The Used headlines Chaos tour

  • By Victor Balta / Herald Writer
  • Thursday, March 24, 2005 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

You never know what to expect from The Used.

The band’s drummer has a small metal bar pierced through the bridge of his nose. Its bassist has studs in his bottom lip.

Its lead singer seems to get arrested every time he steps into the state of Florida.

Yet the first song on the band’s new album is an ode to his recently deceased Chihuahua.

Now the pop-rock band from Orem, Utah, tops the lineup for the aptly named Taste of Chaos tour, which makes a stop at the Everett Events Center at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Used is a somewhat unlikely choice to close the show after harder bands such as Killswitch Engage and My Chemical Romance.

“One thing (the tour) offers is dynamics,” drummer Branden Steineckert said last week via cell phone from St. Louis. “We’re not just playing a straight heavy set to fit in. We’ll mix in … a little bit of everything. I think it’s a nice way to finish off the night.”

The last three years have been a whirlwind for The Used, which burst onto the scene in 2002 with its self-titled debut. With singer Bert McCracken yelling his soul into the microphone, the band etched its place in music’s hottest genre, “screamo,” which blends whiny “emo rock” with well-timed shouting.

Before the album came out in June 2002, the band had played 20 or so shows around Utah. Since then it’s logged more than 600 performances, stopping only for a few months for a break and to record a follow-up album, “In Love and Death.”

The sophomore release features a more melodic, poppier sound, a slight departure from the full-scale assault of the debut.

“The only real pressure was applied by ourselves,” Steineckert said. “We wanted to step it up and try to do something we felt was surpassing what we did on the first record.”

While the music isn’t always the hardest, The Used’s rebel image is still intact, evidenced by a recent run-in with authorities in Miami.

“They tried to arrest (McCracken) again because of old warrants and whatever else,” Steineckert said. “Every time we go there, someone gets arrested or something.”

Legal disputes aside, the Taste of Chaos tour – which combines 11 bands and touches down in a new city virtually every day – has gone remarkably well, Steineckert said. The 37-date tour started Feb. 18 and ends April 2, with just seven days off, including a stop in Madison, Wis., that was canceled.

“It’s cool,” he said. “It’s kind of nice in a way because there’s such a family atmosphere to the whole thing.”

Side activities, such as chances to play the latest video games and attend autograph signings are also available for fans. But the music is the real draw.

“My Chemical Romance goes on right before us, and they kill it every night,” he said. “Killswitch Engage is on right before them. It’s kinda rad; we’re all just kind of excited for each other.

“This tour, we didn’t really know what we were in store for. It’s safe to say everyone has been surprised at how well and successful it’s been – how the vibe turned out to be. The set-up, ticket sales, the kids’ reactions have all been very positive.”

Reporter Victor Balta: 425-339-3455 or

Seth Smoot photo

The Used headline the Taste of Chaos punk rock tour, which makes a stop Saturday at the Everett Events Center. From left are bassist Jeph Howard, drummer Branden Steineckert, singer Bert McCracken and guitarist Quinn Allman.

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