Fury Bring the Great American Novel to Hardcore
South of Los Angeles lies the netherworld of Orange County, birthplace of Richard Nixon, the angriest son of a citrus farmer there ever was. While the area perfectly encapsulates an outsider’s view of California in some respects — the sun and the surf that you heard about in the '50s-themed diner are there — it is also home to some of the state’s staunchest conservatives. This tense dichotomy has produced amazing hardcore music in the past, and Fury carry that tradition forward with aplomb. Their riffs aren’t just echoes of Youth Crew gems; they're fit to serve the purpose of their own creation. Their newest effort, an LP called Paramount (Triple B), sets them apart from the pack both musically and lyrically. We spoke to the band about the new record, putting reading material into lyrics and "real rockers."
Despite taking influence from OC legacy acts like Insted, your full-length is more varied and dynamic than many Youth Crew bands, both old and new. How did you go about writing the album? Were you consciously trying to break new ground?
Jeremy Stith (vocals): Madi [Woodward] is a great writer, and I can't speak for us as far as songwriting goes. To put it simply, I think we just wanted to do something different, but still inviting. As far as lyrics, I was just trying to write something simple and open without being too vague or stale. I kept having different revelations and thoughts when I was writing everything, but once I heard the music Madi was making, it went to a whole other level as far as the tone and vibe. They were very full, but restrained and nuanced songs that brought all those ideas to light in a much bigger and brighter room.
Madison Woodward (guitars): All I want to say is when [I was] writing and recording this record, I sat down and listened to a lot of what [are] in my opinion are perfect LPs. Now, as a lover of the genre, I'll be the first to admit that I can count as many perfect hardcore LPs as I have fingers, so I probably listened to as much Oasis as I did Turning Point, and that's why the songs might sound the way you described them. I wanted to make an LP I was proud of, and something I can put on 10 years from now and still be proud of it. I don't know if I did that — time will tell — but for right now I'm more than content with the results, and I think Jeremy and the rest of the band tracked truly great performances.
On the whole, hardcore as a genre feels like it's been growing emotionally without becoming something different for the first time. Your band and this release contributes to that. Jeremy, how do you approach writing lyrics?
JS: I don't think I'm writing any new ideas or doing any new types of actions or anything like that. I like writing, and am drawn to it because of how I would feel and think after reading someone who really shakes things around for me in my head. I like the ideals and themes around stuff in the great American novels, and wanted to do my own take on that for Paramount.
How does being an Orange County / Inland Empire band affect your output? Do you look to be part of a legacy? Your first release was on a label from Maryland. How do you see regionalism, which has always played a big role in hardcore, playing a part in your band and the scene moving forward?
JS: I don't think it affects it as much as it's just something we already are. We all grew up around here, and this is the culture we all are most comfortable with. I love the bands from out here, and to be in the same breath as them is very cool. I think you can learn a lot from how other people do things in other places, and we learned a lot from the whole D.C. crew.
Has the other Fury gotten in touch at all?
JS: Jason Farrell has talked to us, and he is not pleased. I love him and his guitar playing.
I read an interview with you guys in OC Weekly, and you made what I think is an important distinction. What did you mean by "non-pro-core"? The difference between someone who attends a mega-show show once a year versus an active participant in the local scene is about a mile wide. How do you attempt to bridge the gap? Or do you?
JS: Yeah, I was iffy on saying that. I wasn't trying to say it in a derogatory way. I meant it as a house show vs. a professionally lit venue with instruments mic'd up, etc., etc. We just like playing new spots and to new people; I guess that's how we try to bridge any supposed gaps. I think the veteran bands nowadays do a good a job as ever at taking younger bands out or shouting them out and all that jazz, because those same veteran bands were in the other side of things at one point.
What are your plans for this fall?
JS: We got a few record release shows with the homies Mizery from San Diego in September, and then a week tour leading up to Halloween with Turnstile, Angel Du$t, Krimewatch and Big Bite.
What would you like to see more of in your scene, and in the genre in general?
JS: Could always use some more real rockers.