Kelly LeMieux: But yeah, it was pretty funny last night I actually got to the song and I was like, "I'm kind of fucking tired. Holy shit. I'm getting old."
Jeff: Oh man.
Kelly LeMieux: Usually, but you know, like I said, it's, it was, we just know it was like three of three in a row and we've been going hard.
Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, you guys are touring constantly. You're, you're in...like I said, you bring it every single night.
Francis Ruiz: It, you have to.
Jeff: You have to.
Kelly LeMieux: Nobody buys records anymore! So you have to go sing for your supper.
Jeff: It's true. It's true. But you actually mentioned it, I mean, we're all getting older unfortunately. And now that you guys are out on the road so much, do you have anything that you do to, to, to keep up and stay active? Do, do you like or do you just let it go every single night?
Francis Ruiz: Hmm, well, I mean every, everybody kind of has their own sort of things that they do, which consist of, you know, everybody exercises. Everybody has their own little exercising thing. I stretch for about an hour, a good hour and a half before I play every night out of necessity. It's, it's like if, you know, I have to do that. And the other guys, like today we have a day off, so everybody's hitting the gym at one point or another. Guys meditate. And yeah, just basically just take care of ourselves, you know? It's like...
Kelly LeMieux: We did a lot of walking...
Francis Ruiz: Eat right, and...
Kelly LeMieux: Francis and I, we go hit all the like...how far away is this touristy...I started doing touristy stuff since he got in the band.
Francis Ruiz: And of course a lot of coffee.
Jeff: Yeah, right?
Kelly LeMieux: So, we do a lot of like, you know, check your health out. Oh, it says we're at 3.4 miles. It's like just grandpa shit like that. We're mall walkers.
Jeff: Hey, you got two though. You got it. Like I said, if you guys are bringing it as hard as you do every single night, the 4,000 shows a year, however many you're going to like, get to that count. I mean like you got to take care of yourself. I mean you can't just, you can't, you're not going to be able to make it. Like, and that's what
Kelly LeMieux: You can't beat yourself up. Especially, I mean, maybe if you're in your 20's. I beat myself up pretty good, but you bounce back really quick. Now, it's just like, I've been drinking for 14 years just because I was getting, I was getting three day hangovers, man.
Jeff: I hear ya.
Kelly LeMieux: I'm just like, "what?"
Jeff: I hear ya.
Kelly LeMieux: So I was just like, "I got to stop drinking, this is like..."
Francis Ruiz: Yeah, I think we all did our fair share of beating ourselves up when you can't do that your whole life.
Kelly LeMieux: No, you can't, not and be consistent. A lot of those guys that do that, like they just, they don't look so great and we're all too vain.
Jeff: I love it. I love it. I love it. Well, I, and I kind of want to now go even farther back and I want to start with you, Kelly. Like, you know, you were touring the world. We're talking about how just amazing it is to be in Buckcherry. But go all the way back with you Kelly, when...where did it start for you? When did you pick up the bass? When did you, what inspired you to say I want to actually become a musician?
Kelly LeMieux: Man.
Kelly LeMieux: Really actually, I was really young. My...and I don't play piano, but there's pictures of me. My mom said they bought me like this, like Wally Gator piano or something like some those little...and I think I was like three years old and my mom said I would sit in front of that thing and just, "Pling, pling, pling, pling,pling" for hours, and when I was around five, they tried to give me guitar lessons and they'd do like the, "oh we're teaching the Suzuki Method." And I'm like, "man, I can't even spell Suzuki" and it's really boring, and you're like trying to play Pauly Wally crappy or whatever song they give you. And it just didn't stick with me, and then I was always into sports and I hit this...
Kelly LeMieux: I never, and I always wanted to play bass. I never wanted to play guitar. I play guitar now, but strictly out of necessity. But I always wanted to play bass. And I remember as a little kid going into this in music store back then was like records, eight tracks, and cassettes. That's how old I am. And then they would have guitars hanging on the wall, too. So you go look at like, "Ooh, that Kiss record looks pretty cool." And then I'd go, you know, they'd hang on the wall the little guitars and stuff and you go "plink, plink" on the guitar. Then I remember walking up to the bass and hit the big string and it would go hit it and then like the windows would rattle just from the vibration of the bass, like completely au-naturale with no electricity or amplification. And I just remember thinking, "Oh fuck yeah, that's what I want to do, I want to play bass."
