Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pheaturing Dan Whitesides From The Used

Hello, kids, and welcome to a Wednesday entry of the Phile. How are you? I am great, and I hava a lot to get to today.  Well, Tom Brady's wife Gisele publicly criticized the Patriots receivers for dropping some of her husband's passes. You know, it's one thing when you get chewed out by your coach. But to get chewed out by a a supermodel, that's got to hurt. Patriots coach Bill Belichick was not happy after the game. I haven't seen a man that miserable come out of Indiana since Letterman.  President Obama has ordered new sanctions against Iran’s central bank for engaging in deceptive practices. You know, I got a better idea. How about sanctions against our banks for deceptive practices?  Kim Kardashian announced today she will never date another NFL player again. That's why the Patriots were crying on Sunday.  An appeals court ruled that California cannot ban same-sex marriage. Let me tell you something. If you want to respect the sanctity of marriage, ban Kardashian weddings.  Three people who were picking mushrooms in the Oregon forest were found after being missing for six days. They survived by eating their mushrooms. You know, I'm guessing that's how they got lost in the first place.  Jon Huntsman created jobs and was ambassador to China. Honest, kind, ethical. Good husband, good father. He never stood a chance in the primaries.  You know, I was thinking... I like Mitt Romney. He looks like the guy on a package of underwear. Romney is so confident that he's getting cocky. He's already putting the dog on the roof of his car. To undo the negative publicity Mitt Romney received from tying his dog to the top of a car on a cross-country vacation, Mitt responded by tying the car to the top of his dog.  So, have you heard about this new whale movie that just came out called Big Miracle? I wasn't thinking about seeing it, but when I saw what the whales looked like, I definitely don't want to see it. Take a look.

Actually, I might.  Well, we all know the Giants won the Super Bowl. I am still on cloud 9 over that. I was kinda surprised at the poster the Patriots put with Tom Brady.

No you didn't. LOL.

Well, all football season I had my friend Jeff Trelewicz here to talk football and we both did football picks, and it was fun. So, here, one more time... before next season, it's time for...

Me: Jeff, welcome back. So, this is the last Phootball Talk With Jeff pheature until next season. So, as you can guess, I am on cloud 9 the Giants won, even though the game wasn't good for my heart. So, what did you think of it?

Jeff: It was an incredible Super Bowl from start to finish. Two great times got a chance to battle right until the last play in the game. I was able to go into the game not cheering for either team so I was completely objective. It could have got either way, but congratulations to the Giants for winning the game! Manning was perfect on the last drive and deserved that MVP award (more on that later). Incredible game. Neither team has anything to embarassed about, unlike the college championship where one team got shut out (I'm talking to you, LSU!)

Me: So, when Bradshaw sat on the ground at the end of the game, trying to avoid that touchdown... what do you think went through his mind? Everybody thought that wasn't good,
but with that the Giants won.

Jeff: That was funny when Bradshaw fell down. He tried everything to stop himself but he had to much momentum. You know his teammates were like, "Dude, if we gave them too much time to score we might beat the crap out of you! Atleast no longer be friends with you on Facebook!" But in the end, it worked out for them so he is happy.

Me: So, how bad do you think the Patriots feel right now? LOL.

Jeff: The Patriots have nothing to feel bad about. They played a great game. Other then the safety on the first play of the game, they did well. Both teams had mental errors (who has 12 men on the field? Oh at one point both teams!) But the played hard. Yes, they had some drops on the last drive that would have changed the game but every team drops
the ball.

Me: Okay, what do you think of the half-time show? I did not like it, and Madonna lip-synced the whole thing. Did you see her trip? And what about M.I.A. flipping the bird?

Jeff: I didn't mind Madonna lip synching so much then them trying to pass off her singing during a remixed song. I thought it was a decent half time show, not with standing M.I.A.'s "finger malfunction". That's what she is claiming happened. Did Wes Welker have a reception malfunction when he dropped on the last drive? Are we going to use that word anytime we
mess up? I hope not.

Me: If that's the case, there's tons of malfunctions here on the Phile. One thing I did like about the half-time show was when Madonan sat on the bald man's shoulders. Take a look, Jeff.

Me: You mentioned last time you were here the Ferrie Bueller commercial. What did you think of it? What was your favorite commercial, Jeff? I liked the Met Life one with all the different cartoon characters.

