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Tuesday, September 30, 2008




Hey they put us in another magazine. Most of this story is BS by the way.

The Tensions of Fucked Up
By Sam Sutherland

I am rubbing the glass-shard-filled head of a 300-pound guy named Pink Eyes. Damian Abraham, vocalist for the hipster-punk-baiting Fucked Up, is telling me about a recent bout with a pint glass in Calgary. “Someone handed me a glass in such a way that I just kind of pushed it into my head,” says Abraham. “We played two more songs, hung out for a bit, then decided to go to the hospital.” Abraham now sports a hunk of glass buried just above his left eyebrow; the back of his head boasts a similar set of collected beer bottle shards. “I feel like I wanna follow in that tradition — the Iggy Pop tradition, the Darby Crash tradition — where you bleed for rock’n’roll.”

A day earlier and a little further east, Mike Haliechuk is the quieter half of Fucked Up’s two leaders. The band’s self-professed studio Machiavelli, it’s Haliechuk’s obsessive guitar layering and endless attention to minute sonic details that have crafted the mind-bending hardcore that Fucked Up champion. “Fucked Up live and Fucked Up in the studio are completely different bands,” he says. “If it was up to me, we wouldn’t tour or really play at all.” And here’s where Fucked Up, on the verge of releasing their second full-length record, become something more than just a really good punk band from Toronto. Beyond a brutal live show and an endless string of vital small-run vinyl releases, they represent a tumultuous vision of rock’n’roll that died with the rise of the online age; in a era where the most trivial details of a band’s inner workings are constantly on display, it’s near impossible to decipher the multitude of tiny dichotomies that comprise Fucked Up.

The band came together in April of 2001, a bunch of kids from Toronto’s still-burgeoning punk and hardcore community. Haliechuk, along with then-vocalist Josh Zucker, bassist Sandy Miranda, and drummer Chris Colohan (Left for Dead, the Swarm, Cursed), wrote some songs, played them, and basically broke up; Zucker went on summer vacation and Colohan left the band. Abraham stepped in to sing in Zucker’s absence, Jonah Falco joined on drums, and when Zucker returned he opted to make the move to guitar. The band’s first demo tape came out in early 2002 and marked their arrival in Toronto’s tight-knit scene. After two well received seven-inches on Vancouver’s Deranged Records, they unleashed Baiting the Public, a six-minute epic split over two sides of a single. It was the first sign that Fucked Up weren’t going to play by the rules. They proceeded to release approximately 25 singles in four years.

“The question I get from kids most often is, ‘How did you do that? How did you make that many records?’ And I don’t know,” Haliechuk says. It wasn’t just the band’s output that impressed and galvanized fans and collectors: it was the variations. The series is defined by small runs and regionally-specific artwork; some by mistake and others crafted deliberately by the band in an attempt to generate controversy and collectability. Fans turned records over for hundreds on eBay, aided by the band’s explosive word-of-mouth popularity and staunch refusal to tour. “Honestly, when we started, that was partly just us fucking with people,” admits Haliechuk. “It’s more annoying than funny now. Everyone just complains about it.”

Those singles, compiled on CD for Epics in Minutes (Deranged, 2004), stoked anticipation for a full-length release, an album that would introduce the band’s progressive, psychedelic-leaning hardcore to a world outside of punk’s sometimes-limited walls. Hidden World, released in 2006, was every bit that record; a monstrous (clocking in at 72 minutes) collection of old and new songs tied together by ambitiously varied interludes, it announced the band’s arrival into a much larger world. It topped best-of lists, saw the band perform on MTV (where they did $2,000 in damage), and turned them into heroes in their native Toronto.

It was also horribly mishandled by their former record label, Jade Tree. “They thought we were these ‘crazy punks’, and they’d said shit like, ‘Yeah, we’ll put out your record, but we’ll only put in as much work as you do,’ I guess thinking that we weren’t going to tour or do anything,” says Haliechuk. “But the record came out and we went on tour for eight months and they literally didn’t do anything.” The label stopped returning the band’s emails and left them in contractual limbo for almost a year, stunting the band’s growth outside of the United States, the only place the record was ever properly released.

More than a legal nightmare, Hidden World aggravated existing tensions within the band. It alienated some of their earliest fans with its left-field progressive leanings, excessive running time, and (compared to early material) high production value. Over the next two years, Fucked Up entered a constant touring cycle that guaranteed either their complete destruction or total creative redemption. With The Chemistry of Common Life, their follow-up to Hidden World, the band is, at least, still alive.

“Sandy threw a roll of duct tape to someone and it hit me in the head,” says Abraham, recalling the conclusion of the band’s recent trip to England. “This is on the departures level of Heathrow airport. We were all kind of tired because we had been up super-late the night before, it was kind of tense, and so the tape hit me and — I admit I overreacted — I started yelling, ‘Why the hell did you just throw that?’ Sandy, who was probably a little hung over, yelled, ‘I did it by accident!’ and charged at me with fists-a-flailing. Got a couple of body shots in and kind of clipped me in the face, so I said, ‘I’m going to smash you.’ I didn’t throw a punch, but Josh thought the threat was real enough that he was going to try and restrain me. So when Josh grabbed hold of me from behind, I smashed him against the van, at which point he let go and I grabbed one of his free arms and flipped him over my shoulder. The problem was, because we were on the second level of Heathrow, he nearly went over the edge.” Abraham isn’t kidding; he’s started our casual conversation with this story. The tensions in Fucked Up are very real. “At that point I’m like, ‘I’m done, I’m not doing this tour!’ So I got in the van and I told our driver to take me back to London,” says Abraham. He was talked down. But when asked how many times he’s quit Fucked Up, Abraham counts three genuine attempts to leave, along with a handful of less serious threats to end his role in the band; both Haliechuk and Miranda have also threatened to quit at various times.

“When something like that happens, I realize how much we tear at each other’s throats,” says Abraham. “Sandy took a swing at me on stage in Long Beach. One time I shoved Mike because he refused to load in. Then there’s a whole level of psychological war.” Those warring parties didn’t have much to fight over for most of Fucked Up’s existence; the band never toured (no one could drive) and day jobs kept them functioning on a level that all members were comfortable with. With the reception to Hidden World, however, came the decision to adopt the responsibilities of being a full-time band.

“Touring caused a lot of tension in last two years because we had no money,” says Haliechuk. “We’d come back from being on tour for three months broke with no job, and we’re not 18-year-old kids who are just like, ‘Oh man, I love touring.’” On a recent European jaunt, the band added to their entourage by taking on Ben Cook, former vocalist for Toronto hardcore vets No Warning, as a third guitar player. Cook’s levelheaded influence, according to Abraham and Haliechuk, has had as much to do with balancing out the band socially as adding to it musically. But things haven’t gotten any less volatile. Abraham has been accused of playing up the level of disagreement in Fucked Up, but spending any amount of time with two of the band’s disparate factions provides two very different visions of what Fucked Up should be. “I want Fucked Up to be the most transparent band in history. I don’t want there to be any secrets,” says Abraham. “Mike wants this be as ephemeral as possible. I want it to be the every band, and Mike wants it to be the perfect idealized band.” Haliechuk’s efforts to maintain an enigmatic quality to Fucked Up in an information-saturated digital age are actually pretty impressive; over the course of our interview, I ask at least two questions that prove to be based entirely on lies perpetuated by the band. Fucked Up have built up a mythology as hefty as their discography: they have alternately professed to the use of sigils for magic purposes, claimed that Abraham is the father of a child named “Eli,” and deflected questions to their manager, David Eliade, whom no one has ever met but who taught Haliechuk to garden. When they’ve bothered to include credits on their releases, it was under pseudonyms that often changed; currently, they’re known as Pink Eyes (Abraham), 10,000 Marbles (Haliechuk), Mustard Gas (Miranda), Gulag (Zucker), Young Governor (Cook), and Mr. Jo (Falco). Haliechuk still requests to be referred to by his 10,000 Marbles moniker. Abraham doesn’t care.

“It comes from the fact that it’s six people that have very different expectations of what they want from a band,” says Abraham. “Because we never had a clear shot, like we’re gonna do this, this, this and we’re gonna get famous. It all just sort of spiraled out of control with no clear-cut idea of where we wanted to go. You just have six people with totally different ideas of what this band should do and how we should act on tour and on stage. Six people who don’t agree on anything. Literally anything. I think we all like pizza and sushi. When it comes to what kind of sushi or what’s on the pizza, then there’s all kinds of controversy. But, you know, at least we’re not all vegan anymore.”

The Chemistry of Common Life is the sonic distillation of those intra-band controversies. For starters, the fucking thing opens with a flute solo. As a wall of guitars swells behind it, “Son the Father” explodes like My Bloody Valentine fronted by Negative Approach’s John Brannon, and as the record progresses, the band’s musical tangents and divergent interests are only brought into starker relief. The influence of Poison Idea and the Wipers, so prominent on their first singles, is still apparent on songs like “Magic Word” and “Twice Born.” But the overwhelming weirdness of songs like “Royal Swan,” which sees Abraham vocally sparring with the operatic indie styles of Katie Stelmanis, along with “Golden Seal” and “Looking for Gold,” which recall David Bowie’s Low-era soundscapes, is demonstrative of a band fighting some unique internal battles. Teaming up with long-time producer and co-conspirator Jon Drew, the band’s process necessitated an equally unique recording situation.

“We recorded the drums parts, some riffs, and then left the studio,” says Haliechuk. The band, whose previous recording experiences pretty much involved straight recording of well-rehearsed songs, had only constructed skeletal demos of the songs that would comprise their sophomore full-length. “We went on tour for three months, and I would just write more guitar parts. So we came back and I added 12 guitar tracks to every song. Then we went on tour again and came back and added more guitar parts.” The process of building songs in the studio over a prolonged period of time (recording lasted nearly a year) could have easily resulted in a bloated, sprawling epic, and yet somehow, the opposite is true; The Chemistry of Common Life is leaner and more focused than anything Fucked Up have done since Baiting the Public, aggressively pushing the boundaries of the band’s sound but keeping those deviations within set parameters. “It’s not like we’re Yellowcard or something where we’re trying to mix violin in with our choruses,” says Haliechuk. “When we use stupid instruments, it’s either percussion, so it doesn’t matter, or it’s in an intro. When we were doing the last record with Owen [Pallett, aka Final Fantasy], he asked if we wanted him to play on any of the actual songs, and we decided not to. I guess it would be cool to be like, ‘Yeah, I’m in a hardcore band with a flute in it,’ but that can come off as audacious for its own sake.” Pallett, whose string work helped to enhance the bizarre-hardcore factor of Hidden World, wasn’t around for any of Chemistry’s scattered recording sessions, but the album is littered with other Toronto musicians adding their own character to the band’s creations. From the raspy screeching of Justin Small and Kay Taylor on the chorus to “Son the Father,” to the horn work of Falco and Abraham’s high school music teacher Tom Wade-West on “Days of Last,” nearly every song on the album is buoyed by some unexpected outside contribution.

“I love that about rap music, and I wanted to bring that to hardcore,” says Abraham. “We started bringing in guest vocalists around our fourth single. I really like that aspect of a community of friends coming together and getting people who offer different things from the people in the band.” One of the people most likely cause a stir in the Fucked Up camp is the mysterious chorus vocalist on “Black Albino Bones,” the band’s closest-ever attempt at something vaguely poppy and, as a result, one of the most shocking moments on the whole album. It barely made it off the chopping block.

“In the article you have to say that it’s Kevin Shields,” says Haliechuk. “It’s Dallas Green,” says Abraham, who tells us to ignore Haliechuk’s request. Buried under a mountain of effects and low in the mix, the distinctive croon from the Alexisonfire and City and Colour vocalist could kind of be mistaken for the My Bloody Valentine mastermind. Maybe. “I read on the internet some dude saying, ‘It’s Kevin Shields.’ And some other dude was like, ‘No, I think it’s Dallas Green,’” says Haliechuk. “Then all these other kids were like, ‘You fucking idiot. There’s no way it’s Dallas Green.’” Adds Abraham, “It’s just because they don’t want to admit they like Dallas Green.”

Live, Fucked Up belongs to Abraham. He’s a big guy, a brash mixture of the Cro Mags’ John Joseph’s voice and Iggy Pop’s stage presence. He palms razor blades to cut open his forehead, and his massive frame becomes a lightning rod for the violent impulses of the crowd.

“I would never want to be in a band where someone could leave and be like, ‘Meh.’ Even if they hate it, they can’t deny there’s a lot of pizzazz,” he says. “When we go in to the studio, I can’t offer that much. My vocal range is pretty limited. But in a live setting, it’s my job to put on a show. I take it really personally when the band ignores the fact that I’m going out there, and even when I’m not blading or hitting myself, I’m busting my knees and stuff.”

“The shit he does on stage takes the pressure off of everyone else,” Haliechuk admits. “We could just stand there with our backs turned and it would still be a good show because he would be out there tearing shit up.” Which is, ultimately, where the band splits into two almost separate entities: the frequently sloppy, consistently abrasive and physically demanding live Fucked Up, and the mysterious, meticulous, and perfected studio Fucked Up. So while Abraham steers the band on stage, Haliechuk runs the band in a very different off-stage fashion.

“I sort of want to quit the band and just do the bullshit part,” says Haliechuk. “Hopefully in 20 years I’ll be doing an interview and I’ll be able to say that Fucked Up was a joke. We were kidding. About everything. And then 20 years after that I’ll admit I was joking about that. And the Fucked Up renaissance shall begin.”

Until that day, the band will have to contend with the divergent interests of six very different people; and, hopefully, it will keep them in good supply of the type of inner conflict that produces records like The Chemistry of Common Life.

“I’m more at peace with Fucked Up’s sound now than I was two years ago,” says Abraham. “There was a time when I was like, ‘Well, if we’re not a hardcore band, what the fuck are we?’ We all want to be a different band. I don’t think it’s a good show unless kids are going crazy. For Mike, he wants people to be like, ‘Oh, I really like what you did with your pedals there.’ There are those days where I still close my eyes and imagine I’m in [pioneering ‘80s hardcore band] Infest with walls of kids falling down on me, and I open my eyes to see Mike fixing his pedals and go, ‘Yeah, I’m still in Fucked Up.’”

Monday, September 29, 2008

Year of the Rat

Update on Year of the Rat: It is TWELVE minutes, not ten minutes, as had been previously reported. You can download the aside HERE.


