TVD Recommends: Fucked Up at the Beachland Ballroom, 7/9

Fucked Up is coming to the Beachland Ballroom Wednesday night, which is really awesome. This is probably one of those shows that if you know who the band is and what they are about, you’re probably really excited. If not, you’re probably missing out on one of those most original acts out there.

So, I’m writing to the uninitiated here because people who are into Fucked Up are REALLY into Fucked Up.

The band was founded in 2001 as a punk/hardcore project and has evolved into what they are today. That’s through four full-length releases and assorted other EPs, compilations, and 7″s, the band has grown to be something completely unique and cool.

So, what are they? Most people have described them as having a classic/anthemic rock sound with hardcore punk vocals. Does that mean they are still “punk”? I don’t know, but I had a chance to ask guitarist and founding member Mike Haliechuk some questions and he was kind of conflicted on how to categorize themselves as well.

“When we were a hardcore band our songs made more sense I guess because the vocals fit more with the aggressive riffs of the music, but it’s hard to write 90 second songs for 10 years, so we just kind of grew into whatever we are now,” Haliechuk said. “The only issue I have with the label (of being hardcore) is the only people who call us a hardcore band now are people who aren’t hardcore or punk kids. Journalists have always said that we’re this banner hardcore band expanding the boundaries of punk, but they aren’t punks. It just makes kids who are actually involved with hardcore hate us more.”

And that conflict has been sort of bubbling for a while now. Traditional punk and hardcore kids have been drawn in, but the indie (or “hipster” I guess?) audience has come around more and more to make Fucked Up a hot topic on the independent music scene at the moment. Personally I think it’s pretty awesome that divergent audiences can come together to embrace one band, and I think it comes back to experimentation. Fucked Up has collaborated with many singers and musicians, both in live shows and on record, in addition to experimenting with longer length releases. Their first three records were double LPs and their latest record, Glass Boys was rumored to be a double record before it was scaled back during recording.

“I think it would be a bummer for a kid to pick up the new full length by Fucked Up and find out that one of the songs is like 25 minutes. When bands do that you kind of just have to roll your eyes a bit. The Zodiac series kind of lets us be that annoying band, but it’s not in everyone’s face—if you want it, its out there for you,” Haliechuk said. “I mean we didn’t scale it back to achieve a goal, that’s just how the record turned out. I like the record and I think it reflects really clearly where we’re at as a band and as people right now.”

So yeah, you should check them out because this band is something different. They’ve been around the block, know who they are (and who they aren’t), and are pretty well-regarded as a fantastic live act. The show is at the Beachland Ballroom on Wednesday, July 9, at 8:30 PM and you’ll be there if you know what’s good for you.

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