PropertyOfZack Interview: Terrible Things #2

August 30, 2010.
Posted: September 10, 2010

PropertyOfZack grabbed the guys in Terrible Things a few weeks back to chat the day before their released their debut album. Fred, Andy, Josh, and I discussed touring, their new album, as well as a bunch of other things like Warped Tour. Due to the length of the interview we thought it would be best to break it up in two halves. Be sure to check back in tomorrow for part two and read up on today’s!

For the record, could you state your names and roles in Terrible Things?
Fred: I’m Fred Mascherino and I play guitar and sing in Terrible Things.
Josh: I’m Josh Eppard. I play the drums in Terrible Things.
Andy: I’m Andy Jackson. I play guitar in Terrible Things.

The record finally comes out tomorrow. Are you stoked to finally have official material released?
Josh: Couldn’t be happier.
Fred: Yeah, best day in years. We really feel like by working together we were able to make something greater than what we could do individually. It’s the best thing I’ve been apart of in maybe ever.

The band actually released, starting in May, every song from the record. How did that idea come together and what were your thoughts on it?
Josh: I think it was a multitude of decisions, but nowadays, as soon as a record gets put out to get reviewed it ends up online somewhere. It’s much cooler to us to be able to put the songs out for people to hear and be like, “Hey, check this out.” As opposed to the whole thing just showing up. And we wanted to give people a peek at the record so they could hear the music and I think for me personally that’s why I was into it. There were a lot of different reasons. But it was cool for us to give it to someone…
Fred: Instead of it just popping up.
Josh: And that happens. I’ve read some people who have said that there’s no mystery to it, but there wasn’t gonna be. It was exciting for us to give it to people to hear.
Andy: We’re a new band and we’re trying to build a fan base and we want people to hear the stuff.

Do you think it helped for live shows in terms of fans knowing songs?
Fred: We played Friday night with Envy On The Coast in Philly and there were a lot of kids there that new the words and that amped us up. If we hadn’t done it it wouldn’t have happened.

How was the Envy goodbye show?
Josh: Amazing.
Fred: They played for two hours.
Andy: It was one of our best shows.
Josh: We’re such a new band. We want to be in this band for the rest of our lives. It’s been that great and it’s been that exciting, but as we become the band that we want to be onstage, this is still growing. We’re still evolving and it’s so exciting for us to see kids singing along. And that all goes back to putting the songs up. I think we were so excited about the songs. You’re just itching to put them out.
[Everyone Laughs]
Josh: I can’t play it for my girlfriend for the millionth time; I want new people to hear it. Kids were stage diving. The crowd was into it. It really felt like it was really starting to happen. It couldn’t have been better.

You guys have obviously all been in bands that have had a very important role in this music scene, but do you get that feeling of this being your new little baby project?
Full Band: Definitely.
Andy: What’s really cool is that when we play most of our shows people don’t even realize or know. Later on they’ll be like, “Is that Fred?” Literally, “You kind of look like this guy Fred.” That happens every day.
Josh: It’s so funny. Early on, the first couple shows, Fred would say, “Hey, give it up for Josh Eppard on the drums, Andy Jackson on guitar, and I’m Fred Mascherino,” and you see half the crowd getting on their iPhones and checking, “Is that him? Holy shit, that’s him.” One day a kid came up to me and told me that he hears a lot of Josh Eppard in my playing [Laughs]. It was at this little show in like Iowa or something and I was like, “Well, I am him.” I thought that he was kidding, but the kid turned like ghost white. I showed him my I.D, but it was rad because he liked the band for totally pure reasons and it had nothing to do with TBS, Hot Rod, or Coheed.
Fred: He liked the music.
Josh: So what a great compliment. To go back to the question, I’m surprised at how much it feels like a new thing. That excitement, I haven’t felt this in so many years. I felt it with Coheed coming up. I didn’t think I’d ever get to feel this again. It feels all our own. It feels like progress. It feels perfect. It feels like it’s definitely our baby, our band. We have progressed and evolved from those other bands and it’s all our own.

You guys are in town to start a string of in-store and record release shows. Is it always nice to switch things up a little bit?
Fred: Well, we’re doing three shows a day for the next couple days, so it’s a little bit nerve-wracking, but it’s very exciting. We were up earlier than we ever wake up today; we were at a diner at 3am.
Josh: Warped Tour you gotta get up at like 6 in the morning, if you sleep at all.
Fred: But this whole week is the best way to launch it then after that we’re gonna go home and just rehearse a lot for the Mae tour so we come out with a nice show.
Josh: I think it’s also worth saying, any time we hit the stage we’re really excited. We haven’t really played a lot of acoustic shows. We did one thing on a website in Denver and it was so fun and it came out so great. I liken that to I guess our years of experience. Honestly, we threw together a rehearsal before it, but it really had a special thing, so I can’t wait to do some of the acoustic stuff. Today I’m not gonna do anything, it’s just these guys, but we’re gonna do some in-stores and I’m gonna play along with them. I think that’s one of the great things about Terrible Things, there’s a whole other side to things. These guys are great when they play acoustic. I’m a big fan. I think it’s awesome.