Jeff: The commercials were ok. My favorite was the new Avengers trailer because my inner nerd spazzed out a little bit. It was weird, the clips I saw from the Ferris Beuller commercial weren't in the actually commercial. Does that mean they will be on the DVD? Some of the commercials were better then others. Did you notice that when they showed Daphne in the Met Life commercial, she wasn't in the mystery machine. She went with someone else! Did she have a transportation malfunction?

Me: She was getting it on in a back of a limo. Did you see when Kelly Clarkson sang the National Anthem? Man, she sounded great and looked hot... I thought anyway.

Jeff: I'm sorry, I don't see what you see in Kelly Clarkson. At all... LOL. Ok, I promised that if the Giants won, I would take a picture of me Tebowing. Here it is.

Me: Nice job. Okay, let's wrap this up. So, the Giants won, so I win this season
of the picks, right? How much did I win by?

Jeff: You won by 3 points.

Me: Yeah! Whoo-hoo! Well, thanks again, Jeff, great job, and we will do this again. Can you
come back on Sunday and we'll talk Oscars?

Jeff: I'll see you on Sunday for some Oscar talk!

Okay, so a friend of mine named Jim Mello is a sort of unemployed hack writer/comic enthusiast whose unemployment is derived from a recent move to the Bay State. He “runs” a small Facebook page called “Comics Make You Stronger”, where he and others review, suggest, and discuss all things comic. Feel free to join up. Anyway, I thought I would invite him to the Phile to talk about something very passionate to him. Please welcome to the Phile my friend Jim Mello in a brand new pheature I will call...

Using the Term "Graphic Novel" Doesn't Make You Any Cooler. You're Still Reading Comics, Asshole.
The term "graphic novel" is for those who want to sound enlightened, hip, and pretty much want to draw all attention away from the simple fact that no matter how high concept, intelligent, well-written, well-illustrated, well-colored, well-inked, mind blowing, life changing, and just generally awesome a "graphic novel" is, it's still just a comic book.
A Graphic Novel is defined as:
A narrative work in which the story is conveyed to the reader using sequential art in either an experimental design or in a traditional comics format. Graphic novels are typically bound in longer and more durable formats than familiar comic magazines, using the same materials and methods as printed books.
The only thing this definition leaves out that really puts this whole “Separation of Graphic Novel and Comic” thing into perspective is that the comic book is a serialized, ongoing story and carries all the tropes that entails, whereas the graphic novel’s purpose is to tell a single, lonely, sitting on a park bench all by itself story, in one volume, and just be done with it.
For Example, let us try a narrative example in prose:
Spider-Man – The Comic Book
“… his webs snagged the red brick of the skyscraper, and Peter was able to catch himself into just before the busy pavement of Time’s Square could violently put an end to any crime-fighting the near rest-of-his-life future. The web swung him upwards and Peter could feel the taut white strains flexing their enormous strength under his hands... SNAP! The webbing broke mid-swing, and Peter rocketed downwards. He struggled to aim his web in time…”
Next Month! Spider-Man and the hopeless free fall of doom! Will the Web-head be able to save himself in time to save Aunt May?
Notice, it may be the worst cliffhanger of all-time, but it’s a cliffhanger nonetheless. Not all comic issues end in a cliffhanger, but it is a hallmark of the serialized medium, whereas this:
Spider-Man – The Graphic Novel
“… his webs snagged the red brick of the skyscraper, and Peter was able to catch himself into just before the busy pavement of Time’s Square could violently put an end to any crime-fighting the near rest-of-his-life future. The web swung him upwards and Peter could feel the taut white strains flexing their enormous strength under his hands... SNAP! The webbing broke mid-swing, and Peter rocketed downwards. He struggled to aim his web in time…
And he does! And he saves the day! Aunt May gets her medicine! He gets to the date in time with MJ! And then they make out all over the place, or something! It’s pretty fucking cool! Damn!”
The End
See what I mean? I know they weren’t the best written things on the planet, but it should have worked as an example, and if they didn’t, well, I’ve only wasted your valuable time with nonsense.
I understand just as much as anyone else who loves the medium about what a hard time it is to get people to take it seriously. Adam West really ruined it for the rest of us back in the day, and since then, the idea of the comic book has remained just as silly as the manta-ray repellent kept on the Bat-Copter. No wonder we seek to create terminology that seems more mature. This isn’t to say that the term graphic novel isn’t applicable. It is. But it’s not applied to everything with a grid layout populated by pictures. Even the arguably greatest “graphic novel” of all time isn’t a graphic novel.
Watchmen was a serialized release that set about a renaissance in comic books in the mid-80’s. It exhumed the corpse that was the art form of the sequential story, along with quite a few other books that paved the way for the storytelling I love today. Advertised though, it’s always the “#1 Best-Selling Graphic Novel!” Obviously, something considered by time magazine as one of the “Top 100 Novels of the Century”, could not be something as lowly as a comic book upon its conception.
Also, advertising it as it really is sounds kind of clunky, i.e – “The #1 Best-Selling Trade Paperback!”
Trade Paperbacks, or “Trades”, the colloquial comic sub-culture term, are the collected editions of those single issues you may remember fondly from your childhood sitting on the spinner racks at the grocery store. These hermaphroditic things are responsible for most of the mix up, where pretention isn’t the culprit.
Ohh, pretention. The onset, or really, the coming out of the closet for hipsters has really brought this on as nostalgia becomes cool, and “geeky” becomes a sort of rebellious marker for kids who sort of grew up watching the X-Men cartoon, but were too late for Nirvana and acid-washed jeans. “Graphic Novel” lets them let you know that they are reading something much loftier, something that sounds like high art, but totally is not mainstream enough for anybody else to be into.
Fuck, man “Graphic Novel” makes it sound like Shakespeare did the words, with Michelangelo laying out some sweet ass panels for him in between time at the Sistine Chapel (The Sistine Chapel does have a grid layout).
I can’t abide that terminology though. I mean, I won’t post signs on my lawn or write letters to my local congress person to enforce, or bring awareness to, my views on Separation of Graphic Novel and Comic. But I will argue with you about it, and get pretty flustered too. Comics can be high art, and they are. Currently, it’s probably the most honest medium out there in terms of storytelling. They do thinks in comics that Hollywood and all the rest can’t do because they are suppose to carry that mass appeal, whereas in comics, if you have the stones and the drive to do it, you can tell whatever story you want.
Comics, and graphic novels, won’t be looked upon more highly because of a term change though. If they survive this very low period in their existence, it will be because people start recognizing the quality inherent in any well told story, be it epic poem or graphic novel.
So, the next time some dude or gal is reading that Spider-Man trade in the local Starbucks and you hear him/her refer to it as a “graphic novel”, call them a pretentious fuckface and set them on fire… Or, don’t. Either way, just don’t do it yourself, and read your comics proud. They deserve it.

