Hollywood Undead Think Their #2 Debut Is A Sign Of Progress
Billboard spoke to Hollywood Undead about their #2 debut on the Billboard 200 for their third album Notes From The Underground, and they view it as a success.
Johnny 3 Tears (real name George Ragan) said: “What we try to do with each one is progress just enough. We want to make a new record and a different record than the other ones we’ve made, but fans are expecting something, or people who like your music are expecting something. So you have to juggle. Trying to find that fine line is always a big part of the process. But we treat it the same every time, man. We know the difference between a good song and a bad song, and we try to write as many good ones as possible and go from there, y’know?“
The album sold 53,000 copies in its first week. The band recorded most of it with Griffin Boice, but others who helped included Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails), who executive produced the group’s 2008 debut Swan Songs and helped create their first single for the new album, “We Are.”
Tears continued: “It’s always an experience working with him. He’s a good friend, and he really is kind of another member of the band in the sense that he’s really willing to take things as far as we are. And he’s an experimental kind of guy, so we always try new stuff out with him.“
They also brought on pop and R&B artists S*A*M & Sluggo to work on “Pigskin.” He added: “Those guys are, like, pop dudes, and we’re about as un-pop as you can get. They’re just another set of really talented dudes, and they definitely have a different M.O. than Danny or Griffin, so those are the kind of guys you actually learn something from. Half the time we’re writing I was trying to pick their brains and see how they think when they come into the studio each day and what they’re thought process is. They really know how to make stuff sound sweet, so it was great to work like that and get some insight.“
The other main collaborator in addition to Boice is Slipknot’s Shawn “Clown” Crahan, who directed the video for “We Are”.
Johnny 3 Tears said: “You never know what to expect when you meet people like that. (Crahan’s) somewhat of a legend, at least in my world. So it’s a roll of the dice, and you never know what you’re going to run into. But he’s one of the coolest, most creative dudes we’ve ever worked with. He really understood us as a band ’cause he’s on that side of it, too, and his style is very visually driven, which is kind of perfect for our band. The whole experience was just really cool for us, and you couldn’t ask for a nicer guy to direct the video.“
The band are currently promoting Notes from the Underground and expect to tour into 2014. They may also release an EP later this year with remixes or songs that didn’t make the final cut of Underground.