w/Topon Das of Fuck the Facts

Fuck the Facts performing live in Cleveland. (Sanchez 2015)
Lisa Sanchez
​Fuck the Facts, a self-described Canadian "bastardized grindcore" band recently released their tenth full-length album Desire Will Rot on August 25. Their guitarist and founding member Topon Das found time to sit down and talk with me on the band's second date of a 20-day tour at Now That's Class! in Cleveland, Ohio. Das was very easy going and positive for a guy associated with arguably one of the most brutal sub-genres of metal. Das explained the impetus for Fuck the Fact's new album, their evolution as a band, and the quartet's DIY spirit.
Even though Desire Will Rot (only a week old during the time of our interview) comes in a long line of releases for Fuck the Facts, Das described how the band approached this album differently from previous releases: "We went into it [Desire Will Rot] with a looser feel when we recorded it. Writing wise, it's pretty much always the same. We almost killed ourselves recording the previous album, Die Miserable, in 2011 and we didn't want to do that again, we wanted it to be more natural. I think it sounds more true to how we actually are live," the guitarist explained.
Fuck the Facts also faced a different set of recording challenges, considering the band are entirely in control of their own album. Das explained, "With Die Miserable I think we just spent too much time in the studio. We record ourselves so we're in a situation where we can make things either horrible or easy. It's a curse and a blessing in a way because we have all the time in the world, but that's also not a good thing when you don't have those limitations, you don't have to get out of the studio, you don't have to finish up because you ran out of money. It can get out of control really easily. It's actually been three years since we recorded this album; we just didn't get around to mixing it until earlier this year."
"Everyone in the band writes. There's not one person that dictates the sound. It really is a band effort and we have influences that are drawn from different places," Das mentioned in reference to the inspiration for Desire Will Rot's sound and composition. "There's a few things that I had in mind when we did this album that I tagged in. Just the way the album is laid out with side "A" and side "B" it's a little bit like Black Flag's My War and how side "A" is fast, upbeat, and in your face and side "B" totally slows down and it's a very big change of pace. We get tagged as a grindcore band all the time, the influence is there, but we're definitely not just a straight up grindcore band." Desire Will Rot definitely follows this framework considering it blasts in hard with "Everywhere Yet Nowhere", "The Path of Most Resistance", and "Prey" then gets decidedly more cerebral, with slow, multi-layered doom tracks such as "Circle" and "Nothing Changes".
Although Desire Will Rot is the first full-length release the band has done since 2011, Fuck the Facts have unleashed a slew of new material in the form of EPs as recently as 2013. Considering the band releases new material regularly, I asked Das to explain the compositional difference in his mind between LPs and EPs. The guitarist was happy to explain his outlook on the band's various releases.
"Whenever we make a release we always want it to be really coherent from beginning to end. We have an EP that came out in 2013 called Amer and that is actually also songs that were written at the same period as Desire Will Rot, but we just didn't feel like they fit well within the album. The separation is what works as one piece. Also we released a lot of EPs because we didn't have a lot of time to dedicate to an album. We were really busy touring and all of the other things going on in our lives. We took almost a year off from touring and that's what allowed us to finish this album along with some other releases we hadn't gotten around to."
Das said he still enjoyed the EPs the band has released, but wants to change Fuck the Fact's focus in the future.
 "We did a lot of EPs, but I don't think it's something we want to do as much anymore. We'd rather focus on albums. It's something I think is going to change a bit. We're not going to be touring more, if anything we're going to be touring less so the idea of dedicating more of our time to actually writing and being in the studio is going to benefit us focusing on full length albums and honestly, I prefer albums over EPs," Das continued, "EPs are cool, especially for the kind of music we do where it's kind of aggressive and in your face. It can get kind of long, which is another reason the album is set up the way it is, if you're just blasting for 30-40 minutes it gets old. I enjoy the music and everything, but if I go to a grindcore or a death metal show with five bands I'm burnt out."
When it comes to completing an album or looking back at the band's career as a whole, Das is constantly amazed at the evolution of the band's music, "I love it. I'm extremely proud of this album and especially the band, how long we've been together, and the evolution we've had since the beginning. It's going to be 15 years since we started and 15 years ago I literally just picked up a guitar to start this project. Our first drummer had been playing drums for a month. We started very much from the bottom, really not knowing what we wanted to do and just kind of doing stuff and over the years. It's really become something that I think is distinctly us and we know what we're going for."
