Fucked Up’s Mike Haliechuk: “We’re trying to be a little less crazy and a little more musical.” (4/27 at JB’s)

“We’re adapting to a sort of different energy just because we’re older , and things that we’ve had to do because of the pandemic.  We’re trying to be a...

“We’re adapting to a sort of different energy just because we’re older [laughs], and things that we’ve had to do because of the pandemic.  We’re trying to be a little less crazy and a little more musical,” says Mike Haliechuk, guitarist, songwriter, and producer for Canadian hardcore punk legends Fucked Up, of the band’s current live show.  The group are getting ready to kick off a batch of US dates on April 27th at our very own Johnny Brenda’s, their most intimate local show in quite some time (They actually appeared just last July at Underground Arts, when they played 2011’s David Comes to Life album in full.)

“We haven’t done a tour in a long time when we had to incorporate new songs,” says Haliechuk during a recent phone chat.  These dates will be in support of One Day, Fucked Up’s sixth studio album and second on Merge, which dropped this January.  The album’s title is a reference to the fact that the album was literally written and recorded in the confines of one day.  However, Haliechuk admits to me that this process of working wasn’t actually as radical as it would seem for him: “For me, it kind of just went like normal recording, but a little bit faster…  A lot of the sessions I find myself in are endless, spiraling geysers of creation, and you never know where it’s gonna go or what’s gonna come out of it…  This time I just had a deadline.”

Fucked Up already spent a little more than a week in March touring One Day throughout the UK, where they had actually toured just last Spring, although Haliechuk tells me that these most recent dates felt quite a bit different: “We were there like exactly a year before, but last year was still kind of stressful, with COVID still being in full effect.”  He tells me that the band’s UK dates, like their upcoming US dates, include, “a lot of the new record,” which they’ve already gotten comfortable playing live: “You get a sense pretty quickly what works and what doesn’t, and you work through that.”  However, he does tell me that fans can expect to hear a number of “classics,” as well (The UK tour setlists tended to be about half-and-half.): “It’s a combination of what I wanna play, what’s gonna make me perform happier, and what works the best live, like the upbeat stuff.”

Of One Day, Pitchfork says, “One Day is another in a long line of beautiful contradictions, a quick and self-consciously small record that still feels like a towering statement.”  However, Haliechuk implies that it’s the fan reactions to the music that are the most meaningful: “I think when people connect to the lyrics, it hits a bit harder than when they connect with the sound and concept of the band.”  And he says that this album, in particular, offers the potential for those kinds of connections: “Me and Damian [Abraham, lead vocalist, who contributed lyrics for the first time since 2014’s Glass Boys] worked a bit more closely on this record, so it’s more personal.”  And while Haliechuk tells me a lot of fans will have the chance to connect to the new songs live, with a ton of additional touring in the works, he’s also well at work on new stuff, as well: “There’s a lot more places in Europe, America, and Canada that we still need to go… But there’s also a lot more stuff in the studio.  I just constantly have my hands in something.”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.