Kelly LeMieux: And then on top of that, you know, when as a little kid I was a big Kiss fan Kiss "Alive!" one was like my Bible.
Kelly LeMieux: Know what I mean? It's like, [inaudible 00:12:02] if I could only have one Kiss record, that's it Kiss "Alive!" one. I mean all the other, there's all bunch of other great stuff, but that for me is like my nostalgia trip. Anyways, I just remember hearing all the gene Simmons "boroo, boroo," like all those crazy bass slides and I was just like, "yep, yep." You know the "prrdoo, prrdoo." I just remember always listening to that going, "Oh yeah, that's the one with the big strength, that's my jam."
Kelly LeMieux: And then when I was in...seventh or eighth grade, I knew a dude who knew two other dudes who played and like the drummer was already like playing in cover bands at like 15 at night. His parents would let him go play with these, you know, 20 somethings and then the guitar player was just like, you know, little kid prodigy dude who was a year younger, he was like 13, 12, 13. And his Dad, they started taking lessons at the same time. And his dad had a brand new Ibanez Roadster and a Roland cube 60 amp that he...and he took like one lesson and went, "yeah, I can't do this." I then I was like, "hey man, I was like, I'm a bass player." I think I took one lesson once because my parents felt guilty because we moved from Minnesota to Oregon. They bought me a mini bike and I was like, I almost like killed myself three times. I was like, "no, no." And I played football at a young age so I was used to getting hammered. I was like, "I'm going to die on this thing."
Kelly LeMieux: So anyways, they gave me one bass lesson I think they tried to, you know, it was like, "I want you to learn 'Surrender', by Cheap Trick."
Kelly LeMieux: And...or "I Want you to Want Me" one of those. And this kid was like, Tony Waters was like, "Hey man, I know these two other dudes and there's an amp and a bass" and basically the guitar player showed me where to put my fingers and I figured it out.
Kelly LeMieux: And here I am.
Jeff: Was it from that point on, you wanted to do this as a living or did that?
Kelly LeMieux: Not only that, I came back from my eighth grade to my freshman year and so we had gotten to the point where we had progressed and actually played the Oregon State Fair. Like were kind of like, I didn't realize it until I got older, but I was like, "wow, we were kind of bad asses."
Kelly LeMieux: Like I didn't really, it's just, we just did what we did. And we played the Oregon State Fair and I missed...for going into a new school. I went from Parish to North Salem in Salem, Oregon and I didn't like the coaches and everybody grew, man, they were all like fucking five inches taller than me and new coaches. I was like, "fuck these putos" and I went and just was like, I was going to, I told my mom like, "I'm dropping out, I'm pursuing music." My mom was like, "you're not fucking dropping out of shit." She's all, "you're going to fricking graduate, it's three more years, four more years of your life" I was a freshmen. Also, my freshman year was my big fuck up here. I managed to get my shit together and played football until the end of the season and did music at the same time. But yeah, after that I was like, this is all I'm doing.
Jeff: That's excellent.
Kelly LeMieux: And I mean, I wasn't growing. I wasn't going to be a pro football player. I wasn't going to grow anymore.
Jeff: Right, right. No, that's excellent, though.
Kelly LeMieux: No, yeah, I was just like, "okay, this is way less painful physically."
Jeff: It's true, it's definitely true.
Kelly LeMieux: Anyway, sorry for the long run.
Jeff: No, that's exactly what I wanted. That's exactly what I wanted. It's so I'm going to throw it to you Francis, same question. Like, what made you pick up the sticks? Like what influenced you to do that?
Francis Ruiz: Well actually, sorry.
Kelly LeMieux: He's been smoking a bunch of crack.
Jeff: That's all right, it's all right.
Kelly LeMieux: That's really the secret.
Jeff: It's the crack.
Francis Ruiz: Now you know, my uncle is a drummer and was a drummer, great drummer. And you know, he kind of like, I got turned onto it early on from him and he like gave me a snare drum and he was, he didn't want to let me sit on the whole kit. He was like, "here's what you get first." And he goes, "learn your way around that and then I'll start teaching you some other stuff." And I was like, "Oh, cool." You know, but even before that, we used to have these, those 50 gallon metal drums at my grandparents house that,
Kelly LeMieux: Oh, the oil drums?
