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Hello guys ! If your band name comes from Green Day’s song F.O.D (Fuck Off and Die), isn’t that quite agressive for a band that has mostly positive song themes and melodies?
Well, it does come from the Green Day song. When we chose our band name, we didn’t give it too much thought. At that time, we weren’t playing our own songs yet, just the entire Dookie album front to back. When we needed a band name for a first show, we just picked the song title that sounded best. And the ‘Fuck Off and Die’ meaning seemed funny enough to just keep it, though we don’t use it too often and just stick to the abbreviation.We are not at all aggressive and neither are the majority of our songs.
You’ve got classic 90’s punk-rock bands as influences (I also heard a MxPx touch in there), but I fetl them more on Ontario (for example, the song Like Them could be a Bad Religion cover) than on Tricks Of The Trade. Did you search to create a more personnal sound or is it simply a natural evolution of the band?
We didn’t do anything deliberately soundwise, that’s just a natural evolution. We did on the other hand our very best to improve on writing the best songs we could. When we worked on Ontario, we kind of wrote 2/3 new songs, the rest came from demos from the previous band some of us played in. You mentioned ‘Like Them’, that was originally recorded in 1996. Maybe that nineties vibe just got stuck in that song, as in a couple others. Every song on the new album was written in the course of last year. That makes it a lot more coherent, I think, and that probably translates itself into a more modern sounding effort.
You’ve got quite a lot of material on your two albums, but they never sound boring or repetitive. Where does this huge imagination come from?
First of all, thanks for this big compliment! Where inspiration comes from I don’t really know, actually. I listen to all kinds of stuff, not necessarily punk rock related. Maybe that’s what makes the songs diverse enough to not get bored. Sometimes I challenge myself to write a song in the style of another band, or a song that could have been on some album I think highly of. I don’t always succeed at doing that and the result is more often than not different from what I originally had in mind but it keeps things interesting. And above all that, I tend to write quite easily. When I sit down and focus myself on writing, I end up quickly with two or three songs. Some of that material will be crap, some of it will be good enough to be considered as band material. But so far we’ve always ended up with more songs than what we needed for an album.
The first album Ontario was recently reissued on vinyl. Was this your idea? And what is your opinion about the whole “vinyl comeback”?
That was actually my idea. I’m the vinyl freak in the band. If I want a record and it’s available on vinyl, I always go for that version. And I’ve always wanted to have my own songs on vinyl so when I had the opportunity to make that happen, I didn’t have to think twice. A big plus was that Effervescence Records wanted to participate in that. The vinyl comeback seems logical to me. If you’re really interested in music, if you really want to discover a band or listen to what they have to say, you need the complete package: the music but also the artwork and the lyrics. Mp3’s don’t offer that, for me they’re just good for when you’re riding your bike to work. CD’s are good but a vinyl record is better. You can “see” the songs, the sleeve is almost four times as big as that of a CD, … Oh well, I’m probably exaggerating here for some people, but to me vinyl is the best format for releasing albums.
You’re going to play Punk-Rock Holiday this year, and I wanted to ask if the Groezrock was the next step. But you’re also going to play there, so what can we wish you now?
Well, that’s about it, I guess :-) ! Except that we still have to tour about at least a dozen countries, of course. Those two festivals are as big as we’ll ever get but there are a lot of things we still want to do. The good thing about this band is that we don’t have to do anything. We see everything that comes our way as a bonus. Groezrock and PRH are obviously the biggest bonuses so far but there are still some things on our wish list.
Punk-Rock could be considered as the satiric journalist of music. Regarding the news, what is your opinion about the freedom of speech in the music world, and what are the limits (if you find some)?
To me, freedom of speech is absolute. Everyone is free to say what they want. But I don’t think that permits me to say everything I want. There should also be a certain amount of respect for other people. It’s not because I am allowed to say what I want that I also have to do that. So I guess there are moral limits to what I will or will not say. What I always will oppose, is any form of discrimination, whether it’s racial, gender-wise or sexually orientated.
You support the Project Unbreakable, founded by Grace Brown in 2011, in the song Dear Grace. Why did you chose this initiative in particular?
That just happened. I saw some of the pictures Grace Brown made and the messages they carried just blew me away. I know immediately that I wanted to write about that. It took me some time to get the lyrics right. They always seemed to do those images injustice. And I’m still convinced that what Grace built, is obviously a lot stronger than the song I’ve made. I just hope that song can be a starting point for some to check out Project Unbreakable itself. It’s really worth the checking out, it deserves all the support it can get.
What are the news from the Belgian music scene, and which band do you recommand?
Belgium is a small country so we have a rather small punk rock scene. The overall music scene of course is bigger but most indie or alternative/pop bands don’t do anything for me. We do have some pretty good punk rock bands. You probably heard of bands like The Priceduifkes, Face The Fax or Homer and also Generation 84 and The Octopussys are better known outside our borders. Bands you should look out for are, in my humble opinion, Young Hearts (who are about to release their first EP next May) and You Nervous? (who are recording right now and will release something later this year).
And for the last question, something a bit less serious... Stijn only does the backing vocals with the band, which is quite unusual. Is this because he wasn’t good enough to play the guitar too?
Ha, he did try to play guitar at some point because he thought that being on a stage and just doing the backing vocals was stupid. He changed his mind after a couple of months, deciding that just doing backing vocals wasn’t that stupid after all. He never mentioned the guitar again so I’m guessing it wasn’t an overall success! It’s a good thing there are a lot of backing vocals in our music, he has got a lot to do when we’re playing live. And you’d notice how important he is to this band if he’d stop singing. We really need him!
Thanks for your time!
You’re very welcome!
Interview : Pete
Label : Effervescence Records et Funtime Records
MySpace : www.facebook.com/fodbook
Site Web : www.fodmusic.be
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