Jeremy Stith (Fury) interview originally published in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 3 (2014). Pictures by Sophia Juliette, Farrah Skeiky, Spencer Chamberlain, Angela Owens, Dan Rawe.
Chiller Than Most – Let’s start with how Fury came together? What was the inspiration for the band, who is in it, and what are the goals? What was your motivation to start this band?
Jeremy – FURY is Madison Woodward and Alfredo Gutierrez on lead and rhythm guitar, Jerrod Stith slappin that bass, and Big Al Samayoa on drums. We started out of the blue last year when Madison had sent me some song ideas for our other band Pocketknife. He had a few days off work, so he was just writing stuff on his guitar, and for fun was just writing these Battery/late Turning Point-esque riffs. He was fuckin on one and just wrote a handful songs that day and threw out the idea of maybe we should start a band with em and that I should sing. The thought of being a frontman never crossed my mind so I laughed it off and thought nothing would come of it. Big Al had just moved in with Madison and liked the riffs he wrote and my brother Jerrod was learning bass so Madi had a band, and shortly after I was somehow hoodwinked into fronting the band, I can’t exactly remember how but here I am. Our goal is to rock. Our motivation is from these mofos playing in bands who are undeservedly eating all the pie and to show people how real rockers do things.
Chiller Than Most – You guys split your time between lots of bands. Are there ever any problems because people are doing too many other things or giving their creativity to other bands?
Jeremy – There aren’t many problems at all with all of our different bands because everyone in all the bands are friends and hang out on a regular basis. It’s pretty encouraging actually, we all try to make steps forward and push each other. We all share lockout spaces for practice and we take our bands seriously but not ourselves and that goes a long way as well. There aren’t overbearing egos and stuff like that, and we are all just hang and sometimes in the middle of everything, we play music. We are all fans of each others bands too. I met a lot of my good friends in our little scene over here from going to see their bands or vice versa, as a fan. Everyone out here works a lot so there isn’t as much time as we’d like for bands, but we all make it work somehow, some way.
Chiller Than Most – Fury. The name of the band seems to a have definite message, also present in the song of the same name. What does this name mean to you and how is it applied to your own life?
Jeremy – “Fury” fits the music, it’s is simple and to the point. The greeks coined it as a spirit of punishment and greek goddesses would unleash tortured stings of conscience to the weak or guilty. I like looking at it that way. I don’t agree with a lot of how the “hardcore scene” is ran nowadays and Fury to me is a my pent up anger and annoyance to those people gumming up the works for the actual genuine people that are around. We have gotten a lot of gruff for the name but none of those nasayers have taken time to even comment on the songs, which I doubt they even have even listened to. Haters will hate until they need you and can gain something, and to those people I say step off and kick rocks.
Chiller Than Most – Could you explain the lyrics of the song called “Play (BAB)”?
Jeremy – Play (BAB) is just about where my head was at when we started the band. California is filled with people doing exactly what they’re told so they can keep up with the status quo and if you step out of line, you are punished or looked down upon. Everyone is shitting their pants in fear of tomorrow and think that their bank accounts and retirement plans are real and will make them happy when deep down, they just want to be free. I just want to be with my friends and play, just like we did when we were kids at recess or stuff like that, and that’s what FURY is to me, play.
Chiller Than Most – Some folks think that “West Coast bands don’t have good mosh parts…”. What are ya doin’ at the Moshers Delight Records? I am just kidding. Your demo was released on tape format at MDR. Are you satisfied with the results and how have been the reactions so far?
Jeremy – People need to get their thick skulls out of their asses thats for sure. We love Moshers Delight and were all fans of those bands before we even started. We are more than satisfied with how it all came out. I look up to Zizzack and John and the whole DC/Newton House/East Coast crew, so I felt immense validation and joy when they dug our stuff. The reactions have been overwhelming. They’ve allowed us to be heard to a much wider audience than ever imagined, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity. We wanted to come out of left field and I think we’ve done well so far in that goal.
Chiller Than Most – I heard that you are going to release a live set tape at Fineprint Records. What are your future plans? What’s up next for Fury, as far as tours, shows, records.
