"There was a long time when I just wasn't willing to do the whole Mormon thing, and my parents couldn't deal with that so they kicked me out," McCracken said. "I just kicked it around wherever, slept in the park or at friends' houses — wherever I could crash."
While the Used haven't officially released a single yet, "A Box Full of Sharp Objects" is receiving radio play, and a live video for the song is in rotation at video outlets.
"That song, for me, is about drugs and alcohol and loss and love," rambled McCracken. "It's about being proud of who you are, being proud of your situation and just being stoked that things are always going to get better or always gonna get worse and that's such a great thing. Every day is a new surprise."
The single was inspired mostly by the singer's drug experiences, which ranged from being arrested for being high and trying to buy alcohol after hours to watching one of his peers destroyed by the substances he himself was so reliant on.
"One of my ex-girlfriend's really good friends passed away of a drug overdose, and that was kind of crazy at the time 'cause we were all out of our minds."
Lots of hedonistic rockers get hooked on drugs after they join a touring rock band, but the camaraderie of being in the Used has had a calming effect on McCracken.
"For a long time I was really off the deep end using needles," he said. "But all these guys are clean and sober and they're good guys, and they've helped me out a lot. ... I don't think it would have worked out if it hadn't been these guys."