All it took was new management, a new producer, and a new album for The Used to re-familiarize themselves with their old way of making music. The Used’s fourth studio album, Artwork, is due out on Sept. 1 on Reprise Records and it marks a turning point, or possibly a returning point, for the band.
The Orem, Utah, band was certainly appreciative of its rising success. They spent eight great years touring and appearing at major festivals like Warped Tour, Ozzfest, Leeds, and Taste Of Chaos, while selling more than two million albums in the U.S. alone.
But band members Bert McCracken (vocals), Quinn Allman (guitar), Jeph Howard (bass) and Dan Whitesides (drums) missed how simple things used to be. They needed a change. So they severed ties with their management and ended their relationship with John Feldman, who produced The Used’s past three albums (Lies For The Liars, as well as 2004’s In Love And Death and 2002’s The Used, both of which were certified gold).
Then they connected with producer Matt Squire, who let them create the sound they’ve wanted from day one. A dirty sound that The Used calls “gross pop.” The result is a band that’s closer than ever and an album that’s made The Used feel new again.
The Used’s Quinn Allman picked up the phone in Munich, Germany, to tell The Aquarian Weekly about the new album.
You said that Artwork’s first single, ‘Blood On My Hands,’ ‘sums up everything about The Used.’ Why is that true?
Because it’s everything. It’s heavy and it’s dark. And it’s got this bouncy rhythm to it. And the lyrics are just, I don’t know, they’re brutal. They’re just great. That was the song that when we were done, we were like, ‘This will be our first single.’
How would you compare The Used of 2002, releasing your first album, to The Used today?
Well, we’ve learned to endure a lot of the bigger picture things that happen. I mean we got kicked around by our management and we were kind of put into the corner. And we had always worked with John [Feldman]. And it was just this routine that we were sort of placed into. But in the beginning it was never like that. It was just about Bert’s lyrics and my guitar and it was that simple. It just turned into this—it just became a little methodical. And now, we’ve got new management. And we got a new producer. We just did things the way we wanted to do it. So it’s a lot more like the beginning now.
Sort of returning to that simplicity?
Yeah. There’s just more of a true collaboration within the band. Which is great. Everybody gets along great. Things are better than they’ve ever been.