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  -  Used, The - 05.25.07 (http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=240077)

Melissa Johnson 05/25/07 06:32 PM

Used, The - 05.25.07
 
A few weeks ago I had the chance to get a call from Quinn of The Used to discuss the new album, touring, and other things with the band. Thanks to Karri from Total Assault for setting the interview up, Quinn from taking time out of his day at home to chat, and all of the users who submitted questions for the interview.

This is the third album the band has put out, and with each one the sound shifts into a different direction than the last. What sort of things influence these changes and what were the influences that brought the sound of this release?
Well, let me think just coming to adjust to what more of life is all about - like friends and family, things that are tangible, things that are intangible, and things you can't run from, things you can't hide from, things that are true to you and just realizing it. Personally, I think each individual in the band has reached their own personal understanding, their place, their content, and being okay with who they are and with the four of us, and with family and relationships. It's a lot of things, it's difficult to put it at one thing.

What sort of process did you guys go about with recording? Did you enter the studio, and everything was built upon, or did you enter in with the songs ready in mind?
A lot of what we do and the way that things happen is that I'll come in with sketches of ideas, and I probably had about 100 different sketches I'd guess on my 8-track; basically a rift here, a chord progression here, another here, random things. What I'll do is just sit around and come up with a small idea and put some drums to it and put some bass to it, put some chords behind it and try to record it just like that. Then I'll come in with a bunch of these smaller recordings and demos. At the time we didn't go in with Branden, we decided to move away from going forward with Branden this time because it was kind of starting to complicate things. He was sort of preoccupied with other things at the time and what the four of us needed to do was get together and it was more about like, for him it was just complicating the process of getting in there working; it was more like he was committing for what we were trying to do and I just wanted to get in there and do it and was ready. So we just got together in the studio and I played Bert a few of the sketches on acoustic guitar and we were able to, and we had never done this in the past, take them together and work on the songs off of all the demos we had. When we weren't doing that it would be me, and Jeph and Dan working on ideas to add to it. It was about a six month process of taking the ideas that I had and expanding on them, or simplifying them with just me and Bert or with me, Jeph, and Dan.

You mentioned Branden being asked to leave. Were the complications before hand alleviated with his departure? How are things working out with new drummer, Dan Whitesides? Is there more of a relaxed feeling amongst everyone?
It was a decision that had to be made, something that had to happen for us to continue more than we could have imagined. Dan is the most amazing drummer and person. His mind isn't clouded with things that Branden's is and his approach to drums is so similar to the rest of ours. It's such a complimenting element to have in our band. Basically I can go in and turn on my amp and make a bunch of noise and Dan can play on top of it and turn it into a masterpiece. We have a way of reading each other's minds through our voices, through our instruments and I think it's really amazing, we are the tightest that we could have ever imagined to be. We're best friends that we could have ever imagined to be, we're understanding; we treat each other with a love, hate, and understanding of each other, there's nothing that we couldn't discuss with each other, everything's laid out on the table. Before it was kind of like, especially with Branden, that the dynamic was that our differences were our strengths, but now it's like we realize we're different people but that should come before you realize anything - to know that everybody's different. We're coming together for one reason and we give it unconsciously and we're all just so happy. We'll just sit there and say to each other everyday "Fuck, I love you man. This is the closest group of friends I've ever had in my life, this is amazing and I can't believe that we're the ones doing this." It's just amazing.

On previous records, the band would use interesting sounds, like throwing things at Bert or banging on pots and pans. Was that approach to different sounds used on the new record as well?
Yeah, there's a song on the record called "Find a Way" that's all created sounds. It's all just sounds like the banging of Bert's foot, everyone slapping my back, just making a bunch of noise in front of the microphone and taking that and making it percussion. We made drum loops out of weird sounds, I did a lot of stuff of just rather than playing the strings of my guitar or whatever I would just sit and make noise on my guitar and turn it off and the sequence goes in to make a phrase. I think we all leaned on each other's instruments a bit more; once the rhythm was there with the drums, or thread it in with the bass, we just pretty much let it do that and there were other things we never did before. We tried a whole bunch of new stuff.

You guys chose Feldman again to produce the album. What sort of person is he when you're in the studio with him? Is he more of a work-horse or does he just sit back and offer advice here and there?
Genuinely he loves us, we love him. We're being able to work on something, he doesn't even come in to question of what goes on. He don't have to, you could just look at each other and know what they're thinking. Most of the time it'd be me going "Do that again, let's do that again. I need that again." and he'll just say "Okay, but think about it this way." and then I'm like "Yeah, but think about it this way." and then he'd say "Yeah that's true, but think about it this way." That's how we do, it's just something we can do now - bounce ideas off of each other, it's never him telling us what to do.

