SAN DIEGO — With the Used skipping the Warped Tour this summer, Bert McCracken had to find a creative way to join the annual punk-rock summer camp.
"I would call it a punk-rock 'STOMP,' " the singer said.
OK, that's pretty creative.
McCracken hopped on Warped for a few weeks with the Street Drum Corps, a percussion experiment founded by his friends Bobby Alt from S.T.U.N., Adam Alt from Circus Minor and Frank Zummo from the Start.
"They just started banging on trash cans and decided to put it together as a thing," McCracken said. "It's a really, really original, creative, emotional drum corp."
Bert occasionally sings with the group, along with playing trumpet and banging on trash cans. No Doubt's Adrian Young , Bad Religion's Brooks Wackerman and John Sawicki from the real "STOMP" have also sat in with the group.
"It's so different," McCracken said. "It's really a lot of improv, so every time I get up there I'm singing something different, whatever comes to mind. It's pretty cool."
McCracken, along with Goldfinger singer John Feldmann and Sugarcult bassist Airin, recently recorded a charity single with the Street Drum Corps, a cover of John Lennon & the Plastic Ono Band's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," due in December.
"It's incredible, man, there's only like two real drums used in the whole song," McCracken said. "It's all trash cans and pots and pans and metal crates and stuff."
McCracken will get another chance to perform with the Corps this month, as he's invited the group to join the Used/ Glassjaw tour, which kicks off August 13 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Fans who can't make the dates may get to see some of the Corps performance anyway: The Used will bring cameras with them on that trek as well as the Taste of Chaos Tour (which takes the band overseas later this year), shooting footage for their second DVD, tentatively slated for release at the end of the year.
In the meantime, the Used are gearing up for the release of "I Caught Fire," the third single from In Love and Death (see "Tension, Tragedy Spawned The Used's In Love And Death"). "It's kind of a song about looking closely at a relationship that you kind of cherish," McCracken said. "And it's about ... it's about two and a half minutes long," he added, opting not to say too much about the tune.
The Used shot the video last week with director Kevin Kerslake, best known for several Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots videos (see "Used Lock Lips For 'Fire,' Announce Dates With Glassjaw""). The clip intersperses performance footage with elegantly shot kissing scenes.
"The visuals are quite incredible," McCracken said. "But we thought that with such a storyline behind the last video, it was more of a fairytale (see "The Used Get Literary In Video For 'All That I've Got' "), we thought it would be cool to have a more straightforward approach to this video and just kind of rock it out."