by Austin Finn
Anyone who’s ever seen FUULS play live knows how weird an experience it is. The first time I saw them reminded me of the first time I saw Noise Noise Noise. My immediate reaction to seeing Noise x3, after the first song had ended (which, in Noise x3’s case, would have been about 30 seconds) was, “why aren’t these guys the biggest band in the world?”
Where Noise x3 impresses you with how well they balance (a) having their shit down to an absolute science while simultaneously (b) teetering into complete sonic Dionysian anarchy that literally makes listeners steal fire extinguishers from venues in order to throw them at fellow concertgoers (not recommended), FUULS impress you with the former, but instead of the signature eardrum blasting madness-inducing chaos that a Noise x3 show provides, FUULS compliment their competency and attention to detail with the cutest lil pop melodies and hooks you ever dang heard. Instead of loosing your shit in a mosh-pit (in my younger days), FUULS just makes you wanna DANCE. Even if you are a horrible dancer. FULLS will probably make you a good dancer. It’s impossible not to dance at a FUULS show. And it absolutely blows you away when you experience it. “How can a band that is this smart and professional but also obviously knows how to party (and are probably all really good dancers) be playing a show to 20 of my friends in a rec center in Billings, Montana?”
Well, stop worrying about it, stupid! It’s only rock and roll, yes. But I like it. And you should too.
They responded to our email with this disclaimer. Remember how I said they are competent and professional? Don’t ever say I lied to you, friend:
"WE, THE COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUS OF FUULS, WILL ANSWER THE FOLLOWING INQUIRIES-*Disclaimer: all annotations are meant to be used as a companion of explanation. The views and opinions expressed in the annotations do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of FUULS."
Anyway, if you haven’t seen FUULS before, you’re in luck, because they’ll be playing this year’s Julia Louis-Dreyfest! They were kind enough to answer a few questions from us, to let you get to know them a little bit better:
Age of Anxiety is on my list as one of the ten greatest Montana rock and roll albums. It perfectly captures the balance you guys have between the power-pop-meets-garage-rock thing that’s so hard to nail. I’m so curious how you guys recorded it!
ONE SONG AT A TIME.
*i.e. through Black National Studios, partnered with G.E.D's and a "give 'em hell attitude".
As far as I know, “FOOLS” isn’t taken as a band name. Why FUULS then? Is it an acronym I’m not catching? Does that make me... A FUUL?
*While you may be a "FUUL", it is not for misunderstanding a hidden meaning, but rather that you fail to see that we do not know what we are doing.
I feel like you guys and fellow Dreyfest performers Silverbow Society have a unique similarity in that you both have religious lyrical themes, but neither of you guys ever dive in too heavy in Christian symbolism (i.e. not being a “Christian” or “Worship” band). I feel like maybe Manchester Orchestra are similar in that way. Is that a conscious choice you make as a band? Or does it just come natural to avoid being heavy-handed, lyrically, with Christian themes? Does that make sense?
WE, BEING THREE, HAVE COME INTO ACCORD OF RESPECTING AND HONORING THE DIFFERENT AVENUES OF LIFE AND MORAL APPROACH.
*FUULS policy requires we explicitly state it does not endorse any religion, or spiritual belief set. All religious symbolism is adopted for use in a way in which the consumer can approach the art with brief familiarity. Religion is upsetting for many an individual, and we are no exception to this fact. FUULS uses Christian symbolism because it is a familiar context to past experiences for each unit of the entity, while also lending itself to many an aspect of political, metaphysical, and philosophical conversations.
Aaron plays drums for the San Francisco based “slacker rock” band Couches! Does he have any funny Dave Mitchell stories? I can imagine those guys on the road are a riot!
THERE IS NO AARON, THERE IS ONLY FUULS.
*Quote: "A lot of people would be surprised to witness just how professional David really is. He's always grinding... he really does love his beers tho." -DRUMMER
When you guys played Blanket State at the third Dreyfest (I think?) at the North Park rec center that might have been the single most insane moment of Dreyfest history. I lost my SHIT. That was such a sweaty show. Do you guys remember that one? Any stories from that year stick out to you?
FUULS KEEPS NO OFFICIAL RECORD. ALL PRODUCTS ARE SPECIFICALLY TAILORED TO USER EXPERIENCE UPON PAYMENT, (OR POSSIBLE LACK THEREOF.) PLEASE REFER TO MANAGEMENT IF YOU HAVE ANY COMPLAINTS, OR FIND THAT YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH OUR PRODUCT IS NOT SATISFACTORY.
"I remember that show being crazy fun and falling in love with The Budgets. There's a memory of it being late and everyone watching a projection of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure on the wall of the living room where we were staying. Things that stuck out to me that year definitely had to be housing Kithkin and opening for Moon Honey!" - DRUMMER
"I remember that the Billings scene had welcomed us back with enthusiasm and infectious energy. For sure, an amazing show! My highlight for that year is most definitely when we opened for Frankie Cosmos, and Porches on my birthday. Frankie Cosmos dedicated "Birthday Song" to me!" - BASSIST
"I was really exhausted so I slept in the car until we had to play. I remember lots of varying types of sweats. I do have to say my highlight of that show was having Austin Finn come give me gas money in a classic drug deal money handshake. My highlight for that year has to be Rob missing the song dedication because people were filling him up to the brim with free drinks at the bar." -GUITARIST
In Party Slugs, in between the second verse and bridge, you sneak in: “All rock and roll just sounds the same but I think that the only band that makes an exception is Led Zeppelin.” Do you really believe that?
*The "No" is meant to say that music is subjective and FUULS would be remiss to take such a controversial opinion. The lyric is meant to be a somewhat satirical statement in both acknowledging and admiring the truth of Led Zeppelin for one, while ribbing that one at the same time for possible close mindedness.
You guys are originally from Great Falls, MT, and are currently based in Missoula. Were there any bands from the Great Falls scene that had a lasting impact on you, that we should know about?
FUULS HAS NO OFFICIAL COMMENT ON HOW TERRIBLE GREAT FALLS IS/WAS, OR HOW MIRACULOUSLY PRESENT ITS MUSIC COMMUNITY IS/WAS.
"I only saw rob and thom's bands. I was in middle school. I had no access to a scene." -(a probably grounded) -DRUMMER
"I loved the punk/metal scene in middle school- Diogenes, The Chuds, The Monsters, KIA's, Order 66." -BASSIST
"I was only allowed to go to shows if I was playing them. That being said- Never Say Never was a good act before the Biebs piggy backed off their street cred." -GUITARIST
Alright, you each won a weeklong all-expense paid vacation but you have to choose between two destinations- Venezuela or Finland. Which one do you choose, and why?
*Both countries are perfectly acceptable and to choose amongst the two would be purely on the basis of circumstance, as opposed to preference. e.g. "Hey man, the fjords just flooded with lava. We should maybe choose to go in the off season."
Elvis Costello or Big Star?
WE DID NOT KNOW ELVIS' LAST NAME WAS COSTELLO.
*We are under informed on Big Star.
Nas or De La Soul?
*"We are all Africans- Black, White, and Yellow." - NAS
FUULS- WE APPRECIATE ALL INQUIRIES. REGARDS.
Thanks FUULS! And thanks for reading! I hope this manual helps you understand the weirdness and beauty of this fine band, filled with finer (more fine?) young men. Catch them at Dreyfest this August 10th and 11th in downtown Billings, MT! Venues and schedules are coming soon!