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Monday, March 01, 2010

CIUT








PHOTOS BY SANDY
PHOTOS BY SANDY
PHOTOS BY SANDY
PHOTOS BY SANDY
PHOTOS BY SANDY
PHOTOS BY SANDYPHOTOS BY SANDYPHOTOS BY SANDYPHOTOS BY SANDY
PHOTOS BY SANDY
PHOTOS BY SANDY
PHOTOS BY SANDY

Holy shit so check out what I just found on the internet:

A lot of people talk about how we've "progressed as a band" or whatever, and it's easy to just write those people off either as n00bs or po3ers or both. Because you and I both know that what we've actually just done is have Jonah write the same songs he's been writing for 8 years but instead of record 15 of them in one weekend, we take 9 months to record 13 and don't leave the studio until every song has as many guitar tracks as can possibly fit into a protools machine. Thats pretty much what I thought until I was reminded of what we actually sounded like in 2001, the year we became a band. Think about how long ago that is. Tear It Up and Hatebreed I think were the most popular hardcore bands that year. Depending on what month this was recorded in, 9/11 hadn't happened yet. I was 21 years old. Josh was maybe 12. Damian had just joined the band. We all still went to shows regularly, and none of us listened to any weird french techno at all. Me and Josh wrote a zine. Damian had hair, and wore Ralph Lauren. Jonah was fat. There was no such thing as a blog, or facebook or even myspace (I don't think). The Revelation Records Message Board was still kind of the number one site to learn about new hardcore bands, or atleast shit talk them. We made tapes. We had 0 7" singles out.

Despite seeming like a bygone era utterly disconnected to how we live our lives today, one thing bridges the gap - Fucked Up. And now there is proof of how crazy we sounded back then. This live recording, our first (of three) at the CIUT studios in Toronto, is so old and dusty that I had to look up my own band on Allmusic.com to see if these tracks had already been relaesed on CD (they haven't, but the first three are on Epics In Minutes [I think]). This session is so old that we play like 6 songs that never even made it onto any Fucked Up Record, and the ones that did got re-named. It is so old that we hadn't even written Police yet! This session is so special and crustily dilapidated that I feel like in order to properly present it to you, the modern and au curant Fucked Up fan, it needs to come with its own play by play cliff notes, so that it doesn't completely blow your mind with it's utter nonsense and make you not want to think about our band ever again.
Ok, download the mix right now HERE and don't start reading these notes until you are listening.

1) THE LURKING FEAR
Ok I have no idea what this song was about, but the title comes from and HP Lovecraft short story. We weren't horror or literature fans really back then, but we were totally into the idea of urban paranoia so much that pretty much every song in this set sounds like the insane ramblings of an urban planning dropout turned homeless beggar, which is pretty close to the kind of person I was in 2001. Damian was still Damian, and so was still even then an expert in putting a stick in my craw. Here we were on our first radio session ever about to play the most revelatory political hardcore the world had ever seen and he's making a reference to some dumb band Simon and Ewan had for one summer before either of us started going to shows.
Often I would write lyrics and music at the same time, and Damian would change the lyrics when we started practicing. This song very quickly became "Red" which was about his girlfriend at the time. He got the title from that Red White and Blue film trilogy. This song actually appears on Epics in Minute somehow.

2) CIRCLING THE DRAIN
As you can see from the first song, in 2001 we were a fast-hardcore band. This song stood out for us because it was not fast. Thats pretty much it. Also we still play this song almost 10 years later.

3) FOLLOWING
What did I saw about urban paranoia before? This song got it's name from the movie that the guy did before he did Memento (which was the one he did before Batman), which was about someone being paranoid about getting following around some bleak urban setting. This song later appeared on our split with Haymaker and changed names and lyrics. Don't bother looking it up tho, because all the song titles on the Haymaker split are fake.

4) NERVOUS BREAKDOWN
Hey, another song we still play 10 years later! It's crazy how our musical tastes or career aspirations haven't changed at all since then. I think that also means that we've been playing this Black Flag song 10 times longer than Black Flag ever did.

5) QUICK
"Quick" was the name of a zine that me and Josh wrote in the late 90s that was influenced by trash collecting, train hoping, John Zerzan and the like. It was 90,000 words (seriously) long and had articles about why The Matrix was the most important film of all time (from an urban-paranoiac-anarcho-primitivist perspective). We were so super punk back then that this song was actually about robbing banks (you can tell by listening to Damian singing the first verse "sayayayaya sation, syayayaboavation, sayayayayanation"). We were so punk that these were the quotes that were supposed to precede the song in the liner notes for whatever record this was supposed to end up on:

“I have no doubt that anyone who passes an hour in the cage of constraining relationships feels a profound empathy for the passion of crime” – raoul vaneigem (traite, page 31)

“Whenever I put on my face-mask, I feel the heat of the proletariat. Nor does the eventual risk offend me: it fills me with a feverish emotion, as if I were waiting for a lover” – Toni Negri, Terrorist

I have the lyrics as well, but I am not going to print them because they are too embarrasing.

