I recently called up Fred Mascherino (ex-Taking Back Sunday, The Color Fred) to discuss his new band Terrible Things. See what Fred has to say about the current tour with Anberlin, the new record and future goals for Terrible Things.
Can you please introduce yourself and your role in Terrible Things?
I’m Fred Mascherino and I play guitar and sing in Terrible Things.
Who else is involved in Terrible Things? How did the project start?
The other two members are Andy Jackson and Josh Eppard. I was doing a solo tour with The Color Fred with me and my guitar and Andy was at the club in Montgomery, Alabama where he lives. He came up afterwards and we were talking, saying how he liked the songs and that we should play together sometime. Nothing too serious. I took his number and as soon as I got home I called him because I am big fan of him as well. So I called him and I sent him some demos I had of some new stuff and he was really into it. Pretty much when Andy got on-board things started moving really quickly. Andy is just a super positive guy and really motivational that it just started moving quick. Next thing we know Josh Eppard was playing with us too. When he was Coheed and Cambria I was a big fan of him so it was really cool. That is where we are at right now. Next thing we know we recorded an album and now we are on tour.
Can you tell me some information about the new record and what we can expect?
Yeah, the record is finally finished. We spent a good 6 months on it and recorded it down in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a concept record about a series of fires that happened in my hometown. In 08-09, there were almost 50 arson fires that pretty much terrorized our city and people were angry and also scared. I was getting emotional about it myself so I wrote a few songs about it thinking no one would ever hear it. After I had several written about it, you know, I started to turn it into something and Andy got in on it. He had a house fire in his apartment a couple years ago so he was relating to the whole thing. He lost all of his stuff in that fire. It was just by coincidence that we both felt strongly about this sort of fear and things like that. Once the 3 of us got into a room, we put together 15 songs and it’s done. The record comes out August 31.
So, you guys are happy with what you guys have put out on this record?
Oh man, this is the most proud I have ever been of something I have created. We did it exatly the way we wanted to. We were able to take our time and it wasn’t really about the budget. It was about getting it right. The drums are all really live and it’s not your typical drum replacing with samples that you get on a lot of records these days. It sounds like Josh playing in a room and it hits really hard. There are just lots of layers of guitars. It’s a normal rock record with two guitars, bass, drums and vocals. We have a song on there called “Conspiracy” that has a 124 tracks that we used. So, we went all out in different ways each time. We are super into it and super excited.
You guys are currently on tour with Anberlin and Story Of The Year. Even though last night was the first night of the tour, how is it going so far?
It has been awesome. I mean, Anberlin is right where we want to be. We are just starting out and getting the word out. But they are a band that has been around for years and is finally getting the success they deserve. It’s nice to pick their brains about we should do next and also try to win over their fans. There have been a lot of kids at the shows so far.
And you guys are playing Warped Tour, correct? Are you looking forward to that?
Right. We have a show with 30 Seconds To Mars then we are going out with The Offspring for a week. It’s sort of a different type of door compared to all of our backgrounds. We are just trying it all. At some points on the record, we allowed ourselves to get out of our comfort zone and try something new and that is also kind of what this Offspring tour is. It should be really good. It is a way for us to play out west.
What are some of your goals for Terrible Things?
Well, you know, a lot of people may think this is just a project or a “side” thing but it is very much our focus and what we would like to be doing for the next 10 years. So everything we do we keep in mind that we want this and we are making it our first priority over everything else and put in 110%. Of course, we have to have enough success to be able to continue and honestly, that is why we spent so much time on the record and we really think that other people will get excited when they hear it. Our goals are pretty much musical. Just play the best music we ever have. There is sort of a lack of popular bands that try and play their instruments well and we are just trying to do that. It is an uphill battle but we feel like we made something that people can get behind that also has some really cool playing. Josh does some insane grooves on the record. It gets a little technical toward the end. There is a song that is a bit Coheed-ish. For the most part, it is straight-ahead rock and there are guitar solos on half the songs. That is something you don’t really hear anymore. I feel confident saying that there is no one out there doing exactly what we are doing right now.
Where did the name “Terrible Things” come from?
It came from a song that I have. The lyrics in that song says “We are doing terrible things.” It is kind of fitting for what our record is about. The concept of the record is like “How did we get to this place?” Our world as we know it, my town, was out of control. One of the songs on there is called “Revolution” and the chorus is “This is not a revolution” and it’s just like “Where are we going?” and “How can we make things better?” It deals with a lot of the darker elements of the world. I always tend to have a positive take on things but Terrible Things went around all things I have experienced.
Any last words for our readers?
I encourage everyone to check out the record. Most of all, come to our live shows. This band is very old school in that we are going to try and put on the very best possible live shows. We will be meeting people afterwards. So come out not only to see the shows but to hang out also. It should be a really exciting year and I hope as many of you can come out as possible.