An Inside Look Behind Fuck the Facts’ latest mind-melting effort ‘Pleine Noirceur’
by Chad Thomas Carsten
From the Fuck the Facts Variant Cover Story via Issue #13 of Underground Nation Magazine “Summer Mania” 2021
The experimental heaviness of Fuck the Facts needs to be heard by everyone who listens to any form of heavy music simply because the band’s material is so raw and powerful it could literally split your skull in half upon first pressing play to any of their records. Fuck the Facts are so damn passionate when it comes to perfecting song structure you can truly hear and feel their talents emerge through your speakers, as their beautiful but brutal riffage is capable of soothing a person’s music soul to the point that their body may very well shed gallons of negativity and gloom due to the bands bone crunching presentation that will without a doubt leave fans feeling more alive than ever thanks to their unique flesh ripping approach that consistently manages to bring pure metal joy to listeners on the daily.
Above all, Fuck the Facts deserves every bit of success the grindcore geniuses have achieved because they’re always pushing the music boundaries of what heavy metal can be through sheer raw originality. Their latest record ‘Pleine Noirceur’ keeps receiving a mass amount of praise among various publications, thus proving this Herculean Quebec grindcore outfit still has plenty of metallic life force left to satisfy legions of metal heads for another twenty years or more! With that being said, please enjoy this special UGN interview with Melanie Mongeon of Fuck the Facts below!
Fuck the Facts Present Line-up
Topon Das – guitars (1998–present)
Melanie Mongeon – vocals (2002–present)
Mathieu “Vil” Vilandré – drums, guitars (2005–present)
*Photos Courtesy of Fuck the Facts*
What was your early life like growing in up Canada and how did it shape who you are as a person today?
Melanie Mongeon: I’m sure we could dive deep into the subject. Coming from a wealthy country, with health and social insurance as well as equal right for women, definitely didn’t limit me in pursing my passions and interests. I also really gained from the dual language situation here. I’m from a French speaking area and I moved to a fully English speaking area of Canada in my early twenties, and at the time I knew very little English. I’m never done learning, but I’m fluent in both languages now. It makes my life easier when travelling and is also really good for job prospects! Also, I guess enjoying winters? Is this too cliché? There is nothing like coming back in a warm house after a good long walk outside in the snow. It’s so quiet and peaceful too in the winter.
Which three records from any genre of music do you think influenced your artistic approach within music in general?
MM: There’s such a big mix of influences from everything and nothing at the same time, that I can’t put a finger on specific albums that influenced my approach directly. But I grew up listening to mostly punk, with a bit of hardcore and metal thrown in the mix as well. There’s just something about certain punk bands that really grabbed me. There’s a strong energy, a boiling intensity, like a poignant feeling of wanting to fuck shit up! I got addicted and just loved going to all the live shows to be immersed in it. I guess that energy and intensity is what still drives me today.
When did you know becoming a heavy metal vocalist within the Grindcore/Death Metal music scene was your true path in life?
MM: When I went to my first band practice at 19 years old, I loved it right away. I knew I wanted to keep doing this. I hardly planned anything further than the upcoming weekend at the time, so I definitely didn’t see this like a true path in life. I guess I still don’t. It’s just something I do and that I truly enjoy. It defines me in a way, and had an impact on who I am today for sure. 20 years+ on this artistic journey filled with touring brings you a lot of places and makes you experience so many things that you can’t help but learn from it, and not always in ways you would expect.
Are you able to break down how you learned to perfect guttural vocals without damaging your vocal cords?
MM: I haven’t reached or even come close to reaching perfect guttural vocals. I just mostly learned to work with my voice and understand its capabilities and limits. My journey was more a slow progress over many years which involved getting better at controlling my voice and understanding how to project and scream without hurting my vocal cords too much. I know now I can’t pull off 2 shows in one day and be happy with both vocal performances. I also figured that cutting dairies from my diet in the week before a show / tour, was helpful and translated into an overall better control of my voice. We are talking about a subtle difference here, but enough for me to notice it and be happier at the end of the day.
