Billboard Asks: “How the F**k Do You Market a Band Called F**ked Up?”

I’ve actually had this conversation with Damien Abraham.  I’m paraphrasing, but his answer was “In the beginning, the band was a goof.  We never thought it would turn out to be a successful thing.  Now…” And then his voice just trailed off.

In other words, Fucked Up’s singer has no idea how to market Fucked Up.  Billboard explores this conundrum.

Many bands second-guess their names, especially when the musicians have matured beyond the juvenile or inebriated inspiration that first sparked their nomenclatorial creativity. Yet the dilemma takes on a whole new dimension when the name is considered indecent by the Federal Communications Commission.

That is the situation for Toronto rock band Fucked Up and their longtime label Matador as they prepare to release the group’s fourth full-length, “Glass Boys,” on June 3. While singer Damian Abraham’s throat-shredding roar ensures the band will never be confused with Kings of Leon, the album continues the group’s escalating progress: Their 2008 LP “The Chemistry of Common Life” won Canada’s prestigious Polaris Prize, 2011’s “David Comes to Life” peaked at No. 83 on the Billboard 200, and the new LP would seem to put them on the verge of something resembling mainstream success. There’s just one problem.

How the fuck do you market a band called Fucked Up?

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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