The Used's Bert McCracken Wants You To Steal the Band's Album From Walmart
You've battled a couple times before with addiction. What are songs you've written over the years that have really helped you deal with that struggle?
I think that being a drug addict and alcoholic [is] very close to my heart, and what's close to my heart always comes out in my lyrics. So, all these songs you think are about love and relationships are probably just my relationships with drugs and alcohol.
Probably a lot of your older songs to, right? When it comes to that, I've always been a big fan of the older stuff, particularly the song "Buried Myself Alive." Is that one that you're referencing to?
On the first record I was actually experiencing a lot of fall-out from a real relationship with a girl, but also with drugs and alcohol. I like to write my lyrics general enough so that people listening to them can for what they mean to them, not just for me specifically.
I was watching the video for "I Come Alive" the other day, and it's super graphic. Can you tell me about that?
Well, of course bullying is a huge issue and it's very tragic. But, on a completely different page, we wanted to make a music video that had loads of gratuitous violence. We all love horror movies and I love explicit awful things your mom would get mad at. At this point we don't have a label looking over our shoulders, and we can really do what we want to do. So we wanted to make something that was an homage to our love for horror films. We wanted to put a message out there as well, and we don't condone bullying or violence -- we just wanted to make a cool art piece.
Well it's pretty bad ass. So, when you had vocal cord surgery--was that five years ago?
Uhh, 2006 maybe?
Ok. So do you still have challenges with that? Is there any preparation you do prior to shows or is your voice back to where it was before?
I'm where I need to be in order to survive on tour. The way I approach a live show is I go into it 110%. That doesn't sustain...my voice doesn't hold out when I approach it that way. The screaming...I just try to get to where I'll be able to talk and sing tomorrow. That's the bigger picture now. Honestly, I don't care if I have another surgery. I'm down for that. [Laughs]
All in the name of the music.
Its not just music; it's my life. It's my life.
Yeah, you have been doing it for the majority of your life. When it comes to that, how do you think you and The Used have evolved as a whole since the self-titled debut album?
I really think everyone's come into their own, as far as being comfortable with the artists we are. Time changes everything, and we realize that now. We are an older generation now. The bands we take [on tour] are like ten years younger than us. So, it feels good to have been around as long as we have. It means a lot more to us nowadays than we ever thought it could. We understand why we are doing it more, and what we kind of expect from it. The passion is there more, and we understand each other better.
The Used is scheduled to perform Sunday, February 24, at the Marquee Theatre.