About a decade late, Quinn Allman and Branden Steineckert (founding members of The Used) have done a tell-all podcast about their time in the band, and more importantly, talk all about how and why they got kicked out!
Tons of details behind the cut, but for people who mostly dgaf but kinda wanna know, the TLDR:
- Quinn/Branden wrote 99% of first two albums and are making music again now!!
- Bert and Jeph seem like huge jerks. Branden was kicked out for being sober, band wanted someone they could party with (this was pretty much known).
- Kicked Quinn out after he took a personal year for many stressors (multiple deaths, mom was homeless, etc.). He had intended to come back initially. He found out he was out of the band officially through the FB announcement.
- Anniversary tour with first two albums was Quinn/Branden’s idea, which other guys shot down. Then they kicked them out and used the idea.
Long af info about the drama for probably the 2 remaining Used fans in the world:
Band history/background while Branden and Quinn are still in the band:
- Branden and Quinn are the founding members, and the two of them wrote 99% of the first two albums (aka the only good ones) even tho all members are credited equally for songwriting. It was hard to get Bert to show up to anything bc of his drug use, while Jeph barely contributed anything at all (both musically and business-wise).
- Bert would party wayyy too hard, do shrooms at 5 am, miss soundcheck, sleep all day, be throwing up tiil shortly before shows. They had to cancel multiple shows bc of his partying. Quality of shows suffered because he hadn’t slept and “his voice would sound like shit,” he “wasn’t singing when he was supposed to be singing” or “screaming when he was supposed to scream.”
- Branden – “We’re all pulling our weight up here, but [he sounded] like shit.”
- Branden figured if Bert wouldn’t take care of himself, he would help him. Would make him tea and get medicine for him, “doctoring this kid back to being able to perform.”
- Bert = stereotypical rock star, heavy drug use, etc. He never actually consented to being on The Osbournes and hated how he was portrayed. Apparently Kelly Osbourne is very sweet lol (tho Starbucks prob claims otherwise). Bert went to rehab for drugs before joining the band.
- Quinn actually didn’t start drinking much until they started going on tour. Tried weed for the first time on tour.
Branden getting kicked out / stuff leading up to it:
- Partying got too extreme – tour manager had cocaine on their passports at one point while going through Canadian border. Branden was frustrated by dysfunction and lack of professionalism in the band (why he thinks he came across as uptight/not fun bc he didn’t like those things)
- Branden wanted the crew bus to instead be “sober bus” – thought “to each their own” and everyone could tour the way they wanted to that way, but ppl perceived it as a divide amongst the band (3 guys in the band on one bus, and then Branden’s bus)
- For the 3rd record, was told by Bert “Quinn and I are going to write the record” and “we’ll have Jeph and you come in and produce after.” Branden went along with it bc he just wanted to keep the band together.
- On Aug 1, Quinn calls Branden to kick him outta band. People were feeling like Branden judged them for their lifestyles cause he’s straight edge, even though Branden denies that he is judgmental at all. Quinn said Branden was “too different” and they wanted someone who was “more like them” who would party with them. People blame Quinn for everything tho he was more of the “final decision-maker” while the idea/feelings had been brewing for a while.
Aftermath of Branden being kicked out from his perspective:
- Most mad and betrayed by Jeph. “Everyone from label people to producers to everybody in the band” had wanted Jeph out of the band at one point or another, “that was just the nature of the beast.” Branden always went to bat for him and defended him. Was really hurt since Jeph wouldn’t have been in the band if Branden hadn’t fought for him so many times, but Jeph just went along with Branden being kicked out.
- Jeph e-mailed him, but Branden never responded. The one thing Branden respected him for was their friendship, but he let go of that to keep his job. Jeph would go along with whatever kept him a job.
- Wasn’t mad at Bert bc “Bert doesn’t stand up for shit dude, so I can’t really be mad at you.”
- A year after leaving, Bert called him and they talked for 3-4 hours. Told him “you’d go along with anything as long as you can keep doing you,” and “you don’t make decisions for shit, you don’t stand up for shit, so how can I be mad at you for this”
- He was mad at Quinn, but could still respect him bc at least Quinn had a spine and “stood for something.”
