5 - Flag of Democracy - logo

[Originally published: Issue #1, circa 1988]

 [LOOKING BACK: FOD is STILL going strong. They've been playing at LEAST for 30 years. This interview was done via the mail, and what makes it so entertaining, is that their answers are completely retarded -- but one of the three folks ends up providing a legit answer to each question. What's more to say, except that I always liked these guys, as they have always been regular joes. A bit disturbed, often, so maybe they're more irregular. But they're righteous nonetheless. -- Mickey]

F.O.D. is one of Philly's best bands, even though they actually are from nearby Ambler, Pennsylvania. Their debut LP, "Shatter Your Day" (Buy Our Records) has brought all attention to their brutal and unrelenting hardcore. They are also one of the most well-liked bands in the area. Here's a chat with F.O.D.

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Who's in the band?
JIM: Jim, guitar and vocals.
DAVE: Dave, bass and backing vocals.
BOB: Bob, drums and backing vocals.

How long has the band been around?
JIM: Five years, with a few changes.

How did F.O.D. come to be?
JIM: Molten lava bubbled up from a fissure in the Earth's crust. When the lava cooled, plant and animal life were formed. Then we ate some pizza.

What have you been up to lately?
JIM: Right now we're in Florida answering this interview.
DAVE: That's right, Jim. We played in Miami.
BOB: Looking for some sneaky pouch!

What bands influence you or do you listen to?
Neil Sedaka, Tommy Cowell's Young Rumblers, Ozzy, REO Speedwagon, and Night Ranger.

How do you like the way your first album came out?
DAVE: I am greatly pleased with the album, but it was recorded a year and a half ago. The songs all sound better with our new drummer, Bob. Also, we and Jim have since gotten some real equipment.

Has your style of playing changed any since you began?
JIM: I learned the names of some of the notes.
BOB: My style has changed slightly. I went from an old Slugender kit which was black and silver to an all-black Tama kit. It's pretty cool.

What's the biggest problem in the world?
BOB: Unity.
JIM: Poor personal hygiene.
DAVE: All the idiots in it.

How can that be changed?
DAVE: Kill them all.

What message do you try to convey in your music?
JIM: We have no message. We just write songs and play music the way we want to. I just write about what I think about.
BOB: I play the way I want and just think about what Jim writes about.

Where do you like to play?
DAVE: We like playing anywhere as long as there are a lot of people who like us.
JIM: Doo-Wop festivals.
BOB: In sewage pipes.

What do you think of the Philly scene?
JIM: The scenery around Philadelphia is cool. The colonial buildings are neat and the skyscrapers are the coolest, daddy-o!
DAVE: The Philly scene is pretty cool. It's constantly changing so no band can keep a following for more than a few months. People don't think it matters to go out to a show and support the scene. There is a disappointing turnout for shows nine out of ten times.

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What do you think of music censorship?
JIM: I like it. That way, I don't have to think about what music to listen to for someone can do it for me.
DAVE: Seriously, we are violently opposed to censorship. If the Nazis are allowed to march in America because of their First Amendment rights, why can't punk rocks bands takes their music? Answer me, damn it!
BOB: It's nice!

What's your favorite TV show?
JIM: Videos Exitos.
DAVE: SCTV, David Letterman, The Young Ones, and Monty Python.
BOB: Old Mike Douglas episodes and the Home Shopping Network.

JIM: One summer, I was out scuba diving and I came across these underwater ruins. Suddenly, I was surrounded by these weird green creatures. They grabbed me and took me into an underwater cave. Once there, they told me they were the last survivors from the lost continent of Atlantis and that FLAG OF DEMOCRACY was a cool band name.

Are you politically active?
BOB: Yes - l am running for mayor of Bethlehem, PA in the near future. I'm hoping to make it customary to sit on your front step every Saturday afternoon and smoke hemp with your neighbors.
JIM: Politicians are scumbags.

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What do you think of the Straight-Edge Movement?
DAVE: I guess you got to believe in something, but eventually you realize that everything is bullshit. I love punk, but I don't subscribe to anyone's beliefs but mine.
BOB: It's groovy.
JIM: X is my favorite letter, so straight-edge must be cool.

What bands would you like to play with?
BOB: If given the opportunity, would enjoy playing with SLAB.
DAVE: We had fun with the ADOLESCENTS and we always do gigs with ADRENALIN O.D. and WHITE FLAG.
JIM: Any show with the Partridge Family would be cool.

What do you think of crossover?
DAVE: Musically, it has advantages because it leads to better promotion of records, but a lot of the lyrics are dopey. The "crossover" idea is pretty lame because they lift the music from hardcore but they don't bother saying anything intelligent. When a hokey hardcore band pops out from nowhere and makes it big, real hardcore bards get robbed!
BOB: This crossover stuff reminds me of peanut butter and chocolate.
JIM: Satan is a comic dude, I like IRON MAIDEN.

In December of 1986, you played at Club Pizzazz (in Philly) with A.O.D. You sounded very different that night. What happened?
DAVE: We were on crack that night, okay? Actually, the PA was too loud for the hall, so everything sounded like noise. But, it sounded great in the phone booth across the street.
JIM: My body was possessed by an evil alien presence.
BOB: l had brain surgery the night before and was still drowsy.

What will F.O.D. be doing next?
DAVE: Go on tour this summer. After that, try to play a few shows each week - local or otherwise. We want to put out many more records and basically milk it for all it's worth.
JIM : Hang out and play everywhere.
BOB: I'm planning an expedition to find the Fountain of Youth in the Andes Mountains with five native women.

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Amy final words?
DAVE: I'm speechless.
JIM: Watch MTV all day.

2XX S. Main
Ambler, PA 19002