Sunday, September 28, 2008


Hey (one of) our new record(s) is out. It is called Crooked Head, and it looks like this:
Well that is what one side looks like. This is what the other side looks like:

A lot of people ask us why we put out "so many records". Well the answer is simple - because records are amazing. You should buy this record to find out just HOW amazing. Like check out this guy - he likes records so much that he made a youtube video of just him flipping through some of them!

And then like two thousand people watched the video of him leafing through his old records. Then YOU watched it. Then you went to THIS LINK and bought the new Fucked Up 7" single so that one day in the future YOU could make a similar video of you just flipping through like 56 different Fucked Up records. Like check this picture out, from Japan, which makes it look like Fucked Up is it's own section/genre of punk/hardcore music, and you know Japan is LIKE the future, so maybe one day that will just be the way it actually is:
Fucked Up Music! Imagine that. Well you don't have to, you can just buy the record. Say, but haven't all the last records we've released been "total bullshit"? Like Year of the Dog, and Year of the Pig, and all those YOTP 7"'s and shit, and Toronto FC, and David Christmas, and all that stuff? Well yeah, but this one is different! The ASIDE is from the new ALBUM, but its an EDIT, which means its a bit different, but not in any sort of way that cost us any more money to make in the studio, and then the BSIDE is this killer little tune that isn't on ANY OTHER RECORD OUT THERE, and is about how Damian hates summer because, well you can read the LYRICS! They are INCLUDED on the INSERT, which is a little piece of paper stuck into the 7" sleeve that has the lyrics on it, as well as the LINER NOTES. THE SONG IS REALLY SHORT, its like less than 2 and a half minutes long, and its PRETTY FAST and SORT OF SOUNDS LIKE THE UNDERTONES because we use that drum beat we used on TEENAGE PROBLEMS and NEAT PARTS and maybe one other song in our discography. Anyhow, this 7" is 100% NOT BULLSHIT except for the fact that the aside is already on the album, but not really, as I was just talking about, but its got its own ARTWORK, and the bside art looks a little like the album cover because its got the sun in there and everything, and I can tell you now that we're gonna make a bunch more 7"'s that have the sun on the cover, so you might want to start COLLECTING them ALL so that if you ever want to make that VIDEO I was talking about WAY before, you won't be missing the CROOKED HEAD 7", which is now for sale over at MATADOR RECORDS and pretty much no other websites I could really find on google. Plus check out THIS PICTURE (I can't hotlink it) - he likes FU so much that he took a picture of Damians SOCKS.

Hey speaking of TOTAL BULLSHIT, we are almost finished recording YEAR OF THE RAT, which is like 10 minutes long I'd say, and before we've even recorded the vocals, it's got like 160 TRACKS ALREADY. That means that we did 160 DIFFERENT THINGS on the song. Also - some of it was recorded in London ENGLAND, and some was recorded in TORONTO, CANADA - how NUTS IS THAT? 160 TRACKS! Get ready for that. The bside sounds like PINK FLOYD! It's going to come out as a 12" SINGLE hopefully before the end of 2008 on WHATS YOUR RUPTURE RECORDS. You can hear a rough mix of the first 2 minutes of this song on the MIXTAPE that we are about to release - volume THREE. It is coming out SOON.


Friday, September 26, 2008


Hi - you can buy tickets for the weekend of shows we are doing in Toronto now. The venue where the night shows will be held is quite small, so we'll be selling tickets from the blog for a week before we publish the lineups - first come first serve, please act fast if you'd like to attend these gigs. Please email for instructions on how to purchase your tickets. Stay tuned for the completed lineups.

Thursday October 30th
@ Sneaky Dee's 431 College
8pm 19+ $12

Thursday October 30th
@ Rancho Relaxo 300 College
12am "All Ages" Free

Friday October 31st
@ Sneaky Dee's 431 College
8pm 19+ $12

Friday October 31st
@ Rancho Relaxo 300 College
12am "All Ages" Free

Saturday November 1st
@ The Wrong Bar 1279 Queen St. E
12pm All Ages $15
one more TBA

Saturday November 1st
@ Sneaky Dee's 431 College
8pm 19+ $12

Saturday November 1st
@ Rancho Relaxo 300 College
12am "All Ages" Free

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

People who love People

Holy shit, we were in People Magazine too

Passionate About New Music

Hey, they put us in the NME.

Monday, September 22, 2008


This is he new FU EPK, in the ongoing battle for Fucked Up Supremacy between Mike and Damian:


Hey in anticipation of the new FU Mixtape (#3) that will be out in time for the weekend of shows we're doing at the end of October (we just confirmed CRIME), here is a mix of mostly stuff sitting on my desktop. You can download it right HERE or HERE.

BIG CHERRY - Come in Bonzo
JUSTICE - Planisphere pt 2
MIND ERASER - Collective Unconcious (edit)
JULIE LONDON - Like to get to Know you
SEX VID - Always Home
GUN OUTFIT - Had Enough
NODZZZ - In the City
MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS - America is Waiting
?? - ??
BLANK DOGS - Blaring Speeches
PETE DUNTON - Making Time
SEBASTIEN LEGER - Take your Pills (Lifelike Remix)
LINDSTROM - Grand Ideas

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thanks NY

Or should I say "You're Welcome". We don't usually do free private parties unless we're in Austin, but last Friday we played the Mishka Party in New York, and yesterday we played the DQM party, also in NY. If you didn't get to either of those, or are just now getting hit with a wave of hype, you can check us out in that same city in about a month:

Tues Oct 14
New York City
12 Hour show (not kidding) @ Location TBA (but not a secret)
Free, All Ages, free booze all day, loads of special guests, weirdness, etc.

Wed Oct 15
New York City
@ Bowery Ballroom 18+ $10 8pm 6 Delancy St
some other band or two

Thurs Oct 16
@ The Market Hotel 1142 Myrtle @ Broadway
8pm All Ages $10

Did I mention we have been in the New York Times?

Oh and by the way, Eyehategod IS not playing the FU fest this year.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sept 20 2008?

Fucked Up plays Santos Party House in Manhattan Sat Sept 20. First 40 people to email will be able to get in thanks.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tue Oct 14 2008?


Monday, September 15, 2008


Thursday, September 11, 2008


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Hi, we just got back from the latest F Yeah Tour. It was a real trip - let me tell you about it:

We got to LA after flying straight there from London. 4 FUs spend most of their time off making posters and eating burritos, while me and Falco went to NYC and saw a Yankees Game

We forgot how to take the skytrain from JFK and ended up getting on a bus that took us as far as New Lots in Brooklyn in about an hour. We were bummed.   Also, our flight was not bumped up to first class, like it had been on the way to London in July, so we had to ride in the normal part of the airplane, like idiots.  Anyhow, we got to LA about 4 hours before we were supposed to play, and spend most of that doing a photoshoot for Spin, and eating burritos.
While the rest of the band watched Matt and Kim, I was just waiting to catch the Glass Candy set, who are my favorite band (after Vampire Weekend).  You can see how bored I was during our set:

No Age was sick - check out the gear:

That night we went back to Seans friends house for about 4 hours of shut eye.  Later that morning, a huge bus arrived out front and 15 hippies fell out of it.  While bags and small amps got loaded into the trailer, FU played soccer in the street.

