It’s been forever since we’ve heard anything from The Used. These guys are all set to make a triumphant return to your eardrums on August 31st. Get ready! Their new album, Artwork is sure to deliver. Can’t wait a few more days? Well, you can stream their new album right now…before it even hits stores. Just head on over to their myspace page. In the meantime, check out my interview with drummer, Dan Whitesides.
The Used has been through a lot of changes recently ““ you’ve come in as the new drummer, there’s been some management changes, etc. How’s the overall vibe of the band these days? Feelin’ good?
Absolutely. I think we’re stronger than ever and that’s one of the main things that’s been so rad. We’re better friends now than ever and definitely stronger than ever in so many different ways, know what I mean? We’ve taken over our careers basically and everything that we do is all us. Like, with the firing of the management and the new producer and all that ““ we decided we wanted to take it all in our own hands and take it a little more seriously but also have fun in the process and that’s what we’re doing.
The Used’s new album, Artwork drops on August 31st. How would you sum it up? Is there a theme to it or is just a mix of everything?
I don’t think there’s a theme, but I do think that The Used is one of the most honest bands out there and I think that lyrically especially, Burt writes about things that happen in his life or just personal things…so every song definitely has that vibe to it. The cool thing about Artwork is that every song is different from the one before, but it all ties in together so well. You know, I listen to this album almost everyday”¦which is weird for me to listen to something I’ve recorded because I never do that. But, the album is a mixture of everything. It’s soft, it’s beautiful, it’s dirty, it’s poppy. I think The Used’s music has always been a little ahead of the curve.
Speaking of The Used’s music, it’s been a good amount of time since we’ve heard anything from the band. Why did you guys choose “Blood On My Hands” as the first song for fans to hear after all this time?
We just wanted to come out and blow the doors open. Like, here we are again! I think that’s the perfect song to do it to. There was no question on what it was going to be with anyone. As a band, we all decided, “Okay, we all wanna come out with ‘Blood On My Hands’ because it’s a pretty pissed song, it’s in your face, it’s heavy.” Everybody at the label agreed and said let’s do it. I think we made the right decision and it’s going over well.
How can Artwork be compared to the other albums from The Used?
Talking to everybody, I know there hasn’t been this much excitement about an album since the first self-titled album. I think we were really prepared when we were writing this album. Going into this studio, we were done writing pretty much…we just had to put some finishing touches on everything. With Lies for the Liars and In Love and Death, those were both written in the studio and they were kinda”¦well, not forced”¦because In Love and Death is one of my favorite albums. I think The Used Can write under any situation. This album in particular, the excitement around it and just wanting to do it and do it our way”¦that’s what it is.
The Used has always worked with producer John Feldmann in the past. This time, you guys worked with Matt Squire. What was it like?
Matt’s just laid back. The first time I met him he was wearing flip-flops, feet kicked up on the couch. Then we got to talking and the cool thing is that he’s from the DC area and kinda grew up playing with or in bands I was listening to when I was younger so I was excited about that. The main thing is, like I said, we went into the studio with this album almost done so we told Matt what we wanted and he just kinda facilitated that. I don’t know if he’d say the same thing, but I think it’s one of the easiest records he’s ever had to do. We were absolutely prepared and knew what we wanted.
Would you consider this album to be more mainstream than the previous albums?
I think it is whatever anyone wants to make it. To me, it takes me back to the first two records. I wouldn’t call The Used an underground band, but I wouldn’t call them Metallica either. The Used has always kinda been right in the middle. Whichever way it goes is fine with me. We wrote a record that we love and it takes me back to the beginning of the band for sure.
You guys are doing a show for first 400 fans who pre-ordered the new album”¦
Yeah, we wanted to do something special for the fans. We’re doing a lot of that with this record. We’re having a Twitter release party. We’re constantly doing things for the fans so that’s the reason we did it, really. We wanna go and play small and more intimate shows. Seeing the fans on that level is way better than seeing someone in like a stadium or something like that. It sounds a lot better and the vibe is a lot cooler. We’re just trying to give things back to the fans and it makes things fun for us, too. It mixes things up so it’s good.
Anything else to add?
If you dig us, come see us play. We’re going to be on tour a lot this year. Check out our tour dates!