Punk band Fucked Up comes to Austin

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Fucked Up, one of the most intense and critically acclaimed punk bands of the last decade, are playing at Red 7 on Tuesday the 28th. It’s been almost three years since the Toronto band released their critically acclaimed album David Comes To Life, and the band is currently hard at work finishing up the follow up.

“Right now we’re in Michigan at Key Club Studio mixing it with the aim to finish by early February,” lead guitarist Mike Haliechuk said.

The new album won’t have an overarching story behind the songs the way David did, and Haliechuck described the tone of the new songs as a bit more open sounding than that record. According to him, the sound is more in line with their 2008 release Chemistry of Common Life, and while the lyrics might be a bit of a bummer at points, the tone of the music will be less tense.

For this Texas tour, the band wanted a short break from the studio as well as a trip to a warmer part of the country as opposed to Toronto, where it is -20 F.

“We hadn’t been to Texas in a while, and other than Austin, I don’t think we’ve done Dallas or Houston in four years or so,” Haliechuk said.

This will be the first time Fucked Up has played a show in Texas that isn’t a part of a larger music festival since 2009. Looking back, Haliechuck has many fond memories of playing at SXSW.

“We’ve done like four SXSWs and they’ve all had nutty shows," Haliechuck said. "The bridge show we did with No Age was mental, lying to NME on the phone about it at 4 a.m. afterwards. I took the train to Austin from Chicago a few years ago and had to stay the night at one of the Matador guy’s houses with his crazy dog that was trying to attack me all night. Playing on the roof of some restaurant at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday. The first Jay Reatard show. Texas is crazy.”

The band is playing some new songs at these shows, but what’s most exciting is the fact that they are happening at all. After touring behind David Comes To Life, there were many reports that the band might call it quits. 

“I mean that comes up every record because it’s hard to think about following up your last thing," Haliechuck said. "Fucked Up is this bigger thing now and it’s starting to get a bit of its own momentum. By the time this record comes out, we’ll have been a band for like 14 years or something crazy, and at that point get over the bullshit of trying to 'make it' and you just settle in and get comfortable with where you are at."

Part of that has to do with the band members each having projects they work on besides Fucked Up. Many members have different bands, singer Damian Abraham hosts a Canadian television show called The Wedge, and many of the members collaborate on an artistic project in Toronto entitled Long Winter. For Haliechuk, he spends time running a record label called One Big Silence, who has upcoming plans to release music from bands like Absolutely Free, Elsa, and other Toronto bands.

For Fucked Up though, Haliechuk says the most rewarding aspect of this long-running band has to do with the sense of creating your own destiny and not having a boss or schedule.

“It’s hectic to never really know what’s coming next but it’s also really exciting," Haliechuck said. "You wake up and get an email about a show in Japan or South America or something, the little opportunities you get. It’s like winning the lottery. Knowing that what you do is resonating with people is really cool.” 

Fucked Up are playing inside at Red 7 on Tuesday, January 28.