More on FSU.
In this week’s paper (which is hitting the streets today), we ran an updated version of last week’s web story titled “Shit’s Fucked Up,” which was about the controversial local organization called FSU and the all-ages hardcore music scene (it can still be found here).
One reaction a lot of people had to the story, was that FSU’s side of the story wasn’t represented. But, as I stated in the article, a number of FSU members were contacted and they all declined to comment. That was the case for the updated version as well. But yesterday a member of FSU (who asked to remain anonymous, but is not from Seattle) did decide to answer a few of my questions regarding the group. Unfortunately I didn’t get the response until after press time. He did, though, give me permission to post his e-mail on our website, which you can read below unedited and in its entirety.
I’ll link the updated story tomorrow, when it’s posted with the rest of the new issue.
What's the point of FSU's existence today?
FSU stands today just as it did years ago as a group individuals bonded by common interests, backgrounds and goals. FSU is involved in every aspect of the hardcore punk scene. We are the tour managers, the soundmen, and the road crews that are the backbone of our hectic on-the-move touring world. Our brothers on both coasts are active as show promoters, tour booking agents, security and venue owners. We are the kids on the floor as well as the bands on the stage. FSU is bonded by a brotherhood forged in deep feelings of resentment towards the outside world - we are the outcast of this mass marketing, consumer crazy world. Whether its through the music we create or the shows we help put on or bands we support, we carry the hardcore scene in our hearts.
What, as an active part of the hardcore scene, is FSU asking for? I've been told it was respect. Is that true? If so, what, then, has FSU done to deserve it? Also, what happens if they feel they don't get it?
We've been respected for almost 19 years now. At this point we only wish to continue to reap the rewards of our brotherhood. To see kids filing in every friday night in Brockton, MA for hardcore shows or to raise almost $13,000 for a fallen friend in a single day is a physical testament to not just the success that we've reached within our own scenes but to the respect that we are given. Respect isn't something to be taken but be given first and hope its reciprocated. If one walks around just trying to take he has no business ever receiving much of anything at all.
How do you respond to the fact that many tag FSU as a violent gang? Do you feel that's a fair assumption? Why or why not?
A gang based soley on violence wouldn't last as long or be something cohesive enough to bond people coast to coast. Idealistically as well, its too short sighted of a goal as one group to only cause violence. If that was in fact our only goal why is it that we are so active within every facet of the scene? Why would we put out so much time and money of our own to further our local scenes? There are any gangs in this country, there are many "crews" in this hardcore scene. None of them are doing anything that we are. There is a crude saying about assumptions, but I won't repeat it here. Its interesting that in a world put together by ideals such as unity and acceptance, there seems to be none of that projected towards FSU. Yet its in the cities has an active FSU chapter that the real diy hardcore scenes are thriving and the shows are safer and better attended then in cities where there is no cohesive group guiding progress along. The rumor mill and gossip hounds may have their say online but its the Nation that is actively putting hard work into everything that we do.
I assume you weren't here for the Seattle Dangers show, but by now you know what has happened. Do you support Seattle's FSU guys for their decision to threaten Dangers with violence if they were to play that song? If so, why?
Its appaling to see an entire scene that has some quite notable bands be so divided on an issue. Had the band been from Seattle, I could see the argument for their right to come and say what they feel. But to allow an outside catalyst to divide your hardcore scene is counterproductive to any kind of message I've ever heard in hardcore. There needs to be communication with both sides within Seattle. There is no reason for a once vibrant scene to be distracted with this nonsense. FSU feels as if its the actions of a few younger hardcore kids to create chaos, unrest and division to keep their scene from seeing the reality of the situation. The extreme Anti- FSU sentiments growing from the area are fueled by nothing more then rhetoric and internet gossip and is much more of a threat to the tranquility of the scene then the presence of the Nation in Seattle. These people for the most part are new to the scene and see FSU for something its not- Plain and simple. The things they say and do are not progressive but destructive. This is not the message or the way hardcore is supposed to be. We hope that the majority of the kids in the NWHC know better to fall into the propaganda of these hate mongers and see the truth for what it is. Seattle has had never had such a disruption and its only time before things are settled and the agitators are forgotten. Until then FSU will continue to support our brothers there and the entire NWHC in their attempts at coming to a common ground.
FSU is involved in a number of charity events or benefit shows throughout the year. The center of our year is based on the annaul Fallen Friends fest which is held in the Boston area. Through the FOUNDATION (Http://www.foundationfund.net) we are able to collect proceeds and help any number of charities throughout the year, whether its teenage homelessness or individual benefits for a family in need. We take pride in our ability to not only come together for a greater good but that its our combined efforts as a nation that brings some kind of hope to those less fortunate or in a bad situation. This year we are excited about events being planned in the Los Angeles Area as well as our mainstays in the Boston, Albany, Philadelphia and New Jersey communities. 2006 brings us a new year to fill up with plenty of shows, fests and tours as well as a few hidden surprises for all of the hardcore scene (FSU or not) to enjoy. If there is ever a question of our motives or our point of existence, feel free to come to one of our events to witness our activities in person.