Interview: Fuck The Facts
For an obscure-DIY-kind-of-grindcore-band that took a 5-year break, I think we did ok. We are extremely grateful for all the support.
Canadian grindcore experimentalists Fuck The Facts have made a welcome return to releasing material after five years with their new album Pleine Noirceur and its definitely been worth the wait. On the album, Fuck The Facts mix grindcore with ambient, doom, noise rock, crust punk and more to create an intense and all encompassing listen. Gavin Brown caught up with the band’s drummer Mathieu ‘Vil’ Vilandré to hear all about Pleine Noirceur and its creation as well as the return of Fuck The Facts in the middle of a pandemic and the effect that has had on the band, the new video for the song ‘Dropping Like Flies’, split releases, memorable gigs and the band’s journey through grindcore.
Vil: I guess it went pretty alright since we actually have an album out. We took a long break and we kind of just started playing again to see what would happen, to see if we still wanted to do this, you know. We went back to some older stuff we had lying around and started jamming again, everything kind of came together pretty naturally.
E&D: Pleine Noirceur translates to total darkness. Do you feel that this is your darkest album yet?
Vil: Pleine Noirceur is probably our darkest album, just like Disgorge Mexico is our most Mexican album, I guess.
E&D: Was the album’s subject matter easier to write about for their album due to the chaos that has engulfed the world recently?
Vil: I can’t really answer for Mel, she’s really the one behind the lyrics, but I can tell you that she started working on the lyrics before the pandemic. The world was already kind of shit before COVID-19, so I guess she already had enough material to work with. She takes that stuff seriously, she did an amazing job.
E&D: What have been the biggest influences on the sound of Pleine Noirceur?
Vil: We kind of always go back to the same bands, but I don’t think we end up sounding like them at all. Anyways, we always think about bands like Morbid Angel, Brutal Truth, Exhumed, Misery Index, etc. We don’t consciously think about this stuff.
E&D: How has the new album been received so far?
Vil: For an obscure-DIY-kind-of-grindcore-band that took a 5-year break, I think we did ok. We are extremely grateful for all the support. Even after all these years, I have a hard time realizing some people actually care about what we do.
E&D: Do you think that Pleine Noirceur is your most varied album to date and did you want to experiment more with this album?
Vil: No, not really. I don’t think Desire Will Rot is less varied than Pleine Noirceur, but it might be less mature. Actually, I hope we’ll experiment a bit more in the future. We don’t really approach our music like that, it’s much less thoughtful than you might think. I guess our approach is somewhat backward. But who knows, the next album could be a straight-up death metal album.
E&D: Was that your intention when you first started making the album or did it just work out that way as you were writing and recording it?
Vil: As I said, we tend to work towards the big picture, we don’t actually have any idea of where we’re going to initially. I guess it’s like the snowball effect. We just wanted to play music together again. The rest was just kind of, whatever happens, happens.
E&D: You have just released a brilliant video for the album track ‘Dropping Like Flies’. Can you tell us about the video and what the song is about?
Vil: I can’t tell you much about the video apart from the fact that I really like it, huge thanks to David Hall. I didn’t even know it was in the works, I just got an email saying that we had a new video coming out. The song is about the ongoing opioids crisis, its destructive impact on society as a whole, and how pharmaceutical companies profit from this absurd situation.
E&D: Can you tell us about the haunting artwork for the album?
Vil: Mel used old family pictures in combination with raw and abrasive textures, linking the artwork to the already very introspective lyrics. I think it’s a perfect representation of what Pleine Noirceur is. It really binds everything together.
E&D: This is the first new material from Fuck The Facts since 2015 and your last full length album Desire Will Rot. As a band with such a prolific release schedule, was there any reason why it has taken so long for long awaited new material?
Vil: We kind of just needed to do anything but Fuck The Facts. This band is a huge part of our lives and it can easily become overwhelming, we had to learn to step back. After Desire Will Rot, we knew we needed to take some time for ourselves and that’s pretty much it. This album could have just as easily not happened.
E&D: Fuck The Facts have released so many splits with many great bands. What have been some of your favourites so far?
Vil: I guess the last one was in 2015, with Fistfuck. I love those guys, Yvan Dionne (who used to play in Dahmer) is still one of my favorite drummers. For me, that’s just how grindcore should sound like. He and his brother Seb, they just fucking had it. I guess we haven’t released a lot of splits in the last few years. I could say the same thing about Leng Tch’e, Belgian sweethearts. We never did a split with Agathocles, which is why we aren’t officially a grindcore band, but we did do one with Jan AG, apparently.
E&D: Have you got any plans to do more this year at all?
Vil: We have a bunch of online shit lined up, there’s so much we can’t do considering the circumstances. Anyways, we’ll be live streaming on Facebook at least once a month and we have a few playthrough videos coming up. It’s pretty fucking weird to figure this shit out during a pandemic.
E&D: Who would you love to do a split with in the future?
Vil: Is Mortician still around? ‘Tis the season to bring back the fucking drum machines.
E&D: Have you got any tentative plans for live shows yet, when it is possible of course?
Vil: We had a few things lined up in the U.S.A., but it’s hard to tell what we’ll be able to do after this whole thing. I’m not particularly optimistic. We can’t plan anything right now anyway, doesn’t make any sense. We’ll see.
E&D: How do you think the live music scene across the globe will recover from this global pandemic this year?
Vil: It depends on so many variables, the only thing I can do is speculate and, as I said, I’m not particularly optimistic. I doubt we’ll see anything that resembles normality before 2022, we don’t even know how touring will look like post-COVID-19. Still, I think smaller local shows will play a huge part in supporting different scenes and venues.
E&D: What have been some of the most memorable gigs that Fuck The Facts have done over the years?
Vil: We’ve been through a lot of crazy shit over the years, such is the life of a touring band. I have very fond memories of our 2014 Mexican tour, I’m still fucking burping all the those Tecates. Obscene Extreme was just an amazing experience, this is just making me miss being on the road.
E&D: What have been some of the best live performances that you have ever seen and what made them so memorable?
Vil: I got to see Morbid Angel in Pomona, California during some wacky-Toyota-advertisement-event a while back, I fucking love that band. Seeing Converge at Maryland Deathfest was also pretty crazy. I miss seeing Exhumed every single night for two weeks. I guess I just miss being on the road.
E&D: What was your introduction to grindcore in the first place?
Vil: I kind of fell into death metal but a few of my buddies were all about shitty grindcore. Dahmer and Mesrine were a huge influence, Quebec had a pretty crazy grindcore scene back in the early 2000s. I just kind of tried to follow these dudes.
E&D: What are some of your favourite grindcore albums of all time?
Vil: I absolutely adore early Rotten Sound, I wish Kai Hahto would play the same kind of shit in Nightwish, it would be hilarious. I also think Cephalic Carnage paved the way to doing whatever the fuck you wanted to with grindcore, Lucid Interval is a fucking masterpiece. I love all the early shit too. I still have my Terrorizer tape, still blown away that it’s from 1989. Anything from Regurgitate or Nasum will also make me pretty fucking happy.
E&D: What have been the ultimate highlights in your time with Fuck The Facts so far?
Vil: The fact that people actually listen to our music and that we get to tour is the ultimate highlight for me.