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The Used is an American rock band formed in Orem, Utah, in 2001. The group consists of vocalist Bert McCracken, bassist Jeph Howard, drummer Dan Whitesides, and guitarist Joey Bradford.

The Used
Used.2017-Megan-Thompson WEB.jpg
The Used in 2017
Background information
OriginOrem, Utah, U.S.
Years active2001–present
Associated acts
Past members

The group signed to Reprise Records and rose to fame in June 2002 after releasing their self-titled debut album. They followed up with their second album, In Love and Death, in September 2004 and their third album, Lies for the Liars, in May 2007. Shallow Believer, an EP that featured most of the band's B-sides, was released in February 2008. They spent 2008 working on their fourth studio album, Artwork, which was released in August 2009.[1] A fifth album, titled Vulnerable, was released in March 2012 through the independent label Hopeless Records. In summer 2013 they released another EP titled The Ocean of the Sky. Their sixth album, Imaginary Enemy, released in April 2014. Their 7th studio album titled The Canyon was released October 27, 2017.[2]

The Used have enjoyed much success with their albums achieving gold and platinum statuses in many countries worldwide.[3]



The formation and early days of The Used (2001)Edit

The Used formed in January 2001 with Branden Steineckert, Quinn Allman, Jeph Howard, and Bert McCracken.[4] Before Bert joined the band they only had music already prepared, but did not have lyrics and required a vocalist. They held auditions at Howard's residence,[5] but the band was not satisfied with any of the vocalists, describing the auditions as "terrible". Allman then asked Bert McCracken if he was interested in joining the band. McCracken was impressed with the material the band had created. After being given music that the band had written, McCracken wrote the lyrics to what would become "Maybe Memories" and returned the next day to record a demo version of the song. McCracken was then officially confirmed as being the band's vocalist. Throughout all of this, the band members suffered from poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse, panhandling for change in order to buy food.[6] The members decided upon the name "Used" after friends claimed they felt "used" when contact with the band members waned as they became more engrossed in the project.[7][8]

The Used continued to write songs together and recorded a demo album in drummer Steineckert's bedroom titled Demos from the Basement. Steineckert sent their songs to producer John Feldmann from the ska group Goldfinger. On hearing the song "A Box Full of Sharp Objects", Feldman flew the band to Los Angeles on his own dime and helped The Used find a record label. They played for various record executives, but received little interest. Eventually, after sending copies of their demo to many record companies, they began to receive offers. They decided to sign to Reprise Records the first week of January 2002 which was only 1 year after the band had formed.[9]

The Used and In Love and Death (2002–2005)Edit

Bert McCracken performing with The Used at the Street Scene (San Diego music festival) in 2005.

In 2002, it was discovered that a Boston band had already trademarked the name "Used." The band decided to add "The" to their name, thus becoming "The Used". Their self-titled debut album, produced by John Feldmann, was released on June 25, 2002 to critical acclaim. The album featured the singles: "The Taste of Ink", "Buried Myself Alive", and "Blue and Yellow", with all three entering the charts and the album being certified platinum.[10] The Used went on to play Warped Tour, Ozzfest, and Projekt Revolution, as well as Box Car Racer's first and only tour. During these tours, they employed a touring guitarist named Greg Bester. He was later forced to return to his home country when he couldn't get a working visa. The band received much recognition when Bert McCracken dated Kelly Osbourne and appear on an episode of the TV show The Osbournes titled "Beauty and the Bert".[11] In July 2003, The Used released a compilation CD/DVD combo package titled Maybe Memories. The CD features live, rare, previously unreleased tracks, and demo material, while the DVD features the history of the band, member bios, and part of a live concert. Maybe Memories has been certified platinum.[12]

In 2004, lead vocalist McCracken's ex-girlfriend died of a drug overdose while pregnant with his child.[13] Their second studio album was thus named In Love and Death, released as a reference to the tragedy McCracken dealt with during the recording. The song "Hard to Say" was a reference to McCracken's ex-girlfriend; although the song was written years earlier, its dedication was only then declared. In Love and Death received very positive reviews[14] and spawned three singles: "Take It Away", "All That I've Got" (which earned them their first MuchMusic Video Award nomination), and "I Caught Fire", before being re-released in 2005. "Under Pressure" (a Queen and David Bowie cover song performed with My Chemical Romance) was featured as a bonus track later pressings. The album has been certified platinum.[15] After finishing up an international tour for the album, The Used took about eight months off before starting to work on their next album.

Lies for the Liars (2006–2007)Edit

The Used at the iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards in 2007.

On September 12, 2006, The Used announced that Steineckert was no longer a member of the band.[16] They said they felt they needed to move forward without him, and that there was a personality conflict between Steineckert and another band member.[16] In late 2006, it was announced drummer Dan Whitesides of The New Transit Direction would replace Steineckert. Steineckert has since joined Rancid.

