Fucked Up
Premier Concerts and Manic Presents:

Fucked Up

with Chastity
Doors: 7:00 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
All Ages
Space Ballroom
Hamden, CT

General Admission Standing Room Only

FUCKED UP

With One Day, Fucked Up have delivered one of the most energizing and intricate albums of their entire career, a massive-sounding record that arrives in deceptively small confines. The Canadian hardcore legends have been known for their epic scale in the past, from towering concept albums to 12-hour performances—so it might be a surprise that Fucked Up’s sixth studio album is their shortest to date, written and recorded in the confines of one literal day (hence the title). Don’t mistake size for substance, though: The band’s sound has only gotten bigger, more hard-charging, with even denser thickets of melody. If that sounds like a study in contrasts, well, that’s Fucked Up for you—and you shouldn’t expect, or want, anything different.

“I wanted to see what I could record in literally one day.” That singular idea came to mind for guitarist Mike Haliechuk in the closing months of 2019, and it forms the ideological and structural backbone of One Day. Haliechuk got himself into a studio and proceeded to write and record the record’s ten tracks over three eight-hour sessions, reconnecting with the core of his and the band’s songwriting essence in the process. “After you’ve been in a band for this long, you lose track of what your sound actually is,” he explains. “Twenty-four hours can feel like a long time, but you can get a lot done then, too. It can feel like forever and one minute at the same time. If you work on something for one day, it can end up being really special.”

Indeed, even though work on One Day was completed remotely, Fucked Up as a whole adhered to the 24-hour rule during the creative process. “I got this email from Mike saying, ‘I made this record in one day, and I want you to record drums on it—but you can’t listen to it before you get into the studio,’” drummer Jonah Falco recalls. “I saw layers upon layers of guitar loops, and I dove in head-first and came out of it with a finished record.”

Initially, Fucked Up vocalist Damian Abraham was also set to complete his vocals in similar fashion—that is, before the lockdowns of 2020 took place and One Day was put on the back burner for two years, as the band completed the gargantuan Year of the Horse project that saw release last year. As it turns out, the isolation yielded creative dividends, as Abraham returned to contributing lyrics as well for the first time since 2014’s Glass Boys.

“It almost felt like it might be the last time I’d ever get to record vocals for anything,” Abraham says of the stakes he felt while putting his part to tape, before reflecting on how he approached the lyrical process: “What do I want to say to friends who aren’t here anymore? What do I want to say to myself? There was a lot of inner reflection going on, and after retreating into the fantasy world with Year of the Horse, this record is like we’re returning to real life.”

The result is a record that sounds full-bodied and immediate, with music that burns brutally and passionately in a way that only Fucked Up can evoke. The guitars sound like ziggurats reaching to the sky, reaching dizzying levels of melodic interplay while always maintaining a tuneful clarity—and the musical adventurousness that marked 2018’s epic, lush Dose Your Dreams is plenty present here, too. “I Think I Might Be Weird” doubles down on a glam-rock stomp midway through, while the title track piles guitar notes atop to resemble a Thin Lizzy–esque barnburner of a power-pop tune.

Over swarms of tuneful noise that evoke Sonic Youth circa Daydream Nation, Abraham lets loose on gentrification in “Lords of Kensington,” which was inspired by an “incredible” Toronto neighborhood that was regularly subject to life-ruining police surveillance and structural violence. “The police chief during that era—he just opened a cannabis store,” Abraham explains. “It’s so cynical and gross, what society has come to—but by being in a band, we’re culpable in changing the neighborhood, too, since the punk spaces and cool happenings that pop up are part of gentrification. Are you building a culture? Or are you ruining something that’s already been there?”

Then there’s the dusky burn of “Cicada,” a sonic cousin to Dose Your Dreams’ excellent standout “The One I Want Will Come for Me” that features Haliechuk taking lead-vocal duty. The song is dedicated to lost friends, and in his words, it’s about “what life is like after you lose people, and our responsibility to carry them forward into the future, using the things they taught us as a light. I like to imagine the sound of cicadas as a metaphor for our strange life in the subculture—we all just live these weird little hidden lives under the dirt, and then once in a generation, one of us gets to bust out of the dirt and intone their song so loud that it can be heard all over.”

“This record is about how we see time passing in our lives,” Falco continues while discussing how the emotional and technical approaches of One Day collided. “It represents the realization of what Fucked Up’s songwriting process has always been, which is the genesis of an idea from one person spread to other members. All of the development happened spontaneously with this album, which meant no time to second-guess. You had to be confident.” And One Day is an undeniable work of confidence from a band that continues to operate at the top of their game, making music that’s guaranteed to last a lifetime and beyond.