6) LAND OF NOD
This song became "Last Man Standing" and is actually pretty good considering it was written in 1998, when human-kinds influence by bandana-thrash was at it's all time perigee. As has been stated before, this song was written for my old band Rxxxxxxxxx, but was rejected and became a Fucked Up song. The original title refers to the original concept, which was a metaphor for the human race being asleep in the face of oppression, paranoia and all that other stuff. Here is the extent to which we were still kind of a trash band in 2001: the song was entitled "slow" on our setlists when we played it, as in "all our songs are so fast, the one that is marginally less fast is so different conceptually that we have to make a specific note of it by referring to it as 'slow'". The liner notes for this song were to come with the obvious Baudrillard quotes (our favourite guy back then) and made reference to this POEM:

THE LAND OF NOD
by Robert Louis Stevenson
From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do--
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can I remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.


7) PIECE BY PIECE
The "Julian from the Strokes" thing refers to when Damian was backstage at the first Strokes show in Toronto and the singer (Julian) was so nervous that he (nervously) "made out" with Damian just before going onstage for some reason. This song dealt with something we hadn't covered for a few songs in the set - urban paranoia. The lyrics concerned a theoretical (yet alluded to the realness of their existence) cabal of doctors determined to keep people diseased and paranoied so that they could "control us". We were so paranoid we even had songs about being paranoid about being paranoid. The lyrics contained some lines about the nature of depression that Damian didn't want to sing, so this song was eventually replaced with "I Hate Summer" in our setlist. Also note that this song was directly influenced by the song "Tunnel Vision" by Negative Approach. In fact that one song I would say influenced the entire 2001-2002 period of Fucked Up before we got a sense of humour about ourselves and started printing our lyrics in Cockney Rhyming Slang on our inserts. The funny thing about this song is Sandy was really uncomfortable playing it because she didn't really know how to play bass yet (as you can hear on this recording though, the rest of us were veritable Stravinski's on our instruments). She was nervous (some might say paranoid) because this was the only Fucked Up song that started on bass, and put her in the spot light. During this session you can hear her making no less than NINE false starts of the song (you have to listen to the tail end of the previous song to hear them all) before I finally just go "fuck it" and start playing the bass part on guitar.

8) SIRENS
We played the song at our first show, this set and I think thats it. I had just been arrested for a minor protest related violation of the supposed "peace" (in our society, I guess) and was pretty paranoid, as I may have mentioned before. This song alluded to the fact that every time I heard sirens, I thought perhaps that they were "coming to get me", or some such thing. As I've tried to explain, we were like really super punk back then. I have the lyrics open in another tab here, but I don't even want to glance at them because I will cringe so hard my face might tip right off my head.

9) The Achilles List
I have no recollection of this song at all. It's notable only because at the end you can hear Ben Cook make his Fucked Up debut when he grabbed the guitar from Josh and did a pretend guitar solo. This song also contained a "breakdown"

Other notable parts of this session:
-Damians high voice
-The sheer amount of songs about urban paranoia
-I think Damian joined the band a week before this session was recorded and is making up 50% of the lyrics on the spot. He is formally known as "Canadas Best Rapper" in this country.
-Jonahs relative lack of skill on the drums. Also his "piccolo" style snare sound.
-The rules we had for our live sets during this era began to get tarnished during this specific set. Those rules were: No stopping the music, and; no talking during the set at all.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the fifth pic down, is that who I think it is?

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for this little history lesson

5:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

out of interest..
wtf's this?
http://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=280;-1;-1;-1;-1&sku=97549

latin? LP coming soon?

2:41 PM  
Anonymous dan said...

...that's the new Holy Fuck album...now that is Fucked Up!!!?

4:43 PM  
Blogger BASEMENT VIOLENCE said...

This is great! my day at work was full of bullshit! this fully made up for the shitty day!!!

THANKS!

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha, WOW! That's so sick!

The songs totally deserved more than they got though! Haha, any chance they can evolve?

11:07 PM  
Blogger LSD said...

In hindsight those tracks are more fun to read about than listen to.

It's always nice to see pics of Damian before he was a 'bear icon' - I had never heard of bears in this context before looking at this site, so erm thanks.

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who hasn't made that career jump from Baudrillard to Gnosticism? Predictable.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SendSpace has so much pop-up shite on it

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU LEAVE JONAH ALONE, GODDAMNIT.

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