Getty | Daniel Boud Two years after they announced their break up, Canadian…
- Posted on Jun 15th 2011 11:30PM by Dave Morris
After a spectacular couple of years of gracing the cover of magazines like NME, and culminating in winning the Canadian critic-voted Polaris Music Prize for 'The Chemistry of Common Life,' F---ed Up knew topping themselves would be difficult. But none could have predicted that they'd write a rock opera, never mind one about love.
Singer Damian Abraham admits that their bright and shiny new album 'David Comes to Life' is abnormal even by their standards, but using wholesome-sounding characters called David and Veronica as ciphers helped him and guitarist/fellow lyricist Mike Haliechuk explore subjects that would otherwise be too f---ed up for F---ed Up.
"I would never write about my second girlfriend who broke my heart and left me completely devastated. I would never put that in a F---ed Up song; I definitely would use that as inspiration for David's feelings about Veronica."
The story of an everyman (the band has used the name "David Eliade" in other songs, and at one point even claimed he was their manager) and his star-crossed love for a mysterious woman, 'David Comes to Life' is musically and lyrically unlike anything they've done to date. Instead of shouting down religious fanatics or railing at serial killers, the fury in a song like 'The Other Shoe' comes from troubles closer to their personal lives.
A husband, father and host of MuchMusic's alternative music program 'The Wedge' in Canada, the relatively domesticated Abraham explains that 'Shoe' is "basically my fears about my life collapsing at any second."
Guitarist Ben Cook says that that the goal after 'Chemistry' was to make something "scaled down.
"Not just shorter songs, and not just 8 minute ones either. But it ended up being a lot of short songs." Of course, the album as a whole isn't short, but as Cook explains, "Most people in the band could pick up a guitar and write ten songs in a day. Put all those people together and you get 90 songs. What do you do with them? Put them in a record."
Ironically, considering that Abraham is easily the most recognizable member of the band, with his bushy beard and his onstage tendency to get naked and smash things into his forehead until he bleeds, his signature growl almost sounds out of place on the album between its crisp melodies and its Romeo and Juliet-esque scenario. There's little question of whether those who were initially drawn to F---ed Up's enormous guitar-heavy rock will embrace 'David Comes to Life,' but as the distance between their earlier music and what comes next keeps growing, fans will be keenly watching to see how Abraham fits in.
"I kind of look at this record as being the last chapter of this era of F---ed Up. Hopefully there's other vocalists coming in too with me, so it's not just me. I kind of picture that being the phase after which I step back a little bit. And it stops being just the spectacle and it starts being about more of the stuff behind the spectacle."