If you have travelled, or are from the West Coast, you'll know that the drive between LA and the Bay Area is a mammoth journey, so we gave ourselves about 12 hours to do it.  We pulled out of LA at around 9am, and got to the Gilman with enough time for the promotor to almost cancel the show because we were so late.  On the way there we stopped for vegetable oil like 10 times, and took the hills at about 20mph.  None of the grease was high enough quality, so I think we loaded it with diesel.  Ironically, I bought deep fried macaroni and cheese at a Carl's Jr (the grease there wasn't good enough to use).  When we got to the show Strange Boys had to go on almost immediately.  I guess we cut into TRASH TALK's set because we were so late, so we let them bust some jams during our set.  That was cool, but I guess someone called them Muslims or said Muslims are gay as a heckle, so they beat the shit out of the dude outside after the show. We haven't played a show at the Gilman so far that hasn't ended in a fight after the show.

We stayed with Scotty in the Bay that night and I'm pretty sure some people were smoking dope upstairs. I was asleep in the garage, as usual.  

The next day we got up at 8am to go running. Just kidding, we got up at noon and they smoked more weed and then we took the BART into SF for that nights show at the Hemlock.  Although I'm pretty sure I did wake up at 8 - I've been jet lagged for 2 weeks.  So we spent most of the train ride sticking our fingers in Jonahs ears while he was trying to talk to Jessica:

The Show in SF was kind of a bummer - we are trying to play through Fender Twins that have no reverb and both my guitars are broken. Plus we are so "over it" at this point it's not even funny. I'm pretty sure I played most of my leads from inside the bathroom backstage while I'm puking from self-loathing.   Lots of moshing though. Afterwards we hang out with modern punk luminarios from SEX VID and WARKRIME (with a K).  Sidenote - last time we played the Hemlock Josh got so sick from smoking crack that he threw up in his own bag of leftover sushi.

That night we go back to Scotty's house to mental prepare ourselves for the 56 hour journey to Seattle we are about to embark on.  Things start to get REALLY hairy the next morning:

Our bros pick us up sometime in the morning - we are all feeling very chill because a) they are all on dope and b) we have 2.5 days to complete what would normally be a 16 hour car ride.  At 11am, we hit the road. We first go to that famous sandwich place in Oakland.  Then we need to find some veggie oil.  We go to this boating place to find a filter. Then we have to go to the same store, across town.  Then we stop at this Chinese restaurant downtown and FU plays soccer on the street for about 2 hours.  Then we get on the freeway and OOPS we left the trailer open so everyone's luggage ends up on the 5.  A lot of it gets pummeled by the traffic, while the rest of it lands real close to a dead dog. We all think it is "gross" but we grab it anyhow.  At about 5pm, we are finally on the highway out of the Bay.  We start looking for a hotel in WEED (the K hole of Cali), and finally find one in Mt Shasta.  We relax after a grueling 14 hour drive (or something). The next morning we get back on the road in search of more veggie oil.  

Somehow the grease we put in the van on the first day has been fucking with our bus - we are continually having problems.  The bus goes up hill at like 5mph and at one point the bus stops working on an incline. I still have no idea how we made it up.  We find out later that the tank is full of ALGEA because grease was left inside it all summer. Try telling that to your mechanic.  Anyhow, we figure we'll have no problem making it to Portland in enough time to do some live sets on KBOO before our friends show is over at 1am. Guess what - we got there after 1am!  All of our Portland bros where there tho, and they brought us like 50 donuts.  We spend the night at Mikeys House and leisurely drive to Seattle for the next show.   We stop at this wierd hippie commune to try and buy bio diesel. I have no idea if that worked because I was playing soccer. A few hours later we find ourselves at ANOTHER place so that we can TRADE our grease for someone elses higher quality grease. What a world right? I know. Meanwhile, I'm playing more soccer than I ever have in my life - I spend like 2 hours in a field with my pants off doing reps and drills with FU while the other bands are at a Bowling Alley bowling or smoking reefer or something.  Anyhow, some sort of fuel eventually gets put into our some sort of bus, and we're off.

We get to Olympia super late to play with Sex Vid. We did a lot of hanging out with them.  Here is what it looked like:

Meanwhile Olympia is one of the weirdest towns in the country. The next day we hang out at the lesbian burrito place RJ takes us to, and we're seeing dudes with high shorts go cycling by and like 15 people walk by with no shoes.  Did I mention that the club had almost no lights on inside? Think about it.  The vibe definetly has affected Josh, who plays the entire set with sunglasses off, and is pulling guitar moves like he's in the California Raisins.  It blows both mine and Damian's mind(s), and we play most of our set almost throwing up in disbelief.  We all sleep at Judds that night - me in the laundry room.  Meanwhile Timmy is flipping out 24 hours a day:

I spend the next few days in the Sex Vid van because none of those dudes have licenses or cell phones.  Plus their van is powered by steam, and none of them can stop flipping out while its moving.  We're on the way to Seattle.

We get to the Vera Project I think in enough time, I think, but we bail on soundcheck because we are playing soccer in the alleyway.  After the show we get food at Dicks, where a burger is like $1.50 and a sundae is $1.75.  Keep in mind its like 2am at this point.  Jonah is tired because he's been talking to a journalist from Japan through an interpreter and his phone is running out of power every 10 minutes (good thing we aren't using it to drive).

Where was I.  Oh yeah at some point the next day I get booted from my seat because this intense power thing got put there that said "beware" and "high voltage danger" all over it:
Also on the last drive I forgot to mention that we stopped for an extended period of time on a highway underpass to: 1) smoke weed; 2) look at cows (see #1); 3) probably do some shit with the bus that I wasn't paying attention to; 4) play soccer.

After Seattle We play Portland for that Music Fest. It's pretty sick.  I'm playing out of a Marshall stack at this show for the first time this tour, and all set I'm watching Sean Carlson barf and convulse because it's so loud and intense.  That night we had hotels and about 75 people came up to the Red Lion to jam in our rooms. I immediately go into the chill room to play rummy with some people but it gets invaded almost immediately after that with drug users and strangers. I feel like I'm trapped inside a Philip K Dick book for like the next 10 hours. 

At this point Sandy has turned into an actual living Anime character and is turning real objects into words and concepts in real time:

Magic Word anyone?:

Put a bug into my ear

When i woke up I was here

I blew smoke onto a page

And watched the letters re-arrange

Pushed the words into my veins

Tripped the valve inside my brain

Spoke a language I could see

I swam inside reality

Write in vines and speak in tongues

Double meanings in my lungs

Brazen head spits out the skies

These words are heavy but i'm alright, alright

The tangled web inside my head

Changed the canvas as it spread  

Concepts mushroomed as I talked

Notions opened as I walked

Chemistry is just a word

We use to describe what occurs

when subtle changes in your mind

make energy from common lives

Write in vines and speak in tongues

Double meanings in my lungs

Brazen head spits out the skies

These words are heavy but i'm alright

Things move everywhere i look

I'm stuck in someone else's book

Letter perfect engineer

Then it all just disappears alright

Write in vines and speak in tongues

Double meanings in my lungs

Brazen head spits out the skies

These words are heaven but i'm alright

All of my words became one

All the changes were undone

I'm a strange loop that is clear

Put a bug into my ear

Meanwhile at this point I am so deranged that I'm breaking windows with my mind Event-Horizon style:

There is so much weed smoke and duct tape inside the van that I start to materialize my own hatred towards it in these physical manifestations. The rest of the van decides for my own good I have to wear a straight jacket for the rest of the tour.

