Bert McCracken – Vocals
Quinn Allman – Guitar
Jeph Howard – Bass
Dan Whitesides – Drums

Vulnerability is commonly defined as "the inability to withstand the effects of a hostile environment." It can be a time frame, when "defensive measures are reduced, compromised or lacking" or more personally, the soul-shaking moment when we stare in a mirror, finally seeing every last flaw. The answer is to somehow find the strength to heal, repair and improve, and for the Used, music is that salvation.

Turning personal adversity into art is the Used's trademark, and the band's fifth full-length, Vulnerable, was a record that simply had to be made. It marks a particular triumph for singer Bert McCracken, who is now reenergized after suffering a broken hand and elbow last year, falling from a stage in Orange County, Calif., and then spending four months getting surgery and recuperating. The experience partially birthed the title and concept of Vulnerable.

"Me feeling that vulnerability kind of sparked this creative fire inside of me," says McCracken. "This record's really about becoming more than just who you are, and allowing yourself that vulnerability to be a more powerful person. It's a lot more positive than a lot of records we've written in the past. I think everyone could use some positivity nowadays."

The Used—which also includes guitarist Quinn Allman, bassist Jeph Howard and drummer Dan Whitesides (who replaced original drummer Branden Steineckert in 2006)—formed in Orem, Utah in 2001, signing to Reprise Records that same year. Championed by producer and collaborator John Feldmann, the band issued their gold-certified Self-Titled debut in 2002, quickly cementing the Used as leaders among the post-hardcore elite, thanks in part to unforgettable singles like "Box Full of Sharp Objects," "The Taste of Ink" and "Buried Myself Alive." The band then released the CD/DVD combo Maybe Memories in 2003, now certified platinum, featuring B-sides, live cuts, demos and unreleased tracks, while still another gold record followed—2004's In Love And Death—spawning singles "Take It Away," "All That I've Got" and "I Caught Fire."

After Steineckert's 2006 departure, the band regrouped and issued 2007's Lies For The Liars, hitting #5 on the Billboard Top 200, later naming Whitesides as their permanent drummer. The retooled outfit's newfound solidarity led to 2009's Artwork, which peaked at #10 on the Billboard Top 200, and featured Whitesides on the recordings for the first time. As if that weren't enough to keep a band busy, since 2001 the Used has also destroyed countless stages the world over, touring with a who's who of modern rock and heavy music contemporaries, and have been featured acts at major festivals like Warped Tour, Taste of Chaos, Ozzfest, Projekt Revolution and the UK's Reading and Leeds festivals.

Still, after more than a decade's worth of relentless touring and recording, the Used's members recently needed to take some much-deserved time off. McCracken's longtime writing partner Allman tied the knot, while Whitesides also exchanged vows and welcomed a baby into the world. McCracken spent much of his recovery in a haze of painkillers, then "awoke" to a creative limbo, in an entirely unfamiliar emotional space. At this point 2 years had passed and the band had completed numerous writing sessions that would last for 2 months at a time and in the end came out with more then 60 songs ideas. Thus when McCracken's inspiration struck to record the songs, it came about in an entirely different fashion than the band's previous method; with his drummer and guitarist temporarily unavailable, McCracken and Howard teamed up with Feldmann to take on the initial writing on their own while incorporating the 60 ideas they had previously worked on.

"We went in with Feldmann and wrote 11 songs and recorded them in 11 days. It was pretty magical," says McCracken. "It was a bit more of the record I wanted to make. I think Quinn and Dan were stoked about that. I could go in one day and be like, 'I really like the vibe of 'Bombs Over Baghdad,' so let's start with a bass line and a drum beat like that.' It was the most amazing time; the most fun I've had making a record."

McCracken and Co. emerged from Feldmann's studio toting the 12 tracks that comprise Vulnerable, the band's first full-length since departing Warner Bros. Records. Without a label for the first time since their debut, the band opted to go indie, forming their Anger Music Group imprint, which will be distributed through Hopeless Records. The release of Vulnerable marks a new chapter in the band's enduring career, at a time when the Used's music is organically evolving, as well.

"I think [Vulnerable] is really new for us. There's a lot of hip-hop influence, beats and drum and bass kind of stuff, but it's also still a Used record, by all means," explains McCracken. "Just like any other Used record, it's a horse of many colors: There are a lot of soft and heavy sounds, there are a lot of brutal, sharp, bright sounds, and the tempos are anywhere from ultra-slow to super fast and heavy. There are a lot of different conceptual feelings on the record."