Jeremy – We released a cassette tape with our friends at Fineprint Records (Placentia, CA) from a set we played in Fresno with Title Fight back in April. We got asked to play that show out of nowhere and we packed our van with 12 of our friends and just did the damn thing. The sound guy recorded our set for us on the soundboard and there are still have some copies left on their website, along with other fine records and tapes from some of California’s best kept secrets. As far as future stuff goes for us, we just got done recording a 5-song 7″ for BBB Records that should be out by November. We will be going on a 6 week tour with our friends Soul Search around that same time, and Forced Order, Skinfather, and Violent Situation will be playing scattered dates as well. It’s our own little California Takeover.
Chiller Than Most – Tell me something about the Munoz Gym. It seems interesting in videos. What does it feel like to play in a boxing ring?
Jeremy – Munoz Gym is in central California in a town called Bakersfield, and it is a training gym for boxing during the day, and at night it’s a punk venue. It is my favorite venue ever. A group of us went and saw Milk Music and Iceage play there awhile ago and we’ve been hooked on that spot ever since. Bakersfield also has the best record store called Going Underground Records, and they got a good thing going out there. It is surreal to play in a boxing ring. I played soccer most of my life and the only other sport I fully respected was boxing, and would have loved to have boxed growing up but my skin wasn’t thick enough I guess. One of my favorite films is this one called The Set Up and I felt like Stoker Thompson at that first show, I was in way over my head but I kept going and fighting. We used a line from that flick as the intro to the demo as well, so it all came around full circle in the end.
Chiller Than Most – The Beyond demo has always been a Top 5 NYHC demo to me and “No Longer At Ease” is one of my favourite LPs. Every time when we are on a long trip in the car with my good friend, we listen to this unique record. Good to see that you covered them. How did the idea come to play the song called “Vitality”? What is your fave Beyond release and why? I feel like Beyond is a somewhat underrated band. Why do you think that is?
Jeremy – Beyond is definitely in that group of bands that we all really admire. They are a huge influence and inspiration to us. Vitality is just a perfect song, its original and short and to the point. Is there a better drummer than Alan Cage? I listen to No Longer At Ease the most so thats probably my favorite. Had they released something on Rev or did a big tour, then they would probably be up in the upper-eschalon of nyhc bands from that era. Had they not fizzled out though, then we wouldnt have a lot of great bands like Burn or Quicksand, so it is what it is. We all get to enjoy and listen to Effort/Ancient Head whenever we please, so we are all in debt to those guys for their fine work at the end of the day.
Chiller Than Most – Let’s say I gave you a hardcore time machine. It’s the end of the 80’s and you are about to take a road trip to the Anthrax club in Connecticut. Who are joining you on the ride and who are playing the show?
Jeremy – My car only has 4 seats so it would be filled with my brother, my friends Berti and Cole, and Scud (RIP). The lineup would be more NY than CT too with Bad Brains, Insight (on tour), Supertouch, Ramones, and Talking Heads and it would have THE VIBE baby.
Chiller Than Most – A lot of people that are involved in reunited bands no longer participate in hardcore on a spectator level anymore. I think it’s funny that people celebrate their own (rightfully) legendary recordings from the 80’s for years meanwhile they have no connection to the scene at all anymore. What do you think about this? Would you say it’s important for hardcore kids to do more than just be audience members?
Jeremy – I’m pretty indifferent about reunions because like life, things aren’t so simple and black & white. Sure people bag on YOT, supertouch, breakdown or even Judge now with how they are just doing the circuits and making their rounds, but we’ll never know all the details behind all that stuff. They might taking advantage of an opportunity for a nice & easy paycheck, but they also might be taking advantage of an opportunity to play songs that mean(t) a lot to them with people who mean(t) a lot to them for an audience whose lives were all changed by those songs. They are just like us working dumb jobs day to day, but for 20 minutes they get rock with their old friends, so fuck anyone who thinks they deserve to shit on their parade. I don’t get where people’s entitlement comes from nowadays, but if you think Mike Judge owes you something than you need to think about your silly life. Maybe those keyboard jockeys should get off their leather asses and write something comparable to New York Crew or The Earth Is Flat first before they run their mouths. Ive seen some reunions that blow and Ive seen some that inspired me more than any contemporary band could have done (Medicine, Quicksand, Sugar, COS, etc come to mind). As far as kids being audience members rather than more active members of the scene, Im also pretty indifferent. You get what you put in, but it’s all time and place and I can see how you need some luck to make a good scene. Sometimes you live in the lower east side in 87 or you live in Pigsknuckle, Arkansas in 1997, its just the luck of the draw.