Jim Mello, everybody. Well done, Jim!

Okay, now for the 12th artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery. His name is The Stray, and this is one of his pieces.

That's cool. Anyway, The Stray will be a guest on the Phile in a week or so.

 Today's guest is a member of American rock band The Used. Their new album "Vulnerable" comes out next Month and on February 25th they will be starting a tour in Australia. Please welcome to the Phile from The Used... Dan Whitesides.

Me: Hello, Dan, welcome to the Phile, man. So, what do you do in The Used?

Dan: My name is Dan and I play the drums for The Used.

Me: I didn't know there was an animation series you guys have called "Chadam". Who came up with it?

Dan: Alex Pardee, who is a great friend of ours, came up with the idea and concept of "Chadam". He also did the art for "In Love and Death".

Me: I first heard of the band when I downloaded The Used and My Chemical Romance's version of "Under Pressure" from iTunes which was amazing. How did ou two bands get together and record that song, Dan?

Dan: It was before I was in the band but we are good friends with those guys so both bands thought it would be badass to do a song together and it turns out they were right.

Me: The band is from Utah, right, and I am guessing there's not many bands like The Used from Utah. Are you guys Mormons, I doubt it, but you never know.

Dan: Some of us come from Mormon families but none of us are Mormon or give a shit about being a Mormon or any other religion for that matter.

Me: You guys have a new album coming out next month, Dan, called "Vulnerable". What can you tell us about it?

Dan: We made the record with John Feldmann who produced the first three albums and it was a great experience. He's way laid back and pretty much let us do our thing. The record in my opinion is one of the best The Used albums ever written. Bert's vocals and melodies are amazing and I think he has gone above and beyond on this record. The music is big, live, heavy, dirty and beautiful and we are proud of what we've done.

