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Wednesday, January 4, 2006

More on FSU.

Posted by on January 4 at 15:33 PM

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:// 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.

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On the whole not-based-solely-on-violence thing, where like violence is not the only thing FSU is into, how does that work out percentage-wise?

Like, don't count eating, sleeping, shopping and so on. But when you just figure in all the activity in a typial day, about how much would be the violent part and how much the other (commendable!) part?

Saddest thing: violence breeds more violence. I'm reading this email, and I'm not a confrontational person at all, and I want to punch this guy in the face.

Like, wtf does this mean?

"Respect isn't something to be taken but be given first and hope its reciprocated."

What, we're all supposed to hope the world respects us? And if they don't, we punch them in the face? Is that it? Punching them in the face is gonna make them respect us?

What disphit definition of "respect" are we working from?

Help me understand.

I live in the greater Seattle area and I was at the Dangers show. I have seen more people i can count be effected negitively by FSU and it's hard fro me to believe that they do nearly as much good as they do bad. I have seen people hospitalized, threatened, and I have seen numerous shows ruined because of this. Its cool if you want to be in a crew. Im in a crew. But why cant it be a crew based on non-violence. I dont know what FSU is like where this guy lives but if it is as good as he is making it out to be then FSU Seattle needs to take some lessons from this guy. There has been posts on local boards about how the local people of the hardcore scene is not going to take this anymore. If stuff like this continues to happen then the cops will be called. There have been threatening responses to these posts from FSU about how "That is against the rules of punk". This isnt punk. This is a purified version of it and we dont want this violence and hatred. We just want to have fun and FSU wants to ruin it. So if FSU seattle wants to be at these shows and have fun with everyone thats awesome. If anyone in FSU has a personal fued with someone then fine. Settle it away from a show. And if your a good person you will settle it with words. If you cant settle it with words you shouldnt need your crew there to back you up. Either way. Dont do it at a show.

Not really understanding the response to the Dangers show...

[quote]. But to allow an outside catalyst to divide your hardcore scene is counterproductive to any kind of message I've ever heard in hardcore.[/quote]

That's a pretty silly statement considering FSU exists mostly outside of Seattle at all and they take their marching orders from outside of Seattle. How is this guy going to talk about catalysts from outside of Seattle when he is not from Seattle himself? Maybe I'm missing his point...

I don't see how this interview with an FSU guy that doesn't live here, go to shows here, or know what's happening here is relevant. It's a nice PR piece for his group, but the KKK, Crips and Bloods raise a lot of money for charity and fallen brothers and this doesn't excuse their violent behavior either. Most gangs have been around a lot longer then FSU with violence as a huge part of their culture, lasting 10 or 15 years doesn't prove that you are non-violent. The people that are speaking out against FSU are not new to the scene, that's a lie. Many have been involved in the music scene for 10-20 years and are pissed off that FSU, a newer violent group of men, is now disrupting all-ages shows with threats and violence.

What about the people who have been around for 10-20 years who support FSU? What about the members of FSU in Seattle who have been doing this hardcore deal for 10 years+?

And how does FSU Seattle take orders from outside of Seattle? That is nonsense. If The Answer went on tour and tried to play shows in LA, NJ, Boston etc. they would have nothing but problems. Does that mean that LA and the others take orders from Seattle? No. All that means is that friends back up friends.

What is the name of your crew man? Represent your crew if you are so proud of being such a non-violent crew.

I have been in the scene for twenty years now. And I used to be a nazi skinhead. I am seeing you guys act the exact same way. You aren't at the shows to have fun. You are there to fight. They clubs for that too you know. It is called a boxing club or extreme fighting. I am friends with alot of old school guys ( roger merit, civ, vinnie and numerous others in the real hardcore scene) not that any of you punks would know. They do not think that this is cool. UNITY is together to make a difference. Hell you guys probably beat the crap out eachother. That is not unity. And you are not brothers. I think you guys should grow up and act like men.

The following is a true story;

It was about 10 AM on sunday morning. I had gotten up early, because my husband was going to take us to lunch at The Olive Garden, (Myself, and our son, tyler) and I was taking a shower. During this time, I heard the phone ring. I was going to let the machine answer it, but then remebered that the battery had died last night. The phone rang for times, and I finally got out of the shower, wrapped a towel around my chest, and went to answer it. Not only did I not get there in time, but I slipped on the hardwood floor in our living room. Now...I was mad. But i got back into the shower, washed the shampoo out of my hair, and started to lather up my legs to shave them. I started feeling better, and begain to think about our lunch. (I LOVE THE TOUR OF ITALY!!) But then, you guessed it, the phone rings again. This time, I tell myself, I am not getting it. But the phone rang off the hook for what seemed like three minutes. I counted 14 rings, and, again, ran to the reciever. Lifting it, I heard what I dredded most. The pre-recorded voice of a salecall telling me to call an 800 number for a "special offer". Yep. Now I was pissed. I slammed the phone down so hard!! Then it happened. I heard a deep male voice, comming from behind me telling me "not to move" and something clicking. I froze in fear, and almost had an accident. Then, the voice changed to that of Rosanne, yelling at DJ. I spung around and realized that our cat, Twigs, had jummped onto the sofa, and switched our t.v. on by landing on the remote.

What A Day!!


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