There was a rumor of an EP that many of the users were curious about. Is the rumor true, and if so, when would fans be able to see the release of it?
Maybe they will, who knows. Until we round up our resources and put them together. We have more songs sitting around that didn't make it onto the record than the amount that are actually on the record. There's 11 tracks on the record and we have like, 14 extra songs that didn't make the record. We basically did two albums at the same time, so there will be more songs, but whether we do an EP or we put them on the internet, or use them for a short film that we might do, we haven't decided. There will be something new before the end of the year.

A lot of the fans are appreciative at how involved the band is through myspace and other websites, do you think that it is important to stay connected to fans that way? What are your thoughts on the popularity of sites such as Myspace?
To be honest, I don't know. For me personally, I think that the band doesn't need to go out and sign every person's autograph, the kids should be about the music, it shouldn't be about..I don't know. I just don't find myself solving anyone's problems or sitting there and worrying about some one else's problems all day long; I have my own shit to deal with and if I can't deal with my own thing before I have to deal with someone else's I think that's disrespectful. I would definitely tend to my own life before tending to someone else's. As far as the music goes or giving your fans or sharing your music and making people aware of it, that's really important for your band. I don't think it's important to sit and answer everyone's questions about "What's your life like? What's going on?" They can sit and wonder.

You worked with a band called Evaline and produced their record. What made you want to take on the role of the producer and work with the band and would you ever take on producing other albums?
Sure. There's more of an initiative. They have given me demos for years and it was very much fate that I ended up listening to it at the right moment and was like "Wow, this is really good." I was having a small break and I'm constantly recording things anyways so I thought maybe it would be a good idea to work on something formally and not necessarily be so involved that I couldn't finish it because usually I get so involved with something that I'm too afraid to finish it for myself, but rather than have it for myself I wanted to help the band and just be there to help guide them in the process. I think it was very much a huge learning experience for me and for the band. I'll always record music, I just definitely like to be involved with music and making music. I'm definitely not aspiring to be a producer, but I would love to be involved with something I like to be apart of in any way.

A few years back at a Taste of Chaos date, Bert announced to the crowd that you were starting your own solo project. Did anything become of that idea at all?
That was a joke. I'm not in any way at all working on a side-project. There's obviously other music that I'd like to make, as well I'm sure Bert and everybody is, and for one moment in time it would be cool to just do a record and release it under a different band name and just do something that's different within ourselves; or me working on something and just putting out a record that I want to do with Bert or with any of the others, but for now this is the only thing I can think of doing or that I can handle.

You guys went out on the Taste of Chaos again and were tour mates with 30 Seconds to Mars, who's singer, Jared Leto has a reputation for causing problems. With spending so much time on a tour, was there any friendships that developed, what happened?

They bent every single one of Bert's moves and Bert's lines. He's a complete fake, he's an actor, that's all he's doing. He's acting.

A lot of fans and users were disappointed that the band only had 6 dates of this year's Warped Tour. Was that just how the scheduling went? What sort of plans for tours do you have around the Warped Tour and will the missed cities be made up on other future tours?
There's a lot of things that kids don't understand. That's just what we're going to do. There's a lot more things like Europe, that are more important than the dates of Warped Tour. We think Warped Tour's great but we're going to play places we've never played before: Mexico, all over South America, Russia, Eastern Europe, all of those different places. There's always chances to play Warped Tour.

Do you guys have any pre-show rituals or preps?
We always warm up. We sit together, warm up. It depends on the day and how we're feeling or whatever's going on. I might call my friend Mary Jane on the phone about an hour before the show and talk to her. Before we go on we do a little huddle up and try to not make sense as much as possible, just blabber to each other or anything that's on our mind.

Are there any songs that are favorites to play or that are essential for every show you perform?
It's usually our most rocking songs, the ones we pride on playing the most like "Take it Away", "I'm a Fake", "Maybe Memories", "Box Full of Sharp Objects", "Taste of Ink", "Blue and Yellow", "All That I've Got".. We try to stay away from songs that were written in a different state of existence like "Poetic Tragedy" we'll never play.

Do you guys still have the "Clean" and "Dirty" tour buses that you used to take on tour?
Not in the same way. That was another thing with Branden. Branden had to have his own bus, his own dressing room, he had his girlfriend out on the road, and she had to have an assistant. We were paying his girlfriend to be on the road. We do have two buses, but it's a band bus and a crew bus. So we're all four on a bus together and our road crew ride on another bus. We have sleepovers.