I catch an hour of Zs at some point and then we drive to Vancouver.  Oh shit - we got there late! We run out of GAS (the real kind) 5 miles away from the club and the drivers spend like an hour skateboarding around south Vancouver trying to find diesel. These dudes are legit hard dudes and manage to cop some so we can get to the show. Check out this picture of 5 people loading gas into the tank and Jonah having a weed attack:

We miss White Lung, and play rushed sets. At this point all I can think about is 1) Blogging and; 2) Vampire Weekend so I can't remember what happened that night other than Damian fell off the stage from atop a speaker wedge, and Nardwuar interviewed us on the bus for like 15 hours, and we ate a fine meal at 4am at some restarant. Also by this time I forgot to mention that the Strange Boys bailed because they can't get into Canada, but are sending smoke signals (from weed) from Portland to tell us how they are partying.

We get to the airport at 6am and jump on the 7am flight. For the first time in my life I fall asleep in a plane without the use of sleeping pills (I dropped and lost those on the plane while I was sleeping - not shit). Get home and sleep for 16 hours. Wake up, immediately blog while listening to Vampire Weekend.
In all seriousness, everyone who helped on this tour made life intensely bearable while we drove the most unsafe and intense vehicles I've ever been on up one of the most treacherous coast drives in America. Many thanks to:
Sean and Phil
Johnny and Garrett
Crystal Antlers, Strange Boys
Timmy H
Michael and Videothing
Mikey, Yannick and everyone else in Portland
Sex vid the band and the concept
Scotty and Cassie
Kevin Shields for singing on our new record.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Hey, we are going on tour AGAIN (with vampire weekend):

Sep 9 - Headliners (SOLD OUT) w/ White Williams Louisville, Kentucky

Sep 10 - The Pagent w/ White Williams St. Louis, Missouri

Sep 11 - Liberty Hall w/ White Williams Lawrence, Kansas

Sep 13 - Monolith Festival - Red Rocks Amphitheatre Denver, Colorado

Sep 15 - The Joint w/ White Williams Las Vegas, Nevada

Sep 16 - The Glasshouse w/ Abe Vigoda & White Williams Pomona, California

Sep 17 - The Wiltern (SOLD OUT) w/ Abe Vigoda & White Williams Los Angeles, California

Sep 18 - The Wiltern (SOLD OUT) w/ Abe Vigoda & White Williams Los Angeles, California

Sep 19 - San Diego Street Scene San Diego, California

Sep 21 - Treasure island Music Festival San Francisco, California

Sep 23 - Rialto w/ Hot Chip & Drums of Death Tucson, Arizona

Sep 24 - Marquee Theatre Tempe, Arizona

Sep 26 - Austin City Limits -Zilker Park Austin, Texas

Oct 18 - Iceland Airwaves Festival Reykjavik, Iceland

Oct 20 - Birmingham Academy (SOLD OUT) Birmingham, UK

Oct 21 - Manchester Academy & University (SOLD OUT) Manchester, UK

Oct 22 - Sheffield Academy (SOLD OUT) Sheffield, UK

Oct 24 - Forum (SOLD OUT) London, UK

Oct 25 - Forum (SOLD OUT) London, UK

Oct 26 - Forum (SOLD OUT) London

Oct 28 - Newcastle Academy (SOLD OUT) Newcastle, UK

Oct 29 - Glasgow Barrowlands (SOLD OUT) Glasgow, UK

Oct 30 - Liverpool Academy (SOLD OUT) Liverpool, UK

Oct 31 - Bristol Academy (SOLD OUT) Bristol, UK

Nov 2 - Uebel & Gefahrlich Hamburg, Germany

Nov 3 - Kesselhaus Berlin, Germany

Nov 4 - Live Music Hall Cologne, Germany

Nov 6 - La Laiterie Strasbourg, France

Nov 7 - Le Grand Mix Lille, France

Nov 8 - Olympic Club Nantes, France

Nov 9 - La Cigale Paris, France

Dec 1 - 9:30 Club WASHINGTON, Washington DC

Dec 3 - Terminal 5 NEW YORK

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Hi - there is another fake Fucked Up myspace page. Feel free to conduct e-terrorism 2.0 here.

Also don't forget that a bunch of pre-orders are up at the Matador page, and the more pre-orders you make the more likely they are to want to buy us pizza or sushi when we visit them at the office:


Crooked Head 7"/MP3/PIZZA

Also for all you internet virgins who haven't already illegally copped our album via some Russian slave download page, Matadot just released another advance MP3 from it. The tune is called Twice Born, and you can hear it right here. Note that this song contains backup vocals from Kevin Sheilds and the fat guy from Fall Out Boy.

Hey did I mention that we are touring in a school bus right now? We all feel like we are in trouble and this is our detention. Come and bring us cool shit if you see us on tour. Right now we are in a smelly hotel in Mt Shasta watching CW network shows and the Golden Girls. We left San Francisco at noon and got here at 1am - you do the math. Please bring us technology.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Young Governor is new to the band, so I thought it would be good to get him doing some interviews so people could get to know him.

What up, sons and daughters. It is I, Guv of Darkness, taking a breather from my
training in the matriarchal underground of Menzoberrazan. I'd like to shout out to
Queen of the chimps, Sophie. Congrats, your haircut rocks.

* First tell us of the evolution of the bands name and what it
signifies to the members of the band.

In 1996 CFNY in Toronto had a ripper of a party at this bitchin' of a club called The Velvet Underground. We all met during a Martin Streak remix of Depeche Modes "Strange Love". We've moved on since our Goth days besides Damian who wants to do Hot Topic in stores to get those free giant pants with all the metal hanging off it.

* Tell us who are the band members and any previous/currant work with
other bands.

We got Wart Hog, Felacutie, Dennis Hopper, Jenny Warts, & Pluot Almost a Plum. I did some experimental music with my computer before this in my attic, and threw parties. I collected swords, and rare birds and ate my meals at long dark oak tables. I've always wanted to do a project based on the nin track from the Crow soundtrack. Fucked up so far has come the closest.

*What is the philosophy behind the music/ lyrics.

Be a freak.

*Where you are from and a little about the goth/alternative scene you
grew up with.

Like I said earlier we come from a legit scene of 90's freaks and bleeding. My old band beefed with Kittie. The singer screamed at me once at a converge show in Hamilton, and then said she was going to get sworn enemy to beat me up. This whole experience really soured me on the people, but I never lost my faith in Martin Streak. Also, I saw a band called L.Y.E once and they had clear plastic saran wrap between the audience and the stage. They sucked, but I've always wanted to do that.

*what is the current goth/alternative scene like and where do you see
it going in the future

MSI is still rockin' out to their fans and their hit song "Faggot" is still being written on the arms of each die hard at their gigs. I thought it was a dying subculture, I have video proof that it ISNT.

*Discography and /or current releases.

Chemistry of Common Life on Matador, Oct 9th. Year of the Imp is out before the new year.

