Monday July 24th 2017

Interview with The F.U.’s

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Interview with The F.U.’s

 

The F.U’s were one of the four bands that were recorded on This Is Boston Not L.A., the first recorded hardcore in Boston music history. And they’re still going strong, playing regularly and headlining such prestigious shows as Thrash N Bang’s First Anniversary Show. But really, it’s an honor to have a band like this on our site that has contributed so much to the punk, hardcore and even the metal scenes. They consist of John (Vocals), Steve (Guitar), Jones (Guitar), Rich (Bass) and Bob (Drums). Everyone but Bob is in the interview that took place on the patio of the BeachComber in Quincy, MA. By the way, they got their name from an interview where the late Wendy O.Williams, of the Plasmatics, was asked what type of music her band played and she said, “We play F.U. music.”

 

Slimedog- How did hardcore get started in Boston ‘cause I’m confused about that myself?

John- Well, here’s my theory- my theory is if you were into anything like London ’77, or L.A. Hardcore or D.C. Hardcore, you stood out like a sore thumb. Someone could see you from the other side of Fanueil Hall and think, “I need to talk to this guy.” You know what I mean? And I really think that’s how it came together.

Slimedog- But you guys were one of the first four hardcore bands recorded.

John- We all started at the same time though we weren’t aware of each other. The Freeze goes back to ’79, though.

Slimedog- What bands were you listening to at the time?

John- Stiff Little Fingers, Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Black Flag.

Slimedog- I was aware of Black Flag at the time but when I heard you doing like, 45 second songs, I was like, “What is this?” (Laughter)

John- I’ll let Steve answer that one. He wrote most of the early stuff.

Steve- Yeah, but I can’t explain why?

Slimedog- (accusingly) What was wrong with you? Why were you doing that?

Steve- We weren’t writing, like, for mini songs. But then we’d play them in like forty seconds.

John- Yeah, that was the thing- we played them too fast. Even though they were fast to begin with.

Rich- Stage-fright, that’s all it was.

John- That’s true, the songs were always longer at practice. Then we ‘d get on stage and it’d be bap-bap-bap-bap-bap.

Jones- How much was that in rebellion to the long solo’s you heard and stuff?

Steve- That was part of it- but then we’d still do a typical song structure; verse, chorus, verse, chorus, break, verse, chorus. But then we’d go bap-bap-bap-bap-bap and end up with a 15 second song.

Slimedog- Now, besides bringing hardcore to Boston, you were the first band, that I was aware of anyways, to switch from punk to metal when you changed over to being called the Straw Dogs. Was that controversial at the time?

John- When we started going metal people thought, “Oh, your old fans won’t come to the shows anymore.” But they weren’t coming anyway. Most of the people who we knew from the pit had moved to New York, L.A, or they got kids and jobs and weren’t going to shows anymore.

Slimedog- You must be amazed the influence that hardcore has today, not just in the punk bands but in the metal scene as well.

John- When hardcore started it was an adjective to punk, and then if you didn’t go “New Wave” and you stayed punk you were “hardcore.” So when the D.C. Bands and Bad Brains played faster than anyone heard before, it became its own category.

Steve- And D.O. A. put out that album “Hardcore 81.”

Slimedog- It’s true that hardcore has had a bigger influence than punk, I think.

Rich- Steve and I were talking about this the other day and were talking about those times, and Steve once said back then, “I knew it wouldn’t last forever,” but look at it now.

Slimedog- Well, it just goes to show you that in the arts, when you doing something good, of value, it has a lasting value.

John- Then how do you explain us? (Laughter)

Slimedog- I wasn’t referring to you, of course. (Laughter) Now, onto the serious questions- who drinks the most in the band?

Rich- Who drinks the most? I’d have to say Jones, Jones by far. Jones drinks more than all of us combined. He drinks more in a day than we do in a month. We think he has issues he’s not ready to confront. (Laughter)

Slimedog- Who’s most likely to become a serial killer?

Steve- Me.

Slimedog- You all agree with that?

John- Yeah, but Jones would be in the running.

Slimedog- And why Steve?

John- Have you read some of our lyrics?

Slimedog- So he wrote the music and lyrics for a lot of the songs?

John- Yeah, the majority of the songs from the early days.

Slimedog- You guys have any plans coming up?

John- Next year were going to Europe. We might do the Rebellion Festival in the UK, a huge punk festival they have in Northern England every year.

Rich- We’re gonna work on getting to Worcester, first, though…. and Providence.

Slimedog- You’re probably unaware of this but you were awarded Best New Band of the Year by Thrash N Bang.

John- Thanks, I guess. (Laughter)

Slimedog- Our fact checkers have been fired since then. We were misinformed.

 

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