<< Concert review: Rockstar Get a Life Tour

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

A couple hours before the show, I had the pleasure interviewing The Used bassist Jeph Howard. He was cool, funny and interesting. After a while, it transitioned from an interview to just a conversation with a new friend. Here are a few highlights from the interview.

L.A. Youth: Your record Shadow Believer, an album full of B sides, came out recently. When you make an album, how do you decide what stays and what to scrap?
That’s hard; it’s sort of a fight. Well, not really a fight, but majority wins. We all want the best records we can possibly make. For me, I don’t mind when my song doesn’t make the record, I don’t mind if it gets hidden a bit. When I was growing up, I would be stoked when I heard the albums from my favorite bands, and then all of a sudden you find an EP with another song and you’d be like, “What is this?!” You’d realize that you’d never heard it before and you get all excited about the band again.”

What was the last great thing to happen to you guys on tour?
Mario Kart! It just came out for Wii. That was the greatest thing that’s happened on this tour.

I’m sure there is a downside to doing press, can it get tiring at times?
Not for me, I’m happy to do anything to keep busy than sitting on my butt and waiting all day. It clashes sometimes when you have other things you need to do. Sometimes when you have too much press it can get stressful but sometimes when you don’t have enough press it can get bad. When you don’t have any, nobody wants to hear about you anymore. You just have to keep it balanced.

Do you get a lot of inspiration from music out there currently?
Honestly, no. I’ve only heard two new bands that I really like. Most stuff that I’ve been listening to lately is stuff that I listened to as a kid more. I listened to a lot of noise when I was a kid. There was this band called Secret Chiefs 3 which is kind of noisy, Arabian and weird. They’re a very incredible band. I love them; I’ve been listening to them for years.

You guys recently had a cutout of Bush on stage, and it was a bit of a political statement. Do you see your future stuff being more political?
Not really. Everybody hates Bush, always have. It’s like leaving the country and the rest of the world hates you because of him, and even though you have nothing in common with this dude. It sucks. You’re sort of doomed no matter what. I hate that association kind of thing. I’m not very political, but I have a lot of views on life and different things that I just keep to myself. Bert [lead singer Bert McCracken] says vote for … uh, Bert.

What’s next for you guys?
Rock. A lot of rock. Sixty percent of our songs that we have written so far are rock. So we’ll see where we go with it!

And your next album is going to be produced by Rivers Cuomo (Weezer)?
Um, I don’t know exactly what’s going on. He’s working with us on the next album, but I’m not sure. He was going to produce a couple songs, but now he wants to write a couple songs with us, which that’ll be cool too. Collaboration, like a Rivers/Used thing going on. Yeah, like three or four songs. Maybe the whole record…I’m not sure right now, we have 20-something songs written right now so it would be cool to see what happens with it.