Backroom Surgery Boys

Look a little further than those horrible manufactured boy bands, “Pop Idol” type karaoke singers, and even worse, the manufactured so-called “rock” outfits that seem to have been continuously shipped over to us over the last year and you will be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find. FULC are a REAL rock band (although to class them as purely “rock” is sacrilegious, to be frank) with REAL tunes and REAL people who couldn’t give a shit about the industry fat cats or having a hit record…and that’s good news because, with the present chart climate, they are probably too good to do so anyway. FULC’s innovative, charismatic guitarist Rik Clay talked to AD:

AD: You’ve achieved some rave reviews in what seems to be a relatively short space of time, not least within these pages when I said you were the best live act I’d seen in about five years. How are you managing to keep your feet on the ground since attracting so much praise from record labels, websites and established music papers such as Kerrang! these days? Tell me about the latter interview.

RC: Our feet have always been on the ground, and that’s where we hope they will stay. It’s great getting good reviews and features, but when it comes down to it, we are doing it for the love of it; we like making music and enjoy playing it. It’s just a bonus if people along the way pick up on it, and appreciates it too.
The Kerrang! Interview was with myself and Essi Berelian, we basically chatted down the phone for coming onto an hour, had a laugh and spoke about our views on the UK music scene as it stands today. They did actually misquote me towards the end, I sounded like Fred Durst from fucking Limp Bizkit. But I’ll be honest and say I was pretty harsh towards the Nu-Grunge scene and Ska-Punk, I pretty much detest those flanking genres.

AD: What’s the story with this dodgy fat bloke who keeps stripping off at your shows? Are you going to endorse him as a mascot a la Iron Maiden and Eddie?

RC: Martin, what a top bloke! He’s yet to go all the way, he normally stops around his underwear, but I can see it happening someday soon. Basically, at any one of our gigs he attends, usually the ones in Leeds and Bradford, he feels it his duty, without any form of pestering from us, to get on stage and strip down. I think one day we might invite him to come to London with us, just to show them what they are missing out on.

AD: From what I can gather, you’re all individually fans of totally different kinds of music to eachother. Does this ever cause any major conflict where songwriting is concerned?

RC: It hasn’t done yet. I love the Manics, but I have no desire to rip them off, same with Faith No More and Nine Inch Nails. I think even though we all come from such varying musical backgrounds, we all stand strong on what we are doing. It’s heavy enough for Mark (drums) who’s a complete metaller, but still melodic enough for me and Kris (bass) who is more rock orientated. We know we’ve created something unique somewhere along the line, and it’s here to stay.

AD: You’ve had considerable interest from various well known record labels of late, yet you’ve sent them all packing with a two fingered salute so far. Why?

RC: We know what our music is worth to us, so someone coming along offering a deal that tie up our live performances, our recordings and our lifestyles just won’t do. Far too many are asking for everything with little in return, and we aren’t happy with that. We know what our limitations are, and to what point we are capable of promoting the band between ourselves and the management. Once we’ve reached that limit, then maybe we will look for something that can take us onto the next stage.

AD: What’s been the defining moment of your time in FULC so far?

RC: Either cramming 100 people into a small Indian restaurant in Scunthorpe, for the Fallen EP’s launch party, or a recent gig in Stoke, where there were around 500 people jumping around going crazy. Incidentally, that was the week we had featured in Kerrang!, it goes to show what national press can do for a band, why give it each week to the likes of the Vines and the Libertines (bands that land and burn out within a year)! That gig has to be the highlight of our tour this year. People were trying to touch my legs and screaming at us, whilst we were playing. Bizarre stuff!

AD: Who would play each member of the band in a film about you?

RC: Oooo. I’m not so sure about film characters, but we all have our WWF wrestling counterparts. Mark (drums) would be Andre the Giant, Kris (bass) is Stone Cold Steve Austin, Duane (vocals, guitar) would definitely be the Rock because of the eyes, and I’d have to be Lita because I’ve got such a feminine side I’ve been told - must be the hair.

AD: You go home a little worse for wear one day after an extremely successful gig, and discover that Elvis Presley has been hiding under your bed for the last 25 years. He begs you not to tell anybody. Do you grass him up or not?

RC: So long as he was quiet whilst I’m asleep I’d have no worries him living under there, and so long as he doesn’t sing at any point.

AD: What do you think sets FULC apart from their contemporaries?

RC: FULC have determination and commitment, no matter how many brick walls we find ourselves running into. I think the music both recorded and live speaks for itself, we’re not the average run of the mill Nirvana wannabe. If you take a look at Nickelback, they are calculated cold and precise, it’s all about selling the records, its fine if that’s what they want to do, but surely that’s not what music is about. We try to do our very best to connect with anyone and everyone, we’re always around to talk to on our website, we feed off the fans like they feed of what we do. Lastly, we’re in it for the long-term, no-ones going to get rid of us that easily. Is that a cocky enough answer?

AD: What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you in the last couple of months (either musically or generally)?

RC: Constant touring got rid of the beer-belly I was forming through excessive Guinness consumption, but seriously, I’d say obviously the Kerrang feature. Its every kids dream to appear in those pages, and I feel fortunate we did.

AD: Anything else you’d like to talk about?

RC: It’s maybe worth a mention that the next release, is going to be another EP appearing in March, as a follow up to “The Fallen”. The track listing is still being toyed around with but it is confirmed that songs “Feet” and “Bruised” will appear. In co-ordination with this, we will be touring the UK extensively from the mid-February until the end of March. Check out for further news and updates. Cheers AD.

Fans of Atomicduster will know that two of our favourite bands of the year are presently unsigned – both FULC and Jetplane Landing. The latter released a single entitled “This Is Not Revolution Rock”. But listen to FULC, and trust me, this most definitely IS.

Interview and transcript by Tone E


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