Terrible Things formed not even 10 months ago, yet the powerhouse trio have scored an appearance at the South By Southwest Festival, a write-up by Spin Magazine, a solid spot on the Vans Warped Tour, a position in Alternative Press Magazine’s prestigious “100 Bands You Need To Know in 2010,” and after all that- a major label deal! Here is how Fred Mascherino, Andy Jackson, and Josh Eppard made that happen.
Fred Mascherino is rocking harder than ever these days. The accomplished musician is mostly known for his tenure in Taking Back Sunday from 2003-2007 as lead guitarist and co-vocalist while the band was at the height of their game (2004’s Where You Want to Be [Victory Records] debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts and Louder Now [Warner Bros. Records] earned the band all sorts of appearances- like one in an episode of Degrassi that was named after the first track of the record)… but Fred has been making music for far longer than that stint. He was in the Pennsylvanian band, Brody, from 1992-1999 and then in the trio Breaking Pangaea, which eventually got signed to Equal Vision Records. In 2003 Fred saw the first release of a solo song, “Heading Back East,” under the moniker “Basic Design.”
It was included on Equal Vision Records’ sampler Inventing The Scene along with the first solo Claudio Sanchez release, The Prize Fighter Inferno song, “I’m Going to Kill You” (which was rereleased on the 2006 record, My Brother’s Blood Machine as “The Missing McCloud Boys”). Breaking Pangaea had just toured with TBS when he was recruited (much like Chris Pennie of The Dillinger Escape Plan, and now Coheed and Cambria). While in Taking Back Sunday, Fred never stopped writing. He eventually left the band due to creative differences and shifted his full musical focus to the pursuit of his solo project. He asked his fans which name they liked best: Fred Mascherino, Basic Design (which is also a name of a Brody song), or The Color Fred. In 2007 The Color Fred released Bend to Break on Equal Vision Records. He toured a bit by himself, had a backing band for a little while, and then toured by himself again.
Along the way The Color Fred shared the stage with Matchbook Romance, Dashboard Confessional, Craig Owens, Ace Enders, VersaEmerge, The All-American Rejects, City and Colour, Chiodos, Coheed and Cambria, MxPx, From First to Last, Protest The Hero, Meg & Dia, Angels & Airwaves, Mayday Parade, Four Year Strong, Hawthorne Heights, Emery, and performed at The Bamboozle, Give It A Name, Warped Tour Festivals… September 2009 The Scene Aesthetic tour brought a solo The Color Fred to Off The Wagon in Alabama where he met Andy Jackson, who was working sound that night.
The two had never really spoke before, though they both appeared on Say Anything’s In Defense of the Genre LP [J Records]. It was even widely rumored that Andy Jackson was going to fill the void in Taking Back Sunday when Fred left. But this chance encounter resulted in both men exchanging mutual appreciation for each other’s previous endeavors and expressing an aching desire to start something fresh.
Andy Jackson is most known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player in Hot Rod Circuit. HRC rocked the country for nearly a decade touring with such acts as The Get Up Kids, At The Drive-In, Jimmy Eat World, The New Amsterdams, Reggie and the Full Effect, Dashboard Confessional, Saves The Day, Straylight Run, Piebald, The Snake The Cross The Crown, New Found Glory, Paramore, Midtown, Further Seems Forever, The Starting Line, Rival Schools, Recover, Thrice, Hot Water Music, Limbeck, The Forecast, and their personal heroes- Superchunk.
Andy is constantly rocking out in some form or another. He’s been a live performer for Reggie and the Full Effect as well as Say Anything. Andy’s project, (with then-The New Amsterdams drummer, Jake Cardwell) Safety In Numbers, put out a few releases on Triple Crown Records (including a split EP with Brand New in 2001). Andy Jackson (who has a black belt in Kung Fu) also runs his own recording studio, The Jackalope Studio, in Montgomery. That’s where he recorded and produced Hot Rod Circuit’s final album, The Underground Is A Dying Breed. Andy also worked with The Escape Frame at Jackalope. Not quite in his studio, but in tour buses on the Warped Tour, Andy recorded vocals from Gerard Way, Adam Lazzara, Anthony Raneri, Anthony Green, Hayley Williams, Aaron Gillespie, Jordan Pundik, and Chad Gilbert for Say Anything’s In Defense of the Genre.
