Doing Terrible Things

Fred Mascherino revives band for Dayton stop

By Tim Anderl

What started as a chance meeting between guitarist Fred Mascherino – a humble, but dedicated, guitarist from Pennsylvania – and me in a living room in Athens, Ohio, in the 00s, blossomed into a long-running friendship and an invitation to play in the Gem City. In turn, his dedication to routing most tour plans through Riverside’s Knights of Columbus Hall instigated a long-running love affair between Dayton music lovers and Mascherino’s trio Breaking Pangaea.

In 2003, the opportunity to join Taking Back Sunday sent Mascherino in more ambitious directions. During his tenure with TBS, Mascherino and the band encountered commercial success, including a #3 spot on the Billboard charts. In 2007, Mascherino left the band to pursue his own songwriting, making a record under The Color Fred moniker, and later formed Terrible Things with Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit) and Josh Eppard (Coheed and Cambria), releasing their 2010 self-titled record for Universal Motown.

Jackson and Eppard left the fold in 2011 and Mascherino spent nine weeks on the road in early 2012 with 90s alt-rock staple The Lemonheads, which reinvigorated his desire to reinvent Terrible Things. For this run, he shed the punk and emo templates that previously held him back in favor of a vintage rock direction. Dayton City Paper caught up with Mascherino to discuss the band’s forthcoming record, new lineup (which includes Aaron Van Allen and Steve Curtiss) and what we can expect from their stop at Blind Bob’s on Oct. 25.

You’ve had a long history of playing shows in Dayton, beginning with your band Breaking Pangaea.  How does it feel to be headed back this direction this October?

I’m definitely super excited. Those old shows were legendary at the Knights of Columbus. I hope to see a lot of familiar faces. We’re all a little bit older, but I think we’re just as wild now.  –Fred Mascherino

You took a little break from touring with your own bands to do some shows with The Lemonheads earlier this year.  What was that experience like and how did that differ from what you were used to?

I did nine weeks playing bass for The Lemonheads. Really the best part was that I was such a big fan of them in high school, so it was neat to play those songs and to learn more about the history of those songs and the history of the band. Evan Dando is a very sweet-hearted guy. It is different when you’re playing for someone else versus playing your own songs … of course that is where my heart lies. But it was still a really neat experience playing with those guys. -FM

So when you got back from that tour you started writing for the new Terrible Things record or had you been writing before that?

I was demoing. When I got back from The Lemonheads, they were going to Europe. I could have done that, but I decided that I needed to get the Terrible Things record under way. I actually decided that I was going to record it at my house and that I was going to play all of the instruments. That was the biggest undertaking I’d ever done.

I’m not holding back in any way, vocally or guitar-wise. It feels great. I’m super excited to get out there playing this stuff. It has a different thing to it. It is hard to put your finger on it. People will say that it’s more rock. It has some Zeppelin going on, or Deftones. Some of it is a little heavier. It is just more grounded and less poppy than some other stuff I’ve done like The Color Fred record.

A lot of records these days have a shiny loudness to it. I didn’t want that. So we kept it very old school sounding. We kept it very old school sounding, like even before-I-was-born sounding. It feels awesome. It is something that I haven’t heard in a long time and I think people are going to notice that it doesn’t sound like every other record out there.

I’m self-releasing this. I’ve got some help from some good friends, like the guys in the band.  We are doing everything ourselves this time around. We are pressing vinyl ourselves.  Luckily in the spirit of that some of my artist friends have been throwing in their time. My wife, Elena, actually painted the cover. It is all very do-it-yourself. We are putting out the record at the end of November too. -FM

Can we expect to hear some Breaking Pangaea tracks during your trip back here or will it exclusively be Terrible Things? 

I have certain sections of the set where the band plays hints at some of the old stuff that I’ve done. We have a couple Breaking Pangaea parts that we play. I’m always game for taking requests on the acoustic if the crowd is asking for it. You won’t be let down, I’ll tell you that.

Terrible Things will perform on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St.  Jeremiah Stikeleather, Auburndale and When Sparks Fly are also on the bill. Advance tickets are $7, $10 day of the show. Doors at 9 p.m. For more information visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Anderl at

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