* Upcoming tour dates

The Vatican in toronto closed down but I heard they started a chain of clubs in Europe. We'll be doing those in November, and then I'm skipping Xmas because fuck that, right?

*Anything you wish to add

Love me,
my razor blade.

Peel my skin,
make me scream.

Sink so deep,
make me weep.

Cut my flesh,
make me bleed.

Take my life,
set me free.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Hey we are on tour in a huge school bus right now. There are like 20 people on the bus but no one really even knows anyones name yet. What we do know is that the bands are called Crystal Antlers and The Strange Boys. Sometimes you play shows with bands you don't like - these bands are both really awesome.




Hi, in the UK Mr Jo did an interview with AudioBunny, a webzine from Japan. It took forever - he left to do the interview after our set, and we couldn't find him all night. Turns out it was because he was speaking in Japanese: (thanks to Mariko for the interview)

今もっともエキサイティング&怒涛のライヴをやらかしてくれるトロント出身の6人組(これまで5人組として活動していたが、元ノー・ウォーニングのベン・クックが参加し現在はギター3本の6人)、ファックト・アップ。 イカれたバンド名、巨漢ヴォーカル=ピンク・アイズの爆弾(肉弾?)パフォーマンスを筆頭に異色ででこぼこな佇まい、ソリッド&根源的なパンク・ロックの 咆哮/猛攻で2年ほど前から(パンク・キッズだけではなく)ロック・ファンの間にも徐々に名前を浸透させつつある彼らだが、結成2001年とキャリアは長 く、数多のシングル(多くが超限定盤7インチ。自主リリースも含む)やツアーを通じてハードコア・パンク界では既に熱狂的な支持基盤を獲得しているバンド だったりする。
そんな彼らが初のLP「Hidden World」(06年)を境に今やNMEやViceといったメインストリーム系のメディアにまで進出しているのは驚きだし、それをして昔ながらのファンか ら「セル・アウト」の罵り声が上がるであろうことは想像に難くない。そもそもエモのイメージが強いジェイド・トゥリーから「Hidden World」が リリースされたこと自体、ファンには驚きだっただろう。ストレート・エッジやハードコアの理念としてアンチ商業主義/非主流があるのは周知の事実で、実際 現在の周到かつ狡猾に張り巡らされた音楽ビジネス・ネットワークに絡めとられることなくバンドがDIYなパンク精神をまっとうするにはイアン・マッカイ並 みの鋼鉄の意志&継続力が必要になる。故にメインストリームを自主的に避けるバンドも多いだろうし、たとえば筆者自身がファックト・アップの存在を昨年ま でまったく知らなかったように、そこには毅然とした「アンダーグラウンド」と「オーヴァーグラウンド」の境界線、符牒のように崇拝される隠れたヒーロー達 が存在するのだ。
グランジ、ネオ・パンク、エモ、メタルコアなど「ヴァリエーションとしてのパンク」が次々にメジャーに侵食されトレンドのひとつとして消費され てきた90~00年代を経て、それでも熱心なファンとコミュニティに死守されてきたとも言えるハードコアの牙城。しかしファックト・アップに興奮させられ るのは、彼らがその文字通り「Hidden World」からの使者として壁をクロスオーヴァーするポテンシャルを持つバンドだからだ。ファスト&ラウド な初期シングルを通じダムドやラモーンズばりのメロディックなフックと急襲カタルシス、饒舌なギター・アレンジを磨いてきた彼らは、シャウト・スタイルの ヴォーカルという強烈な個性をキープしつつ、その周りを囲む音楽性を徐々に広げてきた。パンクのバースト感とシンプリシティが真っ先に耳を捉えるものの、 組曲風な構成、ヴァイオリンのパッセージ(ファイナル・ファンタジーの才人オーウェン・パレットの仕業)、コーラス、エピックに構築されたアレンジなど 「Hidden World」は聴けば聴くほど多彩な表情を披露していく。そこに、たとえばハードコアから出発しつつヘヴィなドゥーム・サウンドを生み出したブラック・フ ラッグ、あるいはサイケデリアやジャズも吸収したハスカー・ドゥーといったSSTアクトに通じる拡張スピリットを感じるし、パンク=テクニックや音楽的知 識は二の次というひとつの神話――バンドを続けるうちに、たとえ最初は下手でも多くの人間が素人レベルから卒業するものだろう――を打ち破ろうとする意志 が覗える・・・と何やら小難しくなってしまったが、単純な話、ブリリアントなフロント・マンとタイトなバンドが織り成す純度100%のロックンロール爆風 に揉まれ、忘我の果てに「生の勝利」を感じるのはただただ気持ちいい。昨年彼らのライヴで筆者がKOされたように、解釈は後からでもいいから、まずは彼らの音に全身で飛び込んで知られざる世界への扉を開けてみてほしい。そして、ファッションやスタイルとしてではなく生き方としてのパンクを貫く人々に出会ってほしい。

ネットに流布する様々な噂や風評、イメージや象徴を多用した観念的な歌詞、メンバー全員表立っては本名を明かさない、MySpaceページをいまだ持って いない(ルパート・マードック嫌いなんだろうけど)・・・などなどミステリアスでどこかスキャンダラス、掴みどころのないバンドというイメージがあるのは 確かだが、それは聴き手を困惑させ煙に巻くことで、それでもへこたれずにバンドを追いその真価を見極めようとするガッツのあるファンを彼らが求めているか らじゃないか?と思う。このバンドもまた、自分達のトライブ(種族)を生み出そうとしている連中のひとつなのだろう。しかし昨年マタドールとワールド・ワ イド契約、いよいよ本格浮上の時期が到来した。セカンド・フル・アルバム「The Chemistry of Common Life」で日本デビューも決定!というわけで、最新7インチ「Year Of The Pig」にわざわざ「日本盤」まで作ってくれた(「豚年」ってちゃんと漢字で書いてあります:涙)日本愛好家/お寿司好きでもある彼らに初対面と相成りま した。ライヴのすぐ後、汗だくにも関らず気さくにインタヴューに応じてくれたミスター・ジョーことジョナ・ファルコ(Drs)は、ステージでのアニマルな スティックさばきとは裏腹に快活&闊達で頭の切れる、そして何より音楽大好き!なピュアな情熱であふれる好青年。ファックト・アップと並行してCareer Suicideで も活動、日本ツアーも経験済みの彼(CSではギター担当)は、ツアー続きの人生の中であらゆるものに好奇心を全開して生きている=どこでもサヴァイヴでき る生まれついてのトラヴェラーだと思う。昔恋した(でもあえなくフラれて大失恋しました・・・)かっこいいパンク少年の面影がだぶってきて、その「音楽さ えあれば生きていける」若さ&無垢さに久々に胸がちょっと甘酸っぱくなったとさ・・・という感傷的な余談はさておき(別にジョナに懸想したわけではなく、 「清々しい人だな~」と感動しただけです)、10月ドロップの新作を心して待て!というわけで、バンドの足取りを追うインタヴュー:パート1をどうぞ。

