Fuck the Facts Know the Truth

By Jill MikkelsonConsidering how prolific Topon Das has been under the moniker Fuck the Facts, it’s somewhat surprising the guitarist and mainstay architect kept the project under house arrest for so long. The making of their latest effort, Stigmata High-Five, marks the band’s inaugural experience recording at a professional studio; despite their dense catalogue "this is actually the first time we’ve left our basement to go record somewhere else and do it properly.”

While there’s a first time for everything, many grind fans worldwide have already absorbed Fuck the Facts’ boundless take on all things heavy. Since releasing Discoing the Dead under the FTF banner in 2000, Das has gone through several different line-up changes with various heavy luminaries from the Ottawa-Gatineau area. By staying true to both the Fuck the Facts name and his own chameleonic instincts — basically, disregarding any aspects of the status quo — he’s managed to build a hefty reputation in the heavy music underground, especially as a guy willing to build bridges with other bands. The majority of Fuck the Facts material has shared the spotlight with other heavy bands on split releases; only a couple of FTF-only offerings are found on Das’s lengthy discography. Now Das has a solid band — Mel Mongeon, Mathieu Vilandré and Steve Chartier — that play an equal role in FTF’s perpetual metamorphosis. Not only is Stigmata their debut release for landmark heavy music label Relapse, according to Das it’s the "first proper full-length as a band where it’s all new material we wrote for this record.”

This landmark was the product of a self-reliant ethos, honed by necessity from the beginning of their career. "Before [we] never really had a huge budget to go record. We had to do it by ourselves. We had to learn how to use equipment, and buy some gear and do the best we [could].” These efforts allowed them to cultivate their skills as musicians and songwriters at their own pace and on their own terms. "I look back at some of the recordings we did four years ago and I’m embarrassed about some of the stuff I did, but at the same time I realise it’s a learning experience and if I hadn’t done some of these things, maybe we wouldn’t be at the point we are now. We’re very conscious that we’re a band that learns from our mistakes and from our successes. We embrace that.”

As a result of this DIY ethic and drive to progress, other elements have steadily evolved, especially the lyrics. Das explains that at one point words were essentially just an afterthought. "There were times in the band where we didn’t even write lyrics. We just wrote vocal patterns and maybe a couple of words and as time passed it started to feel kind of empty. Lyrics give an extra life to the music. Now a lot of more the stuff we see around us affects us. It’s just part of growing up, we’re realising.”

Having matured as both musicians and lyricists, they’re still not attempting to be political, nor are they retreating to the morbid fantasies that have been a prominent part of grind’s history. "We don’t have an agenda, we’re not trying to change the world, we’re just trying to say how we see things and how they affect us. We’re not going to write about zombies coming to life and ripping off people’s heads cause it’s just not in us. It’s a way of us expressing ourselves… that’s what’s going to come out.”
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Article Published In Sep 06 Issue