Opening track and leadoff single "I Come Alive" sets the tone for the record from the start, with the sort of "down, but not out" sentiment McCracken has always channeled into his lyrics. "The song, for me, is about falling down or hitting the ground; when things happen to you in life," says McCracken. "That's pretty much what 'Box Full of Sharp Objects' was about as well, on the first record. Taking a hit can be the most inspirational thing that can happen to you."

The drive to overcome all obstacles, whether physical or emotional, also informs "Put Me Out," which McCracken says centers on "the turmoil from a relationship you could have with anyone in your life; how people just kind of feel cheated and fucked over sometimes. Falling down and rising above that can make you a more powerful and stronger person."

Album closer "Together Burning Bright" ends the journey on a romantic, yet appropriately darkly tinged note. McCracken says the song was heavily inspired by the Chuck Palahniuk book Damned, as well as the film Melancholia.

"Maybe the end of everything, so long as you can be with the person you love, everything will be alright, no matter what," McCracken says. "It's kind of a sappy, end of the world song."

That may be true, but for now the Used's world is far from ending. With Vulnerable slated for a March 26th, 2012 release, a world tour behind the record will follow, including appearances at Warped Tour, Soundwave in Australia, dates in Asia and Europe, and full headlining runs through the U.S., not to mention a DVD in the works to commemorate their decade-plus anniversary. The Used may have spent recent years nursing wounds and taking honeymoons, but 2012 and beyond will be all about bringing Vulnerability, and its uplifting message, to the masses.

"This record is for all those people who weren't the coolest people around. We never were. This record's for kids like us, who just love music, because it saves their lives every day," McCracken says. "At the end of the day, I'm the only one who has to live and die with myself. I want to make it a good one for me. I only have one life to live."

Taking Back Sunday

Genre: Alternative
Similar to: Brand New, The Used, Blink 182, Story Of The Year

Formed in 1999 in Amityville, New York, Taking Back Sunday modeled their interpretation of melodic hardcore after bands like Lifetime, Endpoint, and Sunny Day Real Estate. After the release of a five-song demo and a year's worth of touring, Taking Back Sunday signed to Victory Records. The result, Tell All Your Friends, layered Adam Lazzara's emotional vocals and the dual-guitar assault of Reyes and John Nolan, fashioning a classic hardcore sound with pop songwriting components. The group spent most of 2003 touring, when Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper left the band. They were rounded out by drummer Mark O'Connell, guitarist/vocalist Fred Masherino, and bassist Matt Rubano. Their next album, Where You Want To Be, arrived in summer 2004 and debuted at number three on Billboards Top 200. After touring and hitting the usual Warped Tour stops, Taking Back Sunday debuted their third album Louder Now. This was a darker, more aggressive effort that tapped into the band's live energy. In October 2007, Fred Mascherino exited the lineup and several months later Matt Fazzi was announced as his replacement. New Again was released in summer 2009, and later in 2010 the band announced that the lineup from their first album would be reuniting in the studio for their fifth album. This was released the following year entitled Taking Back Sunday. They are about to being their fall tour playing some new songs along with some old favorites.

Asking Alexandria

ASKING ALEXANDRIA represent everything exciting and altogether invigorating about the hardest hitting rock n’ roll, both past and present. The group incorporate the modern hard rock sensibilities of Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot with the celebratory melodic spirit of the decadent Sunset Strip of the 1980s. They’ve arrived armed with musical weapons owing as much to Skid Row and Guns N’ Roses as Korn and Killswitch Engage. The electro-tinged and always unhinged miscreants stormed the mainstream with From Death to Destiny, a Top 5 album that spawned no less than two Top 20 Active Rock singles... Thus far.

Since their formation in 2003, the local upstart from Lancaster, PA has evolved into one of the biggest names worldwide in the modern metal scene, continually growing and connecting fiercely with a colossal legion of fans. August Burns Red has spent years skillfully crafting a balance between a ferociously heavy sound with empowering lyrical content, while showcasing a rich surplus of inventive guitar riffs, blistering solos, and dynamic drumming. With a solid collection of 5 previous albums, Thrill Seeker (2005), Messengers (2007), Constellations (2009), Leveler (2011), the band's latest release Rescue & Restore (2013) rocketed to the top of the Billboard charts - debuting at #9 on the Billboard Top 200. The road to the top has seen the band on stages across the globe alongside the likes of Underoath, A Day To Remember, Lamb Of God, Bring Me The Horizon, from South America, to Australia, Japan, and Russia, and headlining the Vans Warped Tour 2013

In addition to their unique sound and positive message, We Came As Romans has become well-known for their impressive commitment to touring. In 2012 the band charged through extensive worldwide touring, including performances in the UK/Europe, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, Russia, North and South America and more, with the likes of The Used, Megadeth, NOFX, Parkway Drive, GWAR, Suicide Silence, August Burns Red, and The Devil Wears Prada. This summer, We Came As Romans will perform on the entirety of the 2013 Vans Warped Tour as a Main Stage artist – their second time on the full tour – with expansive stateside and international touring to follow throughout the fall and winter.