Links: Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify

CHASTITY

Brandon Williams makes resonant songs that capture isolation and resilience. As the songwriter behind Chastity, the Whitby, Ontario musician has made three unrelentingly perceptive albums culminating in the cathartic Suffer Summer, which is out January 13, 2022 via Deathwish and Dine Alone Records. The LP caps off an album trilogy that showcases both Williams’ emotional range as a lyricist but also his boundless love of outsider music. His 2018 debut Death Lust pulled from Unwound and The Smashing Pumpkins as he grappled with mortality while 2019’s Home Made Satan dealt in world-weary anxiety and Hum-like atmospherics. But Suffer Summer is a meditation on happiness, channeled through powerhouse riffs and undeniably potent choruses, sung with Mineral and Jimmy Eat World worn on his sleeve. It’s an album that shows how healing and staying content is hard but necessary work.

Williams mostly wrote Suffer Summer throughout 2019 while he and his band joined acts like Fucked Up, DIIV, and Alexisonfire on tour. It was a fruitful and exciting period for Williams, who whittled down 24 new tracks to 10, taking several new creative leaps while penning these songs. Take “Happy Face,” the first song Williams wrote for Suffer Summer and his most autobiographical offering to date. Written as a tribute to his longtime friend who died of an overdose, Williams sings, “You and I were alive at the same time / I’m lucky for it / You showed me the Misfits and we sang Out 'Last Caress’ / I’m lucky for it.” It’s raw and gutwrenching in a way that Williams has never allowed himself to be but writing about grief proved to be cathartic for him. “Until now I’ve always tried to keep an arm's length away from the real-life content of my songs but on that song, I couldn't,” said Williams. “It was just a needed tribute to him.”

For any artist, taking risks, trusting your intuition, and relinquishing control is a delicate balance but for these songs, Williams knew he needed to step out of his comfort zone by making his writing more collaborative. He enlisted one of Chastity’s earliest and most vocal supporters PUP frontman Stefan Babcock to co-write opener single “Real World” and LP highlight “When You Go Home I Withdrawal.” Both songs find Williams stretching his voice for surging choruses that are anthemic and immediate. “It was so great to work with Stefan: just his attention to detail, song structure, and everything,” said Williams. “He’s a legend and has pumped my tires so much in an actual practical way that has given me courage throughout Chastity.”

Babcock isn’t the only surprise collaborator on this LP. Alexisonfire and City and Colour’s Dallas Green appears as a guest vocalist on “Vicious Circle,” the emotional centerpiece of Suffer Summer. The song, which Williams co-wrote with his partner Ellis’ Linnea Siggelkow, boasts some of his best writing (“Borrowing an old feeling to cover the pain / Can’t keep memories of only the good things,”) and when Green joins to sing the second verse, it makes for the most transcendent moment on the LP. “After we put strings on this song it was just too damn beautiful for my voice,” said Williams. “Dallas’ voice reached right into that beauty. Recording this was the single most surreal and sentimental moment of the project for me I think, with how formative Alexis was for me.” Green also collaborated on the shimmering single “Somersault” in an unexpected way. “He sent me a voice memo called ‘Pumpkins?’ and offered it as a Chastity riff,” said Williams. “It was sludgy but we sped that up into this up-tempo, brighter verse riff that'd become this song: it went from ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’ to ‘Today.’”

Suffer Summer was recorded throughout 2020 in fits and starts, with Williams returning to the studio to hone the LP. One song that came together during this time was the single “Pummeling,” another exercise in Williams expanding his creative palate. His touring guitarist Scott Downes sent him a deceptively simple guitar riff that required an uncomplicated melody. “‘Pummeling’ was a place I was afraid to go,” said Williams. “I’ve been so focused on my music being challenging, technical, and correct. But on this, I wanted to allow myself to go simple, out of my comfort zone.” The result is undeniably accessible but look below the surface of the welcoming hooks and you’ll find some impossibly dark lyrics. “Same thing every day / I run from feeling fucked til it’s jumping me,” sings Williams. This juxtaposition is where Chastity thrives.

Chastity started as a way for Williams to find community in his suffocating and isolating suburban life, his songs serving as an outstretched hand for the like-minded people on the fringes. The long-lead single “Dying to Live,” encapsulates this ethos when Williams sings, “Another sick person just trying to get well / You, me, everyone I know.” Like all of his music, this song comes from his hometown, in these places graffitied with memories for him: pain, loss, grief, but ultimately acceptance. “We've all been sick this last year and a half: Everyone I know is feeling fucked,” said Williams. “We survive through each other, through being close with each other and finding community and a sense of purpose in our friendships.” Suffer Summer is both a validation and comfort that while the world might be irrevocably fucked, you’re not alone

Links: Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify