Fucked Up receiving the 2009 Polaris Music Prize
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Labels||Arts & Crafts (Canada), Matador, Deranged Records, Jade Tree|
|Members||Damian Abraham |
Fucked Up is a Canadian hardcore punk band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 2001. The band consists of Damian Abraham (vocals), Mike Haliechuk (guitar, vocals), Josh Zucker (guitar), Ben Cook (guitar, vocals), Sandy Miranda (bass) and Jonah Falco (drums, vocals).
To date the band has released five studio albums, alongside several EPs, singles, and companion releases. The band won the 2009 Polaris Music Prize for their second studio album, The Chemistry of Common Life. In 2018, the band released its fifth studio album, Dose Your Dreams, after a hiatus. Driven by Haliechuk, it is a concept album focusing on the band's recurring character David, and featuring several guest lead vocalists, alongside Abraham, Falco, and Haliechuk.
The band formed and played their first shows in early 2001. The initial practicing lineup consisted of 10,000 Marbles (Mike Haliechuk, lead guitar), Concentration Camp (Josh Zucker, rhythm guitar, vocals), Mustard Gas (Sandy Miranda, bass guitar) and Chris Colohan (of Left For Dead/The Swarm fame, who was lead vocalist for Cursed). Just prior to recording their demo tape, Concentration Camp concentrated on guitar duties and vocal duties were taken over from Colohan by Pink Eyes (Damian Abraham, also known as Mr. Damian). Drums were played by Mr. Jo (Jonah Falco, also credited as G. Beat or J. Falco).
Following the release of the demo, the band embarked on a long series of 7" records. The band released the "No Pasaran" 7" in May 2002. The Police 7" was released on March 2003, quickly followed the Baiting the Public 7" in May 2003. Two more 7"'s followed in 2004, the Dance of Death single, and the Litany 4-song ep. The vinyl releases to this point were collected on 2004s Epics in Minutes CD. The band was the subject of a two-minute 16 mm film showing its links to the Toronto hardcore scene, a local infoshop and punk radio show.
The band's use of imagery and symbolism (notable the use of Sigils) took a decided turn after the release of Epics in Minutes, as it was followed by two limited 12"s, the Looking for Gold 12", and the live Let Likes be Cured by Likes 12". The Looking for Gold 12" contained no liner notes or credits, no song titles, and a hidden track. It was self-released by the band in 2004 in two limited runs of 300 and 400 copies. The title track was 16 minutes long, used 18 guitar tracks, had a three-minute drum solo and contained 5 minutes of whistling.
In the summer of 2004 the band released the Generation 7" and 12" eps. After touring for most of 2005 the band took on David Eliade as a quasi-full-time manager/promoter. In early 2006 Eliade began shopping demos of songs from the planned Hidden World album to labels, ending with the band signing to Jade Tree Records for an early fall 2006 release of the album. Jade Tree is distributed by Touch & Go which in turn has a distribution agreement with ADA (Warner Music Group). Jade Tree licensed the vinyl version to Deranged Records, which released it as a double album in November 2006.
Several other records, such as Year of the Dog 12" were released, before the band went on the European tour, visiting England, Germany and Spain, among other places. January 16, 2007 marked the band's live television debut on MTV Live, where they were introduced as "Effed Up". During their performance of their song "Baiting the Public", the majority of the audience were moshing and causing damage to the set (also visible was a cut on Damian's forehead), resulting in a sum of $2,000 in damages. This performance sparked controversy and resulted in MTV Canada banning moshing from future MTV Live performances.
On October 9, 2008 the band returned to MTV Live, this time performing in the men's washroom. Once again, the band (and their fans) caused a large amount of damage, destroying the ceiling, spray painting walls and knocking over amps and a motorcycle which was brought into the washroom as a prop. Fans, who were told beforehand to stay out of the washroom and to watch from outside the door, rushed the doors and joined in the destruction the band had already started. The band was supposed to play three songs, but were stopped after the first song as MTV was not aware of the destruction the band had planned and were concerned about the safety of the band, audience and crew. On October 10 Abraham blogged about the performance on the MTV Live website, saying the bathroom performance was "f**king out of control terrifying."
In November 2007, the band played a show in New York that was filmed for the movie Burn, directed by Richard Roepnack. The performance was positively reviewed in the New York Times, although the Times chose not to print the band's name, referring to them instead as a string of asterisks.
The band signed to Matador Records in Spring of 2008. That summer, Matador reissued the "Year Of The Pig" 12" single. This time it came out with additional formats including a series of three 7"es, for the US, UK and Japan respectively, each with a different edit of the A-side and a new B-side. A CDEP compiled all the versions from the various vinyl versions. The band toured extensively in the UK behind this release, following it with a trip up the West Coast.
On October 7, 2008, Matador released Fucked Up's second album, "The Chemistry Of Common Life." It has received near-universal critical acclaim from publications such as the NME, The New York Times, Blender, Pitchfork, Alternative Press, Q Magazine and many more. The band toured the Eastern US in October, including a much-covered 12-hour long show on the Bowery in New York on October 14. They were joined by musical guests including Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Moby, John Joseph of the Cro-Mags, members of Endless Boogie, Les Savy Fav, Dinosaur Jr., and others.
In November 2008, the band participated with other similarly named bands, including Holy Fuck, Fuck, and Fuck Buttons in the Festival of the Fuck Bands music festival in the village of Fucking, Austria.
In 2009 Fucked Up took part in an interactive documentary series called City Sonic. The series, which featured 20 Toronto artists, had lead singer Damian Abraham inside Rotate This talking about his love of vinyl and punk music.
Fucked Up were confirmed to play the ATP New York 2010 music festival in Monticello, New York in September 2010. The band also confirmed they will play their annual Halloween gig in Toronto, October 31, 2010. The band had initially cancelled the event due to scheduled tour with Against Me!. "We were going to go on this tour in the UK with this band Against Me!, but then they cancelled all their shows for some reason (they never told us) so the tour isn't happening so we'll be in Toronto so we figure what the hell." They were joined by The Sadies at The Garrison, Toronto.
In February 2011, the band toured Australia for the first time as a part of the Soundwave Festival. Additionally, the band played some select side-shows from the festival with artists as diverse as The Bronx, Terror, H20, Trash Talk and Polar Bear Club.
On June 7, 2011, Fucked Up released their third studio album, David Comes to Life. A self-professed "rock opera" set in Thatcherite Britain, it tells a story of love, loss and redemption. The story is complicated by misdirection and unreliable narrators. The record debuted at No. 83 on the Billboard 200 in the US. It has received wide critical acclaim.
In November 2011 it was announced that the band would be going on hiatus, as Abraham is not able to handle raising a family and tour the same time.
In December 2011, Spin magazine named David Comes to Life its No. 1 Album of 2011, and put the band on the cover, writing "Fucked Up have synthesized 40 years of rock into what's ostensibly a hardcore record, and in doing so created its own logic."
On February 7, 2012, the band was listed as one of the acts to be featured during the Orion Music + More Festival. The event took place June 23-24, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and was curated by Metallica. The band was also listed to play Fun Fun Fun Fest in November, 2012, in Austin, Texas.
In August 2012, Fucked Up was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize for the second time. The shortlist nomination described David Comes to Life as follows: "Excessive? Sure. Ridiculous? At times. Brilliant? Sounds pretty damn close to it."
Avatars of the band and their songs "Paper the House" and "Queen of Hearts" were featured in the 2016 video game "LOUD on Planet X".
In January 2008, Fucked Up, along with Xiu Xiu, filed a lawsuit against Rolling Stone and Camel Cigarettes for an advertisement that included both bands in an Indie Rock Universe special. The advertisement apparently portrayed the bands as supporters of Camel. Pink Eyes stated that "The fact that Fucked Up was mentioned in there wasn't some great coincidence. This isn't a case of subliminal advertising, where we're claiming that there were penises in the shadows -- our name is right there. Maybe they thought we were too stupid to know what was going on."
On January 28, 2010, The Court of Appeal of the State of California for the First Appellate District reversed the lower court's ruling, saying constitutional principles of freedom of speech and the press require that the lawsuit be dismissed.
Fucked Up has collaborated extensively with other artists on record and during live performances. Hidden World features guest instrumentation from Final Fantasy, and guest vocals by Ben Cook of No Warning (2 years before he joined the band), George Pettit and Dallas Green, formerly of Alexisonfire, Chris Colohan of Cursed, and Heidi Hazelton. Year of the Pig was written in part with Max Mccabe-Locos of The Deadly Snakes, who plays piano and organ on the record, and a lead vocal by Jennifer Castle of Castlemusic. In late 2007, the holiday charity single David Christmas featured guest vocals from Nelly Furtado, Davey Havok, David Cross, Shenae Grimes of Degrassi: The Next Generation and Faris Badwan of The Horrors, among others.
On February 6, 2009 at the Echoplex in Los Angeles, they were joined onstage again by Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks to play the Black Flag song Nervous Breakdown.
On February 8, 2009 while playing at San Francisco's The Independent, Fucked Up were joined on stage by former Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra, for their encore of the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop".
On December 8, 2009, Fucked Up released a second all-star Christmas single, this time a cover of Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas," featuring Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, the members of Yo La Tengo, David Cross (again), Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene, Tegan & Sara, Andrew W.K., Bob Mould, Kyp Malone of TV On The Radio, and GZA. Proceeds from the single go to benefit three charitable organizations working to publicize the high disappearance rate of Aboriginal women in Canada.
On January 21, 2010, Abraham joined Dinosaur Jr. at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto for the encore, performing vocals on "Chunks". He made another appearance with Dinosaur on September 26, 2012 at Lee's Palace during the encore, performing the same vocals for "Chunks". He was accompanied by Murph at the microphone stand, while Harvey Milk (band) drummer Kyle Spence performed drums.
On April 15, 2011, Fucked Up released a special Record Store Day exclusive vinyl LP entitled David's Town. It is not billed to Fucked Up, and in fact pretends to be a compilation album documenting the scene in the fictitious UK city of Byrdesdale Spa, the late '70s setting for the band's upcoming "rock opera" David's Come To Life. Each song featured a guest singer (one was sung by the band's vocalist Abraham, three were sung by other band members), including Danko Jones, Wesley Patrick Gonzalez, Dan Romano, Simone Schmidt, Cee Kay, A.C. Newman and Dylan Baldi.
This is the list of all known appearances of Fucked Up or their songs on mainstream television.
[Fucked Up] have been post-hardcore's de facto pacesetter for most of the past decade.