Hey, just in case you scrolled onto this blog today expecting to read something that wasn't in Polish, here is the full text of an interview we did for the zine "Alternative Press" last year. It was right around the time we were recording for our split with Mind Eraser, so you can imagine that the hype surrounding Fucked Up was bigger than ever. They even named us one of their "100 Bands You Need to Know". Boy, did that record ever go out of press fast. Make sure to pre-order the 2nd press here.
You seem as surprised as anyone by the fact that you're selling records. Why do you think your music resonates with people?
10,000 MARBLES: The notes F-A-D. I mean, like any other modern cultural artifact, Hidden World is just our combination on popular artistic themes. I guess people are just into our combo.
You take aim at "postmodern sycophants" in "Carried Out to the Sea," but Hidden World is nothing if not a postmodern album. (Forget just limiting that statement to hardcore; your songs, image and dismantle, reconfigure and pull the rug out from under at least six different genres and belief systems at once.) Anyway, my question: What's the difference between you and "them"?
PINK EYES: I think the song is as much about us as "them." That song is about how we are all implicated; we are as guilty. I think what ultimately separates the "uses" and "thems" of the world is a person's willingness to accept the role they play in the maintenance of the status quo. The awareness of one's place is what, hopefully, separates us from the bands that fashion themselves as artists and think that by simply playing a guitar that they have somehow earned themselves a position above everyone else. I don't pretend to think for a moment that there is anything profound or revolutionary about playing in a band.
From the caduceus to the Venn diagram to images from both Jewish mysticism and the Third Reich, your catalog is wrought with symbols. On a deeper level, how much is the band itself symbolic of something far greater than it represents? In other words, merely telling someone that "Fucked Up is a controversial Canadian hardcore band signed to Jade Tree" is a sort of linguistic Trojan Horse; I feel like Fucked Up is actually somewhere inside the horse itself.
10,000 MARBLES: I think it depends on your perspective. For someone who doesn't know anything, I suppose that would be true; but for me, I think we are symbolic of something far less, or that Fucked Up as a whole is less than the sum of all those parts. In the end, we're just a rock band with a penchant for using interesting metaphors — which makes things even worse, because the use of metaphors means we don’t even believe in what they represent anyhow. Really, the ideology of the band is only noteworthy because it’s a bit different and because we make a big deal out of it. Remember that symbols only represent meaning, and are themselves meaningless. A band like ours is just a representation of meaning, like a travelers' suitcase full of stickers of countries. The suitcase has traveled to all those places, but it hasn't really been to any of them.
To that same point, I look at a title like Hidden World and consider it a guiding principle for the band – in other words, the surface is the least of what you're concerned with; the whole aim of what you're doing seems to be nudging people toward looking at underlying systems, perception versus reality, etc. I realize this isn't a question, but we're not having a real conversation here, so it's the best I can do.
10,000 MARBLES: That's true. The only real guiding principle I have with lyrics or intentions is that I don't want to tell people what to think, maybe just how to think. But Fucked Up isn't political, and there is no agenda. People want to put meaning in places where there is none. Hidden World is about low places, of course, but I tried to be careful not to stretch those meanings to the point where you could say "…and so it's about looking at the systems that control the economy," or what have you. Take "Crusades," or the whole Hidden World motif: "Crusades" uses the metaphor of nature to describe zealotry, but to me, nature is the more interesting of the two; so on one hand, all the meaning to that song could just be on the surface.
Anyone with a basic grasp of rock history might assume that, save for being perceptible in Pink Eyes' haircut and vocal style, hardcore is the least of your influences. Why do you make hardcore the vehicle for your message?
10,000 MARBLES: Punk is our culture. There are various musical inspirations on Hidden World, but aside from those influences, Fucked Up is a punk band because that’s what we participate in. It's a tricky situation because, of course, we listen to so many different styles and kinds of music and try to take cues from same; but in the end, we have definition from punk, and that will be carried to whatever we end up doing. The trick is where culture and art overlap: Like, “punk” isn't a passive label; it’s something you actively participate in in most aspects of life.
Your blog directs people who click the name of your alleged manager/guru, David Eliade, to an entry for collective pseudonyms. Why do I think that's not accidental?
10,000 MARBLES: David is currently undergoing a massive personality crisis. He's still a bit immature: Like some self-referential teenager, his reaction to constantly having his identity and existence questioned, is to try and stop existing altogether.
Actually, why do I get the feeling that none of the alleged mistakes in your past (discography, life before David, etc.) was an accident?
10,000 MARBLES: I wish I could claim this, but so many of those mistakes are in fact just mistakes!
You can tell me how the tour's going if you like; given that this piece will position you as one of "100 Bands You Need to Know in 2007," the only standard generic question I have for you is: What are you hoping to accomplish in 2007?
10,000 MARBLES: Tour was like anything else: dismal and triumphant. Great, packed shows; terrible weather; no sunlight; strange reactions. In Muenster, we got put up in our first-ever hotel room. In 2007, we just want to become more of what we are: a huge small band. Like in movies when the camera does that trick where, while the camera is zooming in, it’s being pulled back at the same time to make it look like its getting closer and further away at the same time. We just started working on our concept-musical David Comes to Life and will soon write [the 12-inch single] "Year of the Pig."
Speaking of privacy, we're about to print up special Fucked Up privacy face-masks in response to this. Get in touch with Octavio St Laurent, our privacy expert to get your own pair (for both of your faces).