Looking forward to Dreamsday but don't know what it is? Need reassurance that the future will be ok, but only have time to read really short interviews?

Me too, so I sent five questions to the artist formerly known as 10K -  the salient parts of my questions are boldfaced and his answers are italicised, so you can save more time by ignoring all the other words...

Big Interview - Mike Haliechuck: 

Scotty Tankcrime is releasing your new 7” on June 15, I’m getting the vibe this is the introduction to a run of 7”s, or maybe an LP is either of those going to be reality, or is it just  dreams?

The 7" is a prologue to something yes.

What is Dreamsday anyway, (apart from June 15) is it a one-off, or will it be an annual thing like Independence Day?

I can't predict the future!

Any sane person needs more FU cover versions of obscure 80’s indie tracks, but seasoned Fuckheads right now will be Pavlov-doggingly  thumbing their Eliade and Campbell tomes for tower references and wondering about sacred time… will there be plenty to find within the 7” dimensions?

The tower 7" will make more sense in about a month

Your music often generates the sound of things that might not otherwise sound - obvious examples are The Sun shimmering in “No Epiphany”, the motion of the serpent and the moment after death in “Year of The Snake”, the Dragon (obvs Dragons do make sound, but they allegedly don’t exist so it’s the same thing) -  is ‘Tower of Time’ going to sound exactly like a real tower of time, or is it more of a four-to-the-floor banger about urban planning?

One of us made a typo - its tower ON time. have you seen the movie High Rise, based on the ballard book?

(That's a kind and gentle way of pointing my out my mistake, but I'd still like to hear a tower of time.)

Last question is more profane; has the ‘Matador era’ of FU finished / do you have anything planned with them, or is the relationship more open?

It's over

(Interview ends)


Apparently Fucked Up have a dreamy new record coming out in a couple of weeks?

In other news, here's a Jonah Falco (email) interview I did for UK premier punk zine PULL THE TRIGGER. It has a bit of a UK vs Canada theme and brings us right up to (a) date (June 2016) with his various projects, together with his views on The Queen, drugs and porn. I've added some pics of skinheads to tie the whole thing together.

Pt 1: The British Commonwealth & HRH Queen Elizabeth

Hey Jonah, Toronto was under British rule until the 1980’s, it’s surrounded on three sides by American States and you’re part Italian, (i.e a Roman). Which is your favourite failed / moribund empire, which of the three contemporary cultures do you have a greater affinity with and which is currently closest to having you imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever?

G Danzig - Human League
My favourite moribund empire was the Hanseatic League – which was hardly an empire. More like a group of trading partners like a Baltic proto-EU merchant's guild. I think I identify with my Italian side the most, despite feeling confident and comfortable in England, from where I also have ancestry. As far as boots kicking my lid in, you know it's England. Italy is much more subtly repressive than a boot tread. 

Do Canadians have an annual celebration commemorating May 1982, the end of British rule, like they do for Independence Day in America? Or did no one notice the change?

We actually celebrate Victoria Day in May, in honour of the Queen's birthday, which is just about the least commemorative gesture of independence. Everyone is comfortable with the tethers gone, but basically we pretend to have things in common with England, while taking the vast majority of our cultural cues from the States. Once I took my wife to a place called The Duke of York – an “English” pub with a nice beer garden in Toronto -- where she asked for a packet of crisps with our first round. Not only did the proceeding argument about what was a chip and a crisp was unfold, but when the discovery of no packets of crisps was revealed, she unwaveringly (albeit sarcastically) demanded they take the graphic of the Union Jack off of their menu, until their inability to understand “top bants” eventually saw them send the manager out to buy us a round of drinks. He was Welsh and extended his own frustrations to us to help diffuse the situation “They put fish sauce in Salad Cream! Why!?” 

Nobody in the UK remembers much about it; all attention at the time was focused on invading the Falklands and putting ‘it’ up the Argies. During the same month, THE SMITHS formed and later signed to Rough Trade, some band wrote a song about sheep farming, the Hacienda opened and there was something called UK82 happening. As a 12 year-old, I remember the Falklands, but was more into Iron Maiden than anything else and completely missed all the other stuff… Were you even alive in 1982? Do you remember first learning about the events, and which if any had the greatest impact or influence on you? 

