Fucked Up Explain the "Slow Version" of 'Glass Boys'

BY Michael RancicPublished Jun 3, 2014

Today (June 3), Toronto post-hardcore troupe Fucked Up will finally release their long-awaited fourth album, Glass Boys, courtesy Arts & Crafts in Canada and Matador Records elsewhere. A limited-edition vinyl LP will include a "slow version" of the record, and while guitarist Mike Haliechuk reveals that double-tracking the drums and achieving the record's intended psychedelic feel was "a pain in the ass," it was all worth it to highlight drummer Jonah Falco's skills behind the kit.

"Jonah is just such a musically integral part of the band, I feel as though this idea is a tribute to [him]," Haliechuk tells Exclaim!

Falco himself elaborates on what the process was like, describing his and Haliechuk's intentions with recording the drums at two different tempos.

"It was exceedingly difficult at times, and others it was totally fine," Falco says. "[Double-tracking the drums] elevates the idea of what the drums could sound like on a rock record to something a bit more complicated but simultaneously passive. You sort of have to be in the service of the song, not in service of yourself. It's not the thing that makes the songs great, it's the thing that makes the songs just that much more different."

Falco was actually pretty unsure about the idea at first: "I thought it would sound silly, but based on some of the other things in Fucked Up that I thought would sound silly, I usually just have to learn to go with the flow."

Apparently, Year of the Dragon, from their Zodiac 12-inch series, came out of another "silly" situation.

"Mike came in with this ridiculous riff that changed key every three bars or something," explains Falco. "I think I must've thought it was really annoying, so I started playing this metal drum pattern sort of dismissively, but it actually started to actually work. [The song] came together almost as a throwaway, with everybody just laughing, goofing off and making faces."

Vocalist Damian Abraham adds that he wanted to step up his game vocally, and took cues from Mike and Jonah, who used "Year of the Dragon" to flex their metal muscles. That inspired attitude naturally bled its way into the Glass Boys material.

"Mike was a huge Metallica fan growing up, and that comes across with what he was trying to do on [Year of the Dragon]," Abraham says. "Jonah loves metal too, but in a much more esoteric way than Mike. For him it was fun just to hit all that drum stuff. For me it was just like, meditating on Dwid from Integrity, John Brannon from Negative Approach. When we got to doing [Glass Boys], I wanted to [incorporate] that stuff too. I wanted to make this album my meditation on hardcore vocals."

Fucked Up will be taking Glass Boys out on tour this summer and have a handful of Canadian dates lined up. You can see all the stops here. You can also listen to the "slow version" of Glass Boys below.

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