- Being kicked out was the hardest thing he’d been through after his dad dying. Had worked so hard to build the band, name it, do the recordings, and “build this monster” with his friends, and then got kicked out for being sober
- Heartbreaking to see the band replace him, play the songs he’d written. Got sick to his stomach when band would come somewhere geographically near him.
- Went from being “Branden from The Used” to just Branden. Became very depressed and isolated before joining Rancid 3 months later.
- When Bert invited him to a show in SLC, said he would meet Bert but wouldn’t come to the show. “That’s like watching someone have sex with your ex-giirlfriend.” ‘I don’t need to see that guy playing my drums and my beats and butchering them,” “those are my babies. If I have to see him play Blue and Yellow, I’ll be crushed, that was one of my favorite songs we ever wrote.”
- Rancid was one of his favorite bands, and people kept saying Branden being able to join them meant everything happens for a reason. Branden – “I’m not going to chalk this up to everything happens for a reason. What reason, so I could be in Rancid? I had my own band.”
Band after Branden’s departure / leading up to Quinn getting kicked out:
- Quinn said he and Branden were the architects of The Used. When Branden left, the functionality of the band changed immediately. Quinn got tired of the decision making, essentially being the responsible one.
- When Quinn and Branden reconnected (while Quinn was still in the band), they started making ideas for The Used, came up with idea of anniversary tour with both records on diff nights and using the original lineup. This made the current anniv. tour a “tough pill to swallow.”
- Communication was completely broken in the band. When Quinn suggested Branden coming back for a show, it was a “flat no.” When suggesting anniversary tour, response was “every band does that, I don’t want to do that.”
- Branden said Bert was being two-faced – would try talking Branden into working with the Used but would then scapegoat Quinn by saying Quinn wouldn’t be interested. At the same time, when Quinn would bring up Branden rejoining to Bert, Bert wasn’t interested.
- Tons of negative energy for every little thing – Quinn said they would be watching TV and there would be a negative comment about every single thing – “We hate Adele. We hate Beyonce, Coldplay, this commercial, that commercial, Little Caesars pizza”
- Quinn had ambitious ideas for band, i.e. taking out a loan with 5% interest and self-funding, instead of using major label where the label takes 60% of the cut.
- “We would get into the studio for weeks and weeks and it would be horrific.” John Feldman said he didn’t like any songs – “They’re not even songs.” Feldman would ask Bert if he had any lyrics and Bert would say “Yeah… but I don’t have them with me.”
Quinn getting kicked out:
- Quinn had period of intense stress after which he asked for a personal break . Several deaths of people he knew – Quinn became father figure to children of one of the deceased. His mom became homeless and he was trying to get her attorney/home.
- Everyone was very kind about it even with tour starting in month and a half
- Assumed he’d be back in time for anniversary shows, after taking about a year off. Then didn’t hear anything from the band. “It was just crickets, from that point until now, I haven’t talked to them at all.”
- At one point, he contacted the band to say “have a great tour, would love to come to a show.” The band texted back, ”Absolutely do not come to the show, we don’t want that energy around the show. There’s too much going on, we’ll talk either before or after the tour.”
- Quinn – “I was never told I was kicked out of the band, I was never told we were moving on with you, I was never told Justin is our new guitar player.” During a conference call, they were being evasive and hung up on him. He texted the manager “Am I being kicked out of the band,” and manager replied “I think so.”
- This is all the last he ever heard of anything besides lawyers contacting him saying don’t contact the band or financial manager, unless you do it through an attorney
- Found out officially about himself being kicked out via the FB announcement. The band posted numerous posts on top of it within minutes to try and bury the ‘Quinn leaving’ story. Quinn kept refreshing the page and saw the number of comments on the post go from 400 to 380 to 315, meaning the band was deleting comments/curating the feed.
Where they are now:
- Since Jan 2016, these two have been making music together, started a new band, and have a new singer. They aren’t releasing much info yet but sounded super excited about it. Podcast host said the music sounds amazing too!
Late last night recording guitars. Making more incredibly exciting, beautiful new music with the extremely talented Quinn Allman. pic.twitter.com/bv99h7hScA— Branden Steineckert (@801PUNX) May 3, 2017
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