Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fuck The Facts Interview

I first discovered Fuck The Facts at the Knitting Factory in New York back in 2008. The band left an impression on me with their eclecticism, stubbornly ignoring boundaries by mixing death, grind, crust, and doom at will. They've yet to slow down since then, and they've also yet to disappoint. With an impressive new album out through their own label Noise Salvation, it seemed like a good time to finally reach out to them. I sent some questions to the band, which guitarist Topon Das and drummer Mathieu Vilandré took turns answering.

Dreams of Consciousness: Please introduce Fuck The Facts - who you are, where you're from and how you chose your name.

Topon: Hey! We’re Fuck The Facts, a Canadian band that’s based in Gatineau, Quebec. We stole our band name from John Zorn’s “Naked City”.

DoC: Please give a brief history of the band - when did you form and what were your goals at the time? How close are you to accomplishing those goals now?

Topon: I started the whole thing as a recording project in the late 90’s, at that point I really just wanted to record, release music and trade tapes with people around the world. Around 1999-2000 is when I started to take the whole thing more seriously, and in 2001 I got some friends together the start the first band formation of Fuck The Facts. At that point the goal was to play a lot of shows and tour, as well as record and release as much music as possible. Since then the goal has always just been to get better at everything we do. We work hard to release the best music possible and to be the best possible live band that we can be. I don’t think it’s a goal that ever really be reached fully, as there will always be room for improvement, but I think that’s a good thing. If we were completely satisfied with everything we would probably just stop. It’s important to always strive for better.

DoC: What is your song writing process? Do you write as a group, or do you have a few members who serve as main songwriters?

Topon: Everyone in the band writes and the writing is very much split between all of us. Our vocalist Mel isn’t involved in the writing of the music, but she writes the majority of the lyrics and creates all the vocal patterns.

Vil: We have a few things we like to do depending on who is writing. Since everyone is involved, we all have our particular way of doing things. Topon really enjoys working on new stuff while jamming since more often than not, it's only me and him at practice. Me and Marc usually demo complete-ish songs with programmed drums and stuff. And from there on, we work on those songs at home and at jams. We change whatever we think should be changed, if anything.

DoC: Your music encompasses several styles, genres, and moods. But is there anything that you wouldn't do? Have you ever had a song or a part that you rejected because it wasn't right for FTF?

Topon: As long as we like it, that’s all that matters. So really there isn’t anything that gets rejected because it doesn’t fit into a certain style. At the same time I do feel like that is a certain sound and feel that we strive for with FTF. There’s always room for experimentation, but making a good overall album is more important that just being weird to be weird.

Vil: It's not really in our nature to limit ourselves in such a way, whatever the style, genre or mood. The only thing that matters is if we like it or not. I'd more then open to try new stuff. How many people could we really piss off anyways?

DoC: Tell me about your newest album Desire Will Rot. Where was it recorded? How do you feel it compares to your previous releases?

Vil: We tracked everything at Apartment 2 Recording, Topon's studio. Also where we recorded Die Miserable, Misery, Amer, etc. I think it's pretty different than Die Miserable, less death metal and a bit less polished. I guess it's similar to Disgorge Mexico, even production wise. Like I said before, Topon, Johnny, Marc and I all participated in the writing process and I think that is one of the things that make this album a bit different. It's not just one dude who writes all the music and it shows.

DoC: You released Desire Will Rot through your own label, Noise Salvation. Why did you decide to go the DIY route? What are the benefits of handling your releases yourselves, as opposed to having a label behind you? Would you consider going back to a label in the future? Is Noise Salvation purely an outlet for FTF, or are you planning on signing other bands in the future?

