Interviews

Interview: Jepha Howard of The Used

After months of built up excitement, rock icons The Used have released their eighth studio album Heartwork today – https://theused.ffm.to/heartwork. Available to purchase and stream via Big Noise, this album arrives with the unbound spirit of the pair of platinum albums that first introduced The Used to the world, mixed with the dramatic air of their gold-certified third. The emotion, sincerity, and vulnerability found on The Used (2002) and In Love and Death (2004) is more urgent and insistent than ever on Heartwork, a diverse 16-song offering filled of self-examination, hyper-literate exploration, political pyromania, and keenly self-aware yet unrestrained whimsy. We caught up with Jepha Howard to chat about the album

Songs like recent singles “Blow Me”, “Paradise Lost, a poem by John Milton” and “Cathedral Bell” take their place alongside some of the best-known jams to emerge from the frenetic “screamo” world, anthems that conquered hearts and minds and Active Rock. “The Bird and the Worm,” “The Taste of Ink,” “All That I’ve Got,” “I Caught Fire,” and “Blood On My Hands” are beloved for their raw emotion, authentic defiance, and inviting empathy, all of which etched them into the spiritual DNA of a legion of like-minded listeners across the globe.
Heartwork marks the return of John Feldmann to The Used family as he is producing the album and also the head of A&R at Big Noise. “I couldn’t be more honored or grateful to have one of my favorite bands of all time at my record label! They are one of the most influential bands of the last 20 years and we are making a career-defining album at the minute,” shares Feldmann. “They are one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen and Bert is quite possibly the best singer I’ve ever worked with. This has been a dream of mine since I met them in 2001.”
Feldmann signed The Used to Reprise Records in January 2002, one short year after the band formed in Orem, Utah. He also produced some of the band’s most monumental albums including their self-titled debut, Maybe Memories, In Love and Death, Lies for the Liars, Vulnerableand Imaginary Enemy.
In addition to the literary figures woven throughout the record, the album features a number of formidable flesh-and-blood musical guests. These are folks who’ve appeared alongside The Used on festival and touring bills and who share the band’s affinity for working with John Feldmann — Jason Aalon Butler (Fever 333) on “Blow Me”; Mark Hoppus (blink-182) on “The Lighthouse”; Travis Barker (blink-182) on “Obvious Blasé”; and Caleb Shomo (Beartooth) on “The Lottery.”
Most recently, the band premiered “The Lighthouse” featuring the incomparable blink vocalist with Grammy.com. As a special thanks to essential workers on the pandemic frontlines, the Used are inviting fans to be a part of the song’s forthcoming music video. They can submit videos of nurses, doctors, grocery store clerks, etc., now through April 28.

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