Fucked Up is a hardcore punk band from Toronto, Ontario. The band won the 2009 Polaris Music Prize for the album The Chemistry of Common Life.
The band formed and played their first shows in early 2001. The initial practicing lineup consisted of 10,000 Marbles (Mike Haliechuk, Guitar), Concentration Camp (Josh Zucker, Vocals), Mustard Gas (Sandy Miranda, Bass Guitar) and Chris Colohan (of Left For Dead/The Swarm fame, and was lead vocalist for now-defunct Cursed). Just prior to recording their demo tape, Concentration Camp moved to guitar and vocal duties were taken over by Pink Eyes (Damian Abraham, also known as Mr. Damian). Drums are played by Mr. Jo (Jonah Falco, also credited as G. Beat or J. Falco).
Following the release of the demo, the band embarked on a long series of 7" records. The band released the "No Pasaran" 7" in May 2002. The Police 7" was released on March 2003, quickly followed the Baiting the Public 7" in May 2003. Two more 7"'s followed in 2004, the Dance of Death single, and the Litany 4-song ep. The vinyl releases to this point were collected on 2004s Epics in Minutes CD. The band was the subject of a two-minute 16 mm film showing its links to the Toronto hardcore scene, a local infoshop and punk radio show.
The band's use of imagery and symbolism (notable the use of Sigils) took a decided turn after the release of Epics in Minutes, as it was followed by two limited 12"s, the Looking for Gold 12", and the live Let Likes be Cured by Likes 12". The Looking for Gold 12" contained no liner notes or credits, no song titles, and a hidden track. It was self-released by the band in 2004 in two limited runs of 300 & 400 copies. The title track was 16 minutes long, used 18 guitar tracks, had a three minute drum solo and contained 5 minutes of whistling.
In the summer of 2004 the band released the Generation 7" and 12" eps. After touring for most of 2005 the band took on David Eliade as a quasi-full time manager/promoter. In early 2006 Eliade began shopping demos of songs from the planned Hidden World album to labels, ending with the band signing to Jade Tree Records for an early fall 2006 release of the album. Jade Tree is distributed by Touch & Go which in turn has a distribution agreement with ADA (Warner Music Group). Jade Tree licensed the vinyl version to Deranged Records, which released it as a double album in November 2006.
Several other records, such as Year of the Dog 12" were released, before the band went on the European tour, visiting England, Germany and Spain, among other places. January 16, 2007 marked the band's live television debut on MTV Live, where they were introduced as "Effed Up". During their performance of their song "Baiting The Public", the majority of the audience were moshing and causing damage to the set (also visible was a cut from lead singer Damien's forehead), resulting in a sum of $2000 in damages. This performance sparked controversy and resulted in MTV Canada banning moshing from future MTV Live performances.
On October 9, 2008 the band returned to MTV Live, this time performing in the men's washroom. Once again, the band (and their fans) caused a large amount of damage, destroying the ceiling, spray painting walls and knocking over amps and a motorcycle which was brought into the washroom as a prop. Fans, who were told beforehand to stay out of the washroom and to watch from outside the door, rushed the doors and joined in the destruction the band had already started. The band was supposed to play three songs, but were stopped after the first song as MTV was not aware of the destruction the band had planned and were concerned about the safety of the band, audience and crew. On October 10 Abraham blogged about the performance on the MTV Live website, saying the bathroom performance was fucking out of control terrifying.
In November 2007, the band played a show in New York that was filmed for the movie Burn, directed by Richard Roepnack. The performance was reviewed in the New York Times, although the name of the band was unprintable under the newspaper's editorial standards.
The band signed to Matador Records in Spring of 2008. That summer, Matador reissued the "Year Of The Pig" 12" single. This time it came out with additional formats including a series of three 7"es, for the US, UK and Japan respectively, each with a different edit of the A-side and a new B-side. A CDEP compiled all the versions from the various vinyl versions. The band toured extensively in the UK behind this release, following it with a trip up the West Coast.
On October 7, 2008, Matador released Fucked Up's second album, "The Chemistry Of Common Life." It has received near-universal critical acclaim from publications such as the NME, The New York Times, Blender, Pitchfork, Alternative Press, Q Magazine and many more. The band toured the Eastern US in October, including a much-covered 12-hour long show on the Bowery in New York on October 14. They were joined by musical guests including Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Moby, John Joseph of the Cro-Mags, members of Endless Boogie, Les Savy Fav, Dinosaur Jr., and others.
In November 2008, the band participated with other similarly named bands, including Holy Fuck, Fuck and Fuck Buttons in the Festival of the Fuck Bands music festival in the village of Fucking, Austria.
Abraham at an April 2010 literacy event
In 2009, Damian Abraham was invited to become a regular guest (appearing one to three times a month) on the Fox News show Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld, which he had previously appeared on twice.
In 2009 Fucked Up took part in an interactive documentary series called City Sonic. The series, which featured 20 Toronto artists, had lead singer Damian Abraham inside Rotate This talking about his love of vinyl and punk music.
Fucked Up were confirmed to play the ATP New York 2010 music festival in Monticello, New York in September 2010. The band also confirmed they will play their annual Halloween gig in Toronto, October 31, 2010. The band had initially cancelled the event due to scheduled tour with Against Me!. "We were going to go on this tour in the UK with this band Against Me!, but then they cancelled all their shows for some reason (they never told us) so the tour isn't happening so we'll be in Toronto so we figure what the hell." Livemusic.fm They were joined by The Sadies at The Garrison, Toronto.
In February 2011, the band toured Australia for the first time as a part of the Soundwave Festival. Additionally, the band played some select side-shows from the festival with artists as diverse as The Bronx, Terror, H20, Trash Talk and Polar Bear Club.
On June 7, 2011, Fucked Up released their third studio album, David Comes to Life. A self-professed "rock opera" set in Thatcherite Britain, it tells a story of love, loss and redemption. The story is complicated by misdirection and unreliable narrators. The record debuted at No. 83 on the Billboard 200 in the US. It has received wide critical acclaim.
In November 2011 it was announced that the band would be going on hiatus, as Abraham is not able to handle raising a family and tour the same time.
In December 2011, Spin magazine named David Comes to Life its No. 1 Album of 2011, and put the band on the cover, writing "Fucked Up have synthesized 40 years of rock into what's ostensibly a hardcore record, and in doing so created its own logic."