from the staunchly conservative town of Orem, Utah, The Used surmounted
homelessness, substance abuse and the closed-minded environs of
their hometown to become a band rock and roll just might need;
one that creates compelling, sincere music and performs it with
uncontrived style and verve live and on their debut album for
in LA at the home studio of producer John Feldmann and at London's
legendary Olympic Studios (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin),
it contains thirteen anthems and ballads that thrum with the intensity
of four guys who have sacrificed everything for one thing: music.
Their effort is conveyed in a spray of crashing rhythms, sublime
melodies, candid lyrics, dynamic vocals and, natch, big guitars.
self titled debut album The Used produced by Reprise Records,
has so far sold nearly 200,000 copies and counting. The band later
released Maybe Memories, a live album featuring the songs from
their self titled album along with a DVD with many features. They
released their second album In Love and Death, produced by Warner
Brothers, on September 28, 2004.
In 1997, Quinn
Allman, Jeph Howard, and Branden Steinecekert played together
in hopes of becoming a band. It later came to realization that
they needed a singer in order to get anywhere. Jeph then decided
to switch from bass, to vocals. After playing a couple of songs,
they noticed how horrible they sounded without a bassist. Jeph
then switched back to bass, and they decided to host auditions
in order to find the singer they wanted. What they did was have
a person sing while they played a random beat. After about 50
or so auditions, Bert McCracken, a classmate at Quinn's school
showed up and gave his performance. After the show, they knew
that he was the one they were looking for. They decided to call
him up, and asked him to join, which he did.
For The Used,
music transcends the Stepford-like surroundings of their youth.
"You're held down so long and told what to do," says
drummer Branden Steineckert. "You're supposed to fit in this
fuckin' mold all the time. Music is your one place to break out
and just say "fuck it all, do what you want, be the person
you are with no fuckin' rules."
And fuck it
all, they did. Relationships, day jobs and other responsibilities
were flushed. They survived, literally, on the kindness of strangers.
"We'd spend hours panhandling so we could eat and then we'd
bum rides to my brother's garage so we could practice," reveals
Steineckert, adding the lean times fortified friendships within
the band and creativity flourished in tandem. There was only one
The Used live
experience is indeed a visceral one. Every note, every scream
and every leap carries the possibility of a laceration or a contusion,
a lost shoe, a damaged instrument or worse: McCracken, who prowls
the stage singing and screaming as if jockeying for an aneurysm,
often drops chow. "Sometimes, there's no way in hell I can
keep it down," he laughs. "I just love to scream in
people's faces and sometimes it makes me puke."
calls it Bertie's Madness and, while revolting at face value,
there is no better example of The Used's ethic (giving everything
to the music). Are they the band rock and roll desperately needs?
We'll leave that for you to decide. Should you vote affirmative,
just know it's a mutual need, and The Used isn't taking anything
Te band is
Bert McCracken-vocals, Jeph Howard-bass, Branden Steineckert-drums,