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Utah outfit, The Used, will be hitting up the East Coast of Australia this week for Good Things Festival.
Ahead of their appearance at the inaugural fest, Hysteria caught up with frontman Bert McCracken.
Hysteria: Where are we catching you from today?
Bert: You’re catching me from my home in Sydney.
How’re you feeling about being on the Good Things line-up?
I’m so excited! What a cool festival and what a great way to end the year, playing in my home country of Australia.
Any bands you’ll be checking out?
Every band! I’m the type of guy that goes out to a festival and tries to watch it all. I really live for the live performance, and there are so many different types of bands on this festival. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen The Offspring, I know we’ve played with them quite a bit but I don’t know if I’ve ever had the opportunity to watch their set, so that’ll be cool.
I’m the same sort of person; I’ll just go check out everyone at a festival.
Yeah it’s not about what I’m listening to, when we were on Warped Tour, we saw some bands and I’d never even heard a second of their music but I was still speechless (laughs). You get to experience those different acts, and it just catches you by surprise. Festivals are so fun in that way.
We’ve never been a band that’s really shoved our new material down people’s throats too hard.
[ Bert McCracken ]
What sort of set can fans expect?
Every one of their favourite songs played twice in a row with all the energy that they might expect from their favourite band. We’ve never been a band that’s really shoved our new material down people’s throats too hard. We enjoy The Canyon immensely, it’s one of my favourite records we’ve ever written but I think a festival like this calls for all the favourites. Not only does that make it more fun for us, but it makes it more memorable for everyone. We’re the type of band that celebrates our entire catalogue, I think those old songs have somehow taken on new meaning, they mean more to me now than they ever possibly could have in the 2000’s.
The world has almost fallen apart, at least that’s just the way that it feels. When I wrote The Taste of Ink it was about escaping the mundane realities of Orem, Utah but now it’s about the urgency for a more caring, trusting and honest world.
[ Bert McCracken ]
Why do the songs mean more now?
The world has almost fallen apart, at least that’s just the way that it feels. When I wrote The Taste of Ink it was about escaping the mundane realities of Orem, Utah but now it’s about the urgency for a more caring, trusting and honest world.These songs feel timeless in their approach … when I think about what it takes to learn and grow as a human being on this planet. That’s what our time here is really about. We’ve always been a more philosophical band and not something that you just put on as background music.
You’ve been throwing some Linkin Park covers into your sets lately. Is that something punters can expect?
Oh, I mean people attending the event!
(Laughs) Okay! We did a cover of one of my favourite Linkin Park songs for BBC Radio 1 in their Maida Vale session as a tribute to Chester. In 2004, when I lost someone really close to me, I was very suicidal on this tour we were on. Chester came to my bus every day; he was that guy at a time when I needed someone the most and he is missed. You can check out the cover online if you want to listen to it but I don’t think we’ll play it for the punters (laughs).
It’s almost been a year since The Canyon was released, have the band been working on any new music as of late?
We’re always working. As a human, I’m a writer first and an artist second. I’m always writing, it’s my replacement for alcoholism. We’re meeting up with some producers later this month and we’ll start recording at the beginning of next year. We’ll be really happy to have some new music out next year.
… when I lost someone really close to me, I was very suicidal on this tour we were on. Chester came to my bus every day; he was that guy at a time when I needed someone the most and he is missed.
[ Bert McCracken ]
The Canyon was pretty hard hitting and emotional; does it get tough to deal with?
Yeah … way more than I thought, I barely play it; sometimes I can’t even bring myself to think about it. It’s been two years since he * died, but it feels like yesterday. I knew that I would feel that way consciously putting myself into a record like that though. It’s like a journal, all my secrets and everything are on it—things I wouldn’t even talk to my friends or family about. It’s hit me the way that I thought it would, I knew that some aspects of it would be hard to record and some aspects would be hard for me to play live. I’ve said to fans in the most genuine and sincere attempt at niceness that I could provide, that I didn’t write this record for them, or anyone else, I wrote it for myself.
*(The Canyon was heavily inspired by the passing of McCracken’s long-time friend, Traegen.)
Having lived in Australia for a little now, how do you feel our live music scene compares to that in the U.S.?
That’s a good question, I feel like a show in Australia or one in the U.S kind of feels like one in Canada, and that kind of feels like a show in the U.K. There’s not a lot of difference except maybe if the band tours more in America and they haven’t been to Australia in a while, people here will get more excited. I can only speak for Sydney, where I live, but we’ve got a really active local music scene here and that’s refreshing. It feels like what I would see in the early 2000’s in Utah, the same type of excitement and the same type of casual respect.
Are there any Sydney bands you’re really digging at the moment?
Just the same Sydney band I’ve been digging for a while, they’re my Sydney band crush they’re called Corpus. They’re the best band in the world.
Thanks so much for your time, that’s pretty much it from me, go forth and use the word punter on everyone now!
(Laughs) I love it! I thought it meant hoes or something, I’m going to use this all day. Let’s punt out man.
Catch The Used on Good Things Festival:
Friday 7th December // Good Things Festival, Melbourne
Saturday 8th December // Good Things Festival, Sydney
Sunday 9th December // Good Things Festival, Brisbane