My Name is Dan Whitesides and I play drums in THE USED.
Our new album VULNERABLE comes out MARCH 26, it's the fifth THE USED album and my third with the band. Out of all of our albums I think this one might be my favorite for the simple fact that the songs are fucking amazing. It's such an experimental album, there are so many different types of songs but it all ties in so well and It still has that classic THE USED sound. I think if you like THE USED then you'll love this album and if you don't like THE USED I really recommend checking it out because I'm guaranteeing there's a song in there for any music lover.
One of my favorite tracks is called KINDA TURNIN' ME ON. It has one of the coolest beats on the album; its a beat that uses kick, snare, hi hat and floor tom..... I think its one of the craziest songs on the album. You'll need to listen to it to hear what I mean. I'm a rocker at heart so all of the crazier jams are my favorites. KISS IT GOODBYE is another one that rules. That song stemmed from someone saying "play something sort of crazy" and that beat came right out and we wrote that song really quick.
I think this album is probably the most experimental album we've ever done. Some of the songs were written in our practice space as a full band, some were written on a keyboard, on piano, on acoustic and some we wrote in the studio. I think we work best when we mix things up and sort of keep things fresh. It was cool coming up with electro beats, jamming over the top with real drums and coming up with a beat that I may not have thought about . It's also fun to just come up with a beat, then Jepha or Quinn will jam out to it and write something that fits over top. We really do try and write in every and any way possible.
Vocally this album is one of the more positive albums we've done. There are definitely some super dark songs but we went in to this album on a positive note so we had no choice but to write a few positive songs.
I used REMO heads on every track. I love the EMPEROR X on my snare because I can beat the s**t out of it and it still sounds great. I don't think I replaced a snare head during the entire recording process; just tuned it here and there. For the toms I used REMOS COATED EMPERORS because I love the warmth and full sound they have, they're great for recording and once again I can beat the s**t out of them and they still kick ass. For my kick I used the the POWER STROKE PRO because you get a huge, warm sound and there's also attack to it.....it's amazing!! It's definitely my favorite head I've used on my kick.
VULNERABLE comes out MARCH 27. Thanks a motha f***in bunch to REMO for being so cool to me and for making the best drum heads in all of the land!
When I was a little kid probably around 8 or 9 I would sit in my moms kitchen for hours and beat on pots and pans with wooden spoons. I'd always ask my dad to get me drums for my birthday or christmas so when I was about 14 I went to his house for christmas, he told me to go downstairs and get him his guitar so I went down and there was a black drum set just chillin there. I didn't think it was mine because my dad was in bands that practiced down there all the time. So I went upstairs and said who's drums are those and he said they're yours and ever since that day I have played drums.
When I was in 8th grade I met Paul and Levi who to this day are still great friends of mine. We started a band and without thinking about it or talking to anyone we'd just meet up at Paul's house every day and jam all day and night. Besides skateboarding that's all we did. I played with Paul until I was about 19 and up until a few years ago I played in numerous bands with Levi.
From about the age of 15-19 I would play with a picture of Dave Grohl right in the middle of my kit he was and is a HUGE influence on me. I love his playing and in my opinion his playing on QOTSA "Songs For The Deaf" and Killing Jokes second self titled is some of the best by anyone on any album.
I've been in country bands, poppy punk bands, straight edge hardcore bands, indie bands, classic rock and roll bands, weird chaotic screamy bands and everything in between. There was a time right before I started playing in THE USED where I was in 4 bands at once, playing about 8 to 10 hours a day and loving every minute of it. I think that keeping an open mind to all types of music and playing with different people made me a better player.
When I started to really take playing seriously and learning new things was when I started listening the more chaotic and heavier indy bands that would use different rhythms/timings and here the drummer really shined, played odd beats and sort of stray from the norm a bit.
Later on I got in to insane guys like Tony Williams, Buddy Rich, and Dave Weckl those guys are beyond good. I would listen too or watch them jam then I would go to my practice space and try to emmulate what they did. Guys like that are geniuses behind the drums so I never wanted to be or could be as good as them but they inspire me to play better and to explore the drums in different ways.
Some of the bands I love and people that have influenced me over the years are REFUSED, Nirvana, Fugazi, Rage Against The Machine, Led Zeppelin, Earth Crisis, Snapcase, NOFX, Jawbox, Braid, Burning Airlines, System Of A Down, Deadguy, Tony Williams Lifetime, Buddy Rich, Dave Weckl, Mudhoney, Dillinger Escape Plan, Motley Crue, Texas Is The Reason, Sunny Day Real Estate, Sheilbound, Unbroken, Ink And Dagger, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Locust, In Flames, Botch, Steve Miller Band and about a hundred more.
I started playing with THE USED mid 2006 and haven't looked back since. These guys are the most talented people I have ever played with and this band means more to me then anything. Our Album "ARTWORK" is out now, we all love it and are very proud of it.
Thanks for everything you guys. I've always used REMO and I always will, Dan