FUCKED UP: I DON’T HAVE A THYROID PROBLEM
Fucked Up are from Toronto and they sound sort of similar to the Wipers. Their most recent full-length is Jade Tree’s Hidden World and they speak from inside a thunderstorm somewhere near New Orleans.
Was ‘Two Snakes’ inspired by Snakes on a Plane?
Jonah Falco (drums): Definitely not. Maybe subliminally, like maybe a fleeting relationship to that film. Although Mike does have a severe fear of flying, so maybe that influenced it. That was a very intuitive question on your part.
What is your opinion on Samuel L. Jackson?
J: We’ve all seen a number of his movies. We like him. He’s a great actor. Maybe we’ll see him when we get to L.A. We’ve heard that Steve Jones has a radio show that you can just walk right into out there. We want to do that. Maybe we’ll see him, too.
You guys are from Canada. What’s that all about?
Damian Abraham (vocals): You know we’re America Junior. I totally accept and embrace that we’re America Junior.
You beat me to making fun of Canada.
D: That’s what we do. We’re part psychic. You know hardcore originated in Canada—it came from a record by D.O.A. It was the first time hardcore was called hardcore and associated with punk. The album was called Hardcore ‘81.
There are a bunch of people in D.C. who are going to want to kick your ass now.
D: I know, and in L.A., too. I’m not saying hardcore originated in Canada but it got its identity there.
How many of you are French?
D: No one is French. We’re from Toronto. It’s New York with training wheels.
Do you speak French?
D: It’s mandatory till grade ten. I think I could speak it pretty regularly if I had to. I could do it in Quebec but the rest of Canada is English-speaking.
Why do the French make everything so difficult?
D: That’s actually a super-long question. First, there are three distinct cultures in Canada: the aboriginal or the First Nation People, and then the French people, and the English-speaking people. There was a war in 1812 with what is current-day America before Canada had a national identity. So it’s kind of gone on forever. The people of Quebec have always been annoying and it’s an involved conflict. Quebec considers its policies to be the best for Canada. In the seventies there were the October crises and a British diplomat was kidnapped and killed.
Canada’s more punk rock than I thought.
D: Oh yeah, Quebec is hardcore. Don’t mess with the North Americans north of Maryland. Ever since, there has been less violent tension and more political tension. But recently with the new generation getting older and not really caring as much, it’s kind of cooled.
What is it exactly that Quebec wants for Canada?
D: They still use the Napoleonic code in Quebec—a much stronger, more entrenched version of what they use in old New Orleans.
They talk about that in A Streetcar Named Desire.
D: They do! I read that in high school.
When you were forced to take French.
D: Yeah, but I read it in English class.
If you could have one American pop star cover your entire first record, who would it be?
Mike Haliechuk (guitar): Uffie—she’s an American who lives in Paris, France. It’s rap house music—
You guys are French nationalists!
M: No, no! She went there to pursue strictly American capitalist ideas! She’s American as apple pie!
D: Lil Jon—he comes from a hardcore punk background so he’d be perfect.
I listened to a lot of your music before the interview and was very surprised when I went saw that you all look like scrubbed babies.
D: Well, actually, the youngest person in the band is 22 and I’m 27. That’s Canadian clean living for you.
In the photos on Jade Tree, you all look like a bunch of young literary agents.
D: Yeah, we’re fresh faced.
What’s the craziest thing the band’s ever done together?
D: We don’t really hang out together, so it would probably be something boring like break into a pool. Even when we’re on tour, we sort of break off into our own little groups. The most extreme thing I’ve ever done was eat 10,000 calories in a day.
D: On our way to Chicago, I ate a double quarter-pounder combo.
D: These are two separate stops. I’m not a pig. And then a single quarter-pounder combo, and then we went to Culver’s. It’s a chain in the Midwest. And then I went and had a thing of chili with two fried eggs and two cheeseburger patties and a thing of hash browns. I’m not fat because of that day. I’m fat because of my thyroid problem. Just kidding—I don’t have a thyroid problem.
You’re just fat?
FUCKED UP PLAY MON., JULY 2, WITH HIT ME BACK, CARRY THE CASKET, WEEKEND WARRIOR AND GUEST TBA AT THE SIXTH STREET WAREHOUSE, 1269 E. SIXTH ST., LOS ANGELES. 9 PM / $6 / ALL AGES. MYSPACE.COM/THENEWSHIP.
interview by ND