・・・だね、2001~02年あたりだった。で、核になるふたりのメンバー(ギタリストの10,000マーブルズとコンセントレーション・キャン プ)はもともと友達同士で、一緒にハードコア・バンドを始めようとしてたんだ。スタイルとしては、ライヴでオーディエンスに立ち向かっていくような、すご くダイレクトでエレクトリックなスタイルというかな。で、他のメンバーとリハを始めたんだけど、そのラインナップじゃ上手くいかなくて・・・そうこうする うちに今の顔ぶれが揃っていったっていう。まあ、今のこのメンバーが一緒になったってだけでも、実はすごい話なんだけどね。というのも、メンバー全員それ ぞれにどこかでうっすら繋がってはいたけど、ひとり、またひとりとこのバンドに参与していって、まるでちょっとした巡り合わせがそうさせたような感じなん だ。ほんと、この5人が同じバンドに一緒にいるってのはあり得ないような話でさ。以前から友達だったわけでもないし、お互いによく知ってたわけでもない。 ほとんどもう・・・ある種作られたバンドみたいな(苦笑)、どっかで操られているような気すらするんだよ。もちろん実際はそんなことなくて、もっと自然な ものだけどね!で、2001年にメンバーが固まって、デモを録音したりトロントでもギグをやり始めるようになり、友人のアドバイスで最初のシングル「No Pasaran」を、トロントから1時間くらいのところにあるすごく気味の悪いハミルトンって街でレコーディングして。でも、あそこは過去15~16年く らい・・・たぶん90年代半ばくらいからだろうな、パワフルなハードコア・パンク・シーンが存在する場所でもあって。だからまあ、地方に存在するパンクの メッカというのかな、とりたてて革新的なバンドやすごいものが出てきたわけではないけど、パンクを守り立てる気風のある土地柄っていう。ともかく僕達はそ のハミルトンに向かって、有名な地元のコア・バンド、レフト・フォー・デッドなんかの作品が録音されたスタジオでレコーディングして・・・えー、ちょっと 話が長くなってきたからもうちょっとはしょるね。というわけで僕達は最初のレコードをリリースして、そこから雪球が転がるように物事が発展していっ て・・・03年にはアメリカのバンドと最初のUSツアーをやって、シングルもどんどんリリースしていった。で、5、6枚シングルを切ったところで音楽的な 方向性を変えたくなってきたんだ。色んなアイデアを組み込んで、曲の尺も伸ばした「Looking For Gold」(12インチ・シングル。16分の大作/04年)を録って・・・メンバー各人がこのバンドがどこに向かうのか、そこにもっと突っ込んだ要素をプ ラスしていったというか。で、その方向が「もっと速く」ではなく、むしろ「もっとワイドに広げていこう」だったという。まあ、バンドとして世界をツアーし て回ったっていうのもあるのかもしれないな。分からないけど。というわけで、これがまあ僕達の「希釈したヴァージョン」のヒストリーってところ。
以前はスピーディ&ラウドな典型的ハードコアをプレイしていたわけで、じゃあファースト・アルバム「Hidden World」に入っている長い曲とかは本当に異例だったわけですね。
うん。(アルバム前の)シングルに関して狙っていたのは、すごく古典的なパンク・ロックのフォーマットをやろうってことで。あれは2曲入りのシン グルでやれる、最大のインパクトを与えられるスタイルだよね。それに・・・爆発的な要素を持ち得るパンク・ミュージックみたいな危険物を、A/B面の両サ イドに収めることができるってのは面白いよ。シングルだったら、ひとつのアイデアなりテーマを焦点をボカすことなく発展させることができるというか・・・ 大きな文脈を考える必要もないし、ポラロイド写真みたいに(パチン!と指を鳴らす)深く考えることなく、撮ったらその場でできあがり、ありのままの写真が ゲットできるっていう。でも、アルバムに関して僕達の頭にあったのは、全体のアイデアの中に音楽そのものも含めていこうというもので。曲の長さを押し付け ていくっていうだけじゃなく、人々に曲に集中するよう強いていくというか・・・聴き手に願わくは16分の間僕達の曲に集中することを余儀なくさせる、強制 するというかな。ちょっとねじれた面だけど、もちろんそれだけじゃなくもうひとつの面として、僕達にとって音楽的なアイデアを発展・成長させていくっての は長い目で見れば興味深いことでもあるわけで。そうやってハードコア・パンクの音楽的な流れを続けていくんだって僕達は見ているし、たとえばそれをこれま でにやってきたバンドにアドレッセンツとかダムドみたいな連中がいるわけだよね。彼らは音楽の中で転調や曲の尺、音を重ねていく面なんかで実験してきた し、それって・・・パンク・ミュージックって、音楽的な幅の広さという点に関しては必ずしも良い点をもらえないこともあるわけで、その意味でもこういう チャレンジはやりがいがあるんだ。
CDのリリースはシングル・コンピレーション「Epics In Minutes」を除くと「Hidden World」が初めてだったと思いますが、なぜ7インチというフォーマットにこだわるんですか?
でも、僕達はレコードは今でもすごく重要だと思ってて・・・ヴァイナルってのはイージーにうっちゃれない物だし、音楽にとって一番大事なフォー マットなんだ。よし、強調しておくね。(声を大きくして)「ヴァイナルは、使い捨てできない、そして音楽にとってもっとも重要なフォーマットです」。ピリ オド!
そう、アイコニック!・・・視覚的な見地から見たってそうだし、美学そのものもそうだよね。要するにフィジカル、物質的な存在なんだ。実際レコー ドを手に持つことができるって点、そして音を聴くためにはいちいちターンテーブルの上に載せたり、色んなプロセスを経なきゃいけないところとか、それその ものが・・・100%具体的だし、レコードを手に持って、いちいち針を落すっていう手順は他にないグレイトなプロセスだよ。それを継続していくのは僕達に とって大切なことだし、パンクの7インチであれソウルの7インチであれサイケの7インチであれ、僕にはほんと、好きなレコードが山ほどあるから。まあ、こ こで話してるのはどっちかというと僕個人の見解であって、バンド全体の統一した意見とは言わないけど・・・少なくともヴォーカル(=ピンク・アイズ)と僕 はバンドの中でも熱烈なレコード・コレクターだし、だからヴァイナルの伝統を続けていくのはすごく重要なんだ。というのも、今の音楽はアナログからどんど ん遠ざかっているし、それにまあ単純な話――君も賛成してくれると思うけど――ヴァイナル・レコードの方が断然音が良いしね!
まったくその通り。それって先祖帰りみたいなものだし、2008年の現在、若い音楽購買層の大半は恐らくレコード・プレイヤーなんか使ってないっ ていう。もしかしたら親のカーステにまだテープ・デッキ、あるいはCDプレイヤーが装備されてる人もいるかもしれない・・・もしかしたら親どころか祖父母 の車かもしれないけどさ。