Chiller Than Most – Let’s talk about California hardcore. Please choose a frontman from California who left an impression on you. Why did you choose him?
Jeremy – The person who left the biggest impression on me in the past few years is Justin from New Brigade. He is straight up and no bullshit. Ive had many friends in bands inspire me but Justin was a guy I looked up to from afar at first for awhile before I even talked to him. When he has a mic, there is no one around who can touch him, and he’s no different away from the mic. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldnt have the balls to be a frontman. I can see peoples flaws when they play, but with him, its impossible. He is style and he is hardcore. I seen him mosh hard as a mofo in a bar to Creatures and also stand up front n center just vibing to Fugue, there’s just no one around like him.
Chiller Than Most – If you could release a california hardcore compilation with six bands, which bands would be on it? What would you have named this compilation?
Jeremy – My California flavored comp would feature Discrepancy, Strike Fast, Enough Said, Disapproval, Forced Order, and a one off reunion song from What Life Is. The comp would be called The Dance Of Days. I would beg Mike Hartsfield to release it on New Age, and then when I get denied, I would then beg Fineprint Records to put it out.
Chiller Than Most – Many people in the hardcore scene consider the Ash Return demo and the Scarred For Life record to be Ignite’s best work. What do you think about that? I think a lot of hardcore kids love to hate a band as soon as they get any hype. What do you think about Ignite?
Jeremy – I havent listened to Ignite since I saw them play at one of the first hardcore shows I ever went to (Comeback Kid, Killing The Dream, First Blood, and Ignite at chain reaction) and I don’t have an opinion on them to be honest. But Ignition, now thats a fuckin band.
Chiller Than Most – Pushed Aside was a pretty straight forward, pissed-off hardcore from Southern California. MDR describes your band super pissed-off. What kind of themes do you write about? Do you feel there is a similarity between Fury and Pushed Aside?
Jeremy – I just write what I’m feeling. Some songs are about people who push you in a corner, some songs are about how you can see right through someones shit and they should get off their high horse and come back down to reality, some songs are about my fight with myself and trying to figure out who I am by questioning how or why I do what I do. The new record has a particular theme as well. It’s all fallen empires and how its time for the old guard to step aside and let the real rockers take over. As far as Pushed Aside, I can see the similarity to our two bands, we are from the same area and deal(t) with the same conservative up-tight cultures.
Chiller Than Most – Who is the most underrated band in California’s hardcore history?
Jeremy – Most underrated band in California hardcore for me is Against The Wall. I am learning more and more all the time now about hardcore in Orange County and they stick out the most to me. I’m sure by the time this gets out that people will have heard about this next band, but DISCREPANCY from out here is some sick ass shit for those folks into ochc. Most people who are in my position would say I’m a hardcore novice but those guys in that from that band know their shit better than anyone and it is just another encouraging band to have around. The 2nd most underrated California hardcore band is What Life Is (RIP).
Chiller Than Most – Do you like the Solitude “I hear silence” demo?
Jeremy – I had never heard it until you asked so I checked it out. My first impression was Davey Havok definitely stole some crooner screams from this demo. Mike Hartsfield is in it and that is a comforting and unsurprising name to see on any Southern California band’s release. I found out they recorded this in Riverside, so shouts to Baker’s and Scott Aukerman.
Chiller Than Most – Have you heard about the upcoming movie called “Fury”? It will be an American action-drama war film about World War II directed and written by David Ayer. A battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank called “Fury” and its five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. What are your favourite World War 2 movies?
Jeremy – We heard about Fury shortly after we named the band, and I have to say it’s a better movie to share a name with compared to our friends Placentia, Enough Said. Basterds was last good WWII flick I have seen. Can’t go wrong with Saving Private Ryan. Das Boot is the best one I ever saw.
Chiller Than Most – Thanks for your time dude, I really appreciate it. Last words?
Jeremy – Keep Rockin In The Free World.