Interview by Burt Wolf with Topon Das, vocalist & guitarist for FUCK THE FACTS Interview done January 10th, 2003
YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN KICKING AROUND THE UNDERGROUND FOR SOME TIME NOW. COULD YOU PLEASE GIVE SOME OF THE BANDS BACKGROUND FOR THOSE FEW SOULS WHO HAVEN'T HEARD OF YOU GUYS? Basically, in 1998 I started a new studio/recording project. I did it whenever I wasn't busy with the bands I was in at the time. A year later I named it FUCK THE FACTS & started writing/recording more often. A whole bunch of split tapes, CD-R's, etc... Were released through various underground D.I.Y. labels, everything up to "Discoing The Dead". In 2001 I hooked up with our drummer Matt, we started jamming FTF tunes & decided to make it a full band. We got Tim on 2nd guitar, Brent on vocals & Shomir on bass. Shomir was in the band for about two weeks, just long enough to record the "FourONine" 3" CDR with us, he was the last bass player we had. Brent left the band in March 2002 & we got Mel (ex-DISJONCTION) to fill the spot. Everything up to the split 7" with KASTRAT has Brent on it.
WHY WAS THE NAME FUCK THE FACTS CHOSEN FOR THE BAND? Well, at the time I was getting really into NAKED CITY, so I admit I took it from one of their songs. But, it was mainly chosen to describe what I wanted to do with this project, which was to make it open to any & all ideas I liked & enjoyed, weather it be Grind, Noise, Disco, Blues, Ambient, Experimental, Country, whatever...I didn't want to have 10 different projects for everything different I wanted to try. So it's like "fuck the facts we do what we want!"...Ha!
WHO OR WHAT HAS HELPED INFLUENCE YOU GUYS IN CREATING YOUR SOUND? There's tons of great bands & records that I've listened to since I started FTF & all of them have help to give me ideas & help with the direction of FTF. Also traveling & books have played a note worthy role in it as well. As for people, my mom is our biggest fan.
YOUR MUSIC IS IN THE GRINDCORE/DEATH METAL STYLE, BUT HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND? I'd hate to think that we're simply a Death/Grind band. But I have to admit that with our current line-up we do lean towards that. My current "catch phrase" for us is Bastardized Grindcore...the kids seem to like that one.
FTF HAS A LOT OF RELEASES OUT, COULD YOU GIVE SOME INFORMATION ON THESE RELEASES & THEIR AVAILABILITY? We got tons of releases out there when you consider all D.I.Y. label splits & compilation appearances. A bunch of these have trax taken from different releases, but some have exclusive trax. Availability definitely varies, we don't even sell all of them & I have stumbled on some that I never even knew about. Here's a quick run down of our releases: "Fuct The Facts" tape, "Vagina Dancer" tape, "Discoing The Dead" CDR, "FourONine" 3" CDR, "Mullet Fever" CDR, "Bastardizing Canada" CDR...check our discography page on our site for up to date & detailed list of all FTF releases, splits, compilations. One of my main focuses is to get our music out there in anyway possible for people to check out & hopefully enjoy. I rather some kid dub 50 copies of our songs & trade them with his friends, then stick a box of CD's under my bed & threaten people with copyright lawsuits.
YOU'VE DONE A LOT OF SPLIT RELEASES WITH OTHER BANDS, WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE & WHY? I really like our split 7" with KASTRAT, it's a fun listen & I think it represents the idea of the band very well. As for older stuff, the first FTF/SMES split on ZAS! AUTOPROD is my favorite. I think that's when FTF really started coming together the way I envisioned it.
IF YOU COULD PICK ONE FTF SONG TO BEST REPRESENT THE BAND, WHICH SONG WOULD IT BE & WHY? I really don't think there's one song, cause we do stuff that sounds really different sometimes. But if made to pick, I'll take "Ninja Sweater", just cause it's got a bit of everything in there & I dig it. But, I think every new recording we've done sounds pretty different, so this is something that will change with time.
CANADA SEEMS TO HAVE A GOOD MUSIC SCENE NOW A DAYS. WHO ARE SOME OF THE BETTER BANDS, ZINES OR LABELS? Canada's always had a pretty stable music scene. Check out bands like BURIED INSIDE, UTOPY, MARTYR, MESRINE & tons more...Labels: ARSON RECORDS, GWN RECORDS...zines, there's SANG FRAIS a good French zine that covers most of the Quebec scene.
HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE THE CANADIAN METAL SCENE TO THE U.S. OR EVEN EUROPEAN SCENES? I'm not actually very up to date on the world wide Metal scene. I don't listen to much Metal music in my spare time, only a small handful of albums I really like & stuff that comes in for my distro, etc... And since we've never been to the U.S. or Europe, I'm not quite sure...hopefully one day we'll be able to find out.
CANADA ALSO HAS SOME REALLY GOOD GRINDCORE BANDS LIKE TRAUMATISM, HORDE OF WORMS, YOU GUYS. DO YOU THINK CANADA WILL PRODUCE THE NEXT WAVE OF GRINDCORE BANDS LIKE CZECH REPUBLIC DID IN THE 90'S? I'd be surprised if it did, those bands you mentioned have been around for a lot of years now. In the Czech Republic Grind bands just started growing on trees. There's a lot of great bands up here, but I'd be surprised if Canada had the impact on the world wide scene that the Czech Republic did.