You have been touring constantly since SXSW. How was the most recent run with Circa Survive?
Fred: They’re one of our favorite bands. Go get that record.
Andy: We wish we could just tour with them all the time.
Fred: It was great. Their fans mashed well with what we were doing and it was a nice, nice run.
Josh: They’re definitely like an ally. They’ve been so great to us. We can’t say enough.

Terrible Things will be heading out on a very long fall tour for Mae’s farewell. Is a music video a possibility before it kicks off?
Fred: We are starting to think about it.
Josh: We’re in the very beginning stages, but there will be a video.
Fred: Right now there’s about a dozen or so stations that started playing “Revolution”, which kind of blows our mind. We weren’t thinking about a video until that happened.

Last time I spoke to Andy, he said that the fans at Warped Tour have completely changed and had never heard of Taking Back Sunday, Hot Rod, or Coheed. You guys are heading out on a big farewell tour, but in the future a lot of fans you see at shows will be in that young category. Do you think it’ll be a different experience to play in front of those fans that compared to the past?
Andy: Yes, I think so. They’re young and fresh and eager to hear new music.
Josh: Yeah man, like what a great opportunity for us to not rely on the merits of those bands. I think that’s just perfect. I don’t think any of us were prepared. You didn’t see one TBS shirt, one Coheed shirt. Just a few years ago everybody had those shirts on. It makes me excited.
Andy: There were literally days, like I said when we did that interview, we had a few guys giving out stickers and we’d write down all the times we were playing and would be like, “Have you heard of Taking Back Sunday?” and that kids face would be confused and then, “Have you heard of Hot Rod?” and you’d hear a pin drop.
Josh: Or, “I think my older brother likes them.”
Andy: It’s insane to me.
Josh: That makes me excited because we get to play to fresh ears and we believe so much in Terrible Things, I think that’s a perfect scenario.

