The Used's Bert McCracken Goes Solo With robbietheused


The Used's Bert McCracken Goes Solo With robbietheused

(BPM) Best known for his two decades of fronting scene icons The Used, Bert McCracken has officially announced his brand-new solo project robbietheused. When people reach a milestone birthday, they tend to celebrate the occasion with an appropriately big gesture - a special vacation, maybe, or an extravagant gift. When robbietheused turned 40, that meant adopting a brand new moniker and making a leap to a brand new genre. "I wanted a nice 40th birthday present for myself," he says. "So I decided to make a pop record."

robbietheused found the transition from aggressive rock music to keyboard-driven pop music rather easy to navigate. "I've always tried to push for the poppy stuff for The Used records," he says. "And the band really likes to keep it heavy. So this is my way of getting all those pop songs that maybe wouldn't make a Used record out into the world."

To kick off the new chapter, robbietheused has released his debut single "Just A Little Bit" via Big Noise. Produced by John Feldmann, the track showcases the familiar angst of robbietheused's lyrics overlaid with a hesitant hope for brighter days, wrapped up in a synth-tinged pop groove that makes it impossible to stand still while listening.

"It's a song about living through turmoil of the world and seeing a bit of a bright future ahead, seeing the sun peek out of the clouds, seeing a mistake being fixed," says robbietheused on the new single. "It's about having a little bit of hope."

In general, robbietheused always finds solace in writing and recording new music because this creativity has a positive impact on his mental health. Having these songs were particularly vital, as he started writing during the COVID-19 pandemic when he was unable to travel from his home in Australia.

"The whole vibe was really, really dark-and I was in a really, really dark place," he says. "But recording pop music helped. Having a bunch of pop songs lifted my spirits quite a bit. And 'Just A Little Bit' was a bright moment in the record-seeing positive things for the future and hoping for the best."

Producer John Feldmann came onboard to work on robbietheused material. (Fittingly, "Just A Little Bit" was one of the first songs they recorded.) Given that the two men have known (and collaborated with) each other for decades, it wasn't a stretch for them to focus on pop-oriented songs. In fact, this camaraderie led to adventurous sound explorations, such as incorporating heavy bass undertones and effects and vocoders.

The pair holed up in the studio for intense, week-long studio sessions; among other things, they recorded one song every day, without fail. This approach to the recording process was quite meaningful, in no small part because it doubled as a daily mental health tune-up.

"In the morning, we'd talk about how we're feeling and what's on our minds on that day," he explains. "And ask, 'How's the mental health? How's the vibes?' And then we'd formulate a song around that. It was almost like a therapy session, where I'd really get to talk about anything that's on my mind, and then make a song about it."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the robbietheused songs ended up being heavier than others and resembling The Used music; in fact, one tune actually ended up on 2023's Toxic Positivity. Fans don't need to worry, however: robbietheused is a distinct project-and The Used isn't going anywhere.

"The Used is my number one priority and my favorite band in the world with my favorite singer of all time," he says lightly. "My band members have all been really supportive, and they know how much I love pop music."

With a full album and even potentially live dates coming in the future, robbietheused has proven to be an invaluable gift - in more ways than one.

"Any feeling is valid-and to be able to put it to song is incredible," he says. "And there's so much room in this world for positivity. I want this music to show that there's room for love. There's room for growth. There's room for redemption. There's room for sweet, loving revenge. There's so many good people-and so many good things happening."

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