The Used's Bert McCracken and Jeph Howard took time out of their busy schedule to speak about their 12 year anniversary, Stephen King and penis enlargements.

R13: You've just completed a tour with Evanescence, how was it?
BM: Yesterday was the last show, it was really good.

R13: How did you become involved in that tour?
BM: They asked us to go out with them, and we said yes. We've done a bunch of shows with them in the past, like radio shows and festivals. They asked us to come out to South America and the UK with them, so we couldn't say no.

R13: I believe you're planning to release an 11 year anniversary edition of 'The Used', what can you tell us about that?
JH: It'll probably will probably become a 12 year anniversary edition as we want to put out a DVD of footage of debauchery, fire and fire trucks. All the stuff that has happened in the past 12 years with everyone what has been involved with us. It is definitely something for the die-hard Used fan to see where we've come from.

R13: How does it feel to be part of a band that have been relevant for over a decade?
JH: It's exciting.
BM: It's very exciting, we're lucky to be able to be able to do what we do as this is what we have all dreamed of doing.
JH: Especially, right now when bands go up and down within a year of coming out.

R13: How do you think your music has grown since you started out?
BM: This is what we do non-stop, we've had a lot of practice and figured out what we all bring to the puzzle. We have definitely gotten better at what we do. They say if you practice something for 10,000 hours you get real good at it.
JH: That is weird.
R13: What if you were at 9,999 hours of practice?
JH: Then you're not good enough, you've got to keep going!
BM: Just put in that extra hour!

R13: How has creating your own label effected your work and what inspired you to do that?
BM: We just got treated like shit by Warner, we were with them for eight years and we had always dreamed to put out our own record because we care. People in business suits get paid to exploit music.
JH: They just want to get their name credited. It's always "It would be cool if you changed the lyric to this and this, then it will be great. Put my name in the credits for that."
R13: "This song would be great if you just re-wrote it and turned it into something completely different."
JH: Exactly!
BM: It's something we've always dreamed of doing and this was the perfect opportunity. We'd got dropped by Warner and we were about to make a record, that hindered the record making progress a little bit as we had to figure out how we were going to pull it off, but it's perfect, everything was in right place.

R13: Will the label concentrate purely on The Used, or will you bring in some other artists?
BM: We're just concentrating on The Used for now, but down the road we'd like to work with others. It's not a record label so to speak, it's an art production company so we can deal with anything. I have a cook book I've been working on, that will be coming out. We want everything to do with management, fashion, film, food.
JH: Penis enlargement. Anything.
BM: Anything artistically creative such as penis enlargement.
JH: Or reduction.
R13: That sounds like fun, I didn't realise you two were experienced in such fields!
JH: Well now you do, we can handle all your penis enlargement needs!

R13: Your last album 'Vulnerable' did very well, how have you been enjoying the success?
BM: Its been great, we've been all over the world since it came out. We have been having a great time, the reactions have been great, fans have really sunk their teeth into the idea of a positive record and being able to express yourself in a positive way. It seems like saying "fuck it" and that mentality is really cool now and we want to take it to a whole new place. Caring about things is awesome.

R13: Despite the success, you did have some backlash about the change in your musical direction with your last album, how did that make you feel and why do you think people weren't accepting of it?
JH: Haters are going to hate.
BM: The coolest thing about music is that there are so many types of music that people can like whatever they want.
JH: There's always a fan that will hate the record no matter what. They always want you to rewrite the first record, and once you rewrite the first record they will say you changed. It's not about writing music for other people; it's about writing music for us.
BM: Well spoken.
R13: I find it really irritating when people say they are into a band but only the early stuff before they were 'popular'.
JH: I hate that too, maybe you just didn't get into their new stuff, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the music they're creating. I have a lot of bands that I feel like that about, some bands I like their later stuff but cannot get into their earlier stuff. A prime example of that for me would be Cave In, I loved Cave In's original stuff but I didn't their newer stuff until later on and now I love their new and their old material, it just took me a minute to click with it.
BM: Music tastes are so specifically subjective. The shittest thing about the internet is that everyone has their opinion and it's out there in a public forum which blobs it into not the right opinion, if that makes sense. You're reading somebody else's opinion rather than forming one for yourself.

R13: Have you started work on the follow up album yet?
BM: We're working on some stuff, we are probably going to release an EP; about six songs. Vulnerable 2 is available for pre-order right now, it's a lot of songs that didn't make the record during the record making process and remixes, acoustic songs. We have the 11 or 12 year anniversary DVD coming out, so a lot of exciting things going on with The Used so check out
R13: Nice plug!
BM: Smooth, right?

R13: What influences have come into your life since recorded the last album that will feature in the next?
JH: Lots of stuff.
BM: Stephen King. I've been reading a lot of books by him so expect a lot of dark, creepy songs.
R13: Did you know that he wrote a poem about Crouch End, which is actually just at the bottom of the hill?
BM: I did know that but I didn't realise we were so close.
JH: Crotch End isn't what I think it is, is it?
R13: Crouch, not crotch.
JH: Ohhh... I thought you were talking about a strip club and thought 'that's awkward!'

R13: You played Soundwave earlier this year, how was that?
BM: It was awesome, such a good time. There's like 1 billion bands on that tour! Really fun.
JH: Hot, but fun.
BM: I'd love to do it again, it's a great tour, it's not too long. You play in front of a tonne of kids and great bands on the bill; we had so many friends out there with us.
JH: That was one of the easiest festival tours we have ever played on. It's so well organised and runs really smoothly. We'd show up and play. Easy.

R13: What can we expect to see from you over the next twelve months?
BM: We're going to be constantly busy, Vulnerable 2 is coming out, maybe an EP. We are headlining the Take Action Tour in the States, there's talk of us doing Warped Tour next summer. We'll be back here for some festivals, Australia, South East Asia... Maysia, crazia!
JH: Crazia is going to be cool; it's going to be crazy!

R13: Great, hope it all goes well and thanks for your time.