What were the best and worst things growing up in Utah that influenced you in life, music, personall, etc..?
I can't compare it to anywhere else, so I'll just say what I love and don't like, love and hate about Utah. I love the mountains, I love the rivers, and the scenery. I hate the people. I hate the people, that's it really. With everything that I've done and every time I come back here it's just a false sense of value here; the normalcy that you're supposed to abide by and if you don't, you're also expected to not to live by anyone's standards. It's like you're either expected to follow the norm or not follow the norm and stand out. There's nothing that stands out by trying to stand out. There's not many people here that are just genuinely themselves, there are, but it's very rare. Now being in probably one of the most popular bands to come from Utah, I get the most immature and elitist, just dumbed down elitist glances. I don't like to talk to people about what they think of the music scene; they have no idea and they have no idea what to think when their whole life has basically been about just proving someone wrong. That's all that everyone is about here - proving someone else is wrong: "My church is right." "I'm straight-edge and you're not, so fuck you and we're going to beat you up." "I'm going to kill you and your baby because you're having a cigarette." I'm definitely not saying that now I don't appreciate the people here and things here because I do, but growing up I guess in the back of my mind I'll always have the mentality here, I'll always love the winter here, the scenery, no place could have done a better job with all four seasons. It's just so beautiful here, it's amazing. Beyond imagination. There's so much to go and get lost in.

Drew Beringer 05/25/07 06:58 PM

Good interview, I'll always love this band haha

bradyreier 05/25/07 06:59 PM

Interesting read.

arrowrushx 05/25/07 07:05 PM

wow great interview

failingwithease 05/25/07 07:16 PM

Well, he's certainly honest, isn't he? Maybe a little tactless.

Lithiumniv 05/25/07 07:22 PM

Amazing interview, seriously. Thank you.

invincibleXL 05/25/07 07:26 PM

cool interview. i wish there was some more insight into the new album but whatever, thanks for posting.

DaTBoiDaN 05/25/07 07:27 PM

Thanks for the interview. I always enjoy what other band members besides the frontman have to say.

"You guys went out on the Taste of Chaos again and were tour mates with 30 Seconds to Mars, who's singer, Jared Leto has a reputation for causing problems. With spending so much time on a tour, was there any friendships that developed, what happened?
They bent every single one of Bert's moves and Bert's lines. He's a complete fake, he's an actor, that's all he's doing. He's acting."

My sentiments exactly.

orionsendjaron 05/25/07 07:34 PM

Great interview. I personally like the Jared Leto comments.

ishotthepilot 05/25/07 07:36 PM

interesting interview, you don't usual see that kind of blunt honesty and clarity in an interview, i'm glad he responded that way actually.

weworemasks 05/25/07 07:39 PM

wow. quinn does not bullshit. excellent interview.

Melissa Johnson 05/25/07 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ishotthepilot (Post 6618225)
interesting interview, you don't usual see that kind of blunt honesty and clarity in an interview, i'm glad he responded that way actually.

It was awesome to talk to him. They may get shit for their new record, but they don't mind because they love it themselves.

There's actually more to the last question's answer that I didn't include as it was him and I having a conversation about the love/hate (since I feel the same about living here in St. Louis) that I'll post if any irritated Utah natives or fans bitch about his answer.

Melissa Johnson 05/25/07 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by invincibleXL (Post 6618176)
cool interview. i wish there was some more insight into the new album but whatever, thanks for posting.

I figured most places (other webzines, Alt Press, Rolling Stone, Blender, etc) are going to ask the same re-hashed questions about the record, so fans of the band could easily access those answers about the new record. I like asking things those places won't.

vandalroyale 05/25/07 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melissa Johnson (Post 6618274)
It was awesome to talk to him. They may get shit for their new record, but they don't mind because they love it themselves.

There's actually more to the last question's answer that I didn't include as it was him and I having a conversation about the love/hate (since I feel the same about living here in St. Louis) that I'll post if any irritated Utah natives or fans bitch about his answer.



I'd love to hear the rest of the Utah comment. I grew up in Utah for 19 years and completely understand what he is talking about. Many Utahns are exactly what he described and I'm interested to get his take on things...especially coming from the mormon-saturated Utah County...

losethegirl 05/25/07 08:04 PM

This is why I appreciate this band so much. They make good music just to make good music cause it is what they love. No bullshit, straight up honest answers.