On February 6, 2007, The Used released a live dalbum, Berth, which includes a DVD that features video of their performance at the Taste of Chaos 2005 tour in Vancouver and a CD that features it on audio. The DVD also includes a biography of the band and four music videos. The biography depicts the band after the release of Maybe Memories, leading into the creation of In Love and Death. The sale of Berth lead it to be certified as gold.[12] The Used spent most of the early part of 2007 on the Taste of Chaos tour before their third album, Lies for the Liars, was released May 22, 2007. They headlined the Give It a Name festival. In June, they played the MuchMusic Video Awards for the first time ever, and received their second nomination for Best International Group Video, for "The Bird and the Worm". The Used were scheduled to play Warped Tour in June and July, in support of their album, but were forced to cancel due to McCracken's vocal cord surgery.[17] After McCracken recovered, the band played the Reading and Leeds festivals in August, and went on to tour the United States in September. Lies for the Liars charted in the top five in more than seven countries,[3] and featured the singles: "The Bird and the Worm" and "Pretty Handsome Awkward". Although Whitesides had been chosen as the new drummer, Dean Butterworth of Good Charlotte recorded drums for the album. The six-month recording process was the longest The Used had ever undertaken. Lies for the Liars generally received mixed to positive reviews.[18] Originally, Lies for the Liars was expected to be a double-album. Nineteen songs were recorded, but they instead decided to save the songs for a future release. The album has been certified gold.[19]

Shallow Believer and Artwork (2008–2009)Edit

Howard in Lethbridge, Alberta, November 27, 2009

On May 19, 2008, The Used released Shallow Believer, an EP containing the band's B-sides. It was only released on digital music stores and it has charted No. 14 on iTunes' Top 100 albums.[3] The Used worked on Artwork, their fourth studio album, throughout 2008. They took several breaks while working on the album to headline the inaugural Get a Life Tour and the Spare the Air Festival in California. The album was produced by Panic! at the Disco's producer Matt Squire, making this their first studio album not produced by John Feldmann.[20] It was also the first studio album by The Used to feature Whitesides as the drummer. In Alternative Press, McCracken stated "In the past, we've always kind of brought pop sensibility into heavy rock, but this is going to be all that much more tantalizing and brutal. Our songs are ten times messier and noisier than they've ever been."[21] McCracken explained the meaning of the album, saying, "This record is about coming to grips with how much you really hate yourself and knowing you can never hate yourself to the full extent, so you're free to hate yourself as much as you want to".[22] McCracken went on to say "we [have not] been this excited about an album since our self titled back in 2002." The album released along with a DVD for the pre-order and first run of the album in stores.[23] A cover version of "Burning Down the House" by the Talking Heads was released on the cover compilation album Covered, A Revolution in Sound, and was also featured in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – The Album.[24] They played at The Bamboozle in May 2009. The single "Blood on My Hands" was released on iTunes in June, and was streamable for one day on the band's website. On July 21, the pre-order was available. Artwork became available worldwide on August 31, 2009. The band played a major U.S. tour in October and November 2009 with supporting bands The Almost and Drive A, and another in early 2010 with Atreyu and Drive A. They later joined an arena tour supporting Three Days Grace in Canada. The band premiered the music video for the song "Empty with You" on December 9, 2009 via Twitter. In April 2010, The Used began another US tour along with Chiodos and New Medicine.[25]

Vulnerable (2010–2012)Edit

In April 2010, The Used cancelled their upcoming international tour dates and also began writing material for a follow up to Artwork.[26] Recording and officially releasing the new album was significantly delayed after The Used left Reprise Records—their record label group of ten years. According to Howard, "We were kind of waiting to see if we were going to do this record on Warner or not. We kind of had to wait and see what happened about that before we started recording."[27] The Used founded their own record label in 2011 after parting ways with Reprise Records, a division of Warner. The label was dubbed "Dental Records", and they planned to release their fifth studio album Vulnerable in February 2012 on it.[28]

By December 2011 the release plans for Vulnerable had changed. Their first choice, "Dental Records," was already taken, so the group quickly came up with a different name instead, Anger Music Group. Vulnerable was released March 26, 2012.[29][30] The album's spawned 3 singles; "I Come Alive,"[30] "Put Me Out," and "Hands and Faces."[31]

In support of Vulnerable, The Used embarked on a North American headlining tour in May and June 2012, and also performed on the main stage of Warped Tour 2012 in June and July 2012.[32][33] In June 2012, The Used were forced to cancel all scheduled Canadian tour dates due to McCracken's criminal record. McCracken said he would not be allowed entry into the country for ten years because of some "teensy, eensy misdemeanors," including trespassing, from many years earlier.[34]

The Ocean of the Sky and Imaginary Enemy (2013–2015)Edit

Justin Shekoski and Bert McCracken performing in 2015.

