Hollywood Undead Talk "American Tragedy," Heavy Metal, and "Dead Cultoure"
Thu, 07 Apr 2011 15:19:15
Hollywood Undead Photos
Hollywood Undead Videos
Hollywood Undead's American Tragedy sounds like a party for the apocalypse.
It's dangerously heavy in spots—"Been To Hell" and "I Don't Wanna Die"—but it's also perversely catchy during "Gangsta Sexy" and "Comin' In Hot" where hilarious verses cut just as deeply as jagged guitars and staggering synths. There are also moments of intense melodic melancholy that truly make this offering timeless. "Bullet" is a folk-y rap study of suicide, while "Pour Me" is the kind of anthem of addiction that you could see them performing with Elton John at The Grammy Awards in a year. Experience American Tragedy and you'll feel it…
J-Dog of Hollywood Undead sat down for this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about American Tragedy, some of his favorite heavy metal bands, Dead Cultoure and so much more.
Do you feel at home writing heavier music?
Yeah, we're all fucking weirdos, man. We're all twisted in the head [Laughs]. Being more focused and writing weirder shit comes natural, sometimes we have to hold ourselves back and write music that's not so weird. That way, other people can relate to it. If we did whatever we wanted, we'd be like Trent Reznor on acid. People wouldn't understand [Laughs].
"S.C.A.V.A." captures that darkness. What's the story behind that song?
We were sitting around one day actually talking about the end of the world because of all this shit that's happening. The chorus came out talking about 2012 and the end of the world, wondering if it's real or not, and how everyone's freaking out. We were contemplating it all. That's how the chorus came about. Then Johnny 3 Tears sat there with it and wrote his verses. When we were touring with Avenged Sevenfold, we showed Synyster Gates that song, and he said, "Holy shit, that's the craziest verse I've ever heard! The lyrics are insane." It's pretty heavy.
You can make the end of the world sound catchy.
Yeah, nobody wants to really hear about that stuff, but if it's done tastefully, you can't help but pay attention to it.
Do you feel like "Tendencies" shows your heavy metal side?
I've been getting into heavier music lately like Suicide Silence. When we wrote "Tendencies," I wanted to make a song that kids would just go nuts to when we played it. Kids start moshpits at our shows. Not every song we have is the best mosh song, so I wanted to make a song kids could go crazy for. "Tendencies" came out like that.
Where did "Pour Me" come from?
We were messing around with chord progressions and that came out like a more major chord style than we were used to it. It's melodic and poppy sounding. We're talking about drinking obviously because all of us sometimes drink too much. It's one of those basic every day things that people go through but they don't know how to voice it or others around them don't know to voice it. It's almost like you're looked down upon, but no one actually talks about it.
Who are some of your favorite metal bands?
Right now, I've been listening to Suicide Silence a lot. They're cool dudes. We hung out with them in Vegas. They gave me some shirts and a hat but I threw the hat to some kid in the crowd in Montreal. Now, I wish I didn't [Laughs]. I've always liked Killswitch Engage. I just like to party [Laughs].
What are you listening to right now?
I listened to Skrillex last night for the first time. He's really good! I know he's a talented kid, but I was blown away. He's into metal so when he mixes those heavy aspects into his music, it's cool. I like it.
What's up with Dead Cultoure right now?
Well, Johnny 3 Tears just woke up and I believe he's wearing a Dead Cultoure hoody [Laughs]. We're about to come out with some new designs for the summer and a whole new thing. We've just been so busy with the album. We're going to start focusing on Dead Cultoure now that we have more time to do it.
Is it important for your to have the clothing line as a second creative outlet?
I love it because when you're in a band you have a lot of down time. Clothing is another form of art. You can actually come up with designs and put them on a shirt that kids will wear. Seeing a kid wearing your shirt is almost as gratifying as seeing a kid singing your song. It's really flattering and awesome. I love doing it.
Would you want to do another video with "Been To Hell" directors Jeff Janke and Corey Soria?
I'm really glad those guys came through with the "Been To Hell" video. I love it. I want to work with them again for sure. They handled the video so professionally and well. I'd love to do another one.
Hanging out with your dad tonight, Rick [Laughs]. We'll show him a good time in Boston. After this tour, we're doing a stretch of European Festivals. It's going to be fun.
Have you heard American Tragedy yet?
For a studio tour and exclusive video interview click here!
Check out our review of "American Tragedy" here!