INTERVIEW: BERT MCCRACKEN TALKS THE AWKWARDNESS OF PLAYING ALBUMS IN FULL.

Legendary American alternative emo band, The Used are coming to Australia to tour their incredibly successful full album shows for their 2002 debut self-titled album and 2004’s In Love And DeathThe upcoming tour will see the band perform in each city for two nights, performing one album in full at each show.

We spoke to the now Australian resident, vocalist Bert McCracken about the upcoming tour and what The Used have been up to recently, while he’s out enjoying a sunny day in his new Sydney home with his daughter.

“We have been working on the new record for the past year and a half. While we have some down time I keep up the Dad life and we have about 30 or 35 song ideas so I’m trying to arrange some melodies and lyrics for when we get into the studio in February/March” said Bert.

“We’ve had three writing sessions in the last little bit. LA is our home base, so when we have work to do I’ll fly in a couple of weeks before the tour starts or stay for a couple of weeks after.”

Being able to perform an album in full is an amazing achievement for any band. However, these were the first two albums the band ever wrote, and for them to withhold and remain classics through an ever-changing landscape holds testament to the reputation this band has. On top of this, being able to successfully tour these albums, on separate nights in each city is unheard of from an international band in this genre.

“There’s a great amount of humility and gratitude behind this whole year and process of celebrating these first two records. We do meet and greets for a really cool charity every day, and from these, we get to hear so many stories from so many hardcore fans on how these records have helped people through impossible times in their life. Nothing feels cooler than that. In my mind, that’s what it’s always been about. Music is a great healthy way to escape, and we all know how sick and fucked the world can be and sometimes we need healthy escapes that also allow us to free our minds a little bit, expand our knowledge, increase our self-esteem and push forward in the face of all the madness and poison.”

“To be a part of something so special, we understand that art is part of the collective consciousness of humanity and to take individual credit for these songs is a little bit beyond me. I understand The Used is a product of everything that we’ve consumed and listened to and read. In that way, we feel grateful that we’ve been around such great music and art literature for our whole lives.”

The Used have been performing the self-titled album and In Love And Death for the past year. Bert didn’t know what to expect when performing the albums in full for the first time.

“Take the first record, for example, it has a really intense and awkward flow, it really feels like growing up a little bit. It feels like that tension of not knowing where to fit in, it will go from heavy song to light song to heavy. It’s really all over the place, to put it into a live setting for a little while felt really strange, sometimes you just have to let the moments breath between the songs and let the moments that feel awkward, feel awkward because that’s what it’s for. It’s been really cool to see how it translates live and to see how people react to the hidden gems on the records. It’s been absolutely incredible is an understatement.”

It seems to be a fan favourite at the moment for bands to play albums in full. In the next few months, Australia will be seeing The Used, Anti-Flag and Underoath perform their genre-defining albums in full. These rare events bring insanely hardcore fans but also casual fans.

“I think it’s a full on spectrum. We have the fans, like you and I, who have a passion for hearing the record in its entirety. That way you feel all the different things that the artists wanted you to feel, not just the one track that represents loss, or rage or whatever it could be. The record is a full rainbow of feeling and emotion and everything involved. I think there are a lot of us out there who have that connection to so many bands. I think that also there’s a generation gap that people kind of miss that and it’s more about singles and 99 cents songs that you bought.”

“However, there’s still ways to learn about it, people haven’t stopped making records, there are records made last year and the year before that are still worth listening to all the way through in their entirety. The quicker people learn about that the better. Hopefully, there are ones that are coming because their brother liked the band and they bought the 99-cent song. Even the sleeper tracks on the record give you something so valuable in the bigger picture in the emotional and even spiritual experience of a record in its entirety.”

Both the self-titled album and In Love And Death only total to about 45 minutes each. Bert gives us a hint of what to expect on top of the normal setlist without spoiling too much.

“There are little bits of surprises and we try to take some jam moments that fit the emotion. There are no hidden tracks in For Love And Death so we will throw another little jam in there from another different record. I think we’ve done about 170 of them (full album shows) so far. It’s never meant more to us and it’s been a lot of variables. But I think the addition of Justin to the band and a lot of other things have just brought this new inspiration and fire to The Used that once you come see the show you’ll know how contagious it is you’ll feel the vibe.”

Of course, the interview had to be ended by asking if there are any other expected full album anniversary tours to come in the future.

“We’ve talked about it, I don’t see why not, I think there is a time and a place for everything. For now, we’re getting in the studio this February to make the new record and play that a bunch. We’ll see what happens in the future. Let’s hope we make a record that’s worth listening to all the way through!” Bert laughs.

The Used will perform at HQ, Adelaide on November 29th and 30th.

Tickets still available here. 

the-used-tour

Destroy All Lines, Chugg Entertainment in association with UTA present:

THE USED
’15 year Anniversary’ Australian Tour
2 Nights and 2 Albums in Each City

Night 1: “Self Titled” / Night 2: “In Love and Death”

with Storm The Sky & Corpus

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

GA Tickets Here: http://bit.ly/USE16ga
VIP Upgrades Here: http://bit.ly/USE16vip

Monday, 21st November: 170 Russell, Melbourne 18+
Performing ‘Self-Titled’ in Full
SOLD OUT

Tuesday, 22nd November: 170 Russell, Melbourne 18+
Performing ‘In Love & Death’ in Full
SOLD OUT

**NEW DATE – ALL TICKETS REMAIN VALID**
Friday, 25th November: Metropolis, Fremantle 18+
Performing ‘In Love & Death’ in Full

Saturday, 26th November: Metropolis, Fremantle 18+
Performing ‘Self-Titled’ in Full

Tuesday, 29th November: HQ, Adelaide 18+
Performing ‘Self-Titled’ in Full

Wednesday, 30th November: HQ, Adelaide 18+
Performing ‘In Love & Death’ in Full

**VENUE UPGRADE**
Friday, 2nd December: Enmore Theatre, Sydney Lic A/A
Performing ‘Self-Titled’ in Full

**VENUE UPGRADE**
Saturday, 3rd December: Enmore Theatre, Sydney Lic A/A
Performing ‘In Love & Death’ in Full

Monday, 5th December: 170 Russell, Melbourne 18+
Performing ‘Self-Titled’ in Full
SOLD OUT

Tuesday, 6th December: 170 Russell, Melbourne 18+
Performing ‘In Love & Death’ in Full
SOLD OUT

**VENUE UPGRADE**
Friday, 9th December: Eatons Hill, Brisbane 18+
Performing ‘In Love & Death’ in Full

**NEW DATE + VENUE UPGRADE**
Saturday, 10th December: Eatons Hill , Brisbane 18+
Performing ‘Self-Titled’ in Full