ZT INTERROGATION: F.K.Ü. REWIND THEIR OLD VIDEO TAPES ALL THE WAY BACK TO 1981
Pat Splat, bass player with Swedish thrash merchants F.K.Ü., speaks with ZT’s Paul Castles about their slasher flick-inspired new album, 1981, and the endearing appeal of those old school scare ’em movies.
ZT: So, the new album, it’s great – but why 1981, not 1980 or 1982? What made 1981 such a standout year in the world of slasher flicks? Pat: Hi and thanks, glad you like it. We felt that it was time to fully pay tribute to the year that, in our humble opinion, was the peak of the so-called ‘golden age’ of slasher films and well worth a whole album’s dedication. Although that year didn’t feature anything ground-breaking it delivered a lot of films that we hold close to our hearts, everything from classics like Halloween II, Friday the 13 Part 2 and House by the Cemetery to more obscure ones like Corpse Mania and Nightmares in a Damaged Brain.
ZT: When you’re ploughing through the old gore movies do you think, ‘there’s a song in this one, for sure’? Pat: Ha ha ha, yes, that IS a problem when we go through all those violent and bloody classics, there’s way too many movies that deserves a F.K.Ü. signature track.
ZT: Can you sometimes write more than one song from a film or do you operate a strict one film-one song policy?
Pat: It’s been a one film-one song approach so far. The closest to more than one song from a film would be Halloween II and Friday the 13th Part 2 from 1981 since we paid tribute to both Halloween with the track ‘Michael Myers Costume Party’ and Friday the 13th with the track ‘Stomp and Shake (Crystal Lake)’ on our first album Metal Moshing Mad.
ZT: Do you draw as much inspiration from the current crop of gore movies or is your style intrinsically linked to the old style stuff? Pat: Well, we covered Event Horizon from 1997 with the track ‘Black Hole Hell’ on our last album 4: Rise of The Mosh Mongers but mostly it’s the movies made in the glorious ’80s that get our main attention.
ZT: Back in ’81 it was the start of the VHS era, do you miss those days compared to the easy free film/music streaming we have today? Pat: Absolutely, the biggest reason that I miss the old VHS rental place days is the social bit that came with it. Exactly the way it was with record stores. It was a place where you meet people with the same interest in obscure movies, or music that you could share experiences with and give and get recommendations on stuff. And if you were lucky the person behind the counter was really dedicated and knew what kind of movies you were into and could give you lots of before hand recommendations. These days you sit on your own and Google stuff and where’s the fun in that? Then again you can’t deny the positive side with the World Wide Web and how easy it is to find almost anything these days, movies you would spend months to get hold of back in the days. And very often in a really bad second or third hand copy.
ZT: The artwork of 1981 certainly captures the early 80s VHS vibe. Can you tell us about the artist Tom Hodge? Pat: The artwork really turned out the way we wanted it. I’ve been a fan of Tom (aka The Dude Designs) for a long time. His special interest is VHS-cover art from the ’80s and he’s even released a book on the subject so we thought that he would be perfect for the job. And indeed he was!
ZT: F.K.Ü. have been around for 30 years now, you all still get on just as well? Pat: Yes, the band is like a second family and with that comes the typical family manors, in other words, we know each other’s pros and cons and know exactly how to piss each other off and how to make each other happy. Focusing mainly on the later.
ZT: Any standout live shows this year? Pat: This weekend we’re really looking forward to play a smaller festival up north of Sweden together with Rotting Christ and Entombed A.D. where we’ll play some of the new songs live for the first time. Next weekend we fly to Japan for a festival in Tokyo and that’s something the whole band is really excited about since we’ve not been to Japan before.
ZT: Do people still react with surprise when they hear you’re from Sweden, rather than the US? Pat: Not so much anymore, I would say. I fully understand that people will take us for band from the US since I think the style of thrash that we play is very influenced by American bands. That, and the fact that we have a singer that has English as a second language.
ZT: I guess you’re all family men these days – does that present additional challenges around recording/touring? Pat: Well it takes our planning skills to a higher level, for sure. But I think it’s mostly a good thing since we know that we have limited time to rehearse and record. We really have to be effective and make the most out of every moment we have together.
ZT: Any shows for 2018 worth sharing with us, UK? Pat: We just started planning the gigs for 2018 and so far no UK shows but we’re really working on making that happen since we really had a great time the last time we played over there.
ZT: Any of you guys got any side projects up your sleeves away from F.K.Ü.? Pat: Lawrence plays bass in a band called Döda Havet (Dead Sea), Emil also plays drums in Serpent Omega and I handle the bass duties in a band called Haerdsmaelta. Great bands all of them. None of them works under the thrash moniker though.
ZT: Thanks for talking with us Pat. Before you go, any films you’ve seen recently you’d like to recommend to our readers? Pat: If we’re talking horror movies these are some of them that comes to mind, Cabin in The Woods, You’re Next, Get Out, The Void, The Wailling, Train To Busan, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Goodnight Mom and Lights Out. I like it when the moviemakers try to do something different with the forum and just don’t go for cheap remakes and jump scares.