Hayley Williams also contributed her voice to a song for Andy’s most recent project (before Terrible Things) which appears in an acoustic version on Death In The Park‘s EP [END Sounds]. It was just announced a few days ago that the DITP LP will be available for digital download on August 24th. September 14th is the actual CD release date. Andy is also performing Death In The Park material solo acoustic at the AP tent on the 8 Warped Tour dates that Terrible Things are performing in 2010.
When Fred got home from that solo acoustic tour, he emailed Andy a few demos. As the story goes, Andy couldn’t even get through a full song before he shut it off to call Fred up. “I love it. As long as we’re writing songs like that, I want to be a part of this,” (AltPress.com Exclusive: Fred Mascherino and Andy Jackson introduce Initials) Andy told Fred. They were both ready to stretch out from the genres that have constricted their music. No matter what project either artist has pursued they have been branded, “emo,” despite Fred’s degree in Jazz Performance. The bassist they initially connected with, Steve Lucarelli, has a love of jazz music like Fred. Also like Fred, Steve has yet to play in a jazzy band. Steve Lucarelli is known as the bassist of the self-proclaimed Blue-Collar-Metal band, Once Nothing [Solid State / CI Records]. Founding VersaEmerge drummer, Anthony Martone, also found he had great chemistry with Fred and Andy. In October 2009 the quartet announced their project, Initials.
Fred, Andy, Anthony and Steve played a handful of shows in the Northeast as Initials… 2 in October (The Note in West Chester, PA & Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn, NY) and 2 in November (The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY & 7 @ 7 in Cherry Hill, NJ). We didn’t hear from the group again until they posted a video on December 2nd, announcing that Josh Eppard was now part of the group.
“We’d been trying out a bunch of drummers looking for the right fit. We had some shows coming up and Anthony Martone took the time to do us a huge favor and learn the songs and play them with us. Since the lineup hadn’t been totally solidified yet, and Anthony had other projects coming up, we wanted to makes sure we were all committed to Initials, and that’s when Josh [Eppard] walked in and the chemistry was solid. Anthony is a good friend and an amazing drummer, and we wish him well on his other projects!”
-Fred Mascherino (AltPress.com Exclusive: Initials reveal new drummer Josh Eppard)
Josh Eppard is most known for his drumming and songwriting (and back-up vocals) in the “New Prog” genre-defining band, Coheed and Cambria. He first sat behind a drum kit when he was 11. Josh’s older brother, Joey Eppard, and their friend, Chris Bittner, were inspired to start a band… only, they needed a drummer. So with the help of dad (and seasoned musician), Jimmy Eppard, the boys set little Joshy behind a snare drum and high-hat. Legend is, Josh inherently kept good time.
After about a year of honing their skills in the basement the younglings gave themselves a name and began playing shows around Kingston and Woodstock, New York. They called themselves, 3.
In 1993 it seemed as if the trio hit their big break… Michael Lang, co-creator of the original 1969 Woodstock Festival, wanted to represent the band and give them a prime performance slot at the Woodstock 1994 Festival. Joey, Chris and Josh signed a contract with Lang along with Jimmy Eppard and Michael Birnbaum as co-managers of the teenagers. A movie was even made about them. Unfortunately, everything fell to shit. Their prime time-slot ended up being noon the first day of the festival and the movie never saw the light of day. Needless to say, they ended the contract and continued to write, grow, and perform.