僕達のファンは、みんなターンテーブルを持ってるよ!ハードコアのファンってのは、なんというか、既にレコード収集熱に目覚めた人達から成り立っ てるようなものだからね。僕がハードコアにハマり始めた頃・・・あれは90年代半ばか後半だったかな、僕はまだ26歳で若いけど、それでもターンテーブル は持ってたし。埃をかぶった親のプレイヤーを引っ張り出してね。っていうのも、それしかレコードを聴く手立てがなかったからさ。だから7インチで音源をリ リースするわけだし・・・そんなに聴きたいんなら、レコード・プレイヤー買おうよ!っていう(笑)。それほどバカ高い買い物じゃないでしょ?もちろんレ コードでのリリースは色々不利にもなるし、「どうやってアナログ盤をCDプレイヤーでプレイすればいいんだ??」なんて見当もつかないような人にとっては 聴く気を挫くものでもある。でも、CDやMP3だらけの世の中でヴァイナルにこだわるのは他との差別化にもなるし、レコードはアートの媒体として優れたも のだからね。たとえばシングル盤を例にとったって、実体のない「曲」が漂ってるよりずっといい。だから、それが主義としてあるっていうか・・・まあ、これ もかなり要約した話なんだけど(苦笑)。
しかしそれもあって、「Hidden World」が出るまでファックト・アップは知る人ぞ知る存在でもあったと思うんです。
で、ジェイド・トゥリーに続き次作「The Chemistry of Common Life」はマタドールから出るわけで、これはかなり大くて国際的にも知られる、かつハードコア・パンクとさほど縁があるとは言いにくいレーベルですよ ね?マタドールと契約することにしたのはどうしてですか?
うん、それに対しては答えがふたつある。ひとつは・・・まずマタドールに関して言うと、やや言い訳っぽく聞こえるかもしれないけど、彼らは実は ハードコアとコネクションのあるレーベルなんだ。クリス、パトリック、それからジェラルド・コスロイの3人があのレーベルの核なわけだけど――
その通りだし・・・僕だってGbVは大好きだよ!(笑)でも、僕はああいうバンドも根本的にはパンク・バンドと看做しているんだ。それって、小文 字のpの「punk」みたいなものも偉大な歴史の中に含むって風な考え方で・・・大文字の「PUNK」として、いわゆるモヒカンだの鋲打ち革ジャンだのが あるとすれば、小文字の「punk」ってのはそこに含まれる音楽的な広がりの一部なんだ。そう考えればマタドールもハードコアにちゃんと繋がっている し・・・もちろん分かりやすい形で、たとえば08年のマタドールがシッティ・リミッツ(Shitty Limits)のレコードを出してるってわけじゃないけど(笑)、元をただせば僕達が尊敬し、また共感する音楽と同じ布から切り取られたものってことだ し、イコール僕達とも共通しているだろう、と。だからマタドールとは繋がりを感じているし、その前のジェイド・トゥリーに関して言えば・・・彼らと契約す ることにしたのは、バンドの限界を広げたいって思いが大きかったんだ。「Hidden World」に関しては前もってある程度アイデアを持っていたけど、出来上がってみたら、自分達がレコーディングの間に考えていたのとは違うものになって いた。かなり長い曲もあるし、面白いアイデアも色々あるじゃんっていう。で、これを普通のハードコアのレーベルから出したら、それこそこれまでとまったく 同じ、「知る人ぞ知る」ファンの手に落ちて終わりってことになる。イコール、1000人くらいがアルバムを買ってくれて、しかもうち半数は「曲が長すぎ る!」ってことでこのアルバムを忌み嫌うことになるだろう、と。
だからまあ、ある分岐点に達したっていうのかな、左か右のどちらかに進むしかないってことになったわけ。だから、バンドの何人かにとってはきつ かったけど、他のメンバーにとってはそれほど苦もなくジェイド・トゥリーと契約することになって、彼らのおかげで僕達も次なる世界に進むことができたわ け。僕達をカルトな存在として守ってくれていた人達の中には、あの作品を気に入った者もあれば嫌った者もいた。と同時に、あの作品をきっかけに僕達を知っ た人もいて、そうやって物事が広がっていくうちに、僕達の音楽がマタドールの耳に届いたっていう。だからこれまでとプロセスとしては変らないし、自分達に とっては良かったと思ってる。
うん、そうやってハードコアの道を守るのは僕達にとっては大事だし。っていうのも、そうじゃなくて他の人間に多くの面を切り盛りされるようになっ てしまったら、そのバンドは終わりだからね。他の人間の指紋でベタベタにはしたくないし――もちろん、ツアーのブッキングだとか色んな面で他人の世話には なるけど、少なくともバンドの考え方なりアート・ワークに関して自分達自身がかなりの部分まで直接タッチするようにしておくのは重要だし、要するにエンジ ンに石炭を放り込んで燃やしていく役、物事を動かすのは僕達自身であって、他の誰でもないってこと。どんなバンドでも、ある程度のレベルまで行ったら 「OK!」って感じで、そこから先は首を縦に振るか横に振るかだけ、そこで満足してしまうものだと思うけど・・・ただ、今の段階の僕達はまだDIYなバン ド運営のやり方を目指し、そこと繋がっているっていう。それはこのバンドの色んな面に関して言えるし、以前に較べて今は助けてくれる手が増えたってだけの ことなんだ。だからって、僕達にとってのバンドのあり方であったりバンドをやる上での理想像から飛躍したものではない、という。
なるほどね、うん。カナダのインディ、インディ・ポップ・シーンに混ぜて考えるから目立つんであって・・・彼らとは似ても似つかない、むさ苦しく ラウド、マニックな音をがんがん出してるっていう(苦笑)。いやでも、もちろんそこにも僕達が出てきた場所という文脈はあるんだ。というのも、トロントっ て実は歴史的にパンクで知られる、パンク・ロック・シティなんだ。もちろん、まずニューヨークがあるわけだよね。北米のパンク好きな連中の大半は、ニュー ヨークにたむろってた。でも、トロントってのはいわば、北米のもうひとつのロンドンみたいな場所でね。それは僕個人の解釈だけど、70年代後期のトロント にはビッグなパンク・ショウがたくさん訪れたんだよ。セインツ、デッド・ボーイズ、ラモーンズなんかどれもみんなツアーに来てね。以前エフェジーズ (Effigies)っていうシカゴの80年代初期パンク・バンドのインタヴューを読んだことがあるけど、彼らによれば70年代末のシカゴにはパンク・ シーンが存在しなくて、だからヴァイルトーンズ(The Viletones)やダイオーズ(The Diodes)を観るためにトロントまで出向かなきゃいけなかったって話をしてて。それに、シアトルの連中がかつてはサブヒューマンズやディッシュラグス (The Dishrags)なんかを観にヴァンクーバーまでわざわざ出向いたって話も聞いたことがあるし・・・要するにトロントには長いパンクの歴史があるってこ と。それに、ファックト・アップが活動を始めた頃にちょっとしたハードコア・パンクの盛り上がりもあったんだ。5、6のバンドが活動していてね。
んー・・・いや、もちろん良い面もあるんだけど、基本的には今風な都市基盤に基づいた工業都市でね。なんというか、醜い街で、すごく抑圧的なエッ ジを感じるっていう。もちろん悪いところばかりじゃないしナイスな人達も出てきているけど、そういう一種の絶望感、プレッシャーって、常に外に向かう攻撃 性の温床になるものだから。それに較べてトロントは、すごくコスモポリタンで大きな都市だし・・・もちろんダークなエリアもあるけど、そうだ な・・・・・・パンクな・・・活気があるっていうか?!(笑)とにかくトロントは活き活きした時期にあると思うし、たくさんの人々、色んな考えの持ち主が 新しいタイプの音楽をやろうとしてる。その中の小さな爆発を、ファックト・アップは引き継いでいるんだよ。(パート2に続く)