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Fred Mascherino is Doing Some Terrible Things

chorus sings, “we’re doing terrible things,” in their self-titled song, but Terrible Things seems to be doing just the opposite of that in their selftitled debut album. “We got the band name from this song, after which I rewrote all the lyrics to the song to fi t the band better,” says lead guitarist and vocalist Fred Mascherino. “It’s all about redemption and second chances.”

The concept defi nitely relates to the band, whose members all came from other successful acts. Mascherino was the lead guitarist for Taking Back Sunday, but left in 2007 to pursue other interests. He met up with former vocalist and guitarist for Hot Rod Circuit, Andy Jackson, and then they found ex-Coheed and Cambria drummer Josh Eppard. They decided to record the album with just the three of them, but bassist Brian Weaver, formerly of Silvertide and Automatic Fire (both bands I highly recommend you check out), has joined them for the tour. “I had been begging Brian to play with me for a while now,” recalls Mascherino. “Finally he had time to, and lately we had just been using people to fill the spot, but we’re taking Weaver more seriously.”

The album is loosely based on a very terrible thing that occurred in Mascherino’s hometown of Coatesville, Pennsylvania. During the period between 2008 and 2009, there were a total of 49 arson fi res. “I love my hometown, and my brother still lives there. It really disturbed me what was happening and it was very emotional. I counsel myself by writing so I just started to write songs about it,” Mascherino says. Jackson’s house burned down a few years ago (in Alabama), so he could also relate to the theme.

There may be the underlying theme of the fi res, but all of the songs speak about a variety of topics. “Lullaby” describes Mascherino meeting his wife in California but then having to drive back to Coatesville. His favorite song on the album is “Up at Night.” “We did something [on this song that] we hadn’t done in the past, I think it sums up my life and the fi res the best.”

After singing backup vocals for Taking Back Sunday, Mascherino is excited to be back in front and center. It is the “real me,” he describes. Even though all the members found fame in other bands, none felt the need to redo their pasts. “We don’t have expectations–it’s brand new,” says Mascherino. He mentions influences such as Led Zeppelin and Tom Petty and explains that the band “wanted more straightforward rock than anything else we’ve done.”

I was fortunate enough to see the band live at The Social Oct. 6 during the first week in of their two-month tour opening for Mae. Mascherino opened by describing to the crowd the tumultuous start the band was having. It turns out their bus broke down earlier and Jackson, who does backup vocals, lost his voice. But it did not hinder the performance at all. They sounded even better than they did on their album, helped by Mascherino’s great stage presence. Mascherino is extremely optimistic for the band’s future. “This is the best band I could play with. I want to be playing with them in 10 years. I’m always excited to be up there performing with them.”

Masherino went on to say that they are trying to bring back an exciting, old-school sound, and they will not disappear anytime soon. “Our goal is to bring rock back,” tells Mascherino, with a gleaming and anticipated look burning in his eye. “We want guitar solos, drumming unlike anything, harmonies… something I haven’t heard in a long time.”

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