Some of the band's concrete sound is due to the consistent members, Das said, "Now we've had a solid line up for 8 or 9 years, which helps a lot. A lot of our earlier stuff I used to have a really hard time listening to it because I was embarrassed by a lot of it, but over time I grew to appreciate it. If we hadn't done these albums, which aren't really that good, we wouldn't have gotten to a point where we're making albums that I'm really proud of. It's all about evolution."
When asked about the feedback about Desire Will Rot so far, Das responded, "I'm not someone who goes out and looks for what people are saying about my band on the internet, so I guess I get a very filtered view. Every review I've been sent so far has been really positive and people enjoy it. It's great to hear and reviews are always a weird thing. It's very rare where I get to read a review that's someone actually sat down and listened to it without a preconceived idea. So far the feedback has been really good and it's great when people are like 'Hey, I really like what you do.' and it sucks when someone says 'Hey, you guys suck.' But, at the end of the day, either way it's really not going to change what we do. We're not going to change the way we write music or release it or what we do to please someone or to displease someone."
No matter what the press may think, there is always a fan out there who will sing the praises of Fuck the Facts no matter what: "We've been around for so long, we have such a big discography, I still run into people and they think albums that I think are horrible are our best albums," the guitarist laughed. "For them, that's the best thing we ever put out and I think it's part of the band and what we do, we dip our fingers into a lot of different pots and mix it up. People are going to find what they like in it and maybe some things they don't like as much as others."
Fuck the Facts are no amateurs when it comes to touring; they're on the road for much of the year and luckily have no problems being around each other on the road, "We've done almost this exact tour a few times. A few different cities, but it's pretty chill. I'm blessed with the members of my band, we literally have zero drama. It's a chill experience. To me it's just like traveling with friends and we get to play some shows and we get to play music together," said Das.
The band is sticking to small clubs throughout their 20 day tour and Das said that's just how he likes it, "It's always going to be a pretty small crowd so we want to make sure that the venue fits that audience. It's not something I'm usually worried about and a lot of the places we do on this tour know where we should be playing. There's at least one house show on this tour. Usually in the U.S. we still do house shows regularly. I'm not picky, I'd much rather it be a fun show than a huge PA. That shit doesn't really matter. I'll take fun over comfort any day. If the shows aren't full it's more just the people that are there that are into it that make it a fun experience. I'd rather play to 20 people who are into it than 200 that want you to get off the fucking stage."
For this tour, the band is barely dipping into the northern United States before finishing out their dates in Canada. Fuck the Facts do plan on doing a more extensive U.S. tour in November and December, but I asked Das why the band decided to set out on their own independent tour instead of filling an opening band slot for a bigger, nationally touring band.
"If the offers were there to do tours we would do them, but they're not. It's just the way it goes. We don't really have a booking agent, we don't have a label and there's a lot of things with us that I'm sure are deterrents for a band to bring us out," Das said. "The biggest thing we did was we toured with Black Dahlia Murder, but even then it was like 'Fuck the Facts? That's a pain in the ass to get on a poster.' We're not a young, hype-band that a label can push. The offers haven't really been out there, but if they are it's something we're always interested in. Even releasing the album independently, we put some feelers out to some other labels and didn't get any interest so it was like 'let's just fucking do this ourselves.' We didn't want to sit around and wait a year or longer to see if someone might be interested. We're just like fighting old dogs that won't go away."
After this 20-day run, the band will set out on an East to West coast U.S. tour then head to Europe in March. "We're trying to space it all out because we all have jobs at home. We all have real life shit to deal with once we get back. We're trying to make a good balance. We just released this album we want to get out there and get it to as many places as we possibly can, but at the same time we don't want to mortgage our houses and lose our jobs. That's a tricky balance," Das explained. As the band's responsibilities increase at home and it becomes more difficult to hit the road, Das pondered the changing dynamic of Fuck the Facts: "Once we've done all the tours we'll get back to writing some new stuff. With time and us all getting older, having other things going on in our lives as well it might be a bit longer before we hit the road again or release an album, but I can't really say when. If we're ever done, hopefully you just never hear from us ever again. I honestly think that's the way to go. I don't like to play the cheap cards of saying it's the last show or the last tour or something."