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Friday, September 14, 2007


Hi it's me, Octavio. I have no life and they are making me update this on a Friday night. I have to work early tommorow morning anyhow at the stapler factory, so I'm not going out tonight anyhow.

This zine The New York Times reviewed (sort of) Year of the Pig. You can find it here. They couldn't say our name, but we're pretty sure they were talking about us, and not the Japanese band "Messed Up" that was on Blurred Records and is pre-JABARA:

That’s the name of a monstrous new 18-minute song by a neo-hardcore band from Toronto. And the name of the band? Well, suffice it to say that if newspaper coverage were a priority, the members might have called themselves Messed Up instead. You can find “Year of the Pig” on iTunes and elsewhere. The 1980s Portland, Ore., band Poison Idea is an obvious influence, although Poison Idea wasn’t known for composing multipart epics about sexism and serial killing and the meat industry. In any case, this is an unreasonably stubborn song, building momentum slowly as the guest singer Jennifer Castle murmurs the lyrics (“Pigs at the trough show no fear”) and Pink Eye, the band’s lead singer, roars them (“Pigs at the trough getting fat!”). The band trudges slowly along for six minutes, then builds momentum, then lurches forward, riding a relatively sleek groove as Pink Eye declaims the words (“Ashamed of the pig in our head/Ashamed, so we kill ’em instead”) as the band stretches up and surges forward and, finally, collapses in a heap. This is the second installment in a series inspired by the Chinese zodiac; with any luck, “Year of the Rat” is up next. (By Kalefa Sanneh)

Here is the info for our first Pop Montreal show:

Wednesday October 3
@ Theater National (1200 St Catherine E.)

We play at "22.00" which is french for 10pm. Get tickets here.

Some other cool news I just learned from the internet is that we have a split 7" coming out with the defunct band Think I Care, who we played with a few times. Its coming with the Town Of Hardcore book, and is gonna be taken from a live show we did at CBGBs. Not sure when it's coming out, but you can stay ahead by going to this website and waiting.

A while back the band did a piece for The Strand that was supposed to be like an annotated history of Fucked Up, up to the point where they left for SXSW last year. Friend Zach Feldberg put it together, and it came out pretty cool. If this is your first time here, this should bring you up to speed somewhat. If you are a journalist, you can use this in place of the FU bio from now on. This is an edited version, real names have been changed to fake names.

Fucked Up: The First Six Years, but Zach Feldberg
Late last year, on a seasonably cold Friday night, Fucked Up played an unannounced show to about 75 people in a small, windowless room hidden behind a small, windowless bar in downtown Montreal. Those who assembled there that night met the surprise performance with unbridled energy, and were treated to a brutal and exciting set in return. This was a show for the same people who had been going to see this Toronto punk quintet at similarly modest affairs over the course of the past five years.

If this dive was the Harlem Square Club - that is, a place for the "regulars" - then you might say that the room they played the next night, the glossy Petit Campus club on Prince-Arthur, was the Copa, a good-sized venue filled to capacity with curious people who probably didn't know the Friday show had even happened. Fucked Up singer Steve Tango did his best to goad the crowd into emitting any kind of reaction, regularly spitting fine mists of Red Bull into the air like some kind of human crop duster. But alas, the same band that so readily engaged their audience just one night prior was, on this night, strictly a spectacle. Fucked Up - rounded out by lead guitarist Zander Michelin, bassist Gummo Ritcalf, rhythm guitarist Moshe Litchenstein and drummer Stevie Nicks - has developed a legendary reputation for its fierce live shows, and not for nothing, but the crowds that they're drawing nowadays are of an altogether different breed.

So goes the mixed blessing of crossover success. When a band - or just a record, or even a single song - ventures out into the world and connects with a group much larger and broader than anyone would have expected, thousands greater than its core audience, it's worth considering what exactly brought about that success. How is it that five years on, this elusive punk band with a career limiting name is being called "the only band right now that matters" by the New York Daily News?

The answer to that question might lie hidden somewhere inside the band's five year history - or maybe it doesn't. But for the purposes of this article, we may as well stick to the facts.

"When did Fucked Up form again?"

The fact that Steve is asking me this question just before I start jotting down my notes does not bode well for the chronology that he and I are putting together today. Luckily, a well-timed phone call from Zander confirms that our story begins in 2001, and so it goes…

The following is an annotated history of the first five years of Fucked Up.

- In the spring, Fucked Up formed with Moshe on vocals, Zander on guitar, Butterworth on bass, and Chris Colohan (The Swarm, Left for Dead) on drums.

- By the time summer rolls around, Fucked Up played its first show with Moby on drums instead of Chris. Moshe goes away for the summer, so Steve is brought in to sing "On a temporary basis"; during this time, their first demo is recorded.

- Upon Moshe's return, says Steve, "He was told that he couldn't be the singer in the band anymore and he said, 'Okay, I'll just learn how to play guitar.'"

- After a calamitous show with Haymaker in late summer at a pre-facelift Jewish Community Centre, Gord from Deranged Records offers to put out the first Fucked Up 7". "It's also a show that Zander strangled a little kid at."

