The Other's Rod says You Have Never Heard Anything Like Us!

German horror rockers The Other have been doing their thing, for the past 13 unlucky years, releasing six albums in which "Fear Itself",  being their most recent with plans to return to the U.S. as well as playing shows in their home turf, along with touring elsewhere. Frontman vocalist Rod Usher gives his discussion on their six release, show plans, and whether or not acoustic or live material would ever creep up.

1. First of all, who are you, and what do you do in the band?

Rod: My name is Rod User, I am the singer of The Other and I have been the very first singer since the day the band was founded and I hope to remain that front guy until the end of the band, and I hope that is going to take another 50 years!

2. Can you give me the reason as to why you went with calling the band The Other? Who is The Other?

Rod: Well we did give it a little thought because there is always this thing that you call the other, that thing that is always strange and alien to you. Like in psychology there's this thing called the monstrous other so something we cannot comprehend but looks a little human a bit like us. But it's not the same like for example Dracula, would be something like a monstrous other, looks human but is definitely different.  That is why we called the band The Other,  obviously we like horror things,  and ya know The Other that is something strange and weird, alien and different so it definitely reflects who we are and who we want to be.

3. Your style is horror punk but what sets you apart from all the other variety of horror punk acts out there?

Rod: Haha that's a good question. We're the best!  No seriously, I think starting out as a Misfits cover band in 1999 we slowly found our way to our unique sound. I think now we have the perfect mix of the horror punk roots, The Misfits style, but we mixed a lot of metal riffs in there, we have a lot of gothic atmosphere, we some very doomy slow songs, but we have punk rock songs, I think this diversity  that The Other has sets us apart from a lot of the three court horror punk bands, that's not to discredit them. There are a lot of great bands out there. But I think you can pretty much tell our style when you hear The Other songs. I think it's a little different to other bands out there, not meaning to sound arrogant.

4. Why horror punk?

Rod: That's pretty easy in a way. But I was always a fan of horror movies since I was 9 years old, so my first Hammer Studios film was with Christopher Lee, that just passed away, Peter Cushing's films. Then came Tarantula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon,  all that kinds of stuff. So then after listening to a lot of metal, the 80's metal  especially Kiss and Alice Cooper, stuff like that. I discovered punk rock for me, as a teenager like Bad Religion, The Ramones, Sex Pistols, all that type of stuff. What I found punk to be was punk was always a rebellion, always discussing things about society that people didn't like to discuss. Always mentioning taboo subjects and that's what horror does as well. Horror always touches upon issues that other movies will not touch. So I think that horror and punk rock form like an unholy alliance if you want to call it that. And we love costumes, love horror, dressing up, Halloween atmosphere, it all came natural. Discovering Kiss, Alice Cooper then The Misfits, Danzig, punk rock, horror, there you are you have horror punk! It was just natural.

5. You shot a video for the single "Dreaming of the Devil" Is that a process you enjoy? Are there any plans to release any more videos from the album and will they be a continuation of the first one?

Rod: Ya know shooting a video is a lot of fun for the first 2-3 hours when it takes 14 hours it's not much fun anymore I can tell you that. But we do have a good way of dealing with it, we have beer at the shoot! So after a while and getting a little relaxed and just have fun. It's great and you know it's going to be a good video. This video even turned out better than what we anticipated. We are very happy with the results and have done videos before that were great but this one looks very like we spent a lot of money which we didn't. But the guy who recorded us did a good job. So we are very happy with it, especially since it was received so well. The producer actually asked us if we wanted to do another one with them which we definitely want to do, because he is a real great guy. So the next video is going to be for either the song "Bloodsucker" or the song "Doll Island". We have to make up our minds but ya there will be another new video. Seeing the results is what makes us keep doing this I would love to do a whole movie but we're not good actors so I guess it has to be music videos until then.

6. Your upon your 666th album to date "Fear Itself", what makes fear itself?

Rod: Well fear itself was something that Franklin Roosevelt had said "There is nothing to fear but fear itself".  My interpretation that a lot of people are frightened by things they don't need to be frightened by. On the album cover there's a spider and a maze, a lot of people myself included are afraid of spiders, but there's only 1 in a hundredth thousand that is actually poisonous. So there is no need to be afraid of spiders. You will probably always find yourself out of a maze. So that is something that you don't actually need to be afraid of. But what actually made me choose this title was that there are so many political fears in society right now, about foreigners, strangers and all kinds of similar things. There's well if you're in Germany there's a very bad atmosphere right now, with a lot of right wing tendencies, people from other countries not being welcomed. It's all because of the fear of the unknown. People don't know who these people who come to this country are, they need to get to know them because then they will lose the fear of these people. It's just the fear is not reasonable. Just get to know those people and loose the fear and everything will be good.

