When the Used released their eponymous debut in June 2002, the Utah crew staked their claim as one of the most promising acts in the screamo, post-hardcore and emo scenes. Led by singer Bert McCracken, the album is chock-full of emotional, guitar-driven earworms like "Buried Myself Alive," "The Taste of Ink" and "A Box Full of Sharp Objects" that connected big time with the Warped Tour crowds — resulting in The Used rising to Number One on Billboard's Heatseekers chart (before becoming platinum certified by the RIAA). The record, which is now considered a landmark in the abovementioned styles, also influenced other rising artists in their own musical journeys — including Atreyu guitarist Dan Jacobs. Below, we talked to Jacobs about his connection to The Used and its enduring impact on him.
TELL US THE STORY ABOUT THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD THE USED'S 2002 SELF-TITLED DEBUT.
DAN JACOBS I want to say I discovered the Used via MTV 2 when the channel was still playing music videos and had just started featuring more aggressive artists that had the whole singing-screaming thing going on. It was really inspiring and gave hope to a band like us because we were also heading into the unknown via our own singing-screaming style. I loved the energy of the band especially how crazy Bert was. It really complimented the splashes of spastic aggressive yelling that balanced out the softer side of his vocals and their music.
ATREYU HAVE TOURED WITH THE USED BEFORE. ANY PARTICULAR MOMENTS STAND OUT IN YOUR MIND OF EITHER SEEING THEM ONSTAGE OR HANGING WITH BERT AND THE GUYS?
When we first toured with The Used in 2004, they were the hot thing at the time, and Bert was even on The Osbournes reality show, dating Kelly Osbourne. I remember our first show with them, which I think was in Ventura, California, hanging out with Bert back by the buses on the loading dock. We were talking about his relationship with Kelly and I remember thinking how surreal the whole thing was.
HOW, IF AT ALL, DID THE USED'S SELF-TITLED ALBUM INFLUENCE YOUR OWN CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT, OR THE WAY YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WRITING OR PERFORMING MUSIC?
They were inspiring in the sense that they were having a lot of success doing something as artistically left field as Atreyu was, so it gave us hope we had a chance ourselves to be successful.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TRACK FROM THE SELF-TITLED RECORD?
I couldn't pick just one on this great on an album. It's all killer, no filler. [Producer] John Feldmann is a wizard and working with the Used was an incredible combo.
IS THEIR SELF-TITLED ALBUM SOMETHING YOU REGULARLY GO BACK AND LISTEN TO? OR DOES IT REPRESENT A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME IN YOUR HISTORY?
From time to time, I go back and put it on. It still holds up and is better than most like bands in the genre to this day. Great group of guys as well!