Francis Ruiz: One of those...one was full of like rice, the other one was full of beans or whatever, flour in another one and stuff like that. So they're all at different levels. So they all had different, you know, pitches and I used to sit in there just banging away on those things like crazy and just coming up with stuff I didn't know at that point that I wanted to be a drummer, it's just something that I did. It was just something that I...I guess found natural with. The thing that got me into that wanted me to make me want to be a musician was I actually saw...
Kelly LeMieux: Chicks?
Francis Ruiz: No, no. Some bands that's their entire motivation.
Kelly LeMieux: That was not the motivation, that was not mine. I can honestly say that.
Francis Ruiz: Yeah.
Kelly LeMieux: Always, anyways...
Francis Ruiz: no, I saw this band at my sister's high school talent show and the guitar player just came out and he was ripping, he did like the Star Spangled Banner and then he ripped into Mr. Crowley. And the band just blew me away. I mean, I was like floored. I was like, "Oh my God." It was like so...it did something inside of me that that just made me, "I want to do that" you know? And for a second I thought I wanted to play guitar because that's what kind of gave me that feeling in the first place. But I just went to where I was supposed to be and play drums it's a...Plus, everybody in my neighborhood bought guitars. So it's like if we ever wanted to be in a band, we couldn't be in a band with five guys with guitar and no drummer and no bass player because everybody just wanted to play guitar.
Kelly LeMieux: I actually helped open the Portland school of rock music like 12 years ago, whatever it was. And they did the first bootcamp and it was one of those things where Carl who ran the school came up to me he goes, "Hey man, can you recruit?" So everybody was a guitar player or a singer. There was like three drummers and one bass player. And he goes, "can you recruit some of these guys, girls just get them to doing that?" And I basically just like, they're all like, at that point there were all like boys and they were teenage ages and I remember...
Josh: [inaudible 00:18:33].
Kelly LeMieux: Could you hear that?
Francis Ruiz: That's Josh in the...
Kelly LeMieux: It's called the peanut gallery...the peanut gallery.
Francis Ruiz: He's done shaving his legs so he's going to come out now.
Kelly LeMieux: I just remember like looking at those, looking at them going like, "Hey man, how many drummers did you see?" And they're like, "three." I'm going, "how many bass players do you count?" There was one girl with her bass on waiting to go play with it, you know? And they're like, "one." And I'm like, "how many guitar players do you see?" And they're like, "twenty." I'm like, "who do you think is going to be playing the most?" And I can see the little itty bitty light bulb go, "bing".
Kelly LeMieux: And then I went, "Hey, I put a guitar on I had a Marshall I had a little Marshal and a 412 there. And I'm all stood on, this was all like I said, all like teenage 13 to 15 year old, whatever. And I sit on that guitar cabinet, I hit a G chord or played some ACDC rep and I'm like, "cool, now sit on that base cabinet." Pull the base out, "bwaam, bwaam, bwaam." And I went, "which cabinet do you think the girls want to sit on?"
Kelly LeMieux: And I recruited like three bass players right there.
Jeff: I bet. I bet. You brought it up and I actually was going to ask about this. I wanted to talk about that school that you started. How did you, how did that even, was that an idea that you had, like how did that start?
Kelly LeMieux: I knew the...
Kelly LeMieux: Carl Hines, who was a buddy of mine from Portland and he hit me up and when I was in my old band, we weren't touring at the time. My...I was living in LA, but my family, I'm originally from Oregon and they live in Oregon and Vancouver, Washington and it's just like right across the river and he said, "Hey man..." he was buddies with Paul Green, the original [inaudible 00:20:28] from Philly originally. And he's actually got the...he opened a school just across the river now. He actually climbed the ranks all the way to like the number two dude there anyways, at school of rock.
Kelly LeMieux: But he's got another school, Hammersmith, a rock Academy across it. And I still work there sometimes and it's really fun working with kids. It's a trip when they get those like light bulb moments or they'll like figure something out and go like, "Oh shit, yeah okay" or just they'll...it's pretty cool.
Kelly LeMieux: But anyways, he asked me to do it and I had time and it was hard work. The boot camps are gnarly. I mean, because it's like, it is just like crushing on your ears. Like, you can run them, you put them...you group them up in little bands like, "okay you guys are doing "TNT", you guys are doing "Suffragette City" like whatever you're doing." That's the boot camps, when they do the school, they do a show at the end of each semester. Every school has to do "The Wall", Pink Floyd "The Wall" from beginning to end.
