Hollywood Undead's Johnny 3 Tears says the best part of releasing a new album is finding out "how people will respond."
And he and his bandmates have had time to learn that in the six months since the masked rap-metal troupe's sixth album, "Day of the Dead," came out.
"I'm always interested to see what the general reaction is, what songs people like most," 3 Tears (real name George Ragan) says by phone from a tour stop in Minneapolis. "You'll write a song and think, 'Dude, this is gonna kill live, and you'll play it live and it jsut doesn't. You don't know how or why. But you start to get a feel for playing the record, and how things do live can make you care more about a song, or less. And oftentimes it's different than where I'm at."
Some cases in point for "Day of the Dead," according to 3 Tears, include crowd favorites such as "Party By Myself," which "almost didn't go on the record," and "Let Go," which is a bonus track on the deluxe edition of the album. "That one actually seems to be the (fans') overall favorite song -- that just shows how much we know," 3 Tears says of the latter.
"Y'know, in picking what goes on the record, it's a spectrum of trying to get what you want for the record as a whole, not what songs are better or worse. I don't think we write any bad songs, at least not that we put out. But it's always a challenge. The thing I dread most about being in a band is the day we have to pick what goes on a record. It's hard to eliminate songs you care about."
3 Tears says Hollywood Undead worked on about 40 songs for "Day of the Dead," with 12 making the cut and three more appearing on the deluxe edition. That means there's still a healthy pile left over -- more songs than were actually released, in fact -- but they might see the light of day at some point, too. The group is thinking about putting out three of the remainders as a kind of holiday gift for fans before the end of the year, though 3 Tears says it will have to convince its record company (Interscope) to green-light the plan.
"If you're gonna release something they want to be paid, and I get that. This is a business," he says. "Records cost money to make, and we need them to make their money so they'll give us a budget to make our next album.
"But that's not the way we think. At the end of the day we truthfully care about the music more than anything else, and we'd like to do something especially for the people who support the band and give them something new, something they haven't heard before. So we'll fight on our end to get it done, and hopefully we'll be allowed to do that."
Hollywood Undead, Crown The Empire and I Prevail
Friday, Oct. 2. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.
Tickets are $8.90-$35.
Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com
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