Interview The Used: We Only Tried To Be Ourselves”

Ten years since their self-titled debut, The Used are still an ever evolving musical force.

Ten years since their self-titled debut, The Used are still an ever evolving musical force. Since 2009’s ‘Artwork’ the band have parted ways with Reprise Records - the label behind all their albums thus far, started their own alternative in the form of Anger Music Group and in turn released their most vulnerable - and aptly titled, for that’s its name - album to date.

But there’ll always be more to come from The Used, as vocalist Bert McCracken reaffirms. Come November the band will be returning to the UK in support of Evanescence. ‘I think the shows are going to be bigger than usual, but the majority of people are going to be there to see Evanescence,’ he quips. Noting the differences in musical style, he adds, ‘I don’t think it’s really about the music’s style - rock shows are just about getting together and showing your love for music. It’s all good. Evanescence is still big, but we’re excited to be playing.’

But it’s not all about Evanescence. Fans of The Used have been equally as excited about the tour, many mainly for the lead support. But what does he feel evokes that loyalty fans have developed? ‘I think it’s really the fact that I’ve been honest with my writing. I’ve definitely put everything that I have directly from my heart into my writing and not held anything back. I think people can see the difference.’

Does he feel that honesty is what connected fans to the release? ‘That was ideally the point and people really get it. I think people really understand the idea of a vulnerable time. I mean, the idea - we wanted to take the word vulnerable away from its negative connotations and shine a light on it. We believe that being vulnerable allows you to live your life with an open heart.’

With this release, the band also had their own renewed sense of freedom with their own label. ‘It’s everything we want,’ admits Bert. ‘Anything that we have in our minds that we can do with our music is possible now. There’s no one standing over our shoulders telling us what we can and cannot do. I think that everything happens for a reason, and this was supposed to happen now.’

‘People don’t buy records anymore. Record labels have lost the power, they’re no longer the game keepers,’ he continues, turning his attention to how the industry has changed over his years as part of it. ‘It’s a lot easier to go out there and do things yourself, although the promotion is difficult. I think that the internet is way more accessible than it was ten years ago - it’s easier to get your music out there and have it heard. There’s a lot more social networking going on and not as many people buying full records. So many people just prefer to buy one song if they’re going to buy anything.’

As they never seem to stop - what should we expect from the rest of the year? ‘You should expect the same thing you always expect from The Used: we’re passionate about music, we love to do what we do and that’s why we do it. We really don’t take any shit from anyone and we - if you didn’t know - we are the best band in the world!’ After a pause, he adds, ‘That was a joke! Just make it known I was joking about that…’

Though they may change from record to record, what’s always clear is that The Used are a band that continuously feel a passion for everything they do and create. As parting words, Bert confirms every ounce of love for their fans and their work, noting, ‘This record is definitely for the fans, just like you, the diehard fans that have stuck by us since day one. I think people get really tired of all this art in the music industry that just tries to make money. It’s really refreshing to see people that care about music for the passion and the love of music instead of what the new hot thing is or how fucking cool people are.

‘The Used is a band who never really tried to be cooler than anyone. We only tried to be ourselves, so in that sense of the word people who really get it feel like they’re part of something big.’

The Used will tour with Evanescence this November, click here for dates. The band’s new album ‘Vulnerable’ is out now via Hopeless Records.

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