Seth Smoot, Warner Bros. Records
The Used was formed in Orem; three members still live in Utah.

It's the day before the start of The Used's new tour, and bass player Jeph Howard can't wait to get back on stage.

"There's more excitement, we're more stoked than we have been in a long time," he said by phone during a break from a soundcheck on the day before the band's opening night in Seattle two weeks ago. "I haven't seen everyone in this good of mood in a long time. We're grateful to be on tour again. I'm so stoked."

The band's excitement may be due in part to all the players have gone through since their last concert more than a year ago and what it has taken to get to this point.

Last summer, The Used had an unamicable split with its drummer and founder Branden Steineckert. Steineckert has since reportedly started recording with Rancid.

The Used were also supposed to release a live CD and DVD a year ago, but one of the people in charge of filming mysteriously disappeared with much of the footage that was earmarked to be part of the DVD.

"No one has seen him since," Howard said.

The band was forced to come up with more footage. But in the long run, Howard said it all turned out for the best. The result was "Berth," which was released earlier this month.

"I'm glad we waited. It's better than our first DVD," Howard said. "Everything has been going like that lately. It's been more than good."

Howard, Bert McCracken, Quinn Allman and Dan Whitesides hope to keep that good streak going as they prepare for a long year of touring and album releases. The Used's third album is due out in May.

"It's great. I wish it was coming out sooner," Howard said. "We probably wrote 40 songs for this record. We ended up recording 20 of them."

The new record will have 11 songs. But the band also plans to release another EP this year with 11 more of those songs that were recorded.

"The EP is going to be heavier. Four of my favorite songs made the EP," he said. "(The new album) is more grown up. It's the most grown up we've done ... music, lyrics, vocal, everything about it. It's very, very mature for what we've done. It flows. This one has such a flow to it."

The Used plans on playing some of the European festivals this summer and staying on the road until the end of the year. But first, the band that was formed in Orem and has three members who still live in Utah (Howard, McCracken and Allman) will be making a hometown stop. They're headlining the "Taste of Chaos" tour with 30 Seconds to Mars, Senses Fall and three other bands.

"There's always something special about Utah. It's never going to get old (playing a home show)," Howard said.

Howard was actually in Trolley Square near the west entrance just 90 minutes before the shooting spree on Feb. 12 that resulted in six people dead and four wounded.

"That was crazy," was his reaction to hearing about the incident after he left the store.

If you go

What: Taste of Chaos Tour: The Used

Where: E Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City

When: Monday, 6 p.m.

How much: $15, $29.50

Phone: 467-8499

Web: smithstix.com


E-mail: [email protected]