The Used


Still sad, happy, heartbroken people

31 Jan 2005

When Orem, Utah four-piece The Used smashed their way into the rock mainstream with 2002's self-titled release, they were a band that had everything to gain.

Their melodic, hardcore rock sound was almost Freudian in its distillation of small town close-mindedness. Quickly establishing themselves as a live force, The Used set out to conquer the world. And they did.

We landed a few minutes with drummer Branden Steineckert to get up close and personal to the Used in 2005. With a new single and top ten album ('In Love And Death'), had major label success, and the loss of a close friend, dampened their fire.

Coming out of nowhere with your 2002 debut it was almost the archetypical sound of a young band breaking free of small town constraints. Obviously, a lot of people could relate. So how have things changed for the band since then?

Well, of course life has changed in every way in these last few years.

We've been around the world and experienced different cultures, been around all kinds of different bands and artists. It's been very influential. But, we are still just people.

And how has the message on "In Love and Death" reflected that?

We can be sad, happy, angry, heartbroken...we're still human. Our songs are written from a human angle that I think most people could relate to.

How was it recording with John Feldmann again the second time around?

It was great, he's like family. Along with family relationships there can be tension. This time around we really stood our ground on what we wanted, which would create tension off and on. The first time was just so exciting and we had our songs written and ready. But it was a great time, it all worked out in the end.

Were you influenced by much new music when writing for the new record?

I know we each were listening to tons of new shit as well as old classics. I personally was listening to a lot of Head Automatica and Muse while we made the record. One of the two were in my car driving to the studio everyday.

The new single 'Take It Away' is a definite progression in sound, with its minimal use of electronics. Do you see that element as a natural progression for the band?

Well, it was just kind of a snowball idea. It started one way and changed and changed into what it is. We're not afraid to try new things so I think taking a chance here or there is very natural and to be somewhat expected from us.

How's the UK leg of your tour been?

It's been incredible, the shows have gone off great! The fans have been so energetic. This was our best experience here so far.

You're known as a great live band. When it came to record the new album did this influence the recording process, or did you want to make a distinction between the studio and live arena?

Well, they are totally different worlds to us. We love to dive in really deep when recording and not be afraid of using different instruments or layering certain things. But live we just love it to be raw and in your face.

The records are more comfortable to listen to over and over. Live is visual as well, its a should be treated as one.

You're playing a bunch of shows across the European mainland this week and then get a couple of weeks off. Is it important to get a bit of downtime or would you prefer to keep up the momentum?

Downtime keeps momentum from burning out. It's crucial to step away now and then. That way you can really appreciate and enjoy the tours. It keeps it more honest. Otherwise you'll get tired and be doing it for the wrong reasons.

How was the recent Projekt Revolution tour?

It was work, playing for new crowds that we've never been exposed to. It was a good experience for us, but I enjoy playing for our own crowds more.

And did you catch much downtime with Snoop?

Zero, he had a daily police escort take his bus straight to stage then usually left right afterwards.

Can you give us a heads up on the forthcoming Taste Of Chaos festival, which kicks off next month?

Yeah, the line up is insane. This show is going to be so good.

Also, I'm going to have a booth for my new skateboard company - Twenty Twenty. I'm excited, I'll be selling my decks the whole tour along with some apparel.

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