David Eliade Interview (Part I)

At the end  of 2007 my friend Aisling Blissett did an interview with the mysterious manager of the band Fucked Up, David Eliade. David Eliade was  credited on their releases around that time as the mastermind behind the band. Not soon after the interview was published Fucked Up stopped crediting Mr. Eliade on their releases. At the same time Fucked Up dropped their own pseudonyms and shifted in a more direct and open approach to the outside world, which came with increased mainstream penetration and critical acclaim.  It is unknown if David Eliade was still involved in the band, still there were hints with a Christmas single in 2007. And then in 2011 he was back in the spotlights whenFucked Up released David Comes To Life. An epic rock opera of 4 parts which tells the love story of a girl named Veronica with no one else than David Eliade himself.

The interview was pusblished in Jagged Visions zine #1 and part of it also appeared on the Fucked Up blog. Check here the first part.

Aisling Blissett: You are mainly known as the manager of Fucked Up. The band describes you as their main inspiration. How would you describe yourself?

David Eliade: I’m just a normal guy who takes abnormal interests.

A: I would like to get to know David Eliade, the person, a bit better. Can you tell something about your daily routine? Where do you live? What music do you listen to?

D: Well, I have a full time job, and that keeps me quite busy at home. I do that and enjoy it. I won’t say what I do, but I can say that I work in film, under my real name. Besides that I’m also running an international crime brainwashing media collection agency. These days I have a fairly conventional lifestyle.  I enjoy drinking – I collect wines, like drinking chocolate the old way.  I’m one of those old hapless grown up hippies from a bygone age still trying to make the new age happen, but now it’s by inserting things subtly into my work, and trying to control punk bands!  I try to listen to “Ascension” by Coltrane once a week.

A: Do you get a lot of demo’s of bands looking for a manager?

D: Haha no. No one knows how to get in touch with me.  I’m not a manager, I’m an artist.

A: Are you related to the Romanian philosopher and writer Mircea Eliade?

D: Well, the “Eliade” part of my name is a pseudonym, and absolutely it’s taken from Mircea.  The plan with Fucked Up has never been to waste words – we try to pill as many meanings into each word as we can, so that no word on the paper is wasted.  It’s also the rule to use fake names as much as possible, partly for the same reason, but also for anonymity, so we can walk away from it when we are finished without the residue.

A: When was the first time you came in contact with FU and how did the collaboration develop?

D: I don’t have a lot of time to spread myself around, but I have people planted in various places to keep and eye on things for me. Octavio hangs out in the underbelly and caught the band at a show in New York a few years ago breaking up a fight that had started while they were playing. We sat down together that night and things just developed from there, we understood each other and wanted to move towards the same sort of future. They kept calling me Bruce Wayne!

A: I know Bruce Wayne, but who is Octavio? What is his role within Fucked Up?

D: Octavio in the Henchman. If I’m the wise, genteel and sort of sedated over-arching complex, Octavio represents the wild uncontrollable urge within the band. He’s been a friend of mine for a while, I found him at a very bad place and tried to clean him up a little, but not, let’s say to a clinical or sterile extent. The band met him through me, and was interested in him coming on board as my counterpart, because you know how they are interested in duality and symmetry.  You no doubt understand the depths that can be involved in producing a hardcore punk band, and there are levels that need to be dealt with in Fucked Up that not even I was prepared to deal with.  It isn’t a part of the underworld that I had any experience – when I was in those trenches they were coloured in a different way, if you know what I mean. Octavio comes from the future, he is part of the present – he knows how to fight in this world. Whereas I feel like for them I can be the light they turn on in the dark, Octavio is like the black mask we put on when we need to become dark.

A: Most of Fucked Up lyrics are written by Pink Eyes and Marbles. Have you had any input in writing these lyrics and choosing the subjects they deal with?

D: Yes, I show them things; try to explain true ways of presenting information. We sort of conceived the ideas for the first album together and I left them to put it all together as a final piece. There are things I added at the end.

A: Given that the band has a DIY punk background, do you ever have arguments with the band members about the musical and commercial directions the band should take?

D: At first we argued. I tried to explain their greater influence and potential. This I guess is always the way – artists often need to be shown the way and have their art put in a greater context. I try not to interfere too much in the musical aspects of the group, because that isn’t my strong point, but I do show them things there too. I mean I try not to be too heavy handed in any aspect of the group because I want them to be able to stand behind everything they’ve done as their own, but I am a part of the group and do have an influence.

A: You designed the logo of Fucked Up. Where did you get your inspiration for the artwork and what are your favourite logos?

D: I think the most powerful logos are the ones you can’t even tell are logos. Logos can be more than symbols, in that they can be the primary meanings behind those symbols. Money, fame, compassion, greed – these things that drive you are the logos I’m interested in. I mean, you know the game we play – we are into the symbols you can’t see, but that can see you. A logo is like the traffic signal for your brain, it’s the red or green pulse that controls your flow through life.

A: Do you see Fucked Up as a “Gesamtkunstwerk” or just a band? And in what extent do you see them as a contemporary manifestation of Dada or neo-Dada movements?

D: Well we’re starting to work on the David Comes to Life LP, which will try to incorporate more than just music into the presentation. We want to package it as a memory stick so that it can incorporate an album worth of music, the play, the documentary, the musical, the movie, you know the whole deal.  Soon I think media will be presented more along the lines of size rather than style – instead of buying an LP’s worth of music from your favourite band, you’ll buy a gigabyte’s worth, so we’re trying to get with that. It’s the whole indie-vertical-integration American Apparel style that is really taking, now you’ve got record companies that are getting into publishing and management, it’s like this disaster style economics where everyone is sensing this foreboding doom and trying to scoop up as much as they can before the bottom falls out. But ultimately Fucked Up is just a band. We tried to reference surrealism with Baiting the Public, but none of that kind of art really matters anymore, things are too reversed to be able to make any sort of meaningful impact.

A: The theme of the Year of the Pig is exploitation and violence against women, using the murder of 26 prostitutes in Canada by farmer Robert Prickton as its main subject. In an online published statement, you placed the case in a bigger context, and condemned today’s morality on sexism based on guilt and sin, but if you could, how would you explain to the victims why this horrible crime happened to them?

D: You can’t.  You can say, “your’s was a crime of disenfranchisement”, but it’s not even that simple.  Why did it happen to them as individuals?  They were in the wrong place at the wrong time – the wrong place being part of an industry that receives no protection and legislation, the wrong time being while prostitution is still a profession that is looked down upon and cast aside. We took steps to make sure the song wasn’t about targeting Pickton specifically, because there is no lesson there. Sure, there are murderers in society, but what does it mean for that society when one of them is able to systematically pick off dozens of similarly employed disenfranchised women off the streets, for years?  The Pickton case is about so much more than just one fucked up deranged farmer.

Second part coming soon. What happened with the memory stick?


3 Responses to “David Eliade Interview (Part I)”

  1. The Riviera Times…

    […]David Eliade Interview (Part I) « Jagged Visions Zine[…]…

  2. […] Up. But like everything related to the world of Toronto’s preeminent liar-art-hardcore band (mysterious managers! Phony lawsuits from fictitious energy drink companies! Disconcerting fascist imagery!), […]

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