"Watching a show live is a magic you can’t recreate": The Used's Jeph Howard on the new normal of the music scene

"Watching a show live is a magic you can’t recreate": The Used's Jeph Howard on the new normal of the music scene


The Used take us down a rabbit hole of literature and imaginary moshpits with the release of their eighth studio record Heartwork.

While the coronavirus pandemic has taken away the world's sense of normal, the American post-hardcore band resuscitate our emo hearts for a reprieve from our emotionally grueling reality. Their 16-track offering takes listeners back to the Bazooka Rocks heroes' days of reckless and neck-breaking fun in the pit, all while helping us stay safe and sane at home. It may be the smallest thing we can hold on to right now, but it will definitely keep that spark of hope in us alive until it could finally blow up on the night we catch them live again.

The Used's Bert McCracken runs through the band's pain-stained discography — interview

Bandwagon caught up with bassist Jeph Howard to check in on how he's been doing through quarantine, his thoughts on how the pandemic is re-shaping the industry, and his plans for once this is all over.

Congrats on the new album (we're really digging it)! You covered a whole lot of genres on Heartwork without alienating listeners. Tell us, how do you think you guys managed to pull that off?


Thank you! We are very lucky, Bert’s voice is full of personality, so no matter what we do it will always sound like The Used.

Typically, bands go on tour to support their latest releases but since it looks like we won't be having any live shows for a long time, how have you been doing in terms of work and planning future projects?

We’ve been doing a bunch of press and trying to push Heartwork as much as possible from home, with lyric videos, music videos, artwork contests which our fans are incredible at. I’m pretty sure The Used fans are the most artistic music fans I’ve ever seen. We’re also planning on making another music video but not sure when quarantine will be lifted plus we have planned out some tours for the future but exact dates are still a blur.

What else have you been doing since the whole world went into quarantine?

Playing lots of bass, growing some food, making a lot of food, walking the dog, video games, horror movies, playing more bass, researching UFOs, and finally jamming music.

Besides the postponement of live concerts, how do you think the world's current situation is re-shaping the music scene?

I am really hoping it doesn’t turn into online concerts. Watching a show live is a magic that you can’t recreate unless you’re there to experience it. We also don’t know what’s going to happen, the future is a bit uncertain which is exciting and scary at the same time. I’m a big believer in keeping it positive and think things will return to semi-normal real soon.

Emo never dies: A playlist – listen

Which of the new songs are you looking forward to playing live?

“The Lighthouse”. Before this quarantine we were lucky enough to play both “Paradise Lost” and “Blow Me” on tour and those we will probably play from now on, so much fun.

Do you see yourselves hitting the road with Caleb Shomo, Jason Aaron Butler, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker for the ultimate ‘Heartwork’ tour?

Yes, for sure going to tour with all of them at some point in the future. Really excited for that.

What are you looking forward to after the pandemic is over?

Casually buying toilet paper without needing a weapon.

Stream The Used's Heartwork below.