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Thursday, May 13th
The Hot Sweat
Hana Pestle

The Color Fred is a new project by ex- Taking Back Sunday guitarist, Fred Mascherino. With less than a year from his first album, Bend to Break being released Fred Mascherino has proven that he has the ability to not just be a back up vocalist anymore. The Color Fred is entirely Fred's own project from the lyrics to the unique cardboard packaging of his album. I was able to talk with Fred at the Englishtown, NJ stop of Warped Tour to discuss everything from Global Warming to an unfortunate knife accident. You can check out The Color Fred at www.myspace.com/thecolorfred.

Amanda: When you decided to become focused on The Color Fred, was it a clear-cut decision or did you have things holding you back from going in this new direction?
Fred: Well it was a difficult day when it was time to make the move because of outside pressures. TBS is such a huge band to just walk out the front door; it was a nervous day. It was something that I don't know if I could do twice in my life. But ultimately the decision was in front of me, it made itself. Tt was a matter of, "Do I want to be happy or not?" And ultimately I thought that I needed this. I had put my time in of trying to make it work and it didn't work for me so I chose to be happy.

-Where do you see The Color Fred in a year?

We will definitely have a second record out and be on tour. The thing that I love about this band is that it was kind of hard for me to see a year down the road when I was with Taking Back Sunday but, with this bad I can see ten years down the road. It's something that I love doing. I keep writing songs for this project and feeling good about them so it will continue as long as I keep feeling that way about them.

-Your last video, "Hate To See You Go" was made up of live footage. Do you prefer doing music videos like that or ones with more of a story line?

I really enjoyed doing a little acting in our first video for, "If I Surrender."The second video came out of a documentary we made that we are still actually editing. A couple friends of mine are filmmakers that we brought out on tour when we were with Angels and Airwaves. I really like how both videos came out but I enjoy being a character now and then especially if it's more on the funny side.

-Do you have any idea on when the documentary is going to come out?

We're planning our fall tour so hopefully we'll have it for that. We're all busy and everyone wants a different edit. So we're not finished yet, we've kind of been slacking.

-What's one thing you would want someone who listens to your record to take away from it?

I want them to feel, and this a very conscious effort, I want them to feel like they're listening to something that's truly honest. With the lyrics, in the past I've felt like since I'm putting it out on a certain label or because I'm thinking it's going to get played on the radio, you write lyrics and you're like, "Can I say that? I don't know if I should say that." With this record I just went with whatever I wrote in the basement with my acoustic guitar and my notebook. Whatever I wrote at that point I just took it and put it that way on the record because I wanted it to be really raw and honest and I hope people will feel that when they hear it.

-Do you have upcoming recording and touring plans?

We're on the rest of Warped Tour and when we get home we're gonna take a break for about a month and during that time we're gonna finish writing our second record. We're about halfway through that process now. Though, we're still rocking "Bend to Break" pretty hard which is our first album that hasn't even been out  year. I want be one of those bands that's always producing things and keeping people's interests and always being productive.

-When did you first realize you wanted to have a career in music?

I was in 9Th grade. I started writing songs and playing instruments when I was 10, that's what my mom actually does. So It was about 9Th grade that I decided I wanted to take guitar really seriously and I was getting into bands that toured around the country like early hardcore bands like The Gorilla Biscuits, and Dinosaur Junior, and Firehose. So I started to want to do what they were doing.

-Who are you listening to now?

Well my favorite band on the tour is Say Anything but, I also discovered a band called Beat Union from the UK. They are really amazing so I've been checking their record out and go watch them a lot of days. So those are the two that I've been into lately.

-Who would you want to tour with in the future?

Both those bands, but I've also met a lot of nice people on this tour and I hope those relationships stick around. There are guys on this tour that I was with on the last tour and they're still close friends of mine. I hope the friendships I have made on this tour will last. So I'd tour with any of these guys.

-So you're very active in global warming causes, right?


-Why is that so important to you?

