The Used – Across The Ocean

The Used

The Used are set to tour Australia and fans get excited because this one is epic beyond all proportions. For the first time in Australia The Used will be performing their self titled album The Used in its entirety and then In Love And Death in full the next night in every city the band play… Awesome! Jeph Howard talks to Across The Ocean about these two iconic albums and what it means to be playing these albums in full on tour.


The upcoming tour of Australia sounds quite epic and exciting?

Yeah, it is just as exciting for us. The whole vibe of this tour has been incredible and the double nights you have no idea, it is out of control. The first night is kind of like the warm up night and the fun night. By the second night fans usually let their hair down a little more.

Was this tour concept something that was always inevitable?

We had been planning to do this for years and there really hasn’t been time. A lot of these songs, it’s hard because when we tour we only get an hour and a half tops to play a show. We have so many songs that we want to play that we had been missing out for years. The best thing about this tour is that the first record we get to play in its entirety and that’s it. Kids get to come and see what they want and see the first record – that’s it! We’re not going to put anything else in there but that first album.

The second night when you come out you’ll see the second record, that’s it, in its entirety. The best part about that is that you know what you’re going to get and sing-a-long to the record perfectly because you know what is going to happen. When we normally tour we make a bunch of different songs and mash up all of our records to put in to an hour and a half. We’ll have some from the first, some from the second and some from all of it.

It must be cool for the changing fan dynamic particularly with a lot of younger fans that have discovered The Used for the first time getting to see the band play these defining albums?

Definitely! We have so many fans that have wanted to hear these songs we didn’t lose but aren’t able to play anymore because there’s so much other stuff. It is exciting just be to be able to do that.

Do you get nostalgic when you play these songs?

Definitely and even during shows sometimes I’ll think about it, or the recording, or I’ll think about the actually recording or things that happened at that time. It has been exciting to hear from fans that would say things like we met during this song or we came to your show in 2003 and this is where we fell in love with The Used.

Do certain cities or venues where you have toured previously trigger certain memories?

I remember the first time we came to Australia we played the Crusty Demons festival and that was super exciting. Now that I’m already thinking about it that is some of the stuff I’ll start thinking about.

Is it still a buzz when the fans at the show know the songs and all the lyrics?

Oh yeah, we are very lucky that our fans are so die-hard and I would say that some of these shows have been so loud with the fans singing that you cannot hear Burt singing. The cool part of that is that I feel like the concert is fifty percent the band and fifty percent the crowd. If you have a crowd that is that excited and that loud the concert will always be better than you imagined.

Will some of these shows be captured as a live recording either just the audio or full blown visual production for DVD?

We filmed the two Los Angeles shows and those turned out incredible. Those shows were incredible and I’m glad we got to capture those. We filming the Orange County shows and I think we’ll use those four and the audio and mostly the footage, who knows, which may be a DVD in the future or something to see so that our fans can see the band in this period of time. Capturing the vibe on the video is very difficult but I reckon we’ll be able to get that on these recordings. We just released a CD/DVD Live & Acoustic At The Palace which has a live DVD on that. It does capture the vibe but is missing some elements but is something that you need to be there for. For the most part it captures what is happening but I think this is going to capture ten times more than that because the vibe at these shows like I was saying was so much of a sing-a-long and so powerful in that sense. There were songs we hadn’t played in ten to fifteen years. Kids are saying they’ve seen us every time we’ve come through town but are wanting to hear these songs for ten to fifteen years. Being able to sing-a-long with them is really great.

Were there any songs from either of these albums that you had forgotten how to play and relearn?

Yeah, I’ve got a horrible memory personally. If I don’t do something for a long enough period of time I’ll forget it. These songs, there are so many I forgot, I forgot how I played it and what I was doing. I just dived back in and relearned them. The fun part for me is that we have all grown as musicians and have changed as musicians, which is what musicians need to do. We need to evolve and change so relearning these songs and adding to them has really brought out new colours out of these songs which is really cool. That’s what is great about playing these live is that we are playing updated versions, they move a little better and added little flares to them. It’s what we want to do for fun.

If you had your time over is there anything you would do different with these songs?

I could say there are a million things that I would like to do. That’s the hard part! I could say that I would like the recording to sound better or I could say how I like certain b-sides to be on the record that didn’t make it. Ultimately those came out as they did, it is a bit like having a kid and having that kid grow up and go to college and become somebody, get excited about life. Creating these records have taking on a whole new life of their own and propelled itself to this point in time where we are now.

Looking back and seeing these songs as something different particularly the kids coming to the shows telling us what these songs have done for them, helped them with their life and changed their life in many ways… that’s flattering that our music is actually changing the world for the better. As much as I want the recording to sound better or bass parts that I did and want them to sound different or add to or even play less on it almost doesn’t seem fair to me to want that. It has become something else that it seems selfish of me to change it for my own personal reasons.

Playing an extra night in every city how do you keep up with the rigors of touring?

There definitely is a lot less alcohol! That has helped a lot, I think as far as it goes with the crew and the band we couldn’t be tighter as friends. My best friends in the entire planet are on tour with me and what is so exciting about that is when I go on tour I get to hang out with my friends. There are no drawbacks there but the only one is leaving my family behind. As far as being on tour that is the best part and I’m with my friends who I want to hang out with and able to play music. We almost grew up in this band and touring for us seems like going home but in a different way, like going to a second home. We get to have a day off before and possibly after so we’re in each city for three or four nights so it is very chilled and very relaxed.

With fans engaged with this tour and everything that is going on for The Used what do you see as the next big challenge for the band?

We’re writing at the moment and we have about twenty ideas kind of recorded to filter through. Since we have been touring we haven’t had that much time to focus but I would say that we will try by the end of the year to actually get some serious songs finished and maybe even start recording by the end of the year, we see how that goes. I have a lot of high hopes and I reckon we will be able to start recording by the end of the year.

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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