This interview was originally in Parade Brigade #3. Thanks to Scooter Kane for originally hooking me up with Matt Kelly to do this.
What is going on with Fit For Abuse? I heard you are doing a record with My War Records?
We’re starting the recording process on Wednesday March 7th, which will be released on My War Records, yeah. It’ll be a 12” 45 rpm type thing with about fourteen songs (none of which were on the 7”). We’ll probably end up finishing up in late April or early May when Pat and I get back from tour.
Could you give our readers a history of the band? I think, sadly, a lot of them probably have not heard Fit For Abuse before.
Well, before I moved to Germany in late 1994, the original guitarist (Led) and I were talking about forming a real hardcore band (as opposed to all the fucking garbage that was passing for hardcore at the time). We wanted to play the music we loved; inspired by the likes of: Negative Approach/FX, FU’s, Minor Threat, S.O.A., The Abused, Urban Waste, Jerry’s Kids, Slapshot, etc. So I decided not to live in Germany and moved back in February 1995… we quickly got started, but had a hard time finding a drummer… so it was Led on guitar, Muzzi on bass, me (Matt) on vocals, and Kevin (Dive, Get High) and myself filling in on drums now and then. We then got Mark from this grind band Entropy on drums, but he was too fast (blastbeats and shit)… Led ended up moving to Philadelphia for some shit, and Muzzi switched to guitar, and enter a one Pat “fuckin” Gerry on bass… some months later, Joe “the mad Russian” Shumsky comes in on drums… this was about January 1996… we were one of the only bands doing the fast hardcore stuff in MA besides Out Cold and Insult at the time. We recorded a 7” that fall which came out on Crust Records (kind of a misleading label!) the next spring (97). I then left the band for about a year and “Psycho Ray” joined the band on vocals… basically it didn’t work out… for awhile that is… later on, when I had more time we decided to start up again… Muzzi, Pat, Joe, and I all hung out anyway… we just had to do the band sort of part time from now on.
You are also in The Dropkick Murphy’s right now. How does that affect Fit For Abuse? Does Fit For Abuse get any sort of extra recognition because of them?
Yeah for awhile I only had time for DKM’s... for the Fit For Abuse guys were really cool with it (true friends I guess), and they were happy for me. As a matter of fact, Pat is the guitar tech guy for The Murphy’s; so Fit For Abuse only plays when the DKM’s aren’t on tour (for obvious reasons). I don’t know if the DKM thing lends recognition to Fit For Abuse… I think it’d probably work against it… In Boston it’s like “I love Fit For Abuse but I can’t stand DKM… why don’t you quit?” That sort of sucks, as I enjoy The Murphys quite a bit, and like the music. So I don’t know if I know the answer to that one, chief. I’m sure to some degree it’s like “oh yeah, the singer of that band is in Murph and The Murph-Tones. Let’s check it out.” But for the most part, in Boston, it’s mostly kids who have been seeing us for five years or straight up hardcore kids who’d go see a bill like Fit For Abuse, Shark Attack, Close Call, and Cops & Robbers anyway. Two pretty different ends of the punk spectrum to say the least.
What is Leech In My Side about?
Well, we’re from an area where heroin has been the prevalent drug of choice for about 9-10 years now. Leech is about how sometimes decent people turn into mooching pieces of shit who’ll do anything for $20 (the cost of a bag of dope)… we’ve known a lot of kids who have OD’d, died, or just turned into scum… for the most part, when somebody gets hooked on that garbage (in my experience) they’re not worth shit. Their need for human interaction and friendship is superseded by the need to get high… fuck them.
One Get High question… I have heard rumors of TWO albums worth of Get High stuff that never got released… is this true?
I don’t know; I only played drums on the demo.
What is the pressing info for the 7”? I don’t think I have ever seen anything but black…
I think there were 1,000 on black, then 2,000 on black with a glossy cover. I think there were only 3,000 pressed, but I could be wrong.
What is going to be discussed lyrically on the new record?
Mindless violence, serial killers, being so obsessed with something that you can’t function without it (be it drugs or an ideology), exploring dumb shit and “becoming” punk/alternative/skinhead in college and when school’s over, your “lifestyle” becomes old hat; hatred for those who cross you; people who complain about being picked on when they should expect it; political correctness; having a negative mental attitude; an ode to the punks and skins in our area from before Lollapolloza made punk a commodity; being torn between pummeling somebody and talking it out with them; wondering what we’re shouting and fighting over; kids who squat who could be warm in their parent’s houses; blind consumerism. Just to get it out there, about 2/5 of the songs on this album as are old as the 7” songs… we’ve just never put them on anything… Mindless Violence, Thought Patrol, Kill, Obsession, and maybe one or two more have been in our live set for about 4-5 years.
Do you think the world is doomed and why?
Nah… it’d be nice to think, but I think people will just be put down more and more until they as a mass snap… that’s how it’s always been since the dawning of history… the world will cleanse itself somehow… there are theories of Astral Celestion and a wobble on the earth’s axis which will eventually lead to a changing of the poles… causing flooding and magnetic upheaval… civilization will end and man can start fresh again. A nice thought isn’t it?
What is the Fit For Abuse discography?
There’s the 7” on Crust Records and the song Four More Years (with Psycho Ray on vocals) on the Suburban Voice compilation with The Trouble and Pinkerton Thugs… as far as anything else, there’s that god awful demo from late 1995… bad shit.
How does it feel to have kids not only say the 7” is the best record of the 90’s but possibly one of the best records ever?
What!? Who says that? That’s incredibly flattering, but there are about one million better seven inches and lp’s out there from the last decade, never mind all of hardcore! Try The Fu’s, Forced Reality,
Negative FX, Negative Approach, Straw Dogs (US & UK), Cro-Mags, Killing Time, Jerry’s Kids, etc… that shit blows us out of the fucking water!
Anything else to say?
Yeah: Fuck Real TV, fuck wrestling, fuck the XFL, and go read a fucking book… don’t just listen to hardcore… check out the shit that got it all started: New York Dolls, Ramones, The Saints, Dead Boys, Damned, Pistols, Radio Birdman, etc. Oh yeah, thanks for the interview and my apologies for my long windedness! Cheers!