Terrible Things went into the studio down in Alabama. How was it doing it down there?
Fred: Well, for Andy it probably was…
Andy: Awesome!
Josh: It’s like an hour from his house.
Fred: Josh and I, I don’t think neither one of us have spent a significant amount of time down south, right?
Josh: No, no, just like you. In and out in one day. I’ve been in the south for upwards of six weeks, but never in one spot for more than a day off.
Fred: I was there probably six months. We have a friend down there, Ryan Russell, who takes pictures and we stayed at his house or at the studio. We were writing there. We were staying at Andy’s house. It was really good for me as a writer to get out of my headspace. Sometimes you can say that you want to do something new, but you have to actually change something about your life to get that. Going down there, it was neat. I was with new people that I didn’t know. Jason has a little crew down there that we hung out with everyday. They had different ideas than the people in Philly, where I live, and it helped to bring something fresh to all of us.
Josh: Sure.
Fred: Josh’s playing on the record, there’s a lot of stuff I’ve never heard him do on any other record and I’m a big fan. It wouldn’t have happened if we had just recorded at home.
Fred: I think it serves any band well to get out of their box. Anybody doing whatever they do. You’re never going to evolve and progress if you don’t get outside of your box, and Alabama was definitely outside of our box. It was perfect.
Andy: Plus a lot of bands just keep using the same producers, the same people.
Josh: The same snare drums.
Andy: It all sounds the same. So we wanted to do something a little more organic and real. It’s all real drums, real vocals.
Fred: This kit Jason had was such a mismatch of pieces. You’ve never heard this drum on any record.
Josh: Fred had already met Jason and Fred was working on the demos. This band came together in a really different way just because of all the past experiences, but just like Fred said, getting outside of the box. Elgin, I respect Elgin and think really highly of him as a producer and as a human being. He pushed us. I haven’t been pushed in a while. In New York nobody tells me what to do [Laughs]. I don’t want to sound like that, but I’ve made every record of any significance from Weerd Science to Coheed at the same studio. Some people had their different hands in it, but I always had that comfort zone. So here I am in Alabama with no safety net and I think it’s the best I’ve ever played on a record. I think, this is not to discredit Mike or Chris, but I think that this is the best sounding record that I’ve ever been a part of by far. By leaps and bounds. It had a lot to do with that studio, and Elgin, and us brining it out. It lived in us and Elgin pushed us and we pushed each other. We’re really proud.
How was it working together as a group compared to your previous projects?
Josh: Really different. Fred had a batch of songs and he could tell you better.
Fred: It was nice. I knew coming into this, once Andy and I started working, that I was with a like-minded, awesome songwriter. There aren’t usually two songwriters, but now there’s actually three. Josh has two albums of Weerd Science. Everyone was throwing in their ideas. I had a bunch of songs even before I met them, but Josh was always saying that “This lyric would sound better than this.”
Josh: We definitely added our flavor to it. Andy brought some songs to the table. Fred told me that the batch of songs he had done were the best he had ever done and I was like, “Eh, whatever, I haven’t heard them.” Just like I told Fred that “I’m better than ever” and Fred was like, “Whatever.” But as soon as I heard “Revolution” it lit a fire in me. I had to do this. So we moved to Andy’s hometown and locked ourselves in a room and there’s where we wrote some of the more bandy stuff, like “The Arsonists Wife”. We had worked out some of Andy’s songs. We were a band in a room. It was exciting. I think that’s gonna be the evolution of Terrible Things. Fred’s always writing songs. Fred is one of my favorite songwriters and always has been, long before I was in this band.
Andy: We had no boundaries. If I said, “Hey man, try this lick on the drums,” he’d say, “Why don’t you check out this lyric.”
Fred: Josh is one of the few drummers that will try anything.
Josh: I think that all goes back to experience on our parts. There’s no egos in a bad way. Fred, by his own admission, says he cares more about the drums then the guitars, which is funny coming from one of the best guitar players ever. That’s why this band works so well. We’ve been there and we’ve done that and there’s no egos. If Fred has an idea, I don’t just try it, I’m excited to try it. That gets me outside of my box. I’m playing things on this record that I never would have thought of and that’s just fun for me. That’s awesome. Needless to say, it makes you grow as a musician and maybe ever a little bit as a person [Laughs]. I’m just being silly.
Like you said, you locked yourself inside of Andy’s house. In your previous band’s you’ve all had expectations to come out with the record to beat everything. But because you were just able to be in a room and screw around would you say that’s how the record turned out the way it did?
Fred: It’s not that it wasn’t ever on our minds, but we were also trying to do something we had never done. Like the first thing that the tree of us talked about was Tom Petty. We had this song called “When It All Falls Apart” that actually didn’t go on the record.
Josh: Nothing to do with the song, it’s a great song.
Fred: It was so down that Tom Petty ally…
Andy: It didn’t really fit on the record.
Fred: We had another song called “The Beatles Song”.
Josh: Oh my god.
Fred: It sounded like it should’ve been on Sergeant Peppers.
Josh: I fought so hard for that song. You think if the drummers fighting for the song it must be really nasty, but it was like the best Ringo impression. Who knows, maybe something will happen with that song. That was in the time when we were locked in Andy’s house.
Fred: I feel like we needed to go there and let go and not just talk about some mosh part or dance beat and just go, “I don’t care what’s going on in the scene right now, let’s just do whatever the hell we want.” It seeped into everything.
Josh: Even just rehearsing that and playing that, it still lived in us. I never really thought of it like that, but that’s well said Fred. It was important to play that kind of stuff and not be concerned. It’s only true to a certain degree. It’s safe to say that every person wants to one up themselves and that definitely lived in me. I wanted to one up everything I had ever done, but it does have a fresh new take on it where there aren’t necessarily expectations besides with yourself to be at your absolute best and to be at your pinnacle.  I don’t know if that makes any sense.
The Mae tour ends around Thanksgiving. Will you guys be taking time off after that?
Josh: I thought it finished after Thanksgiving?
Fred: No, before.
POZ: You’ll get to eat some turkey.
Fred: We’re planning on just staying out after that on different tours.
POZ: Is a headliner a possibility?
Andy: I think we have to get some fans first [Laughs].
Josh: If we could and we thought it would be good. Our record isn’t even out yet. It comes out tomorrow.
Fred: We don’t know how that would be.
Josh: Hopefully soon, Zack. That’s what I’m hoping. That show in Philly, it’s not like we know these kids, and they’re onstage, jumping into the crowd and there were people singing and clapping along. I remember just feeling like that it’s starting to happen. Who knows. That’s a good question. I don’t think any of us know. The sooner the better. Maybe that’s why I thought that Mae tour ended after Thanksgiving, because we’re trying to stay out after a seven week tour.
Fred: We’ll go home for Thanksgiving.
Josh: I’ve missed like three Thanksgivings in my life.
Andy: I’ve only been home for one Thanksgiving in the past 13 years. I’m serious.
Josh: You know what my family does? They order like 10 pizzas the day before and it’s like a tradition. My mom puts the pizzas in the oven and she opens the oven and takes out the pizzas the next day like she made it. That’s no joke, that’s a tradition.
[Everyone Laughs]
Andy: That is awesome.
Josh: And Chinese food on Christmas. My mom does not cook basically. If it wasn’t that it’d be like Captain Crunch for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the Eppards man. You guys are invited to our Thanksgiving party. We do do like a proper Thanksgiving, but it’s always like two weeks before, so I always miss it because very band I’ve ever been in has been on tour. I’m really happy to miss it. I’d much rather be on tour. I’ve been there the last three years. I’ve done my duty. I’ve done my time with the family and I’m ready to be on the road again.
Thanks so much for your time, is there anything you’d like to add?
Andy: Go pick up our record. We’re really excited about it.
Josh: We think you might like it.

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