Vibrations Magazine – Passport Control: Fucked Up

Having snuck past our security for a blistering set at The Well back in May, ahead of their Leeds Festival appearance we caught up with those crafty Canadians Fucked Up.  With their hardcore reputation preceding them, our immigration officer Tom Bailey might need more than a badge and dark sunglasses to get answers out of this rowdy bunch.

Name: Mr Jo (Drums)

What is your reason for visit?

As great ambassadors of information

Is that business or pleasure?

The business of pleasure, the pleasure of business.

Have you brought any live animals or meat in your luggage?

The only animal in vicinity is the disgusting side of human beef behind me on the plane who insists on coughing, wheezing, snorting, and generally amplifying the gristle that no doubt hinders his soul. I guess he falls into the meat category too.

We’d hate to judge a band by their name, but should we be prepared for any trouble?

The most trouble you’ll get from us is how to deal with how disarmingly apologetic we are considering you’re staring down the barrel of a band called ‘Fucked Up.’ Smiles for miles from us, expect the right dose of firmness and self-deprecation.

 Have you had any recent brushes with the law enforcement?

There was one summer in which almost every show we played ended in disruption by Toronto Police. For one reason or another we found ourselves on the wrong side of some bi-law, capacity issue, unhinged fan, or scuffle. It seemed like we might have been targeted as something to be stopped. Talk about a feeling of celebrity.

While attending the 2008 Polaris Prize awards, we (and only we) were required to be searched by police upon entering and exiting the building. The suspicion also extended to us being patted down before walking on stage, and being watched by four very large police officers whilst we performed.

Your recent set at The Well caused quite the commotion. Can you explain your actions?

The magnetic north. Always the site of frothing dedicates of Fucked Up and a wild night on the right end of an amplifier. There are actually instructions contained on every Fucked Up record regarding how to behave at a Leeds show. If you play the record backwards you’ll be able to clearly hear the words “Two pints of Timothy Taylor, two Yorkshire puds frum yer [sic] mum, leap around like a maniac, sweat profusely and enjoy yourself.” Words to live by for 45 minutes at a time for sure.

Your latest single is named ‘Ship Of Fools’. Anything foolish you’d wish to own up to?

I bought all-white sneakers ahead of them becoming popular again and I just got mercilessly made fun of. Everyone would say “Tennis anyone?” or “You look like you work in a hospital.” Not even six or seven months later white shoes were totally BACK and I couldn’t enjoy any kind of reward for being ahead of the game or keep wearing white shoes ‘cause I’d look like a total follower.

You’ll be returning to West Yorkshire in August for Leeds Festival. Have you learned anything from this visit you’ll keep in mind for then?

Between the performance itself, the swordfish lunch I chewed on; unwittingly beside Brandon Flowers of the Killers, and the completely unexplainable matching, sequined, mariachi vests we found in our dressing room, our first appearance at Leeds festival was a memorable welcome. If that was any indication of the general social temperature of Yorkshire, then we ought to be prepared for some glamorous, delicious, star studded, out of control fun. Can’t wait to be back.

It’s no secret that Fucked Up harbor strong political opinions. Care to share your thoughts on our current Prime Minister (David Cameron)?

He does seem to represent the current ‘new breed’ of conservative politician – cunning and unreachable, suspect and seemingly removed from the hopefully benevolent reaches of public opinion and the kind of calm humanism which otherwise seems to prevail in popular culture.

‘Progression,’ bracketed by vagueness like the pursuit of “general well being” seems to ring frighteningly hollow when considering one’s own liberties and cultural comforts. Time will tell no doubt. It’s equally as important to be able to see things objectively as it is to be opinionated.

Anything else to declare?

Knaresborough Bridge is very pretty. Get a delicious Bitter in the White Locks. Don’t challenge ‘Fat Bob’ from Hard Skin to a game of ping pong.


Thank you. You may now proceed through passport control.

Article available in Vibrations format by clicking here.

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