5 Craziest Things Fucked Up Vocalist Damian Abraham Has Ever Done
Photo by Laura June Kirsch
There will be fewer raucous ways to enjoy some live music Friday night than running over to the Bowery Ballroom (6 Delancey Street) to catch riotous Toronto hardcore sextet Fucked Up. Stories of the band's onstage wrecking sprees are legendary and well-documented, but at the heart of all the insanity is vocalist Damian Abraham (a.k.a. Pink Eyes, a.k.a. Mr. Damian). To build up to this evening's lunacy then, here are the most fucked up things Fucked Up vocalist Damian Abraham has ever done.
Consistent Self-Inflicted Forehead Injuries Damian Abraham likes to headbutt things. Anything in his path actually: Pint glasses, microphones, walls, florescent light bulbs, stages and more. If his forehead isn't pouring blood by the end of a Fucked Up set, things just somehow don't feel right. He told the UK's Kerrang! Podcast back in 2011 about a performance during Coachella in which: "I busted myself open -- which is when you bleed from your forehead profusely. And there was blood everywhere. So much blood, in fact, that there was a hip-hop news website that picked up the story, under the headline 'White People Do the Dumbest Shit' and it was just pictures of me bleeding on everyone in the crowd." The stage manager at that particular gig later forced Abraham to buy the microphone he'd used, because it was full of blood. Hurrah!
Performing in/ Destroying an MTV Bathroom We're not sure which was crazier in this case: Abraham smashing up the ceiling about two notes into the first song (and thereby setting the tone of the thing), or the nice people at MTV thinking they could invite Fucked Up to perform in a tiny bathroom, in front of a small audience who were supposed to watch the band from the hallway, and not thinking something weird might happen. The band later explained that inside the bathroom, once the fans had invaded, there was spilled gasoline from an overturned motorcycle directly next to lit cigarettes, overturned amps, bleeding band members, fans making flame throwers out of spray-paint cans and a plethora of other dangerous stuff. Abraham later said of the cut-short performance: "It was one of those moments where you're like 'This is out of hand, someone could die right now'..." Fun!
Climbing on Monitors Sure, all the cool musicians climb on monitors and speaker stacks. It's a rock 'n' roll tradition, after all. And if you're really good at being a rock star, sometimes you gracefully throw yourself off them too, only to be embraced by an adoring crowd. The problem is, Damian Abraham isn't a rock star; he's a down-to-earth punk rock dude who flails around and does shit on stage before he's even really thought about whether it's a good idea or not. This is why there have been occasions when he has climbed up and got stuck (of one such incident, Fucked Up bandmate, Ben 'Young Governor' Cook, noted: "[He] had a nervous breakdown onstage. He just lied there like a depresso madman") and occasions where he's climbed up and immediately fallen directly onto audience members by accident. Ouch.
Covering "Do They Know it's Christmas?" Back in 1984, a couple of months before America started rocking out to "We Are the World" to raise money for starving humans in Ethiopia, the British were doing the same thing with Band Aid charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Well, in 2009, Fucked Up decided that covering the Xmas classic with a host of other willing participants -- like Andrew W.K., David Cross, Tegan & Sara, members of Vampire Weekend and even GZA -- was a perfectly reasonable idea. The musical results were mostly messy and not fun at all, but money was raised for aboriginal women's charities in Canada and that made the whole thing worthwhile. This shit was still weird though...
Appearing on Fox News As unlikely guest appearances go, Fox News repeatedly inviting a left-wing hardcore vocalist who has a degree in women's studies onto their Red Eyelate night program has to be pretty up there. The punchline is, Damian Abraham not only accepted a couple of these invitations, he also took it as an opportunity to express honest opinions about a variety of topics without once turning into a madman on camera. What's more, the first time he appeared, he wore an Obama T-shirt. You couldn't make this shit up...
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