In 1998 their efforts and creativity were about to pay off. 3 was picked up by Universal Records…. but amidst recording their debut, Universal went through a merger and dropped 75% of their acts and staff. The trio soldiered on, just trying to get their music heard. Eventually they crossed paths with Tom Benton, who personally funded the completion of their debut record and created a record label [Planet Noise Records] to get it out. 19 year old Josh, however, couldn’t escape the burning desire to play on as much music as he could. Against the advice and will of his family and friends, he left the band that turned him into a musician, and pursued a career in studio drumming. He was replaced in 3 by his mentor and local legend, Chris “Gartdrumm” Gartmann (of Peacebomb).
In the next 3 years Josh began to work with his friend, David Parker, who built a studio in his parents’ basement, but they didn’t form a rock band. Josh did get studio work at Applehead drumming for musicians such as R.A. The Rugged Man and Hesher, among others… but this project Josh was working on with his buddy, who he called “Wavis,” was hip-hop. Going by the name of Lil’ J, Josh spent a year putting together an album with Bobby Delicious and Wavis at the helm. They called it, Newborn, but the record remains unreleased.
In 2001 Josh’s favorite local band, Shabutie was having issues with their drummer, Nate Kelley. He immediately jumped at the chance to rock on stage again. The band changed their name to Coheed and Cambria, scored a record deal with Equal Vision, put together an album that included some reworkings of the Shabutie demos as well as a tune that featured a guitar solo by Dr. Know of hardcore-punk pioneers Bad Brains (Second Stage Turbine Blade) at Applehead (with Chris Bittner and Michael Birnbaum) and began performing in areas they hadn’t before. Breaking Pangaea brought Coheed and Cambria out on their first package tour. Josh with Coheed and Cambria, put out a platinum selling record, a gold selling record, and a gold selling DVD… a total of 3 albums and 2 DVDs. Mid 2006 Josh left as a result of creative constriction.
After taking some time off, Josh hooked up with Wavis to work on a Weerd Science LP. In 2005 Equal Vision put out a compilation of some of Josh’s rap songs that were recorded whenever he was home from tour with Coheed and Cambria, called Friends and Nervous Breakdowns. This time around the duo recorded a cohesive record featuring more live instrumentation and the story of Josh Eppard. Sick Kids has yet to see a release.
In 2008 Josh showed up at some of 3’s hometown shows (the band now signed to Metal Blade Records) and sat in for a few songs. One thing lead to another and eventually Josh joined up with his brother to put on a few Eppard Brothers shows. The first show was billed as just the duo, but they pulled all sorts of friends on stage. Chris Bittner, who had not performed since he left 3 in 2001, was pulled up as well and they had an impromptu “original 3” reunion. Coheed and Cambria’s Mic Todd even sat in for a set at an Eppard Brothers show. Jimmy Eppard began to hold down the bass with his sons and eventually the group evolved into the trio, E-Males. According to Jimmy’s myspace, the E-Males recorded an album at Applehead with Chris Bittner and Mike Birnbaum. There’s no more information about that.
Josh also has a developing rock project with Wavis and Ant Masington (Session 606, singer of The Flatline Symphony). They posted 2 songs on the Mours myspace page in early 2009.
“Josh Eppard is my favorite drummer,” Fred gushes in just about every interview about the band. A strong supporter of Weerd Science, Fred made it out to the first Weerd Science tour date at The Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA and mouthed every word out in the audience!