England 1982
I was born in 1982, so I don't remember the Falklands as they happened at all. I learned about the Falklands through the second hand information of parents' friends and the passage of time....and probably the Simpsons, and then punk. There has been, of course, the recent era of England-porn in cinema and television in which we have become accustomed to re-living the most economically and emotionally deprived eras of recent working class history through cement-hued glasses and the pastiche of youth cults and dresscodes. Now we're all experts.

British punks love the Royal Family and have been singing about THE Queen for going on 40 years. Canada got out of the British Empire back in the days of RUSH, but THE Queen is still your monarch, do Canadian Punks write songs about that and can you give us a list of the top 3 Canadian Punk songs about our monarch? If there aren’t any, why is that and are you going to write one?

The most iconic punk song about the Queen from Canada is by The Queen Haters and the song is called “I Hate the Bloody Queen.” If there is a current Canadian punk band writing about the Queen, then I am unaware of it. She's just on our banknotes, not in our brains. I feel like punk lyrics that aren't about the broadest objects of hatred and frustration (authority or war for example) get inversely spun in to this dialogue about self hatred or self doubt, wherein the place which you're supposed to have an outlet to blame the faceless forces that make your mind and body sick, ends up encouraging you to blame yourself. 


Pt 2: Current Affairs

I read somewhere that all Torontonians will be given basic universal income. Are you living in a Socialist Utopia under Justin Trudeau? His father was a former Prime Minister, so is Justin Trudeau a right-wing leftie like Hilary Clinton, a proper leftie like Jeremy Corbyn, or a domestic-extremist leftie like Mahatma Ghandi?

Trudeau voters on their way to the polling station
It's an experiment they're messing around with for people at a certain income level in Ontario only (not just Toronto). Nice thing to imagine, but I have trouble believing our government will follow through beyond a brief period of dangling a few carrots. Who can say. Trudeau seems like a right wing leftie – privileged guy, has the right ideas, but ultimately knows he's playing “the game” and will likely betray the public in some way. Hard to say, though. Definitely not a duffle coat wearing 'proper leftie' a la Corbyn.


Pt 3: Touring the World

You’ve managed to visit a lot of countries, touring and playing gigs – these include the USA, Russia, France, Germany, Spain, Iceland, Australia, Brazil, Japan and China. Never mind them, when did you first play in the UK? Do you have any abiding memories of that to share? Was it your first time over here, or had you visited much before that?

 Technically the first time I played in the UK was in 1996 or 1997, I went over on a school trip to play in a brass band (NB I just typo'd brass as “Crass” but corrected it) at a competition in Harrogate, York, Bath, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. 

I was billeted with an older couple in Harrogate, who I had a great deal of trouble understanding at the time (I can now kind of confidently 'do' a Yorkshire accent), and every morning they asked me if I wanted a “Yokka.” I always declined, until later I found they were offering me Yogurt. I had a Black Flag (the bug spray) polo shirt that I wore everyday, which I could pass off as the band cause my classmates were clueless, though I was mocked mercilessly for liking a band with a song called “Tea Party” (TV Party, arseholes). I was routinely able to be served alcohol in most any pub I went in to. Pints were £1.10, and I got drunk a lot during the day before rehearsals, telling everyone about Black Flag. One night we went out drinking in Glasgow and went in to what I know now was a Working Man's club (had no clue what we were getting in to). The sole patrons, a table of grizzly, tar covered men in high viz jackets seemed to offer no kindness or welcome to the three of us. After going to the bar a few times and struggling with a Glaswegian accent (d'yeez want ehnehhang? “um, pint of bitter and a coca cola” ehneh ace whi'tha? “uh no ace” no ace...ACE. “right, no ace” chryssakes ya daft waen (points to ice)...ACE “ahh ICE. Yes please”). Anyway at some point the workmen in high viz start to really give us the evil eye and one of them who has a jerrycurl and popeye arms and a gold tooth comes over to the table and stands over us. “REET. ARE YOU'Z GONNEH EVEN PUT EHNEHHENG ON'T STEREO?” – at this point we realized we were sitting in front of the jukebox – we said, oh no, please go ahead. “GOODHE” With a solid and terrifying plunk, the pound coin hitting the bottom of the jukebox shattered the silence in the pub, only second in volume to the song that followed, which was a screaming loud version of Achey Breakey Heart. The workmen stood up and starting shouting along at the top of their lungs in a deep and honest Glaswegian accent, dancing in a circle, and pointing at our table. We finished our pints and strolled back to the motel unscathed, but not unchanged.

How did the first Fucked UP UK tour get set up? How did you make contacts here to get things arranged? Did you know Paco mus, Tom Ellis and Fat Bob back then and were they involved, or was it someone else?

Flyers from Fucked UP 2006 UK Tour, courtesy of Paco
The first UK tour was organised by Jase Kilvo of Wallasey. I don't believe there was any previous connection to Jase prior to him asking us to come over, and that likely he just offered to set up a tour and we said yes. Along the way on that trip I believe we met Ellis, and on subsequent tours, we'd be working with Tom directly on gigs and playing with his bands. Buy basically Jase is our sole origin story to our now loving UK family. Our first show was in Liverpool at Quiggins. We slept in the van near the Tate for a few hours before wandering around town. My first impression was “everyone in this town wants to kick the shit out of me.”

Tom set up the two CAREER SUICIDE gigs in London last year and he put on the recent LONELY WHOLESOME one. Was that like old times, compared to the last few years of globetrotting with FUCKED UP?

Flyer for 2016 CS show in London, courtesy of Paco
 Tom's CS gigs bridged the gap between the old days and my life of the silver spoon with FU. He did everything perfectly and made us weekend warriors feel like real punks. Kind of like that movie The Game with Michael Douglas. Tom is a massive force on the international hc punk scene, and he and many of his cohorts understand how to go about 'nation building' in the relatively small scale but immensely meaningful world of diy music.

How easy it is for European DIY punk bands to tour Canada? I heard a while ago that there were some kind of customs changes that have made it almost impossible, I forget the details, do you know about that?

Actually quite the opposite. There were previously odd financial regulations placed on touring bands coming in to Canada, but my understanding is that they were recently repealed and that it also wouldn't likely affect a small scale band that much anyway. There's an easy way for bands to play in Canada legally, and it's free. We want you all.

One last UK-related question: I saw you’ve been credited for Engineering on the two DiE 7”s how did that come about? Those two records have been well received over here, can you put us onto a few of the Canadian bands you’ve done similar duties for?

Tim and I have been friends for a long time (same era as knowing Tom) and he liked the way my hc recordings sounded. I was over in London for a month or something and he up and asked me to do it. I brought my eight track to London wrapped in a jumper and tucked in to my suitcase, and the rest is a film of sweat on the wall of Audio Underground (rip). I have recorded a big number of bands from Toronto and beyond – most recently i've been at the helm/been a part of great sounding recordings for TRIAGE, SIYAHKAL (one of my faves since the DiE recordings), THE OMEGAS, and the DILLETANTES.


Pt 4: 

Some of the music you’re credited on is described as psychedelic. Is it an ongoing part of that mind control thing that Fucked Up was experimenting with? Do you study the theory behind the beats that best induce hypnotic states, or do you just play until something happens? As a long term FU consumer, should I worry that I think my mind has been altered? 

I am having trouble answering this question honestly, whatever that leads you to believe. The music, anyway, is written from the perspective of what works for a song, not what works for making people feel weird like a magic trick. As a long term FU consumer, you should absolutely be certain your mind has been altered.

I got the impression that drugs (other than real ale), are not an integral part of your life? Maybe you’re a secret opium eater? Does music fill a space in your soul that other people might fill with drugs? Does it provide a form of self-medication? Do you have anything approaching a transcendent experience while making or listening to music? Or do you just like having an excuse not to do a proper job?

I have had almost equally transcendent experiences playing music as I have with any substance. I am slightly exaggerating, but i'm not sure if my mind and body are just soft and pink at their essence thus making me really sensitive to little vibrations in mood, feeling, physiology, or if i'm magic Jesus but I have had some pretty unconventional experiences whilst playing stone sober. For the record I love having an excuse not to do a proper job (easy there, Nigel Farage ;).


Pt 5: The Day Jobs

You’re involved with lots of great projects, I need an exclusive scoop on each of your bands, so James can increase the circulation of the zine, dispose the corporate oligarch media and instigate a global evolution in human consciousness, whereby everyone lives harmoniously with the earth’s resources and is nice to each other. To help achieve this, please can you give us some copy on these:

MADMEN: Your solo hardcore project. If I say ‘80’s Italian hardcore’, ‘art films’ and ‘string vests ‘ in one sentence, does it sound like I know what I’m talking about? Can you give a better description of the MADMEN vibe? Are there likely to be more MADMEN releases any time soon? Is your wife a fan of this band?

Actually that's a pretty tidy summary that I wouldn't swat down. The Mad Men vibe was about self limitation and the futility of anger. Being furious didn't lead me anywhere except to still being furious, so I set a self destruct (will only play ten times) and decided to only exist on a plane of uselessness (tapes and comps and a sturdy ceiling) the same way screaming into the void does. You kind of feel better, but no one is listening, and if they are listening, they just feed your own helplessness back to you. Kind of a poisonous mindset, but I guess it does some good. I broke my own rules obv and made a record and played probably more than 10 shows because i'm vain and weak. In the tradition of being useless, also, we will be playing another show very soon.

PAVILION: You’re a member of this new post-punk four piece. I love the demo from last year; it reminds me of something from the Trainspotting soundtrack. The band has released another couple of cassettes recently, can people get physical copies from anywhere without visiting Toronto? Are there any plans for a LP?

Thanks – you can buy tapes on our bandcamp and someone will mail them to you. Iffy at Static Shock in Berlin has/had some copies, and i'm about to mail a few to a friend in Stockholm. He might hook you up if you dutifully ask every Swede you meet nicely until you find him. We're going in to the studio tomorrow to record 4 new songs. From that point onward it's anybody's guess what's in store for this group. It has been a great experience working with people who haven't really done a band before, but have big ideas that I can help bring to the fore.

SMART BOYS: Sometimes described as ‘power pop’, I don’t like the term, but I do like the tunes. You released three 7”s in 2013 and then I guess other things took over? Do you have anything else recorded and are there any plans for more releases?

Smartboys (one word) has been working on an LP for almost FIVE YEARS now. It's been recorded three times over (demos which I recorded, a version done at a 4AD company studio in London, and now a version crammed into an afternoon at a studio in Michigan. I've been recording vocals with our singer, Tim, on and off for the better part of two years around his work schedule, and we're a millimeter away from finishing and mixing this thing. It's our best effort to date.

FUCKED UP: Your Pink-Crass-Floyd thing, currently on hiatus while Damian’s on paternity leave, but it’s a Fucked Up kind of hiatus and you’ve managed to release around 2 hours of Damienless music, including a proper opera, a double LP film soundtrack and a 30 minute ambient piece. Some of the band has also been involved in a weird opera performance “Metallurgy” and you and Mike wrote a piece for a computer game. None of this could be described as punk music; can you explain some of the punk aspects or thinking the band contributes to these projects?

Really enjoying contextualizing FU as my “Pink-Crass-Floyd thing” on this list like it's just some other project haha. Also, Pink Crass Floyd is kind of the greatest band in theory? I think that band might be Hawkwind or May Blitz or something anyway. Musically the product is not punk, and it's so far flung through the fabric of the music universe that even if we wrote our operas and Rice Krispies jingles based on Missbrukarna riffs it would be hard to justify any of it as a punk gesture in any literal way. All I can say is that perhaps being “punk” is in some large part about accepting and overcoming unlikely or ludicrous challenges, and that's what Fucked Up has always done. For us, and specifically Mike and I, who work together on these outsider things, lots of those challenges are based on completing projects that we have no business starting in the first place. This has been the ethos of FU all along.

Any idea on when there might be another FU release with Damian on it? What happened to the live record that Third Man were due to press, is there any news on the release date for the MIND ERASER split? Have you seen David Eliade recently and is he a Shaman?

Just recorded the music for the Mind Eraser split, Year of the Snake is coming SOON, and Damian is front and centre on that. Third Man live record is a mystery at the mo, and David is elsewhere, indefinitely.

CAREER SUICIDE: The new LP has been recorded I believe, is there any news on when we can hear it? Does it have a name? Will you be touring the UK with it? Will you visit East Anglia and have THE DOMESTICS as main support at the McGinty’s Arena in Ipswich and/or the Owl Sanctuary Stadium in Norwich?

The new CS LP has been done and mastered for AGES but we're struggling to put artwork together. The album is called “Machine Response” – we will definitely be coming to the UK, I hope to play with the MOD CONS, and we will no doubt end up playing Weston-Super-Mare.

LONELY WHOLESOME: Your other solo project, where you write, play and record everything. You’ve released a handful of tracks, which I’d describe as different shades of psychedelic pop and garage –I’m better at listening to music than describing it – and I enjoy listening to these very much, but they’re over too soon, will you get around to doing an LP?

