Back in 2009, Alt-Rock group Terrible Things were in the receiving end of a lot of hype, and with good reason too. At the time, the trio consisted of Fred Mascherino, formerly of Taking Back Sunday, Andy Jackson of Hot Rod Circuit, and Josh Eppard, from Coheed and Cambria. The so-called “supergroup” were quickly picked up by Universal Records and their self titled début was released the following year.
However following its release, the band fell apart. The strain of living far away from each other took its toll, and gradually both Jackson and Eppard departed leaving just guitarist Mascherino on his own. On top of that, the band left Universal Records.
Now refreshed with a new members; bassist Aaron Van Allen and drummer Steve Curtiss, Fred Mascherino has regrouped Terrible Things and have released a new EP, ‘Pre-Tranmission’, although it is solely Mascherino’s own work it is the start of a new chapter for the Pennsylvania-based trio.
Fred Mascherino recently spoke to Already Heard about a vareity of subjects including the bands lineup changes, working as an independent band and what the difference is between Terrible Things and his previous project, The Color Fred.
Already Heard: Hi Fred how are you today?
Fred: Super great. Always exciting when you have new music coming out.
AH: First of Terrible Things has gone through a lot of changes over the last couple of years with the most notable change being the line-up. Can you tell us how Aaron Van Allen and Steve Curtiss came into the band?
Fred: Musicians are all crazy. It’s never easy to keep several of them together…and I’m no different. I’ve known Steve for a long time. He played drums for The Color Fred project. I guess he’s good at putting up with me. I think the three of us sound really great together and it has an excitement to it that I haven’t felt in a long time.
AH: Were the changes expected or was it a case of unfortunate events that lead to the changes?
Fred: It was a surprise when our last drummer Josh was asked to play in Coheed and Cambria again, but I’m super happy for him and I think this is working out better for everybody.
AH: You’ve said previously Terrible Things now feels more like a band, especially with Aaron and Steve living in the same area. How important was this factor in “regrouping” Terrible Things?
Fred: The band once stretched from Albany to Alabama, so having us in the same town has been huge. We can play and write and record music all the time.
AH: How have the events over the past few years affected your song-writing, especially on ‘Pre-Tranmission’?
Fred: The songwriting, luckily has always been there for me. I guess I have just enough imbalance in my life to need to write this stuff. I think the big difference is that, more than ever, I’m determined to make each song as good as it can be. I don’t ever want to settle. I always want to feel like what we’re doing is important to do.
AH: You’ve always written all of Terrible Things’ material yet people still question why it’s not released under The Color Fred name. Care to explain?
Fred: With all the interest people still have in it, I consider The Color Fred record a success and I’m definitely thankful for that. I thought alot about the name thing when I decided to play everything on this record and even the fact that Steve is playing with me again. The truth is, no matter what I called it, this is what my music would sound like right now at this moment. I do like calling it Terrible Things though. t fits loud noisy rock music.
AH: On ‘Pre-Tranmission’ you played every instrument and produced the EP. What was that experience like?
Fred: Playing all the instruments was pretty tough. I really liked producing though. I’ve made quite a few records over the years with some great producers and luckily I was paying attention to what they were doing. I hope to do more of it.
AH: At what point did Aaron and Steve come into the band and did thay have any later input on the EP?
Fred: The EP was already done but we have new songs we’ve been working on since they joined and I’m expecting them to play on the recording next time.
AH: Compared to the Self-Titled record and the obvious difference in personnel, how has the bands sound developed on the new EP?
Fred: It falls between 90’s alternative and 70’s classic rock. I like both eras and I think I found a good hybrid within my writing style. I can tell you that this music, feels very natural to play and I think people can feel that when they hear it, especially live.
AH: ‘Pre-Tranmission’ is your first independent release since leaving Universal. How have you found it having freedom to whatever you want?
Fred: Being on a label, sometimes you feel so helpless because you’re depending on people that in some cases don’t really care about you. With a self-release, we’re depending on our fans, the people that care about us the most. When you buy from our website, we’re mailing that out. I’m drawing some doodle on the envelope and writing a little note. Then I see that same person commenting on Facebook somewhere and it feels like we’re putting our team together. I can’t see a better way of doing it for me. It feels great.
AH: On the track ‘Last Look’, Jon Simmons of Balance and Composure provides guest vocals. How did that collaboration come together?
Fred: Jon likes Chinese food. I like Chinese food. We wound up at a restaurant together off South Street in Philly. We talked about doing something together and I’m so glad it worked out. His voice really makes “Last Look” for me. I really love it.
AH: The EP is being released on single-sided 12” vinyl rather than double-sided 7". What is the reason for this?
Fred: It’s the anti-single. I wanted this to be one piece of rock music. Albums seem dead right now. Alot of people that think they’re making albums are just making 5 singles followed by some other songs. I wanted to make what I call an unbroken record, like a 17 minute symphonic experience that takes you somewhere and makes you feel something. The vinyl was the best fit for that.
AH: Following on from ‘Pre-Tranmission’, what can we expect from yourself and Terrible Things in the coming months? Have you been working on new material?
Fred: Our plan is to always be working on new music. You won’t wait a year to hear from us. We’ll be putting things out as quickly as we can make it. We’ll be touring too in 2013. Stay tuned.
AH: Do you have any final words for the Already Heard readers?
Fred: Forget what I’ve done in the past and just take the music for what it is. Listen without prejudice.
‘Pre-Transmission’ EP by Terrible Things is available now.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)