Sub City (Hopeless Records' non-profit 501(c) organization) announced on November 9, 2012 that The Used, with support from We Came As Romans, Crown The Empire, and Mindflow, will headline the annual nationwide charity tour will circle the US through February, showcasing some of the best bands in music today while raising funds and awareness for It Gets Better Project and the concept that we can all help play a part in making a positive impact.[35] The Used's fifth studio album was re-issued as a two-disc set titled Vulnerable (II) on January 22, 2013.[36] On March 11, 2013, the band released a music video for the single "Hands and Faces".[37]

In June 2013 The Used announced their new EP, The Ocean of the Sky,[38] and the EP was released the following month.[39]

In mid-January 2014, the band revealed their sixth studio album, Imaginary Enemy. It was released on April 1, 2014 through their label GAS Union.[40] The album was greatly influenced by McCracken's daughter.[41]

In early February 2015, it was announced that guitarist Quinn Allman parted ways with the band for a one-year hiatus. Saosin's guitarist Justin Shekoski became his replacement as touring member for subsequent tours from February 2015. The Used toured the United Kingdom in February 2015 with support from the Landscapes.[42] On November 19, 2015, The Used announced that Allman amicably parted ways with the band permanently and then touring member Shekoski was welcomed as his permanent replacement.[43] However, Allman later revealed that he had intended to return to the band for the anniversary tour, and his departure was a one-sided decision by the band which he became aware of via the band's Facebook announcement.[44]

15 year anniversary tour and The Canyon (2016–2018)Edit

The band released a live album, Live & Acoustic at the Palace, in April 2016. It was recorded at a show on October 11, 2015 at the Palace in Los Angeles. It is the first release without guitarist Quinn Allman, and first to feature new guitarist Justin Shekoski. The Used spent all of 2016 touring Europe, North America, and Australia to celebrate their 15-year anniversary. In every city they played 2 shows in 2 nights, with their self titled album on the first night, and In Love and Death on the second night. The Used entered the studio to record a new album in March and spent 5 months working on it until they finished up in July, working with producer Ross Robinson, who has previously worked with bands such as Korn and At the Drive-In. Their 7th studio album titled The Canyon was released on October 27, 2017, with a video for the song "Over and Over Again" being released prior to the album's release.[2]

In March 2018, The Used removed Justin Shekoski from their band members section on Facebook and edited him out of their promotional photos. At the end of April 2018, Joey Bradford of the band 'Hell or Highwater' appeared in videos of the band practicing for upcoming tour dates. In May 2018, it was revealed by TMZ that The Used had issued a restraining order against Shekoski after he parted ways with the band. Shekoksi reportedly threatened to hang himself in the middle of a show as "retaliation", claiming the band ruined his life and stole all his creative work. On May 7, 2018, The Used issued a statement stating that Shekoski was no longer in the band "due to personal and artistic differences". The band clarified that the restraining order was a legal precaution, intended to keep the band, the crew, and their fans safe. The band also addressed Shekoski's hanging threat, saying "Even and especially in the toughest times, the threat of suicide should never be taken lightly." The band had also been disappointed that TMZ had published the information and requested privacy on the matter.[45] [46]

Eighth studio album (2019–present)Edit

The Used released a limited vinyl EP titled Live from Maida Vale on Record Store Day 2019[47]. It consists on 4 songs recorded live on BBC radio in London, UK in September 2018, and includes a cover of Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park, interwined with the chorus of With or Without You by U2, and another of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. It also is the first release to feature the newest member Joey Bradford on guitar. Bert said in an interview in December 2018 that the band plans to record their 8th studio album and release it at the end of 2019.[48] The Used is also headlining the first annual Rockstar energy drink Disrupt tour this summer, a tour that is intended to fill the void left by the change of concept of the Warped Tour.[49] The Used have already recorded a couple songs for their next album (which is being produced by John Feldmann again) before the tour and plan on finishing the recording session after the tour which will most likey push the release date for their 8th studio album to early 2020. [50] [51]

Musical styleEdit

The Used has been described as emo,[52][53][54] post-hardcore,[55][56] punk rock,[57][55] screamo,[58][59][60] alternative rock,[61] hard rock[62] and heavy metal.[59] Bassist Jeph Howard has stated: "We just don't consider ourselves 'emo' or 'screamo' and we never have. We're a rock band, that's all we've ever been."[63]

For Artwork, McCracken described their genre as "gross pop".[22] Allman described the album's style: "It's gonna be pretty raw. I think a lot of the stuff is very much more poetic and lyrical, and the sound is more retro and raw with less production".[citation needed] On their fifth album Vulnerable, Bert McCracken stated that there is a lot of hip hop influence, beats and drum and bass kind of stuff, but it is also still a The Used record with many soft and heavy, brutal, sharp, bright sounds, and the tempos are anywhere from ultra-slow to super fast and heavy.[64]






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External linksEdit