I wanted to share the music that inspired my songwriting style at a young age, the music THESE WOLVES was raised on. I grew up in the 90’s and the first band that I fell in love with was Nirvana.
Kurt Cobain made me pick up a guitar and make noise but Duncan Sheik and Elliott Smith taught me how lyrics can move people. I learned quiet to loud dynamics and how to tell a story through lyrics and melody listening to these artists.
I experimented through the years songwriting, trying to meld what I love: the vulnerability of Nirvana’s “Dumb” or Cold’s “Bleed”, the heaviness of Linkin Park’s “One Step Closer” or KoRn’s “Here To Stay”, with the excitement and unpredictability of Foo Fighters’ “Monkey Wrench” and The Used’s “Take Me Away” and incorporate it in my music.
On Tuesday, October 31st, The Used took on the Uptown Theater in midtown Kansas City, Missouri to party it up on the most spooktacular evening of the year with help from post-hardcore favorite Glassjaw.
Members of the audience moved about the theater dressed as Clint Eastwood, Batman and Wayne Campbell of Wayne’s World. Not to be outdone, lead vocalist Bert McCracken debuted his look as the Pope as he twirled his garments and hat through “Take It Away” and “The Bird and the Worm.” Bandmates Jeph Howard, Justin Shekoski and Dan Whitesides also dressed for the occasion as a banana, the grim reaper and the Kool Aid Man respectively. McCracken’s ferocious vocals and the eerie Art Deco architecture adorning the venue’s walls added to the sinister night.
The band is touring in support of their just-released seventh studio album, The Canyon. The 17-track analog record stretches 80 minutes and is the first in which Shekoski stepped in for former guitarist Quinn Allman. It is also written as McCracken recovered from the sudden loss of childhood friend Tregen Lewis. Songs featured during the show included the Kurt Cobain-inspired anthem “Over and Over Again” and the live debut of the self-aware galvanizing chorus that is “The Nexus.”
Inspired by Michael Jackson to dance at the age of eight, McCracken refrained from performing his version of the Thriller dance. Though he spoke to the healing abilities of music and power of expression. “Try not to escape your problems but face your fears and maybe you’ll walk out (of it) feeling better,” he said.
Photographer Ashleigh Lee nabbed some stills for us, and you can check them out below!
For those of you living under rocks, everyone’s favorite turn of the century alt rock band continues to put out killers. The most recent gem – a music video for their track “Over And Over Again” (published September 7th) – is as quirky as the cowbell that introduces the song. And Bert McCracken’s signature vocals dance in a strangely melodic and ethereal way – as his range truly surprises people every single time – over the instrumentals, which are pure pop rock at their core. The simple video filled with blank space for much of it really gives your eyes a lesson in contrast, while the guys dance and act out absurd and visually pleasing storylines.
The video for “Over And Over Again” is a true amalgamation of The Used’s wide range of talent, continually catapulting them into the bright future of alt rock.