From a mile away, anyone could hear the roar of an anxious crowd awaiting for the band known as, Hollywood Undead to emerge onto the stage. As I stepped into the venue, The Culture Room, I was immediately surrounded by masked and infatuated fans thirsty for the show to go on. Many of the devoted supporters were ecstatic to finally get a glimpse of what their musical idols looked like, and I couldn’t help but feed off of their excitement. This show was going to be insane.
Originating in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood Undead has worked its way from the bottom-up. With help from their loyal fans, and the bands’ determinate attitudes, Hollywood Undead has obtained a fan base of more than 64 million listeners. Hollywood Undead is now half-way through their second tour, as they spread the word about their new album, “Swan Songs.”
I was fortunate enough to talk to two of the band members, Charlie Scene and Johnny 3 Tears, before they made their glorious appearance on stage.
Me: I’ve heard from various sources that you guys grew up together. If so, what was your childhoods like growing up in LA? And does it have an influence on the music you write today?
Johnny 3 Tears: Yes, we all grew up together, and growing up in LA is certainly different than growing up somewhere else. I mean, I would say its very unique because of how people look at the city as. I mean its L.A., it’s Hollywood. But growing up together and going to school together certainly shaped our music, because we shared so many experiences prior to playing music together. Like last year when Charlie Scene lost his virginity I was there, the year after that when the Da Kurlz finally did. No I’m just kidding Charlie Scene is not a virgin he screwed a lot of chicks ha-ha!
Me: A lot of veteran fans think you did an amazing job with your re-recordings, but as a band was their any difficulties you faced in with one less member? If so how?
Charlie Scene: No not all, because the member that is no longer was with us did not do anything. He was not in any of the songs. And yeah the re-recordings, I think all that did was make the songs better. We worked with a lot of producers…that we were excited to work with.
Johnny 3 Tears: The re-recordings were just musically heightened too, they were not lyrically changed.
Charlie Scene: Yeah, yeah all the lyrics were still the same. Nothing was taken away, stuff was just added.
Me: It seems like Hollywood Undead is really making a name for itself, where do each of you see the band in 5 years from now?
Charlie Scene: Hopefully by then, we will be working on our third record, and still touring and playing to more people. We plan on making five records actually!
Johnny 3 Tears: Yeah, we are in the process of making the second record now. We are also signed to five record deals, so we have to make five records regardless. But yeah, we are happy because we want that obligation to make more records because it keeps us productive.
Me: What are some of the conflicts you guys face with each other while on tour?
Johnny 3 Tears: Well, because of our history together, we hang out all the time. And I’ve lived with Charlie Scene, and I’ve lived with J-Dog for so long that we really don’t have any weird occurrences besides you know “regular stuff.” So I mean, we are used to dealing with each other, and we know each other’s moods and what not. And I think we are pretty good with each other, like there hasn’t been a single fight.
Me: What does each of your masks represent, and what is the reason for concealing your identities?
Charlie Scene: All of our masks we design ourselves, like all of them have something personal on them or something we like on them. We started wearing masks because when we first started as a band, we were talking about the LA area and the people in it, and we didn’t want them to know it was us talking about them. Not that we were scared or anything, because we would beat those fools asses! Sorry you teens out there! Ha-ha. But we just didn’t want people to know who we were.
Johnny 3 Tears: They are also fashionable ha-ha. No, but for the representation of the masks, like Charlie has bottles and the city, and he has more of gritty mask. But you know, I have butterflies because I mean that is what I like, but everyone has their own personal reasons behind it.
Me: Some people think that the way you talk about women in a number of your songs is degrading. What are your true perceptions on women?
Johnny 3 Tears: I could tell you this personally, everyone in this band loves their mother and sisters. But I mean there are girls out there that you teens need to know about that represent you very poorly and stuff like that. So I think it much more personal, for instance if a girl said all guys are dickheads. I mean, I’m not a dickhead. I am nice ha-ha. So you know its no different stereotype than thinking all guys are assholes.
Twilight the movie was definitely a big surprise for not only me, but anyone who has ever read the book. They nailed the characters perfectly, everyone that was cast did a great job at portraying their part. Kristen Stewart was great at hitting the dreary sarcastic monotone personality of Bella Swan, as well as the mature and normal look Bella was described as. Robert Pattinson did a good job at being Edward Cullen, his facial expressions were perfect and the soothingly handsome voice must have been hard to hit with his accent. So good for him. Melissa Rosenberg on the other hand, disappointed me greatly.
As a dedicated Twilight fan, I was very suprised to see the changes made to the script compared to those of the book. The story plot was mixed up, diced up, and messed up. Some vitally adored scenes in the book, were changed around to result in something less than satisfying. For example, the meadow scene was excruciating to watch in the movie, because it was not only an insult to the book. It lacked importance it should have shown to anyone who hadn’t read the book. I read that Meyer even fought to keep the ever so famous phrase, “So the lion feel in love with the lamb” in the movie at all. Seeing it the way it was shown did not measure up to most expectations I had for the scene.
On a lighter note, the cinematography for the play was done beautifully. Kudos to Catherine Hardwicke! She did a great job at directing this movie, and for that I’m grateful. Otherwise my midnight trip to the premier would have been an utter waste. The beautiful places it was shot at were my favorite part of her work. The soundtrack could have used a few more mainstream artists aside from Paramore though. I loved “Decode”, “I Caught Myself” and “Leave Out All The Rest” but some of the other songs must have been hard for people to enjoy. It was an eccentric choice to feature Iron & Wine, and The Black Ghosts . “Bella’s Lullaby” was written beautifully, go Carter Burwell!
Overall this was a great movie, not as great as the book though. I hope the screenwriter for New Moon does a better job, they need to step it up with keeping things on track with the book.