Interview with The Used bassist Jeph Howard

By Nattalie Tehrani, 17, Senior writer, South HS (Torrance)
Print This Post

The Rockstar Get a Life Tour has stormed college campuses all around the United States with a lineup unlike any other. From the theatrical Street Drum Corps to Straylight Run, Army of Me and one of my favorite rock bands of all time, The Used, this concert had me sucked in like a magnet.

I was not familiar with a few of the bands scheduled to play at the UC Irvine Bren Events Center that night. Street Drum Corps was one of them. With their stage antics and amazing drum techniques, they were unlike any band I had ever seen live before, and that’s saying a lot because I’ve been to many shows. Boy, did they bring the fire. Literally. They rubbed poles and chainsaws to start a fountain of sparks onstage and used trashcans as drums. Their Victorian-style clothing and their face makeup looked like it was pulled out of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. They ran around stage banging on their drums, and ran off stage to stand on the barricades between them and the audience and sang to the crowd, mere inches from their faces.

They even treated us to a little surprise and brought out Adrian Young of No Doubt and he played the drums with the band for a couple of songs. They put on a show that I would not forget anytime soon.   
After the Street Drum Corps it was a complete 180. Army of Me and Straylight Run were wonderful but they are indie bands and didn’t have over-the-top performances. After their sets were done, the most energy-infused band of today’s music scene was about to take the stage.

My heart was pounding with excitement. I had never seen The Used live before. Not only did they have on stage cardboard cutouts of candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain to make a political statement, but Bert McCracken (vocals) proceeded to make out with them and tell the crowd to vote for him for president. They were very interactive with the fans as well. They pulled a legion of fans onstage to sing with them. They sang their classic old songs like “Blue and Yellow” and “Taste of Ink,” as well as newer songs off their brand new album of B-sides. My favorite moment was when they sang “Pretty Handsome Awkward.” Everyone was singing the words. It was a moment of fans coming together and having a great time.