Chiodos is an American post-hardcore band from Davison, Michigan. Formed in 2001, the group was originally known as "The Chiodos Bros," the band's name was a tribute to filmmakers Stephen, Charles, and Edward Chiodo, responsible for the film Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Chiodos released their first full-length album, titled All's Well That Ends Well, on July 26, 2005. Their second album, Bone Palace Ballet, was released in North America on September 4, 2007 and debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and number 1 on the Independent Albums. Warner Bros. Records released Bone Palace Ballet on January 26, 2009, as part of a new distribution deal in the UK.They released their third studio album, Illuminaudio in 2010, and it was the only studio album to features Brandon Bolmer as lead vocalist and Tanner Wayne as drummer. The band released their fourth album, Devil on April 1, 2014, which marks the return of original vocalist Craig Owens and original drummer Derrick Frost.!

It's a respect issue; growing up in Queens, NY you either have to kill or be killed. Embracing this ideology, EMMURE has taken no prisoners and risen to the top of the metal scene. However, instead of taking out their aggressions in negative ways, they channeled their collective angst into their music to create a propulsive blend of unabashed aggression and intensity that the youth across the world embrace with open arms. They keep it simple and straight-forward. This straightforwardness, coupled with vocalist Frankie Palmeri's brutal openness and honesty creates a connection to fans on a level that few other bands can accomplish.

Everyone has demons and dark sides to their lives, but this group shows that everyone deals with these types of issues and that there are productive ways to let it all out. EMMURE have gained the loyalty of the metal community and legions of rabid fans, but make no mistake- if you disrespect them, you will be left sleeping with the fishes. EMMURE's fourth full-length release was produced by the acclaimed Joey Sturgis (The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria). This new effort promises to be their most cohesive, dynamic and utterly violent offering yet. Frankie Palmeri (vocals) states: "The new EMMURE record is definitely a major stepping stone for the band and our fans. We're entering a new realm of collective consciousness and we are trying to enter this new era of music and life with the people that support us. This is more than just a collection of songs; this is a message to the world." Few bands around today are able to deliver a memorable and entertaining live show, but the performance is where EMMURE excels as they always aim to set a very high standard for themselves. It would suffice to say that the band experiences a transformation upon stepping on stage; they turn into a dominant beast that is out for blood, unleashing a frenzy of energy on the masses that cannot be contained. This is exactly why the band emerged from the Warped Tour 2010 as one of the festivals's most talked about acts. If you are a fan of heavy music and haven't seen a live EMMURE show, you are truly missing out. EMMURE sets the standard for bringing together an emotionally unhinged blend of blistering hardcore and punishing death metal that appeals to a wide array of fans ranging from THE ACACIA STRAIN and SUICIDE SILENCE to DEFTONES and label-mates A DAY TO REMEMBER. They released Goodbye To The Gallows (2007) and The Respect Issue (2008) on Victory Records, but it was Felony (2009) that blew things wide open for the band as they truly began to hone their definitive sound that really connected with a worldwide audience. Motivated, EMMURE released their fifth full-length project, Slave to the Game, released April 10th, 2012, only one year after releasing Speaker of the Dead (2011). Delivering unapologetic lyrics that could make your mother cry, Slave to the Game embraced the video-game-loving side of the band, incorporating references to old school arcade favorites such as Street Fighter II, while still maintaining their rage-infused metal roots. Between powerfully low chugging, technical riffs and bone crushing drum work, the album provided metal fans with classic EMMURE sounds, while still able to openly experiment with tune and pitch effects. Overtime, one thing has become overwhelmingly clear; you are either with EMMURE or against them. Frankie Palmeri has made a conscious effort to push as many buttons in the industry as possible and for some, his sarcastic, ironic humor is anything but charming. Never one to bite his tongue, Palmeri has made EMMURE a band that is as impossible to ignore as they are to forget.

While we may never know what goes on inside of their heads, we do know that they won't rest until they have everyone's attention. Touring with the likes of PARKWAY DRIVE, WE CAME AS ROMANS, THE WORD ALIVE, HATEBREED and STATIC X and label-mates GOD FORBID, along with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, 2012 has proven to be a very busy year for the band, gaining thousands upon thousands of new followers with each set. 2013 has begun and EMMURE remains busy as ever, on the road, prepping to headline the Mosh Lives 2013 tour presented by Metal Hammer Germany, which begins April 5th. With fists balled, knuckles white and heads down, EMMURE promises to remain pissed off as ever, summoning all of their hate for the next record. Not for the faint of heart, EMMURE has secured their spot as one of the heaviest metal bands to ever hit the scene and they have only just begun.