Topon: Basically our contract with Relapse ended and they weren’t interested in renewing it. We shopped the new album around a bit to a few labels that we would possibly be interested in working with, but again got no interest. It got to a point that we just wanted to get this album out and the only way seemed to do it ourselves. My long-term goal for the band has always been to be completely independent, but I still would have liked to of had this new album out on a good label. We’re still a small enough band that we do benefit from being on a label like Relapse. But that wasn’t an option, so we had to proceed with our plan of being independent a bit sooner than I perhaps would have liked. It’s a lot of work, but I think people appreciate that we’re doing it ourselves and they have been extremely supportive. I definitely wouldn’t rule out working with a label again, if the fit was right, but as time goes on I think that’s less and less likely. We’re not new cute puppies anymore, we’re old dogs now. Labels know what we’ve done and what we can do, and it’s a lot harder to sell an old band like us than to try something new. Noise Salvation is really for FTF and perhaps a few related projects. If it does expand into anything more than that, it won’t be anytime soon. I barely have the time to do all the stuff I have to do now. I can’t imagine trying to find time to invest into releasing other people’s music.

DoC: Earlier this year you also released a split with Fistfuck. How did it come about? Is there a unifying theme to the songs on the split, besides being extremely short?

Vil: I don't know, maybe we just wanted to go back to our grindcore roots. We've been friends with those guys for years, before I joined FTF actually, and we had been talking of doing something together for some time. I guess we're getting older, rekindling those crazy grindcore years. Nukestalgia.

DoC: It seems like FTF tours a lot (I think I've seen you 3 or 4 times). How important is the touring/live experience for you? What would you tell someone to expect if they've never been to a FTF show before?

Vil: We love being on the road, travelling, seeing old friends and making new ones. It probably sounds a bit cliché but it's the truth. We want to share our music as much as possible. I doubt we do all this work for people not to hear this crap. It's still the best way for us to share our music. And believe it or not, after all those years, we actually like each other and enjoy spending endless hours squeezed in a van together. We do it because we love it. It's a pretty unique experience.
DoC: FTF has been around since the late Nineties. How do you feel the music scene has changed since then? Where do you think it's heading in the future?

Vil: Needless to say that the internet changed the name of the game in the early 2000's. Not only affecting how we listen to music but also how bands dealt with booking and promoting themselves. I remember touring being harder back then since so many bands got to go on the road, it was saturated (Thanks for nothing Metalcore). MySpace was huge and accessible; it revolutionized the way we booked tours. It was now much easier to find someone in any given city to book you a (shitty) show. I remember this shitty joke we had about the steps to starting a band in the MySpace era:
  1. Get a MySpace account
  2.  Find a band name
  3. Take band pictures
  4. Book a tour
  5. Write music

DoC: What's next for FTF?

Mainly touring for now and into early 2016 to promote the new record and then we'll start working on the next one! Next tour is in two weeks, check the dates below!

11/19 Buffalo, NY at Sugar City
11/20 Columbus, OH at Spacebar
11/21 Columbia, MO at Cafe Berlin
11/22 Wichita, KS at The South Lulu Temple of Doom
11/23 Denver, CO at Mutiny Information Cafe
11/24 Laramie, WY at Baby Hospice
11/25 Salt Lake City, UT at Metro Bar
11/26 Las Vegas, NV at The Dive Bar
11/27 Glendale, CA at Complex
11/28 San Diego, CA at The Merrow
11/29 Tempe, AZ at Yucca Tap Room
11/30 Albuquerque, NM at Blu Phoenix
12/01 Amarillo, TX at Zombiez Bar and Grill
12/02 Dallas, TX at Reno’s Chop Shop
12/03 Austin, TX at Dirty Dog
12/04 Houston, TX at Barret’s
12/05 Metairie, LA at Twist of Lime
12/06 Pensacola, FL at The Handlebar
12/07 Tampa, FL at Epic Problem
12/08 Miami, FL at Churchills Pub
12/09 Orlando, FL at Uncle Lou’s
12/10 Tallahassee, FL at Midtown Speakeasy
12/11 Raleigh, NC at Slims
12/12 Richmond, VA at Strange Matter
12/13 Philadelphia, PA at Kung Fu Necktie
01/15 Toronto, ON at Coalition
01/16 Peterborough, ON at The Spill


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Noise Salvation on Bandcamp