In early 2010 Initials recorded their debut full length at Synchromesh Studios in Birmingham with Jason Elgin. Some songs were written by Fred Mascherino prior to the formation of the project (such as “Revolution,” “Lullaby” which is originally a Breaking Pangaea song, “Terrible Things” which is a The Color Fred Song), some were written by Andy Jackson before he met Fred, and a few songs they wrote together. The previously written songs have been rewritten to reflect where the individuals are today as well as refer to the events that greatly inspired Fred. There were a series of about 50 house fires started in Fred’s hometown of Coatesville, Pennsylvania in January 2009. The band changed their name to avoid a lawsuit with another band of the same name. They were looking for other names, but couldn’t fight the feeling that the band name and the album name sum up the story perfectly. Terrible Things, oddly enough, are signed to Universal-Motown Records. The album art was done by Ryan Russell (who has also taken all of the band’s promotional photographs) and features Fred’s son and daughter. Terrible Things Terrible Things (mastered by Roger Lian) will be released August 31st, 2010. On April 17th Terrible Things put out a 7″ with demos of “The Hills of Birmingham” (which was the first tune they “initially” posted on myspace) and “Up At Night”. The band has released their first single, “Revolution” and have already been touring extensively… in a van… with only one other person (it’s Fred, Andy, Josh, bass player, sound guy/tech- Tom Martin). The “young” band has toured with Minus The Bear, Circa Survive, The Offspring, Story of the Year, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Anberlin, and have performed with Dashboard Confessional, Evolett, The Queen Killing Kings, 30 Seconds To Mars. July 19th the song, “Terrible Things” was revealed on Ragged. July 12th “Wrap Me Up” was exclusively posted on AbsolutePunk. July 6th “Lullaby” was exclusively posted on Alternative Press. June 28th Terrible Things posted “Up At Night” on their PureVolume page. April 26th “Revolution” was posted on MySpace and was released to iTunes and ShockHound on May 25th.
Vans Warped Tour
Jul 29 – Marcus Amphitheatre – Milwaukee, WI
Jul 30 – Comerica Park – Detroit, MI
Jul 31 – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre – Tinley Park, IL
Aug 01 – Canterbury Park – Shakopee, MN
Aug 02 – Sandstone Amphitheatre – Bonner Springs, KS
Aug 05 – Northlands Park – Edmonton, Alberta
Aug 07 – Utah State Fairgrounds – Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 08 – Invesco Field – Denver, CO
Terrible Things with Circa Survive, O’Brother
Aug 12 – Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO
Aug 14 – House of Bricks – Des Moines, IA
Aug 15 – Chubby Rain – Poplar Grove, IL
Aug 17 – Musica – Akron, OH
Terrible Things with 3
Aug 28 – Bearsville Theater – Woodstock, NY
Terrible Things with Mae, Windsor Drive
Oct 01 – The Canal Club – Richmond, VA
Oct 02 – The Casbah – Charlotte, NC
Oct 03 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC
Aug 05 – Vinyl – Atlanta, GA
Oct 06 – The Social – Orlando, FL
Oct 07 – Club Downunder – Tallahassee, FL
Oct 09 – The End – Nashville, TN
Oct 12 – The Historic Southgate House – Newport, KY
Oct 13 – Musica – Akron, OH
Oct 14 – Water Street Music Hall – Rochester, NY
Oct 15 – The Space – Hamden, CT
Oct 16 – Middle East Downstairs – Cambridge, MA
Oct 17 – School Of Rock East – South Hackensack, NJ
Oct 20 – Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
Oct 21 – Eleanor Rigby’s – Jermyn, PA
Oct 22 – World Café Live – Philadelphia, PA
Oct 23 – Chameleon Club – Lancaster, PA
Oct 24 – Altar Bar – Pittsburgh, PA
Oct 26 – The Eagle Theatre – Pontiac, MI
Oct 27 – The Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
Oct 28 – Off Broadway Nightclub – St. Louis, MO
Oct 30 – The Record Bar – Kansas City, MO
Oct 31 – The Waiting Room – Omaha, NE
Nov 02 – The Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO
Nov 04 – The Electric Theatre – St. George, UT
Nov 05 – Avalon Theatre – Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 06 – The Venue – Boise, ID
Nov 07 – El Corazon – Seattle, WA
Nov 10 – Bottom Of The Hill – San Francisco, CA
Nov 11 – Downtown Brewing Company San Luis – Obispo, CA
Nov 12 – The Glasshouse – Pomona, CA
Nov 13 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
Nov 16 – Nile Theatre – Mesa, AZ
Nov 17 – The Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
Nov 19 – The Door – Dallas, TX
How do you feel about the Terrible Things songs that have been released?