Kelly LeMieux: It's crazy. So it's just like, even for like me, I'm just like, "Oh, hell I got to learn all these songs?"
Kelly LeMieux: So, like the Sabbath where I did...I ended up doing the Sabbath one, which is, you really realize how difficult some of that stuff is because it's not verse, chorus, verse. Like, what is the chorus in a Black Sab- okay, "I am iron man" the obvious ones, but when you get into like all these esoteric jams and stuff, it's just like for like a bunch of young kids, let alone a bunch of adults, you know what I mean? It's like you really got to work, you got to work those dudes and sometimes you got to make adjustments and go, we're only going to do this part six times guys, or whatever it is. But yeah, it's hard work, man, it's hard. But the kids bust their ass and they love it.
Jeff: It's so, so cool that something like that exists in the world for the younger generation because I mean, you know, rock and roll needs to be for everybody, you know? And it's just, it's so rad that, that you're a part of that. Did you ever see yourself as a teacher? Did, was that something that you just kind of fell into or were you, did you always look for that kind of outlet?
Kelly LeMieux: No, if it was the school of jazz, I wouldn't be there.
Kelly LeMieux: The School of Rock. They tapped me for, you know, many different angles. You know, they'll [inaudible 00:22:56] I don't know. \.
Kelly LeMieux: It's like a, it's like a magpie chirping every now and again.
Kelly LeMieux: What's the question?
Jeff: I was just saying, if you ever saw yourself as a teacher because it's just so rad that you're a part of it?
Kelly LeMieux: No, but I mean they like, like I can answer them like one of my biggest things to the kids is obviously...I have a saying, "you can't fake calluses."
Jeff: That's true.
Kelly LeMieux: So, if you want to really, really pursue it, you got to do it. You can't just like, you know, you're not going to just going to like end up on stage in front of a bunch of people, like having people hand you fucking money or whatever, whatever your concept of it. You have to do it because you love music.
Kelly LeMieux: Also, the other thing I say is "you're only on stage for maybe, depending on who you are, an hour to two hours at a time. The rest of the times hang time, man." You're a pain in the ass and a nightmare to get along with? "Move along sucker." The guy that's not quite as good as you, but is fun to be around his going to get the gig.
Jeff: Yeah, that's good advice. That's very, it's very true.
Kelly LeMieux: But yeah, no, I didn't see myself as a teacher.
Jeff: But I'm so glad that you are because like I said, it's so great that something like that is out there and that you're a part of it and I just think that's...
Kelly LeMieux: It's pretty, awesome and at the end of the day I get to give the kids back.
Jeff: Exactly, that's the best part, that's the best part.
Francis Ruiz: It's cool, we see a lot of like really young kids showing up to our shows...
Kelly LeMieux: Even meet and greets...
Francis Ruiz: ...And the meet and greets. There a little dudes that they're, they're like, "yeah, I play guitar." You know, and you're like, "what kind of guitar do you have?" He's like, "electric." You know, they're just starting now but they're like fully into it, you know? And, and it's cool to see that still happening. You know, it's...
Kelly LeMieux: There was that little kid Oh, what's his name? I forget his name.
Francis Ruiz: Dallas.
Kelly LeMieux: No, no, no the little dude yesterday! He was in the front row. You couldn't see, he was in the back. He was in the front row and I was playing and I saw him and I looked at him, him and his dad, because they were at the meet and greet. And he totally gave me one of these.... probably like seven or eight years old, nine maybe?
Francis Ruiz: It's just a trip when you think that we could possibly...one night of us playing could be that moment that we had when we saw whoever it was that inspired you know? [inaudible 00:25:22].
Kelly LeMieux: Van Halen on "Fair Warning."
Francis Ruiz: Van Halen or Kiss or any of those people. It doesn't really matter who it is. It's like people get that "aha!" moment and they want to do it. So it's a weird concept to think that your show that one night might be that "aha!" moment for some little kid. And that's another reason why you have to be really enthusiastic every night. You can't go through the motions and because for some of these people it's the biggest night of their life. Some people travel across the country just to come to catch one show.
Kelly LeMieux: Or fly across the ocean.
Francis Ruiz: Or across the ocean and for a lot of people it's their first time seeing the band and it's just every night counts as much as the next, it's cool.
