Fuck the Facts Returns With “Ailleurs” (Track Premiere + Interview)
After five long years, it feels good to say Fuck the Facts is back. The experimental (though they say otherwise below) grindcore band pushed the genre toward its limits, incorporating elements of drone, shoegaze, noise, and more into their intense, pummeling grindcore, only to essentially disappear following 2015's Desire Will Rot. Now returning with a new full-length, titled Pleine Noirceur, we find the band at their most scathing and challenging -- the grind is faster, the atmospheres are larger, and the in-your-face attitude is all the more palpable. The world is a dark place, and we need bands like Fuck the Facts to remind us of the intensity we as people can bring into it. Watch an exclusive video premiere of "Ailleurs" (the shortest and by far most intense track on Pleine Noirceur) and read an interview with the band below.
There's been a lengthy period of silence following what was a very active Fuck the Facts era. What led to this break?
Topon: I think it was something that had been creeping up for a while. I know personally, the grind (pun intended) of being in a band had caught up to me and I wasn't really enjoying it as much anymore. I also had other things coming up in my life that needed my attention and it was getting harder to balance it all. I think we all just needed a break, and when we put out Desire Will Rot in 2015 we released that album and booked all those tours knowing that they might be our last. The title of the album sums it up pretty well.
What's it like having the band back in action?
Vil: Even though the break was good for us, it feels really good to be releasing new music again. Obviously, considering the circumstances, we won’t be able to hit the road for some time. We were looking forward to playing some shows in the U.S. but it’ll have to wait till 2021. In the meantime, we’ll be pushing this new album as much as possible and adapt to the situation best we can.
For our non-French-speaking audience, the new album's title Pleine Noirceur translates to "total darkness." Darkness can mean a lot of things in art, so what type of darkness were you looking to convey in this album?
Mel: The title of the album is taken from the track with the same name. For that song, the darkness we are referring to is the personal darkness that you hold within yourself. The one that physically hurts, the depression, the darkness you can feel as an emotion. Most of the lyrics for this album are on the darker depressive side, and the artwork is looking at women in a dark situation.
Though there was already a sizable adventurous presence found on Desire Will Rot, the shoegaze and drone elements found on Pleine Noirceur are woven even more into the album's fabric. Do you consider Fuck the Facts to be an experimental band beyond the "bastardised grindcore" tag?
Vil: I don’t think we are experimental in the strict sense of the word, hence the bastardised tag. It’s more about doing whatever it is we want to do. I realize the grindcore tag alone can be misleading, especially in this day and age of unlimited genres and subgenres. That is to say that if your favorite band is Rotten Sound, you might be disappointed. At the same time, grindcore has drastically changed over the past 20 years. For us, it’s more of a state of mind than purely a style of music, it guides us through our work. I won’t lie, I kind of miss the shitty sounding slash poorly performed classic grindcore years, there’s something romantic about shitty-spazzy-grindcore
Topon, as a producer as well as a musician, how do you feel you approach music now that you are more experienced as a producer compared to your earlier efforts?
Topon: Fuck The Facts has always been about maintaining a natural progression. Over the years I've really learned to embrace everything we've done to this point cause it's all part of the journey. It's like flipping through a family photo album; there are always a few pictures where you feel like you look like shit but it still brings a smile to your face. When we're working on new music it's all about capturing where we are at the moment. I might look at things from a bit more of a technical angle when recording now but I don't let it interfere with the music that we're writing. With Mel handling the artwork and me handling the production it really puts the finishing touches on this being as true to who we are as possible.
Mel, as a vocalist in a grindcore band, there is a lot of intensity to be conveyed within the confines of the human voice, but Pleine Noirceur is also an emotive album. How do you see yourself conveying a wider range of emotion as an "extreme vocalist"?
Mel: I always, or almost always, want to convey more intensity, give more nuances than I’m giving. I am never fully satisfied and always push myself to perform vocals that carry the intensity that I want to give. With time, I have come to understand and accept that my voice and my visions and ideas are 2 different things, so I need to compromise and accept the limitations of what I can do.
Mel, as the visual artist for the band, what were you looking to articulate with the artwork for Pleine Noirceur?
Mel: The artwork slowly grew into a cohesive pictorialization of accepted oppression. It is a visual story of a few women, who are either threatened, oppressed, living heavy realities or about to. I guess it is like that for most projects; it starts with an idea and it slowly evolves as you put everything together. It started with the picture that is on the front. This woman, on her wedding day, is staring at an empty mirror. She is facing a dark future, the viewer can use their own references to picture what this could mean. Of course, the original photo is much happier, the woman is beautiful and happy and you can see her subtle shy smile in the mirror.
As the world grows ever darker, how do you want your music, which is often negative (at least in song title -- I do not have the lyrics yet), to be consumed? Do you want it to be relatable? An escape?
Topon: The albums that I've enjoyed the most over the years have always grabbed me at a time in my life when I needed something to help me get through a rough patch. If you're able to relate the music to whatever you're going through, it helps you get up and keep trying. If someone gets that out of listening to our music that would be the ultimate goal, but I think that's a very special and personal thing that you can't impose. Pleine Noirceur is definitely about a journey and it's a dark one, but there's always a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel.