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Interview: F*cked Up Speak With Cilla Kinnaird Of Contenders

Interview: F*cked Up Speak With Cilla Kinnaird Of Contenders

A.K. / Interview by Cilla Kinnaird / Monday 14th October, 2019 10:53AM

Canada's Fucked Up are in the country this week, no doubt wreaking havoc and causing chaos on their two-stop North Island tour, plus an all ages in-store appearance at Flying Out. The fearlessly prolific and innovative hardcore punks formed nearly 20 years ago, racking up six boundary-pushing studio albums, not to mention an uncountable amount of demo drops, compilation features, and a whole soundtrack for a 1920s silent film. Tomorrow night, Hamilton punks Contenders are joining the bill for their Tāmaki Makaurau show, and front person Cilla Kinnaird got chatting to Fucked Up’s drummer and almost original member Jonah Falco. Falco dishes on the band’s songwriting process and influences, and has some words of wisdom for aspiring musicians…

Undertheradar proudly presents...

Fucked Up

Monday 14th October - Flying Out, Auckland (6.00pm start, all ages)
Tuesday 15th October - Whammy Bar, Auckland w/ Contenders*
Wednesday 16th October - San Fran, Wellington w/ Ayn Randy, DAFM*

Tickets available HERE via UTR*

Cilla McIntosh: Kia Ora! It’s great to be able to write a few questions for you ahead of your NZ tour. Thanks for your time. I would like to start by acknowledging how prolific you are as a band. What is it that drives Fucked Up to keep writing?

Jonah Falco: The drive in itself seems to be about the project of Fucked Up continuing on. After a certain point, whenever it was, it felt as though we had popped ourselves outside of the urge to make music to be part of our moment in time / music scene / context and just started doing whatever we liked. It still has to sound good, and be reflexive of our intuitions, but there is some music that only Fucked Up can make and that's kind of what it feels like to keep on.

One of the things I’ve always appreciated about Fucked Up is the creative and unique approach you bring to hardcore punk. For example the flute solo on 'Son the Father'. What has influenced this approach for Fucked Up?

Around the time of writing Chemistry of Common Life, we were getting in to a new way of developing the themes in our songs. Things accidentally became a bit more "compositional" and it might have been as simple as starting the record with the a central theme that we wanted to reference throughout the record. It's peaceful, it's unexpected, and it was also played by my mother.

Did you have any idea of what the band would sound like before you all got together and jammed? Or has it become a beast of its own?

Technically i'm not an "original member" (they had one practice without me), but the request at the time was ‘Do I want to join a band that sounded like (Canada's) Genetic Control, (NYC's) Urban Waste, (Virginia's) No Justice, and early Agnostic Front?’ If you listen to those four bands and remind yourself that those are Fucked Up's original musical intentions, and then put on Dose Your Dreams, I think you get a great picture of A Beast of One's Own.

What are the parts you enjoy most about being in a band and writing music?

Being in a band can be time consuming, hard work, stressful, create difficulties in your personal life etc, but at the end of the day when I tell someone I've been "at work" with the band, it has absolutely been a fulfilling experience that doesn't encompass an average workday for most people. Writing music is a constant challenge to elevate ones own level of creative expression some days, and other days it's the most candy coated and explosive dessert you can use to help make yourself feel the way your favourite records make you feel.

What’s the funnest gig you’ve played and why?

This would be a varying answer really, but I think for now it's when we played at Sneaky Dee's in Toronto on Halloween. We all had varying costumes on but we'd all carved pumpkins and wore them on top of our heads to play the set. The audience was heaving and really going mad, it was a small club, and however well or unwell we played, it felt so exciting to play to an audience that REALLY was excited that we were a part of their world.

The world is a different place then it was when you began Fucked Up, and the name seems even more prevalent today. What can you say to any aspiring musicians who feel the need to be heard?

Don't name your band Fucked Up.


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