A mere four days after the KC Warped Tour stop, I barely had enough
time to recuperate before another festival was to hit the streets
of our fair city. This one was slightly smaller (thank God) and on
a day much cooler. Buzz Beach Ball is a locally run music festival
hosted by the alternative radio station in town. Now in it's third
year, they decided to cut the number of bands on the ballot and concentrate
on the quality. Therefore, for this year's headliner one of my favorite
bands was chosen: The Used. The chance to see their new album
Lies For The Liars performed live was reason enough for me
to go to the festival. But to make the night that much better, I had
the opportunity to chat with the band. With my "Artist"
badge, I snaked through the massive amounts of equipment, back to
the dressing rooms. Meeting up with Jeph (bass) and Dan
(drums) in their room, I grabbed a spot on their plush couch and whipped
out my voice recorder:
Hybrid Magazine: So what is the story of Chadam? How
did he come to be?
The Used: He actually has his own story online and has his
own MySpace. The story behind is, Alex Pardee is an artist
friend of ours. He did our second record artwork, he did our DVD and
a bunch of other stuff. He's a really good friend and we think that
his artwork fits with what we're doing musically. We had an idea that
we wanted a type of living artwork. Something that no one has ever
done. That's basically what Chadam is. We took our idea to Alex and
this is what he came up with.
HM: You just recently had the addition of a new drummer (Dan).
How has the recent change affected the band?
Used: Dan's pretty awesome. Dan's actually been a pretty close
friend of ours for awhile. Things are great. We're really getting
along, having a great time. Everyone's really happy, which has helped
the band as a whole.
HM: In Love And Death and Lies For The Liars
are two completely different albums. Both amazing in their own way,
yet most likely attracting different audiences. Where did the new
sound come from?
Used: We were able to have time to reflect for this one. Dan
was obviously a huge part of the recent record and more than anyone
could imagine. He was around for the writing and the recording. It
was a mixture of having so much time off that we had time to go back
and realize where we were and what we were doing. Bert had
time to reflect on his life and what had happened to him. I believe
that everybody matured a bit, too. This album seems darker and little
HM: It could be said that the most recent album is more angry.
Was there some pent up hostility that the band was needing to get
Used: We write songs about moments a lot and Bert seems to
have hectic moments. Lyrically, its all Bert. So some of that tension
and some of that anger has to be coming from him.
HM: If you could write your own review for Lies For The
Liars what would you say?
Used: Moments in time. That's what all of our songs really
are. It's dark, it's powerful, it's loud, it's pissed, and I think
it's got a little bit of everything that you would want to hear.
HM: What kind of theme were you aiming for with the new album?
Used: It's hard to say, because when I go into an album, I
don't want to know what the singer was intending. I just want to take
it and make of it what I will. The best part of music is that you
get, what you put into it. It's great to let it be a mystery for each
This was one of the most relaxed interview sessions I've ever had.
With the ease that Jeph answered the questions, you could tell that
he had done this many times before. Although luckily, he managed to
make his answers not sound "pre-recorded." And Dan, well
Dan mostly practiced for their set. But made sure to add in his feelings
every now and then, especially when they pertained to Jeph. A nice
surprise came at the end, when Bert (vocals) and Quinn (guitar)
joined us. So, I made sure to check that they didn't have any important
wisdom or life lessons to add to the interview. And after finally
retrieving my camera back from Jeph, I thanked them for their time
and headed back to the crowd. My anticipation of their show was well
deserved. Because just like I had hoped, they put on a mind-blowing
performance. The little element that they added which made their set
seamless were the transitions. They never stopped, each song led right
into the next. They did that because they wanted to have their fans
always moving, always wanting more, and it worked. The night ended
a little early and that was fine by me. Because I may have only had
to talk to one band, but I had more fun than with ten bands combined.
Kansas City, MO
August 19th, 2007
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