You’ve been the frontwoman for Fuck the Facts for nearly twenty years now. What keeps your music creativity flowing after all this time?
MM: Time flies! I’m grateful that the band has evolved musically over the years, making it more interesting and still fresh in a way. I’m inspired by what the guys come up with musically so it’s not hard to remain involved and excited about the new material. It’s funny because sometimes I’ll dislike a specific riff or part on first listen, and then as times goes and I get more involved with the songs, it turns out to be my favorite part. I now try to keep an open mind even if a new song doesn’t get me stoked right away.
Upon joining Fuck the Facts first what main accomplishments and goals did you have your sights set on at first?
MM: At the time, playing a lot of live shows and touring was really the main goal. I had been in a few bands before, but never for a long time and was involved in just a few recordings that were never released. I was really stoked to join Fuck the Facts because I could tell that it was different. I knew we were going to be busy!
Can you remember what occurred at the very first Fuck the Facts live performance? Did you learn anything that day to level up as a musician?
MM: The first Fuck the Facts show was at an outdoor crust punk fest in Quebec. The kind of fest where everybody gets really messed up and where there are almost more dogs then people. I was not in the band at the time but I went to the fest and knew some of the guys in Fuck the Facts. They played at a ridiculous time, it was at least 3 am when they went on. I remember making a lot of efforts to pace myself that night to still be up and standing when they would go on. I guess I learned that 3 am is a little late to start your set? *Laughs*
Why did Fuck the Facts decide to leave Relapse Records and became fully independent through your own label Noise Salvation Records?
MM: Our contract with Relapse ended after we released ‘Die Miserable’, and they weren’t interested in continuing with us. We had already taken a more DIY path for that album by purchasing some equipment to record it ourselves, and his grew over the years into what is now Topon’s full time business, Apartment 2 Recording, which is where we’ve recorded all of our subsequent albums. We have always been hands on and DIY in our approach in general, even while on Relapse. I think we shopped around for a label after the contract with Relapse ended, but deciding that our best option was to release it ourselves. Times have changed and it’s become much easier to release and sell your own music.
Your latest record ‘Pleine Noirceur’ has received great praise among the heavy metal community. How does this make you feel?
MM: I have to admit that I was scared to release an album after 5 years of silence, but it was awesome to receive a lot of good feedback. The part I enjoyed the most were the chats I had with people that really dug the album and took the time to write me to express how and why the album affected them. I could relate to so many things that were said to me. It’s an incredible feeling to know that you’ve touched someone that way with your music.
Which track from ‘Pleine Noirceur’ do you feel challenged your vocals the most and how?
MM: On the tracks Pleine Noirceur and Everything I Love Is Ending, I tried a different style of vocals that I never did before. It’s a sort of hardcore yelling voice. I don’t remember how it started or how it came about but I remember vaguely trying to get something different in those parts and it worked. I still get stoked hearing them since it’s so different from what I normally do.
Which track from “Pleine Noirceur” would you say was the most personal to write lyrics for and why?
MM: The album is a nice mix between very personal, semi-personal and not personal / more on the social critique spectrum songs. The track Pleine Noirceur is as personal as it can get. It’s about repeated loss, grief, it’s sad, dark, heart wrenching. Why? Turning hard times into lyrics is a great way to start a healing process in some cases, or at least produce art out of it. It’s a positive outcome in a sense.
How did the creation process behind ‘Pleine Noirceur’ differ from past Fuck the Facts releases? Are you fully satisfied with the final results of what fully became “Pleine Noirceur”?
MM: I guess we never stopped for that long before an album. We probably stopped practicing completely for a good year if not more. When we stopped, it wasn’t clear if we would continue or not as a band, and we didn’t feel a need to take a decision about it. We needed a break and took it. This album came organically. Jams happened again, full songs arrived at some point, and then the album. It was the result of us stopping completely and then just deciding to get back into it.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share to other women looking to join heavy metal bands and succeeding?
MM: Not really. Everyone is different, band dynamics are different, scenes are different and there are a lot of smart women in the music scene.
Where do you see yourself as a musician in the next decade?
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