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Punk as Fucked Up

Dramatic, operatic, yet surprisingly chill, Fucked Up turns up for HPX.

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Very few Canadian bands are as epic as Fucked Up.

With dozens of releases, including the 2012 Polaris-nominated David Comes to Life and 2009 Polaris winner The Chemistry of Common Life, Fucked Up has been kicking ass since 2001. Between collaborations and tours with rock legends, killer Christmas singles, suing Rolling Stone and eccentric frontman/The Wedge host Damian Abraham, Fucked Up stirs up the best kind of trouble.

Even the name is an issue. Remember when the Polaris win caused panic across conservative media, inadvertently busting open a debate about artistic expression? The coolest part is that they seem so chill about it.

"Yeah, it's always weird meeting people who made music you listened to growing up," says guitarist Mike Haliechuk. "As an adult you try to pass it off as just a meeting of two musicians working or whatever, but I used to listen to a lot of Metallica and Nirvana exclusively for years when I was a little kid. And we've managed to somehow meet and play with both of them---well, Foo Fighters in the case of Nirvana." It must be pretty cool reaching the echelon of your influences, especially the likes of Keith Morris, Jello Biafra and Yo La Tengo. But Fucked Up still remembers our little city.

"We've done a few shows in that sweaty little cement box," says Haliechuk, recalling past HPX performances at The Pavilion. "They were always great shows. It's always a great show in Halifax."

Fucked Up's been on a west coast tour this summer and stops by Halifax en route to Iceland. They have plans to finish up a new album before Christmas while continuing the Chinese Zodiac series of annual singles with 2014's Year of the Dragon, which fits adds to the band's weird personal myths.

Users of thick imagery, each member of Fucked Up also has a pseudonym, like Mustard Gas (Sandy Miranda) or Pink Eyes (Abraham) or Bad Kid (Ben Cook) or Haliechuk's 10,000 Marbles.

"10,000 is from Animal House," says Haliechuk, "But I can't remember why since we made them all up so long ago. Josh [Zucker, guitar] had to change his to Gulag since his family is Jewish and [his previous name] Concentration Camp kept coming up at the dinner table." What to expect for the Halifax show? "A very loud sweaty affair."

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