May 20, 2010
by: Dave Richards
Anberlin, Story of the Year, Terrible Things will play an all-ages show on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Hangout, 216 W. Plum St., Edinboro. Tickets are $15 at the door or in advance at erieshows.indietickets.com.
You may not yet know Terrible Things, but you will.
The band features three musicians who made splashes with their previous alternative bands: Fred Mascherino (Taking Back Sunday), Josh Eppard (Coheed and Cambria), and Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit).
They just issued an impressive debut single, “Revolution,” from their forthcoming Universal Motown debut. They also decided to introduce themselves to fans via an opening slot on Anberlin’s national tour, which includes a stop at Edinboro’s Hangout on Monday.
Why not just headline their own club tour?
“You’d think we could do that, but we’re still just trying to get the word out,” said Mascherino in a phone interview. “I appreciate even doing this interview. It’s all about word of mouth and people telling each other. But Anberlin is a great band, and their tour is definitely something we wanted to jump on.”
He hopes fans latch onto Terrible Things, which melds a big rousing, singalong chorus with heated guitars on “Revolution.” It’s heavy, go-for-glory rock with a hint of pop, and not the least bit emo.
“It’s a straight-ahead rock album,” said Mascherino. “We go to a couple different places. There’s an acoustic ballad and a couple groove songs. But it’s all about getting back to good ol’ real rock and roll. I feel like it’s been awhile since rock’s had a new band where people are really trying to play their instruments well.
“Our favorite band collectively is probably Led Zeppelin, so we have very live-sounding drums on the recording, which is rare these days,” he added. “I feel real good about what we made. I feel like it’s a timeless record.”
It’s about a timely subject, though. The CD, due out later this summer, is a concept album about a series of arsons that ravaged Mascherino’s hometown of Coatesville. Nearly 50 arsons hit the city in less than a year, including 15 in one month.
“It was just a really scary time,” he said. “I was really affected by it and wanted to write a couple songs about it, and it turned into more songs. I sort of had the one song ‘The Hills of Birmingham,’ and the lyric on the chorus is, ‘We’ll sleep when we are dead.’
“That was about the fact that a lot of residents couldn’t sleep because the fires always came at about three or four in the morning. I never had any intention of writing a concept record, but it sort of happened through what inspired me.”
Multiple suspects were arrested for the arsons, including a former assistant fire chief. One woman died as a result of the blazes.
“The horror of that is she was a survivor of the concentration camps in Germany. She survived that and wound up dying in a fire,” Mascherino said.
There is no release date yet for the CD, which contains a song called “Terrible Things.” The band later adopted that as its name. Initially, they were to be the Initials.
“But there was another band, and they were threatening to sue. So we said, ‘Thanks a lot. You guy are really nice,'” Mascherino said. “But I think the new name fits a lot better, with the subject matter of the songs.”
Taking Back Sunday, Mascherino’s former band, recently took back two former members. He said he wasn’t asked to go back, but would have declined anyway. He prefers the harder-rocking sound of his new band, which is a supergroup of sorts, like Them Crooked Vultures.
“We definitely are a little more straight ahead than they are, and a little more catchy,” Mascherino said. “But those are people we look up to, Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age — they totally rock. That’s more the arena we’re going for with this band, and not so much of the younger music that I was a part of before.”
He’s flattered to be part of Universal Motown, even if they’re not exactly a Motown band.
“All of us, actually, are fans of the old stuff, the classics, so we thought that was pretty bad-ass,” Mascherino said. “They heard a couple demos and got really excited. They came out see us, and that was it. It was like, ‘Wow, cool, these people believe in this.’
“There’s not too many rock bands on the label, but that’s OK with us,” he added. “We like being in a small pond.”