July 7th, 2010
PropertyOfZack was lucky enough to be given the chance to interview Fred Mascherino (ex-Taking Back Sunday, The Color Fred) of Terrible Things a few weeks ago. I had to hold off on posting it due to some announcements I couldn’t ruin for the band, but today’s the day! Fred and I talked a bunch about the concept of the record as well as future touring plans. Definitely check it out, it’s a great read!
For the record could you state your name and role in Terrible Things?
Yeah, what’s up? I’m Fred Mascherino and I play guitar and sing in Terrible Things.
The band was announced months ago but since SXSW you guys have really been hitting the road in a consistent basis. How is it out there?
It’s been a really exciting year for me and the band as well. We recorded the album and then after SXSW we started touring. We’ve been out with Anberlin and now The Offspring and Minus The Bear. We’ve got Warped Tour coming up. So we’ve mostly been excited because the people at the shows are excited. We kind of feed of their energy and I’m feeling this sort of momentum that I haven’t felt in a long time with a band and it makes me believe that we’re doing something special.
Is it nerve-wracking at all that all three of you guys have been in such prominent bands before Terrible Things to get out there in front of fans of those bands?
Well, I know what you mean, but we’re the kind of guys that kind of thrive on a challenge like that. It is hard because we play every night 8 or 9 songs that no one’s ever heard. But the way we feel is that if we can get a reaction out of them from things they’ve never heard then once the record comes out and we’ve earned our own fans and aren’t just playing for the headliners fans then I think things are going to really feel good. It’s been really promising. I understand, you know, they’re frustrated, but we’re definitely not at all yet. It’s just been all fun.
Like you said, you guys are heading out on Warped Tour. It’s been a few years for you, are you excited?
Oh yeah. Warped Tour is a strange beast. It’s the most fun you can have in the world because all your friends are collected in one place. There are so many other bands that we know or we’ll get to know by the end. But at the same time it can be a really tough tour. When I’ve gone to Warped Tour for the day in my hometown as a spectator it’s tiring. When you’re actually on the tour doing that day after day it definitely wears your body down, especially the heat. But yeah, we’re excited. It’s always such a good time. Such a special event and we’re just happy to be a part of it.
You and Andy got together during your acoustic summer tour and originally had Anthony, ex-VersaEmerge drummer, as your own. How did Josh eventually end up as the third member of the band?
We were using Anthony…I had just done a tour with him and he had just left his band. He just seemed like a really good guy, but we were kind of still looking for the right guy. Someone that sort of had the experience that the rest of us had. We wanted someone that has been through what the rest of us had. I realized eventually that why this band has been working so well…we all were in our bands and we all kind of left our bands, or in Andy’s case, Hot Rod Circuit ended right at the time that I left Taking Back Sunday and right at the time that Josh left Coheed, so we had a couple years in between to try new things. Andy was doing Death In The Park and I was doing The Color Fred and we kind of all realized at the same time, I kinda missed being in a band while these were more solo projects. I think the fact that we had a couple of years there kind of made us appreciate each other now that we finally got this off the ground.
Will you guys be announcing an official bassist or just keep a touring one for now?
For now it’s just a touring one. Again, we’re hoping that the right guy comes along, but the chemistry is so good between the three of us. We’ve been lucky to bring out some of our friends to play bass, but we really just want it to be right. I’m so proud of the record that we made as the 3 of us and we don’t want to mess with that yet.
On the recorded material we’ve heard so far it’s been all you on vocals. Will there be any dual vocals with you and Andy on the record or will he just be doing backup?
A lot of people can’t tell that some of the singing is Andy, like the pre-choruses are Andy and in the choruses there’s a lot of back and forth. So live I think you kind of get the idea and are like, “Oh, Andy sings a lot more than I thought he did.” But there’s also two songs on the album that are Andy’s songs that he sings the lead on and then there’s one song, “Wrap Me Up”, that’s probably one of my favorite songs on the record. I’ve always been a fan of Andy’s writing and his insight has helped my songs get better. It’s been nice writing with people that are also great writers on their own.
The album is a concept record about arson in your home own. Is that predominant on the whole album?
Yeah, the fires in my hometown…there were almost 50 fires and it kind of serves as the backdrop to kind of a more fictional story, but some of its autobiographical for me. It’s about this couple that on their own and can’t sleep at night and are just wondering how to get out of it. The song “Revolution” sort of plays into it with “This is not a revolution until we say it is”. It’s ort of like people taking the power to make the situation better themselves and not just sit back and wait. But there’s a song called “Conspiracy Song” and that’s much more fictional. It’s about a guy that thinks there are all these conspiracies against him and it’s almost a humorous type of story about a guy. He’s sort of paranoid in the song.
Album names for concept records are often important. Are you still deciding on a name or have you picked one yet?
The album is gonna be self-titled. I think the name of the band kind of sums up the subject matter well.
Fans have reported in that the record is coming out on August 31st. Can you confirm that?
Yeah, totally, that’s gonna be the release date.
You came into the recording process with already written material but how much did you and Andy write together once the band was established?
Quite a bit. That song, “Conspiracy Song”, was completely rewritten twice, we really pushed ourselves. Cause you write a song and you fall in love with it and it’s very hard to say, “I think this could be better,” and to go, tear it down, and rebuild. But that’s what we did. We just really tried to get the best of everybody. Not just Andy, but Josh has had a lot of input on the stuff as well. There’s a song called “Arsonist’s Wife” and it’s the most Coheed moment we had on the record. It gets real technical and Josh really gets to show some chops in the bridge. It’s really nuts.
Before even releasing an official single it was announced that Terrible Things had been signed to Universal/Motown. When did talks between begin between you guys?
Well I was working on some demos and letting people hear them and just as Andy was joining is when I started to talk to them specifically. We were narrowing it down to Motown, but it wasn’t until after we got Josh that they came to see us and told us that it was more of a real, concrete thing.
When can we expect to hear more songs off of the record?
Very shortly. We’ve been just trying to get people to follow the Twitter and Facebook and everything. We’re trying to start with the very first fans we have and we’re gonna start letting them hear a few of the songs in the next few weeks.
Should we expect to see dates for after the bands Warped run soon as well?
Absolutely, yeah. We’re out. We’re not planning on being home until the world ends in 2012.
POZ: So after the record is released you guys will be out on the road?
Fred: Yeah, we’re trying to set stuff up right now and just pack the schedule as much as people will have us out.
POZ: Is a headline tour a possibility?
Fred: Yeah, we’re still spreading the word and it’s been a process, but I feel like once we bring in enough people. There are some really different moments on the album where there’s an acoustic song with like piano and there’s like some really poppy stuff. We kind of show everything we’ve done in all our bands and I’d like to be able to play every song at a show and not just have to play a 20 minute set opening for someone.
You guys have just been in Terrible Things for under a year, but after Taking Back Sunday and doing stuff with The Color Fred is it sort of a fresh start for you?
It’s all new people and we’re getting to know each other. Because of the bands we’ve been in we sort of get people’s ears, but they’re not automatically in. That’s cool, cause we want people to like us for the music and not just because they like our last band, we want them to truly judge in on what it sounds like. And like I said, we’re the kind of guys are driven by that and we pressure ourselves to outdo ourselves every time and just hope to keep doing it.
Thanks so much for your time, is there anything else you’d like to add?
The best thing about this band is the live show, so come out and see it and we always hang out and we want to meet people that are interested in what we’re doing. This is what we want to do for the next ten years so we want anyone who’s interested to get onboard, it’s gonna be a crazy ride.