by Slone Fox
VANCOUVER – If you were worried that Hollywood Undead would lose some of their momentum after over a decade as a band, rest assured that their fifth album, aptly named Five, pushes forward with all the same energy that fans expect from the rowdy quintet. In anticipation of the new album, we spoke with Johnny 3 Tears to get answers to some hard hitting questions, such as,“where do you keep your masks when you’re done with them?” and “have you guys ever puked in your masks?” The answers, respectively, are “I lost almost all of them” and “there’s been so much puking, I don’t even wanna think about it.”
While still staying true to their rap-rock roots, Five is infested with new sounds that can only be the product of a fervour that comes with the unadulterated freedom of being under their own label: Dove & Grenade Media. Having been signed to a major label since 2005, Hollywood Undead is celebrating their newfound musical independence with fourteen hard hitting and uncensored tracks completely tailored to their own liking, perhaps one of the most purely them albums thus far.
“When you’re making music, it’s already hard enough to satisfy yourself and your band, let alone a record label,” 3 Tears points out, laughing as he continues: “We’re masters of our own fate now and that’s probably not good.”
While the album’s opening track, “California Dreaming,” gets you riled up in a way that only the rap rock kings of Hollywood Undead can do, the other tracks incorporate mellow vocals with rowdy verses that are reminiscent of their old albums while still sounding entirely fresh. These catchy and sometimes experimental sounds carry all the way through until the very last track, “Your Life,” which 3 Tears admits is his personal favourite.
“I’m a very hard person to uplift, but every once in awhile I’ll hear a song and I’ll feel like I’m happy and bubbly. ‘Your Life,’ even though it’s our song, gets me going. I feel like I can conquer the day or whatever, but then it stops and I get depressed again,” he laughs. “While it’s on, though, I feel like I can do anything.”
Having not been to Vancouver since their 2013 tour, it’s to be expected that the band has grown and changed both as a unit and as individual people. With a label change, new material, and the new perceptions that come with growing up, it’s understandable that fans could potentially see reason to worry about the overall effect this could have on the band’s stage presence. Ultimately, though, 3 Tears remains firm on his promise that they still love to put on a good show and have a good time, with only one small difference:
“We’re a little more sober now, that’s the main one. I mean not totally, but somewhat. It’s really weird thinking about it because it’s like… you come back four years later and you’re a new person and it kind of trips you out. We’ve had fans from when they were, like, 14 and now they’re in their mid to late twenties. I’ve basically seen them grow up and they’ve seen me grown up, even though I was already at least somewhat of an adult when it all started.”
It’s safe to say that even after five albums, there doesn’t seem to be any chance of Hollywood Undead running out of new material anytime soon. According to 3 Tears, living life and experiencing everything to the maximum is the only true way to stay inspired. With five different members living five different lives, Hollywood Undead undoubtedly still has a long future of new material ahead of them.
Hollywood Undead co-headlines the Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver) with In This Moment on November 2 as well as MacEwan Hall (Calgary) on November 4 and the Shaw Conference Centre (Edmonton) on November 5.california dreaming, Commodore Ballroom, five, hollywood undead, in this moment, rap rock