In this week’s edition of our new music-gossip column STFU: punk-rock operateers prep their first release without vocal contributions from their lead growler.
Whether planned or not, it’s undeniable that Fucked Up is inching ever closer to the hardcore-punk glass ceiling and entering terrain plowed by weirdo groups from earlier generations, quietly infiltrating new avenues of musical acceptance beyond the authenticity filter that separates the “true” punk from the poseur. But could the pressures of the spotlight, coupled with those of life, be pushing the band and its husky frontman apart?
This week, the group travelled to New York to play a sold-out show at Terminal 5 with Dinosaur Jr., followed, in true punk fashion, by an extremely sweaty “secret” show in Brooklyn where Abraham revealed to STFU that the group is planning its first release without vocal contributions from its lead growler. Abraham says that, although plans are still in motion for a “cast recording” (so to speak) of their recently released rock opera David Comes to Life, they hope to first release a prequel EP focusing on the Veronica character’s back story, essentially eliminating the need for Abraham to participate in the recording (though he would still write lyrics).
As anyone who has spent more than five minutes talking to Abraham will tell you, all is never entirely well in the Fucked Up universe. Despite his eternally convivial attitude, fuzzy-bear physique and penchant for bloody, naked intensity on stage, Abraham has routinely evinced a lack of enthusiasm toward the members of his band and the rigours of touring (he even quit living straight-edge recently). Add to that Abraham’s new-ish gig hosting MuchMusic’s The Wedge and his fatherly duties and all signs point to a troubling future for fans of Abraham’s growling—the key to keeping his band’s foundations firmly planted in the punk ethos that birthed it.
Yet Fucked Up have just made what many are considering their best and certainly most accessible album to date (a 9/10 lead review in SPIN magazine!) and there’s already even whispers of 2012 Polaris Prize glory (an event taking place over a year from now), which surely means the group—and Abraham—will be on the road for the foreseeable future. All of which paves the way to ask: will David Comes to Life be the last Fucked Up record to feature Abraham’s blustering canticles or can the big man (who is admittedly looking more fit these days) ride the wave of critical success for another round?
And speaking of Fucked Up…
STFU is told that, despite opening their hearts and airwaves to indie music amid the soul-less candy that flashes in between episodes of Vampire Diaries, producers at MuchMusic refused to grant Abraham a full-access pass to the MuchMusic Video Awards, making him the only VJ to be denied the honour. And that’s, wait for it, fucked up.