Ottawa-based grindcore icons Fuck the Facts have always pushed aggressive music to the limits in terms of composition, intensity and experimental complexity. Now, they are beginning to explore a different musical and lyrical horizon: working in French.
Band founder and guitarist Topon Das ascribes the decision entirely to Mel Mongeon, Fuck the Facts' singer and lyricist. "It's completely Mel's decision, and was entirely her idea," Das tells Exclaim! "When she first joined the band, she could barely speak English. She could get by if needed, but now she works in both languages, she's really fluent."
Despite French being her native language, Mongeon pushed herself to write and sing in English from the beginning. Das says that, "she wrote all the lyrics in English for a while, then at some point she was like, 'I'm going to write a song in French.' She did it, and it became a thing for numerous years, where there would be like one French song on every release and the rest were in English."
While the French language has been present in the odd song in Fuck the Facts' catalogue for some time, their latest EP, the vicious and acerbic Amer (which translates into "bitterness"), is the first record that they have written entirely in the French language. Das sees this as a natural part of the band's evolution — a product of their constant need to innovate and improve.
In terms of the vocals and the lyrics, Das and the rest of the band have always trusted Mongeon to direct the way their sound would develop. "It reached a point where we want to have good lyrics, and a lot of that was from Mel, because I've always been mainly focused on the music, so she really took the initiative to get better and learn that."
This increased focus on writing in French is carrying over into their as-yet-untitled next full-length record, which Fuck the Facts are currently in the process of writing.
"I think right now about half the songs are in English and half are in French. Just like as musicians we try to switch things up and keep it interesting, writing lyrics in both languages is the same for [Mongeon]."
Das adds that he is extremely supportive of lyricist and singer's Mongeon's move towards including more French in their music, and sees it as a positive move forward for the band.
"I thought it was awesome. If she wanted to write every song in French from here on out, she has my blessing. Besides, with the genre of music we are playing, and with all the screaming, I'm pretty sure the majority of people can't even really tell the difference if you are screaming in English or you are screaming in French."
The band's self-released Amer EP is out now, and they are currently on a European tour, whose dates you can see here.
Read more of Exclaim!'s new interview with Fuck the Facts here.