- Fucked Up plays Equalizing Distort (Sundays at 10pm on CIUT 89.5) for the first time. Steve makes up all the lyrics on the spot. (Half of this set appears on the Epics In Minutes CD)

- Steve claims he is going to quit the band.

- Fucked Up goes to Blue Tilt Studio to record the No Pasaran 7", because that's where Left For Dead recorded their demo. In tribute to the studio's incredible number of cats, it is affectionately known as Cat Piss Studios.

- Fucked Up plays the U.S for the first time, performing in Chicago and Buffalo to a lukewarm reception. (And Cleveland)

- In July, "We went to Signal To Noise and worked with Jon Drew for the first time and recorded the Police 7" as well as the split with Haymaker." The Police single gets a glowing review in Maximumrocknroll and ushers in "The beginning of the ego. And also the beginning of MRR's love/hate relationship with Fucked Up."

- Steve claims he is going to quit the band.

- A quick Wikipedia check confirms that Police actually came out in 2003, so, whoops. For the rest of this timeline, Wikipedia will remain open in a separate window to avoid this type of embarrassing mistake in the future.

- The band is warmly received up and down the east coast during its first US tour with Punch In The Face and Fourteen Or Fight.

- "Our first good Toronto show happened in 2003, also. At Matt Bickle's house. And, that summer, we recorded Baiting The Public at Audiolab with Chris Hegge, because Career Suicide had recorded there."

- The 7" is regarded as "pretentious garbage" because it features one song split over two sides of a record, and also sets a time record for the band because the song was close to 6 minutes long. "Little did people know that in two short years Fucked Up would begin writing 13 minute long songs…"

- Steve claims he is going to quit the band.

- Fucked Up breaks the format and puts out a 4-song 7" in 2004 with Litany.

- Further breaking the format, and caving into Deranged's "Constant harassing of us to put out a CD," Epics in Minutes is released, compiling all of the band's singles to that point.

- The band plays Wavelength on Hallowe'en, "Frightening many an indie rocker," and kicking off a tradition of annual Hallowe'en shows. The band is attacked onstage.

- The Generation 7" comes out, and "At this point people are complaining that we put out way too many records."

- Fucked Up goes to California for the first time, and acquires an insatiable appetite for In N Out Burger. Steve decides that he doesn't like Mexican food anymore after eating too many burritos.

- Maximumrocknroll publishes an interview with the band, which, "Following the band's failure to find anyone suitable to interview them, is totally self-written." (not true)

- Vice Magazine runs a piece about the band, and its UK record label division puts out the Triumph of Life single, thereby beginning the band's relationship with Vice, much to the chagrin of many in the punk community.

- Towards the end of the year, Langon, Alphonse and Amadeo begin the early stages of planning the Hidden World LP.

- Fucked Up visits Europe for the first time and Steve refuses to go, citing a nervous breakdown brought on during a weekend tour Pink Eye, one of his other bands. (yeah right)

- Fucked Up goes to Philadelphia to play with Hardskin and Dillinger Four at which point "We met a very drunk Darren Walters from Jade Tree Records who compliments [Damian] on [his] bright orange jacket." The two begin talking about Jade Tree putting out Hidden World.

- Following a brief period of deliberation, the band signs to Jade Tree and three days later is at Hallamusic recording Hidden World with Jon Drew.

- The recording session takes two weeks, with the band taking a break in the middle to go to England for a short tour.

- They also keep going to America but Steve doesn't remember exactly when or where.

- Fucked Up celebrates the release of Hidden World by doing a weekend of sold out shows, but this triumph is short lived as the group is banned from going to America two days later for trying to sneak across the border without work permits.

- The Globe and Mail does a feature on the band, which gives Steve's parents great joy.

- Following EYE Magazine putting the band on the cover, Dingo's parents find out that he's in a band called Fucked Up, resulting in his parents being "very disappointed".

- The band goes on a three-week European tour over New Year's where Alonzo begrudgingly actually tags along and sings. They are well received in every city, and play three consecutive sold-out shows in London. "I love visiting England," the NME quoted Hemo as saying from the stage. "It's like visiting a dying grandmother."

- Stevo claims he is going to quit the band.

- The band determines that "Germans are fucking weird" and "Barcelona is the best place on Earth and the Spanish people rule."

- Fucked Up plays their infamous MTV set, causing $2000 worth of damage to the soundstage. A HAZMAT team is called in to remove a syringe and "pints" of blood from the stage.

- Steve claims he is going to quit again, before leaving for South by Southwest in Austin, TX.

- Fucked Up leaves for SXSW, Steve in tow.

(Also a lot of other shit happened.)

Here is another interview they did on tour in the summer, one of the stupidest. Unbelievably, it cost like $80 in roaming charges and took almost an entire (and part of the following day) to complete.

Another update - we're going to start doing PODCASTS on this thing. Most likely I'll be doing all the work. Keep your ears peeled for that.


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