Well I feel that of any cause that the human race should be worried about is that one because it's going to affect every person on the planet. Even though there are plenty of causes, I feel that this one is more of an eminent threat right now. And its kind of crazy that people debate it at times because as we discuss it and think of what to do, it's not going away it's only getting worse. So I feel like the vote is out and it's definitely a huge issue. I just think about the future of our kids and things like that and how pollution is affecting our seas and our health. Asthma has been on the rise for decades because of pollution and things like Cancer are on the rise because of the things we are putting in the air. I just feel like there is a lack of interest because people need to give things up to join this cause, which is not something many people want to do. But there are also little things that you can do that will make a big difference. So I just try to encourage people to read about it and go online to places like stopglobalwarming.com and climatecrisis.net and start to read about it and see that it is not a completely helpless cause. It is within our grasp but we still have a long way to go right now.

-What's it like touring on Warped Tour his year as a solo artist, as opposed to plying with Taking Back Sunday in 2004?

It's a lot different especially because when we came out with Taking Back Sunday we were very much an established thing and this is a brand new band. It's a hell of a lot more work and I don't have crew guys out . I have one guy helping us and the rest of the band is helps out. I'm part tour manager, so I'm getting up early and working things out. It's a lot more work, but it's also very rewarding because I'm so hands on with this project. Everything with this project from, you mentioned global warming, the packaging of my CD is recycled cardboard and I was able to do that because it was my own project. The videos that we made were my concept and everything is so hands on. I'm the only person who checks my MySpace because I don't want some lame manager doing it for me and I want to make sure that I'm out there meeting the people that like our music everyday, so that's what we do before and after our set. Its very rewarding to be doing it for yourself,
even though it is more difficult than being a band that just blew up or something, it feels so good to have these people at your stage everyday. I'm actually blown away and how fast it has grown in such a short time.

-What's the best and worst part about being on Warped Tour?

The worst part is the weather because it seems like its either raining or way too hot and you have to be outside all day. We had been doing most of our tours in a van but, we had to take a bus out for this tour because we felt like it would be the only way to survive the whole two months. The best part is, there are so many different bands here that I'm meeting a whole bunch of new people and learning about different records that came out that I wouldn't know if I wasn't here experiencing this music. That's why Warped Tour has lasted so long. It's not just like these established bands, like something like Oz fest is all famous bands. This is tons of bands and a lot of them are just going out for the first time. It feels like I'm in touch with what's going on by learning about these new bands.

-Do you have any crazy Warped Tour stories?

I recently stabbed myself in the leg with a knife by accident. As I said we don't have much of a crew out here so I was helping our merch guy cut a rope with a knife and I forgot the old golden rule, "Cut away," and when the rope broke the knife went about an inch and a half in my leg and I had to pull it back out. That was a pretty bad day. I played the set and then went to the hospital afterward. That was a hard set to get through.

-Did you get stitches?

I should've gotten stitches but, I waited too long and the doctor said it would get infected so I just have an ugly scar. But it's kind of cool. Sort of like Rambo.

-What do you do on your free time when out on the road?

Well the thing about Warped Tour is there are a lot of people to hang out with, so I usually get caught up in crazy conversations about politics or a cartoon show. But I'll play some acoustic guitar, too. The thing about Warped Tour is there there are a lot of cool settings, today we're at a Racetrack, so not so much today but, in Montreal we were next to this giant river we've been next to the bay in San Fransisco. So I'll grab my acoustic and try to write by the water and play songs. I've been able to keep sane so far but, it's far from over.

-That's all I really have to ask you, thanks so much!

Thank you!

-Is there anything you'd like to add?

I would just say definitely go check out our MySpace or check us out live because I'm real easy to reach. If anyone has any questions or anything just hit me up, I try to respond to everyone and I try to be available at the shows so come say, "Hello," and hang out.

Amanda AguedaAmanda Agueda is a staff writer for Musiqtone.com. You can reach her at amandaagueda@musiqtone.com

(C) 2008 Musiqtone. All Rights Reserved. Any part of this interview cannot be used without written express consent from both the representatives of The Color Fred and Musiqtone.
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