DOES FTF PLAY OUT A LOT IN CANADA? HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED IN THE U.S.? Ya, we play pretty often. We've done about 70 or so shows since we started playing live in Aug '01 & that includes two tours. We've never been to the U.S., but plan on going there this summer for a 2-4 week tour.
WHO ARE SOME OF THE BANDS YOU HAVE PLAYED WITH? We've played with bands like EXHUMED, TODAY IS THE DAY, ROTTING, MARTYR, MESRINE & many, many, many more...
WHAT IS A TYPICAL FTF SHOW LIKE? ANY CRAZY THINGS EVER HAPPEN AT A SHOW? IS IT HARD TO PLAY OUT BECAUSE OF THE NAME OF THE BAND? We had more problems in the beginning with venues & certain club owners giving promoters problems cause of our name & we did make the radio talk show in our city when they were talking about postering & profanity. But lately everything has been easy sailing, we have a lot more people that want us there so as long as you bring people in the clubs they don't care what the fuck yr name is. As for crazy stories, we've had fist fights break out during our set, before our set, etc...come to think of it, that happens quite a bit. Our live shows have been known to cause bodily injury to us & the audience, blood is a common sight...but it's all in good fun...I think?
HAS THERE BEEN ANY LABEL INTEREST IN FTF? Ya, we got label interest. Honestly, I'm not really crazy about signing the big deal like a lot of people are. We got labels that are like "I wanna put out a split 7" or CD with you guys, and you'll get this many copies, etc..." We'd be doing this even if there was no label interest, it just save us money to have someone put out our records.
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF FTF DO WHEN NOT DOING WORK FOR THE BAND? I'm happy to say that I just quit my job about 2 weeks ago...so for me it'll be looking for a job. Tim works in a restaurant, Mel works for a theater company & Matt goes to recording school.
YOU ALSO RUN GHETTO BLASTER PRODUCTIONS. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT IT IS? GHETTO BLASTER is mainly my distro. I've also put out a few releases and put on a few shows in Ottawa. We're starting to do other stuff like shirts & patches for bands as well...you can find out more by visiting http://get.to/ghettoblaster.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT NAME FOR YOUR LABEL? It made me feel all warm & fuzzy on the inside...and Lying In A Pool Of Your Own Blood Waiting For Coffe Records was taken.
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY? WHO ARE SOME OF THE BANDS YOUR CURRENTLY INTO? Yes, I'm into a lot of Experimental music, as well as Jazz, Fusion, certain Noise projects & yes...Disco. If you storm my house right now you'll find stuff like LIONEL RITCHIE, BUCKETHEAD, DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, JIMMY HASLIP, SCORN, OLD, FANTOMAS, NAKED CITY, JACO PASTORIUS, DAVID SHEA & PIG DESTROYER all lying around my room.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE CD'S YOU OWN THAT MOST PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED YOU OWN OR THAT YOUR A LITTLE EMBARRASSED TO SAY YOU HAVE? I've had a still shrink wrapped ROCH VIOSIN CD for years now. I don't even remember where it came from anymore. I've never opened it cause I want to give it as a gift to someone someday. I also have METALLICA -"Load", 2 Lionel Ritchie albums & the "gayest" record collection out of everyone I know.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES OR TV SHOWS? I don't have cable & basically try & stay away from TV because it makes me feel like I've wasted my time when I watch it. But, I have been known to watch SOUTH PARK, THE SIMPSONS, KIDS IN THE HALL, etc... I like funny stuff. Actually, our van rides on tour basically consists of us re-telling jokes we've seen on KIDS IN THE HALL or MAD TV. As for movies, I only like SCARFACE.
IF YOU WEREN'T IN FTF WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER BE DOING? I'd most likely still be playing music. If I couldn't play music, I'd probably be drawing, writing & not wanting to get a job.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE FOLLOWING: SEX, DRUGS, RACISM, RELIGION & THE MUSIC SCENE? I like sex & certain drugs, but always in moderation. Racism is super fuckin' lame. I'm not religious, but I have nothing against anyone who is, as long as yr not hurting anyone. The music scene is good, bad, ugly, pass the salt.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE FROM FTF NEXT??? Ok, we're just finishing up what will be our debut full length CD, not sure when it'll be out exactly, we're talking to a couple of interested labels, so we gotta get that worked out first, but it's definitely be out by the summer. We got a new split 7" coming out soon-ish with SYLVESTER STALINE on ANVIL OF FURY RECORDS, we did a UNHOLY GRAVE & DEATH cover as well as a couple of original more experimental trax on our side. There might be a re-release of our split 7" with KASTRAT through ZAS! AUTOPROD on CD with bonus trax from both bands, but we'll see about that one. Plus there's a couple of splits in the idea process that we'll keep a surprise. And like I said, we'll be touring the U.S. for the first time this coming August, so look out for us...grrr
THAT'S ALL THE QUESTIONS I HAVE FOR YOU, NOWS YOUR TURN TO ADD ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO CLOSE OUT!!! Thanx a lot Burt! Your support of the underground has been amazing over the years & it's always been a pleasure to deal with ya. More information about FTF is available at our site. Cheers to all & Grind-out!!!