Back in 1997, Topon Das was recording songs on a four track recorder with nothing but a distorted bass and a drum machine.
Back in 1997, Topon Das was recording songs on a four track recorder with nothing but a distorted bass and a drum machine. Little did he know it would build into the legendary grindcore band Fuck The Facts.
“We spent the entire month of December (2013) tracking it… it was a good experience,” said Das about the new record. He spoke some with RVAMag ahead of this weekend’s show. Sure enough, Desire Will Rott came together as 11 masterful tracks spanning genres – from noisier grindcore to more melodic progressive metal, leaving little room to question why the band has had so much underground success.
Desire marked the band’s first time in their own recording studio, giving them the freedom to control more aspects of the project. Das specifically shared some concern over the polished nature of their last record, 2011’s Die Miserable.
“When we recorded [our last record] we spent a month recording it as well, but we drove ourselves crazy doing that,” he said. The new studio space allowed for a looser approach, with more limited studio time and less “ripping their hair out.”
“In general, the vibe was really good,” he said.
Given the time span of their career, it was interesting to ask the Das about how he’s seen the genre and industry change around him. He recorded some of his earliest work without the benefit of real studio space (as mentioned above, with only a distorted bass and a shitty drum machine).
“I didn’t have a choice but for the recordings to sound that raw,” he said. “I’ve seen a throw back to that [rougher sound] now and a lot of young bands want that sound… but now a days a huge number of recording are done on computers so you can fix stuff. We try and find a balance.”
Even the concept of grindcore and narrowed genres in today’s modern music landscape evoked certain emotions from Das – he called Fuck the Facts grindcore, but they don’t set out to record a “grindcore” album when they enter the studio.
“I’m not sitting in the studio asking if this is ‘grind-core’ enough,” he joked. “We get in there and do it ourselves and do it till we like it and it sounds like us.”
Showing his modesty, Das said the band might not be made up of the best musicians, but when they come together they take the best of what they can do and mash it up beautifully.
“We’re pushing ourselves for our own musical goals,” he said. “We’re not trying to be the fastest or rawest grindcore band, we’re just trying to make albums we think are good.”
“Melody has always been a huge part of what we do,” he said referencing a time another writer called them “melodic grindcore,” a term he hadn’t heard before, but something he’s come to embrace. “Melody is something that means a lot to me.”
Sure enough you’ll hear a bit of structured melody on Desire Will Rot, only adding to the band’s unique sound.
With some band mates living almost six hours apart from their home in Ottawa, Das said tours are more of a chance for the band to travel as friends as well as band mates. And after 15 years, he’s confident Fuck the Facts has hit a real grove, especially in a live setting.
“When we’re on stage, we’re really comfortable doing our thing,” he said. “The people who come out to see us appreciate that kind of thing, and theres really nothing phony to what we do. When we get on stage at this point in our careers, we’re not up there trying to win over fans, we’re proud of what we do and we love music.”
Editors note: Fuck’n A man.
As for younger folks who might look toward Fuck The Facts for a kind of model to follow, Das said the most important thing to do is release good work and be proud of it; save the promotion for later.
“Learn how to use your equipment real well… make sure you do it right and you put your all into it,” he said. “Some people get so focused on the stuff outside of music that a band will start and make a Facebook page and do all the social media stuff before they write a song… I’m a firm believer people are going to be drawn to good music, so spend some time and make something really good, something that’s gonna attract people, that’s gonna be so much more powerful than 80 Instagram pictures.”
Your chance to catch up with Fuck The Facts happens this Saturday at Strange Matter.
Tickets are only available at the door, so head on out, and head out early.