Wednesday, October 11, 2006

FFHH's Midweek Mutiny: Brian

Editor's Note: This post was written by Brian Buta. He is a guitar player and vocalist for Baltimore's Faster Faster Harder Harder.

Subhumans are my favorite punk band, though there are numerous others close to the top (Dead Kennedys, Clash, Buzzcocks, Ramones among them). I used to drive around Baltimore County with EP-LP cranking out of the dying speakers of my old turd brown car. Maybe that doesn’t sound very exciting, but those were some great times of release and escape during high school. I can’t think of any band that sounds as energetic, angry, and thoughtful as Subhumans do when you see them live. The Election Night 2004 show that Subhumans played at The Ottobar was a major catalyst in the creation of our band, as it inspired me and (then drummer) Jackson to start writing simple punk songs again. So thank you, Subhumans! Here’s a track from their recent live CD, which proves that 20 years has not put a damper on their youthful spirits or their powerful music.

Subhumans - Parasites (Live)

I love books and movies about how fucked up the future is going to be. I’m not sure what that says about me as person (let’s not delve into that), but Brave New World, 12 Monkeys, and 1984 are some of my favorites novels and films. David Bowie is one of my favorite songwriters/performers ever. The fact that he (unsuccessfully) tried to make a musical out of 1984, is a synthesis of pure awesomeness in my opinion. This song shows that funky dance music can have lyrics with depth and work to create a truly engaging song. This song, along with our general interest in dancing like idiots, inspired the remix we created of our song Smith Vs Savage.

David Bowie – 1984
Faster Faster Harder Harder - Smith vs. Savage (Remix)

Editor's Note: The original sounds like this... Smith vs. Savage

Some day, some magical day, we will cover The Who's A Quick One While He's Away. Well probably not, but I think that it would be fun. This track sounds like a free flowing mash-up of 5 catchy tunes, all unique yet all somehow blending together to make one crazy monster of a song. After all the build-up, the catharsis of the “You are forgiven” section gets me every time. Of course with the Who’s penchant for rock operas, this song shouldn’t be too surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing. A lot of new songs that we write come out of long jams at practice and that’s what this song reminds me of: one big long jam where every part comes together and every weird idea actually works. I think we’ll get there some day!

The Who – A Quick One While He’s Away

Joe asked me to talk about our cover of Play For Today. We debuted our version of this awesome Cure tune at our first show of 2006. We've played it at pretty much every show since then. A good cover song should be pretty easy to play, fun and (hopefully) recognizable to the audience. This song has all of the basics, because it is a very simple song with a great melody and interesting lyrics. We enjoy playing it, because the style and melody of The Cure has been influential on our band. There are many Cure songs that would have been cool to cover (especially The Exploding Boy), but this song seemed to work the best for us. It gave us room to play with the sound and beat of the original, without drastically changing the key elements. We hope to record our verison this winter, during the recording sessions for our next disc.

The Cure - Play for Today

So what’s the result of these influences? Something like our song Leave You. This song has a lot of anger and energy, but it also has a beat that bounces in case you want to move along. The shift to an extended bridge/outro at the end of the song, is an example of us moving away from always falling back on a chorus and moving towards trying new things. Plus, this is the first tune that we wrote when Sam joined the band. I remember that we pulled the whole song together the first time that we played with him and it was an amazing experience. The lyrics to this one are open to interpretation, of course, but I wrote them thinking more about quitting a habit (i.e. smoking) than a relationship. I think they work either way.

Faster Faster Harder Harder – Leave You

Editor's Note: What the hell is this? See here.

The rest of FFHH's mutiny can be found in these locations:


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