Me: You guys are pretty good keeping in touch with the fans, right? You do a question and answer thing?

Dan: Yeah, we use our Myspace, kyte tv, Twitter and to stay in touch with our fans and we are doing those types of things everyday of the week. We love our fans and we want them to be apart of our lives everyday.

Me: A long time ago on the Phile I interviewed a singer named Mandy Ventrice who worked with you, do you know who she is? How is she?

Dan: Hmm.... I don't remember a Mandy but I am beyond shitty when it comes to remembering names.

Me: Well, most fans probably know where the name The Used come from, but I have a few readers that probably don't. Who came up with the name and what does it mean?

Dan: Well, I'm pretty sure that Branden came up with the name and yeah I've heard of that other band but I've never heard them. The name The Used comes from how we and everybody feels sometimes. We want to play and write music but sometimes assholes get in the way and try to make you do something or a favor for a favor type shit and that sucks.

Me: You guys have played with a lot of bands, Dan. Is there any band you wish you could play with?

Dan: Going out on the road with Tool would be amazing to say the least. They are a great band.

Me: How long has the band bene together, and did they all know each other before the The Used was formed?

Dan: The band has been together for about 11 years and yes they all knew each other before starting The Used.

Me: You weren't an original member, so when did you first meet the band?

Dan: I met all the guys in 2002 and we have been great friends ever since.

Me: You guys are on the road quite a bit. What do you prefer, touring or playing live? And have you guys played Orlando recently?

Dan: Touring and recording is what we love to do so I guess doing anything else is almost secondary. It's nice to take short breaks and chill at home with friends and family but working is what we love to do. It seems like we played a lot of Florida shows in 2007 but I can't remember if we played Orlando or not... my damn memory again... haha. We'll be hitting it this year for sure.

Me: You replaced Branden Steinckert... were you a fan of the band before you joined and how long did it take you to fit in?

Dan: As you already know I'm "the new guy" and probably always will be... haha. I have always loved The Used even before I was in the band and Branden is a badass guy that helped The Used get to where we are today.

Me: Why did Branden leave, do you know?

Dan: The reason for him leaving is creative differences. All I can really say about the change is I am absolutely positive that the band is happier now then we have ever been and that's not necessarily because Branden isn't in the band it's just how it is now.

Me: It's been awhile since The Used had any music out, Dan. How was it going back into the studio?

Dan: Just talking with all the guys I get the sense that they were going to bust ass and write an amazing record which they did. I know that there were some times that shit went down and someone fucked up or did something that cost someone a lot of money haha but that's how it goes when you're 17 or 18 and something that fuckin' awesome happens to you.

Me: You guys were lucky enough to play Oz Fest. How was that experience and how did you get that gig?

Dan: Management came and said you guys should play Oz Fest because Oz Fest is the bees knees so they said "YES!" then Bert met Kelly Osbourne and they dated for a bit and now they're not and haven't been for a few years but they are still friends. Run on sentence...

Me: The Used just did a bunch of special shows, right? Can you explain what that was?

Dan: We just did a little tour so we got the opportunity to go meet a lot of our fans. Bert writes amazing words, has an amazing voice and we have a wide range of songs so I think that a lot of people can relate. We met 5 year old kids with there parents who are fans as well grandmas with their kids and their kids kids. We met a shit load of military people on this last tour and they were some of the most die hard fans. Hearing some of them say they listen to us while they're in combat or to say that we have gotten them through tough times is badass. We definitely support our troops and want them to come home safe. The Used fans are die hard and we love each and every one of them. By the way, I am a big fan of your dad's band Foghat. "Fool For the City" is pretty badass.

Me: Thanks, man. It was really cool to have you here. So, what can we expect from you guy coming up? And plug your website.

Dan: Well, the album is amazing and we worked hard on it so check it out. We're going to be touring a lot all over the world so people can definitely plan on us coming near them. We also will have a DVD/mini horror movie that will be coming out this year as well as B sides later on. Check out and for everything The Used.

Me: Thanks again, Dan.

Well, that about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and Jim Mello amd Dan Whitesides. By the way, check out Jim's Facebook site at!/groups/comicsmakeyoustronger/. The Phile will be back next Sunday with British blues legend Shaley Vick, and then next Wednesday with Jenny Dee from the cool band Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents. They'll be no entry on Monday as we're gonna go to LEGOland at last. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes an alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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