Latest effort, which is six songs on a 12” record, is due really soon. It is another recording that has been sadly sitting around for more than a year, waiting to be properly finished etc, but i'm very excited to get it out in the world. If only for selfishly self satisfying reasons.
I came to your debut show, but got there late and only caught the last song and a half. It seemed like it went down well with the crowd, how was it for you? I think I recognised two of your band members, can you tell us who was playing the other instruments and did you get to practice with them much beforehand?

It went down alright I think. It's a constant daydream on stage that you can do what your bandmates do as well as they can, and it was a great challenge to actually have to face an audience and play some completely new songs in a totally different style while SINGING. Nothing was 'perfect' about our performance – the band consisted of people that had never played together before, had only heard the songs a few weeks in advance, and we only really had one full band practice with me there – but I think the whole idea of the generosity of your friends to do you musical favours, and the generosity of the punk audience to try experience music at a 1:1 ratio (you made it, I heard it, that's all) made it feel and land pretty well. I have away most of the 45s I had, and sold some to Tome Records for a few pounds each, so go get em cheap!

The band was Rich from Sauna Youth, Mary Ann the Bayonettes, Dangerloves, etc from Toronto – currently a Londoner, and Ralph from No, DiE, Satellites of Love, etc etc etc. All powerful musicians who helped make this cool thing happen with me.

“Vanity” & “Lethargy” are a great pairing; the vocals are low down in the mix, and work as part of the music rather than something you could sing along too. In fact I can barely make out the words and you seem to have forgotten to include lyrics. Do you consider yourself vain and lethargic? Are you exorcising some Demons here, or just working through the seven deadly sins?

Short answer is yeah, i'm vain and lethargic or at least I feel that way. But the larger idea is that this person, Lonely Wholesome, has really typical problems that are easily solved, but are always foiled by these grand gestures of self sabotage and contradiction. Like, laziness isn't a clinical affliction or anything, but the mythology behind lethargy and ideologically nodding off is vast and pretty, so I decide to go there instead, using mythology to explain being inactive. “Vanity” wrote itself, really, and it's perfect as an act of self sabotage (Narcissus dies looking at his reflection forever). The rest of the lyrics in LW are kind of love songs and expressions of extreme doubt. An inverse of the futility of the Mad Man.

 “Who Killed Anna” does have lyrics, artwork and a brief statement, it’s about Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist and human rights activist who was openly murdered in 2006.  Please how you came to be inspired to write the song. Please also tell us about the evil vampire image on the record labels, is it part of a bigger piece? Who was the artist? He has a Union Jack hat, I guess that’s your way of expressing allegiance to the motherland?

I first read about Anna Politkovskaya shortly after she died, there after I read her books and became really interested in what she was achieving as a journalist, and the places she had managed to imbed herself ideologically and geographically. She is an inspiring person, and her story is so incredible I thought it worthy of a song. Sadly, that song is on a kind of impossible to find 12” acetate that will never come out again ha. The $2 reason also is that I thought it was a great sounding diy punk song – some kind of semi relevant, international, but obscure public figure whose death is politically questionable. Sounded like something that a UK DIY band might have sang about (to me).

The Art on the label was taken from some article in the economist that i'd cut out years ago as a bookmark for a then unknown destination. I can't even remember what the article was about (the image is of “Death” wearing a shroud made of the Union Jack, the Stars and Stripes, The Chinese Flag, and maybe a Russian Motif too?) but the image is supposed to make reference to many nations wanting Anna dead for her challenges against the status quo of the echo chamber of rhetoric in conflict zones.

I was going to finish by asking about your use of the internet and social media and your various old blogs, but instead can you name a book or two that you think could change the world in a good way, if enough people read it, or if that’s too lofty then maybe a book or two you’d recommend for reading on a long journey.

The books that i've been reading likely won't change the world. But recently I very much enjoyed Clarice Lispector's “Near To the Wild Heart” and Jonathan Meades' “Pompey.” I currently have a stack of unread books on my bedside table which I glance at mockingly every night before I fall unconscious almost instantly after I check my email for about ten minutes.



The preceding interview was done in 2016, I was going to put it on here sooner but got distracted. Since the original publication Jonah has moved permanently to the UK, released all the records he mentions (except Smart Boys) is doing a PhD in sound engineering or something. Jonah lives on a boat, like ratty in Wind in the Willows and those Germans in Das Boot.

He's also taking part in a UK / Spanish hardcore band, they sound like this:

It's available on red flexi and cassette, the first press black flexi sold out, before I'd heard of it...