I SEE STARS captured the hearts of America's youth in 2010 on Warped Tour and a highly acclaimed run with A Day To Remember, but refusing to rest of their laurels the band quickly went back into the studio to start tracking the long awaited follow-up to their groundbreaking 3D release. That album strayed away from all the musical cliches blending all musical genres to set the bar for a new unique sound. Since there has been a surplus of "electronica/hardcore" music as of late, the pages will be turned once again, and new eyes will be opened, to bands and fans alike. The much anticipated new effort, The End of The World Party, is going to be one of 2011's most talked about albums within the rock genre and perfectly demonstrates the band's impressive depth, maturity and originality.

3D is currently over 30,000 units sold in North America mainly as a direct result of the band's relentless touring that also supported Attack Attack, Forever The Sickest Kids, We The Kids and Emarosa. The group's first headliner with We Came As Romans as direct support selling 500 - 1000 tickets in many markets. I SEE STARS also continues to be one of the top selling bands at retail in Hot Topic.

I SEE STARS is a band made up of lifelong friends and it's that exact dynamic that makes them so entertaining. All members; Devin Oliver (vocals), Andrew Oliver (drums), Brent Allen (guitars) and Jeff Valentine (bass) lived in the same neighborhood as kids. The friendship goes back as far as elementary school. Zach Johnson (keyboards, screaming vocals) later joined in middle school to help the band evolve adding in synth and samples. Jimmy Gregerson (guitars) then completed the six piece group taking Devin off guitar and making him the permanent lead vocalist. Over time as the album 3D was being created people all over the map were already starting to become familiar with the band. Sumerian Records quickly signed the band and released the debut album, 3D, on April 14th, 2009 to rave reviews.

I SEE STARS will be doing their first overseas tour in 2011 with We The Kings in the UK and will also be stopping in Indonesia before performing at the Soundwave Festival in Australia with such genre titans as 30 Seconds To Mars, Iron Maiden, Queens Of The Stone Age and Bring Me The Horizon. Their sophomore record, The End Of The World Party, could possibly be the heaviest pop album yet. This new offering has lots of substance and is very theatric in scope. There is literally something for everyone. The culmination of all this hard work pays off in the spring of 2011 as the band is featured on the Alternative Press tour with Black Veil Bride, D.R.U.G.S and Verse Emerge.

I SEE STARS states: "We are taking I SEE STARS to the next level. This new chapter is bringing mainstream pop to hardcore music alongside build ups that spawn from the core of techno/dub-step/electro music. Catchy and melodic vocals that illustrate a concept that we feel raises the bar. You're going to dance way more, you're going to want to throw your fists way more. When you put those two together, you have a whole different game. We didn't limit ourselves, and teaming up with 3D producer, our buddy Cameron Mizell and a balls to the wall producer like Joey Sturgis (The Devil Wears Prada, Attack Attack, Asking Alexandria), further proved that the sky is the limit to what we can do. The wait is over, and the end is near"

In 2011, I SEE STARS further cemented their status as visionaries of the genre and gain legions of new diehard followers.

Thy Art Is Murder

Rising from the unhallowed wastes of Western Sydney, extreme metal outfit Thy Art Is Murder have carved a trail of bloody mayhem since their inception in 2006. With an acclaimed EP and debut album in Infinite Death and The Adversary to their name, the band have traversed the highways and autobahns of Australia, the UK and Europe on a relentless crusade to destroy every venue and audience they can with like minded peers in a who's who of heavy metal.

2012 brings a new ritual offering of darkness from the five piece. Simply titled Hate, the band's second full length is the pointed result of Thy Art Is Murder's growing dissatisfaction with all aspects of modern life - political, religious, social and environmental - everyone is to blame. Fusing the blasting technicality of metal luminaries The Black Dahlia Murder with thunderous breakdowns and the intensity born of their nascent hometown scene; the blackened grandeur of Behemoth and the pit churning groove of Tampa originators Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse, the furious musical arrangements provide a bloody canvas for vocalist CJ McMahon's outpourings of bile.

No strangers to stoking controversy and criticism, the band have not toned down their art for the sake of palatability and have introduced a morose melodicism into their maelstrom - the rumination before pulling the trigger. With their best work to date ready to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world, Thy Art Is Murder will once again take to the road to unleash the Hate with one simple message - get in the pit or get out of the way.

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SOUTH BY SO WHAT?! - DAY ONE - FRIDAY with The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Asking Alexandria, August Burns Red, We Came As Romans, Chiodos, Emmur...

Friday, March 14 · 12:00 PM at QuikTrip Park