It's always a good idea for a group to make it on their own turf before venturing out into the harsh, cruel world. But what if your hometown is as hostile as they come? "Provo, Utah" and "Rock" are not two terms generally used in the same sentence - unless it's a contrast of opposites.
The Used, hailing from Provo and nearby Orem, had a tough time establishing themselves. First, their violent, aggressive and loud performances so shocked local club owners that The Used rarely got a second booking.
Out of frustration or desperation, the group chucked their day jobs to commit to their music. That soon necessitated panhandling to get buy. On top of that, there was McCracken's drug problem, referenced in "Maybe Memories."
Eventually, The Used landed slots on the Warped and Ozzfest tours building an audience. Signed by Reprise Records, the group recorded their self-titled debut in the L.A. home recording studio of producer John Feldman and at the legendary Olympic Studios in London.
Two years later, in '04, The Used returned with "In Love And Death." This Top 10 album provided much of the source material for their '07 live effort, "Berth."
Starting a new project can expose fractures that often force major decisions. As sessions for "Lies For The Liars" got underway, creative differences drove Steineckert to quit. He later landed with Rancid.
The Used continued recording using Good Charlotte's Dean Butterworth. Though Butterworth played on most of the tracks for "Lies For The Liars," it was Dan Whitesides who became the group's permanent drummer. The Used then did a stint on the '07 Taste Of Chaos Tour.
"Lies For The Liars," the group's third studio album, arrived in May, '07. The 11-song set included "The Bird And The Worm." It made its debut at #5 on the Billboard Top 200.
The Used recorded nineteen songs during sessions lasting six months - the longest to date - and there was some talk of issuing a double set. But it was decided to hang on to the songs for future projects. However, the group did issue a B-sides EP, "Shallow Believer," before starting "Artwork." Tours, especially an extended Asian jaunt, took The Used away from the Matt Squire (Panic At The Disco) produced effort - the first album not to have Feldman at the controls. The reason for the change was pretty basic.
"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," said McCracken in an interview for AP magazine. "Our songs are 10 times messier and noisier than they've ever been. We haven't been this excited about an album since our sel- titled back in '02."
A limited edition of "Artwork" contained a bonus DVD with behind the scenes footage and exclusive interviews.
Prior to the production of their next album, The Used decided to sever their ten year relationship with Reprise Records. They launched their own label named "Dental Records" (clever). However, that name was taken so the name was changed to Anger Music Group, an imprint of the indie label Hopeless Records (which was also a management, art design, merchandising and video production company - oh and their client list included The Used).
With that done, The Used finished their fifth album, "Vulnerable," which came out in '12. The set contained "I Come Alive" and "Hands And Faces." The album was re-issued as a two-disc set titled "Vulnerable (II)" a few months later and was followed by the EP, "The Ocean Of The Sky."
'14 saw The Used issue "Imaginary Enemy." The album came out on the band's own record label GAS Union through Hopeless Records. It was produced by John Feldmann, who also guided the band's first three and fifth studio albums.
"Imaginary Enemy" peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Independent albums chart.
The Used announced in late '15 that Allmann had left, nine months after he went on a 'temporary' hiatus. The group had expected him to return in '16. Stand-in guitarist, Justin Shekoski of Saosin, stayed on in a permanent role as The Used prepared for their 15th anniversary tour.
2002 The Used
2004 In Love And Death
2007 Lies For The Liars
2014 Imaginary Enemy
The Used's music has been labeled as Emo, Screamo, Post-Hardcore, Alternative Rock, Pop-Punk, Punk Rock, Hard Rock, Alternative Metal and Metalcore. What's left? "We just don't consider ourselves 'Emo' or 'Screamo' and we never have," stated McCracken. "We're a Rock band that's all we've ever been." That about covers it.