Terrible Things’ Fred Mascherino on Rhymes, Crocodiles and Quirk

You go into Warped with an idea, a sort of game plan for who you’ll talk to and watch. You have to be up on everything because one slip up in the clock and you’ve missed the one thing you spent an entire year waiting for…But sometimes, sometimes, there are surprises waiting for you. I didn’t plan on talking with Fred Mascherino of Terrible Things, not at all. It’s not that I don’t like the guy, it’s just he seemed like one of those dudes who all the big guys would want and here I am a little guppy. But low and behold while waiting around to ask some small fry band a couple of questions, here comes Fred. What do you ask the man who is just did one of the most telling interviews in AP? I didn’t bring up Taking Back Sunday, because to me, the only people who’ll ever really know all the shit that went down is the men in that band. I stuck to the past that brought a smile to Fred’s bearded face and we talked about the future of his latest band Terrible Things.

But before you skip along to our back and forth banter, a lot of it imagining we’re big ballers, let me tell you what you can expect from Terrible Things on the Ernie Ball Stage this summer. I’ll make it quick…Terrible Things are humble vets on one of the smallest stage, but you’d think they were playing main stage with the intensity they project. Ernie Ball crowds vary in size and when I checked them out, it didn’t matter that it was the end of the day; clouds rolling in as kids rolled out, Terrible Things did their thing because when you’re in a band, that’s all you can do.

I free you now to explore the man behind the beard…

Kendra: How’s Warped going so far for you Fred Mascherino?

Fred: Loving it as always. You know everyone talks about the heat, but I’m just watching bands and having a good time.

Kendra: In this heat would you ever join Josh onstage for his rap thing?

Fred: That’d be pretty cool. I would probably just want to play guitar. I’m not much of a rhymer. I could sing.

Kendra: You never know until you try though…

Fred: I’d rather just play harmonica I think. No I have tried. I was pretty much alive when Hip Hop was invented and I learned very young that I can’t, I’m awful.

Kendra: If you could be any rapper though, who’d it be?

Fred: I guess, that’s a good question. I don’t think there’s anyone much cooler than Snoop Dogg. He’s also had such a nice, long career compared to anyone else I think.

Kendra: Just curious, what would be your rap name?

Fred: Something to do with Masher or something. They used to call me F.P. Mascho when I was in Taking Back Sunday and actually Macbeth has a line of shoes called F.P. Mascho because of my nickname.

Kendra: Shoes aside, what’s up with Terrible Things after Warped?

Fred: We are gonna go home and write a bunch of music and start to record and then in September we’re going to Australia for the first time.

Kendra: Your first time or the band’s first time?

Fred: Yeah, the band’s. I’ve been there before and they have these zoos over there you can hold, I held a baby crocodile.

Kendra: I’m always really jealous of anyone who goes there because of their pics with the animals! So back to music, I know the last record had a really big influence about a fire. So for the new one is there any disasters like Japan for instance that are influencing you now?

Fred: Well, yeah, I’m always writing about things that move me but I don’t know it’s probably not going to be a concept record this time. In some ways concept records confine you and we’re gonna be more free with this album. My main goal is to be a little more dirty rock with it. I’m gonna let Josh sort of do his own thing drum wise because I feel we didn’t necessarily showcase that the first time around. Don’t get me wrong, I think he played well for what was right for all the songs on that record. We’ve just been working with some new songs and I just think there’s a lot more there for us to say and do so we’re excited. It’s not a bad thing, go home and write some music, go to Australia and hopefully have a CD out in the winter.

Kendra: Okay, just a couple more and then I’ll get out of your hair. I think there’s no point in living unless you leave an impression on the world. So what’s the impression you hope to leave when all this is said and done and you’ve hung up your guitar?

Fred: I think there’s some different guitar techniques that I’ve been working on. I like for people to feel I played in a way no one else has played before. I’m always trying to reinvent myself. I like quirky guitar parts that are hard to play, so I feel like that’s part of my thing that I hope people notice. But you know as an artist you can’t really think about that too much because then it seems contrived, but I don’t know. I think it’s safe to say I try to do things that are different and I think whether it comes off as quirky or weird or cool, I think most people would agree what I do is a little different.

Kendra: Lastly, you mentioned Bad Religion earlier as one of the bands you were coming to Warped to see when you were younger. So I’d like for you to make me a mixtape of the top 5 songs by bands you were coming to see at Warped back in the day.

Fred: Okay, okay, there’s a band called All that I really liked and I think when they were on Warped it was probably with…No let’s go back, change All to The Descendents and we’ll go with “Sour Grapes.” It’s one of my favorite songs by them. Then let’s see, Green Day, they have a song on a seven inch I have called “80” which I think is about Billie Joe’s wife. And then a band called Big Drill Car were playing the old school stage last year and they had a song called “Green Fields”  that’s amazing. This band called Quicksand played like the first Warped Tour and they have a song called “Dine Alone” that’s really cool. Lastly, did you say five?

Kendra: Yup, one more!

Fred: I’m gonna go with….trying to keep it old school but I’m trying to think of something way different…we’ll go with Bad Religion “Generator.” That’s a good song.

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