1-2-3-4 VS FUCKED UP

1-2-3-4 vs Fucked Up

1-2-3-4 VS FUCKED UP

Written by Johny Chhetri
03 Tuesday 03rd August 2010

1-2-3-4 gave us everything. Prime real estate, more VIP passes than we knew what to do with, comment from all the bands and artists that mattered and the gold dust interview with Fucked Up's Pink Eyes that follows. Watch out for more choice material from the likes of Action Beat, Trush Metal, Trailer Trash Tracys and more later this week.

Pink Eyes, aka Damian Abraham, is increasingly reaching legendary status with every breathe he takes, the behemoth of experimental hardcore punk has been placed on a plinth by many a fan but has still made himself available and does not give anyone the cold shoulder. 

Not just a great front-man live, the Fucked Up singer is also a brilliant focal point for the band, whether he’s singing or discussing the current state of music, which is either taking a turn for the worst or rapidly evolving at a level that we can’t cope with and would rather rebuke than accept.
Just as we were about to quiz the vocal behemoth on hentai animé, life and err, music; Martin Tickner, one of the curators behind the 1-2-3-4 Shoreditch Festival turned up and introduced himself to Damian… what follows is gold. Solid gold.
So how do you feel about this year’s headliners?
Martin Tickner: Great! Having Vic Godard here’s great; Vic’s a real hero of mine!
Damian Abraham: That’s the thing, having people like Vic Godard and Peter Hook here is awesome. You can’t get more awe-inspiring than playing at a festival with two people who have inspired you.
MT: Independent music! Some indie bands don’t even know that the reason they’re playing that music is because of this man and he doesn’t shout about it and no one knows about him!
DA: That’s the thing, people say those within the hip-hop community don’t know their own history. I would argue that people in the indie/alternative rock community don’t know their own history. They know a couple of the big bands, but as far as the bands that were in the trenches doing the work, those guys don’t get the love they deserve.
MT: Exactly! Exactly! Everything’s changed in terms of how we communicate. People like that get left behind, you don’t wanna go, “oh well I’m gonna start changing.”
DA: It’s not necessarily the job of the inspirer to educate the inspiree.
MT: Exactly! Catch up is what I would say to them. But regarding headliners, we want someone who’ll put hairs on the back of the neck!
DA: I can promise blood, energy and…
(Whispers) Smash a coke can on your head!
DA: I can do that!
MT: I remember we were looking at a band, not sure what they were called, an Israeli band…
DA and me: Monotonix!
MT: Monotonix!
DA: We played with them two days ago! They’re amazing!
MT: Yeah, I mean Tel Aviv, the scene there is amazing!
DA: Politically it’s a little dodgy. A little dodgy! That was the weird thing I found out about there, because those Monotonix guys were really nice, that once I brought up the issue of Middle-East politics we would probably have a difference in opinion!
MT: And that’s when you think “anyway… moving on!”
DA: And that’s the thing about music, it’s not that it should be devoid of politics, it’s just that I think that there’s a time and a place for politics in music but it can be such a weird meeting ground for minds that don’t 100% agree on the same thing. The Monotonix guys might not agree on the role of the Israeli Defence Force in the Gaza region, but we’d definitely agree that The MC5 are probably the greatest rock band of all-time!
That’s a good ground to be on!
DA: I think you can hit a point with music where you take a break and just enjoy the show but then when the time to do records or interviews, that’s when you’ve got the time to talk about politics and stuff. But I feel that in the live environment, it kinda comes out as straight up “white power” or waving a US flag in your face and saying “bomb Iraq”, then maybe it’s not the time to let politics go. But at the same time you kinda owe these people a show and if they wanna walk away with anything then so be it.
MT: What I hate is – because here’s no money in sales unless you have a big machine behind you – festivals have kind of become a gravy train and there’s a lot of “Thanks, now where’s my fee? Thanks, next festival. Money, thank you.” And I think it’s sad to kind of see the same old shit.
DA: As live music increasingly becomes the source of revenue for bands, bands take it for granted!
MT: Oh yes they do. See we run this with like two or three people, we’re independent and we ask people “Can you do that?” we don’t take the piss; we try to sort everything out as well as possible… I think we’re gonna try and pay you guys! We have already I think. But you know, we do it on the level, you go “this is how it is, we can only get this amount of people in and charge this amount” but I’m not earning yachts, if anything I’m earning an ore! It’s fish and chip money.
DA: I think the explosion of independent music or indie music, whatever it’s defined as at this point, at the moment we have Vampire Weekend and The National being the number one bands on the billboard this week, it’s pretty irrefutable at this point that punk/indie rock/whatever is the mainstream music at this point and I think that bands – not Vampire Weekend and The National in general – are forgetting that this is meant to be the alternative to what the other side of the world is doing, it wasn’t meant to be a replication of it It’s like once you gain possession of the castle, you don’t become dictator again.
MT: I don’t get Vampire Weekend.
DA: I like their new record a lot cos it sounds like Elvis Costello and I will say those guys are those guys were such a dream to work with when we did the charity single. I definitely met some people in the indie rock world who were a fucking nightmare and they didn’t wind-up n the record and those guys went out of their way and made time for us, so I cannot say that their hearts are not in the right place in certain regards, I don’t know about their business dealings. But… I’m sure they wouldn’t be playing a festival for free!


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