7. Out of all of your releases, you have yet to release material in acoustic format, will we ever be seeing something like that from you guys?

Rod: Another good question because our guitarist Ben Crowe and I played a show at a Birthday Party for an ex-girlfriend. She asked us to do an acoustic set and we did. Then we found out that our punk rock songs don't sound so great in acoustic forms. You need like the two guitars and this and that, so just having 1 guitar and a singer, doesn't sound that great. It was cool at the party everybody loved it, but recording our songs in acoustic versions, we really need to make them different, need to choose different chords, different ways of playing, picking the strings, and everything. That's a lot of work so it may be a chance but it's not a priority.

8. How about doing a live album or a live DVD, have any thoughts on doing something along those lines?

Rod: Ya know since I am a huge Kiss fan and Kiss Alive is one of the best live albums out there. I am totally for recording live material, but I don't a live album is really up to date. A DVD would be great because there are so many live clips of us on the internet, and they all sound like shit because people record them using their phones. I would love to record a whole set and have a show. But ya know having all of the camera guys, sound guy, this and that, that's going to be very costly. In the end, we would rather spend the money on recording a new album than a live DVD. So if somebody out there wants to finance a live recording by The Other we would be happy to do that. Until then it's a great idea that we have in the back of our heads, but it might not happen in the next few months or years.

9. You guys will be touring in the U.S. come next year, how many times will this appearance make it?

Rod: This will be only be our second time. We came in 2007 and played only in California, Nevada, and Arizona.  This is going to be the second time with a much longer tour, going 3 weeks, we are going to be doing 14 or 15 dates. It's going to be very hard, driving 10-12 hours from show to show then playing. Over there we drive in a night liner, where we have a big bus with bunks and everything, having a driver driving us throughout the night while we sleep. That is something we cannot do in America because we are simply not that big over where you guys are.  So it is going to be a really nice van tour, really looking forward to the 14-15 dates and playing on the West Coast next time East Coast, another plan for maybe late 2016. But we love playing the U.S. we really do. I have been to America more than 30 times but playing there as a band, I have dreamt of playing in America so it is great that it is happening again.

10. Since you have so many albums, does it keep getting more difficult to put together a setlist?

Rod: Oh man totally! We're really arguing about this in the rehearsal room because everybody has different songs. I'm the guy that likes to play the songs that people want to hear. We have some songs from the first album "Beware of Ghouls",  there's "The End of Our Time", "In The Dead of Night" whatever. There's songs that we have been playing since the beginning that people just love to hear. But then there's for example our drummer who always says let's play more obscure stuff, ya know the stuff we haven't played for 10 years. Which I can totally understand as well, but ya know if I go see  Metallica, Kiss, Slayer, whatever or The Ramones back then, which I did, I want to hear "Rockaway Beach",  "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker", and if they hadn't played that I would have been sad and angry. So I know what our duty is and that is playing some of our hits, but we will mix our new songs in there, but it is getting more and more difficult.

11. Will we ever be seeing you guys performing any your albums in full from front to back?

Rod: Ya know we have discussed that but jokingly. That trend started by I don't know what band, and I simply don't like that idea. There's just I don't know what band there is that has an album full of hits. Or a band I would not like to hear other songs by. Ya know I would like to hear Kiss play "The Elder" or Bad Religion play "No Control", or "Suffer", but would miss so many other songs. I'm not a big fan of that idea, even though our celebration of our second album "We Are Who We Eat", is coming up and have been giving this some thought, but I am opposed to it let's say that way, so it may night happen. If The Other guys decide that they want to do, I am in if not it's all good.

12. What are the plans that you guys have for the rest of this year, leading right into next year?

Rod: Our plans are that there are more plans than ever, being around for 13 years, but have never played that much, we are as luck as now, playing a lot of festivals, playing some big festivals here that you may not know but bands like Rob Zombie or whatever. Then going on tour in Germany in October with the goth legend Christian Death, Nim Vind, Argyle Goolsby. Then we will be playing England in November with a band called AL B. DAMNED doing a week there, then coming over to the U.S. in March. All between that there is going to be some single shows on the weekends. There have been some promoters asking from Italy, Poland, and whatever I am hoping to return to Moscow someday. Yeah just trying to keep busy, getting out there, we do all have our regular jobs so it is kind of hard to play that much.

13. Do you have any last words for fans, or potential new fans?

Rod: Well it's going to be a lot of new fans that's for sure.  We know a lot of people in America and get a lot of feedback on Facebook and everything. But I do realize that we're virtually unknown over there, except for the horror punk scene. I would really appreciate it, if the people out there listening or seeing this would take the time to check out this new horror rock band from Germany because I am sure you have never heard anything like this!

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