Jeff: Yeah, and...
Kelly LeMieux: Going back to like the original...you're talking about. I remember being a kid and going to my first concert. And it was...headlining was Ted Nugent.
Jeff: Oh, the "Nuge."
Kelly LeMieux: It was his...right after he found out that, what his management company Krebs and whatever Leber and Krebs like completely bankrupted him by investing in mink factories or whatever it was. So he was doing that Intensity's in 10 cities tour and there was this dude who I'd heard of who used to be the singer for this band, Montrose. And I'm like, "Oh, I remember, okay, I know Montrose." It was this guy named Sammy Hagar opening for him. And I remember going and my uncle took me to the show with a couple of my buddies actually when he came to the Portland show, one of my oldest friends from middle school and high school.
Kelly LeMieux: And I remember watching Sammy Hagar and I was just like...I had so many little kid epiphanies. And one of them was like that moment where you know when the music shuts off and then the lights go down and there's that whole like "waaaaah" and the crowd starts getting amped up man. I still love that, still one of my favorite feelings.
Jeff: That's awesome.
Kelly LeMieux: And I remember that happening and Hagar came out and he had this black strap with a mirrored pick guard and I was...and the spotlights would hit that and it was like a fucking beam of light. And I just remember being a little kid, I was like 13, 12, 13 whatever. It's like almost simultaneously to me picking up an instrument. And I just remember going like, "Oh fuck, that is the coolest. I'm going to do that when I get older. And I totally did I got to put a mirrored pick guard on a bass [inaudible 00:28:00].
Kelly LeMieux: But then, going back to what you're talking about not faking it. Ted Nugent came up, boy talk about deflated.
Kelly LeMieux: I was just like, "fuck, this guy." I went home, I kept...and I still have them, I kept "Free for All" and I kept "Double Live Gonzo!" And I traded, I think, a couple of Nuge records and maybe a poster for like Iron Maiden, "Maiden Japan."
Francis Ruiz: Yeah.
Kelly LeMieux: And I think I had some big Rush wall posters and I later traded for probably something Iron Maiden or Motley Crue later on. But anyways, that was like, I remember that as a kid. I remember thinking, wow, Ted Nugent sucks. Sammy Hagar smoked him and I was, that was my first concert. You kind of got to go out and kick ass every night, cause people know when you're faking it.
Jeff: Totally, and that's why, again, bringing it full circle back to what you guys do every single night. Buckcherry is consistently rock and roll in your face from the first note you played to the last night you play. And that's why you guys are so amazing to see live. And I tell all of my viewers and listeners to obviously go out and see you guys on tour. And you can, and you know you're not faking it. You guys enjoy being on stage, it shows in the way that you play and that you, just, the love of that music and that seven year old in the front row, who's giving you the horns, like he's going to tell that story when he's a rock star in 20 years, you know? Like, and that's what's so rad about it. And that brings me to what the question I get to on this show, and I want you both to answer it, but I'm going to start with you Francis.
Jeff: Through your career, up until this point in everything that you've been able to do with it and the incredible work you do on the drums, what fuels your passion to keep going? What fuels you to keep doing the best that Francis can do?
Francis Ruiz: Well, I mean, that in itself it's just like anything that I do I try to do my best. You know it's that sense of putting everything that I have into everything that I do is my payoff. You know what I mean? It's like, I don't like feeling like, you know, I was never one of those guys that was happy getting a C minus, you know, in the school I wanted everything to be an A plus.
Francis Ruiz: It's just that, besides just the power of the music, when you're playing, a lot of times people don't have that part of their day or whatever where they are just in the moment. You know, everybody's always thinking about things that they have to do tomorrow, things that happened yesterday, things that happened an hour ago and stuff like that. It's one of those things that when you're playing you're right there in all your presence.
Kelly LeMieux: You have to be, you have to be in the moment.
Francis Ruiz: And it's just the best feeling...I don't know if anything compares to that, you know what I mean? It's cool. It's...and just that feeling it's worth...And like Kelly was saying, sometimes you only get 20 minutes on stage, maybe you get two hours, maybe three hours if you're Paul McCartney or you know? But [crosstalk 00:31:31] you know, it's, but that time is your time and it's worth it. Just the feeling that you get is worth all the stuff that you have to do just to get that one hour or 30 minutes or whatever you get, you know?
Francis Ruiz: Which is another reason why it doesn't make any sense to me when people go up there and they don't put everything that they have into it. Because it's like you do so much work just to get that, that little spot on stage that why would you go through the motions? It's like, it makes all your work and time and years that you put into it and all of the sacrifices that you make kind of not valid because you're not fully embracing that pay off right then to there. That just, that keeps me going. You know, the love of it. Finding people that feel the same way because it's synergistic, you know? And it's like when everybody's in that same element, it's just unbeatable, unstoppable. It's great.
Jeff: That's awesome. That is, that's really awesome. Same question for you, Kelly. What fuels you to, what fuels your passion? What fuels you to keep getting on stage and keep doing it?
Kelly LeMieux: You know, it's like actually Josh our singer says, "we're all lifers, man." I'm a lifer. This is like all I've ever wanted to do since I discovered it. There is something about the buzz from playing, just the natural high you get being on stage. It just feels, it's funny because I still get all kind of a little like, "Oh, we're going to go on." I'm stressed out a little bit. I still get that...obviously I'm calm because I've done it a gazillion times, but there's still that weird, I still get that nervous energy and I'm really grateful for that. I just think also, reputation's really a fragile thing, man. And if you fuck your reputation up as a player, as a person, as a musician or you know, whatever, it's like, what do you fucking got? You know?
Kelly LeMieux: It's bad, you already got enough strikes going, "Oh well you do for a living?"
Kelly LeMieux: "I'm a professional musician." You know what I mean? So, to actually like be a shitty one, why would you want that?
Francis Ruiz: Yeah and you know and also what I didn't say is the creative part of it. It's like if you're a creative person at all, it's like you have to have that creative outlet. I'm constantly doing something, if I'm not playing, I'm painting or drawing or something, I have to have that creative outlet. And if I don't, it's like, I don't even know what to do with myself. So you have to have a place to focus that energy that you have and it's just part of who you are.
Kelly LeMieux: Yeah, I'm not going to do it selling shoes, that's for sure.
Jeff: Well, I mean, you both...you both are totally fucking inspiring. And it really is...it's, I think it's a rarity for people in this day and age who have had the careers like you guys have had, to still love it like the first day you've ever stepped foot on stage. And like I said, it shows. Just talking with you guys it shows, but seeing you guys on stage at 100% the entire band, it just seems like it is the most fun ever to be in Buckcherry. So finally, for my viewers and listeners, like I said this podcast will probably be premiering when you guys are in the UK or in Japan around that point. So we're going to push them all to that as well.
Jeff: But what is the best way outside of Buckcherry and all of the social media for the band, what is the best way to follow your guys' journey? Do you guys social media at all? Is there anything that you'd want to throw out there?
Francis Ruiz: Yeah, I mean we were both on Instagram. Mine is FrancisRuizdrums, that's Instagram. And it's just my name Francis Ruiz on Facebook. So you know, we post all the time so definitely go add people there, follow. He's, he's on boat too. You can give your...
Kelly LeMieux: yeah, I'm LemieuxKelly on Instagram and Facebook is a chore for me.
Jeff: Me too.
Francis Ruiz: Well luckily they're linked now. So, it's like anything you post on Instagram shows up on Facebook anyway.
Kelly LeMieux: I have all mine set to private so I got to okay everyone because some people don't know how to play nice and you can't really crawl through the camera and punch somebody in the nose, so.
Jeff: We don't have that technology yet.
Kelly LeMieux: Faceslap.
Kelly LeMieux: Punch you in the Facebook, that's what I'm starting. Punch you in the Facebook.
Jeff: I will join, I will join that.
Kelly LeMieux: [inaudible 00:36:31].
Jeff: I love it, I love it. Well I'll put all that information in this show. Obviously all the links to Buckcherry as well. I can't thank you guys enough for taking time and talking with me. It really was awesome to talk with you guys and just hear how excited you are every single day. And I'm glad that you've had a day off due to get the chance to talk to me because you guys are going to just, I feel like this will be your last day off for, I don't know, seven years.
Kelly LeMieux: Hell, we don't even know where we are.
Kelly LeMieux: Everybody's going to go, "where are we?" We're in a parking lot at a hotel. There's a mall over there.
Kelly LeMieux: Careful what you wish for, kids. You just might get it.