Special Guest Post by C.B. Bannerman
In Canada, Nova Scotia has a healthy yet hidden history of metal music that been kept from mainstream media. While many great metal acts have come and gone, there is a constant re-occurrence of musical releases from a duo who are not well-known for their brand of comically brilliant grind and noisecore which has torn the ears off of their cult fan base for many years.
“Fung Tunt”, the duo of Buck Hanson and Froog have quietly announced plans to record new music sometime in 2014. This is sure to set off a flurry of fan purchases immediately upon the release of the new material. The duo has previously released material which has either gone missing or become massive hits in the underground scene of early 1990’s tape trading and modern-day digital file-sharing. Many remember their last release not just for it’s musical brilliance, but also for the fact that it showed a photo of a Dairy Queen Restaurant on the back of the CD’s jewel case.
Drummer/Vocalist/ Buck Hanson, who adds guitars, samples and other various noises in the music, made it clear that the time was right for new material to come out.
“Who are you anyway?” Buck asked when reached by telephone. Once he realized it was me for the interview he quietly calmed down and explained he was stressed out from his recent grocery shopping trip. Orange Juice had gone up in price again and he was very distressed.
He continued further, “Ok, yeah we are doing new music and I’m buying a new couch.” The drummer, known for his abilities as a drummer and dishwasher in his home, is also known for raising the bar of expectations that all must meet once behind the kit. He has explained that with his mastery of digital technology it has become easier to send ideas over to Froog where he has a panic attack at first thinking he is being contacted by the spirits of dead restaurant owners, then calms down to realize it is some music to work and record with.
“I’m going to have coffee now.” Buck quickly stopped the interview, but assured me he would write a further e-mail when he had time to do so.
I am left mystified by this mysterious personality.
When we reached the versatile bassist and vocalist Froog by telephone, he was quick to confirm the duo’s musical intentions for this year. He had received several tracks that Buck had recorded already and it made sense that they move forward on a new album. Froog asked that I call him back in 7 minutes so he could throw some plates on the floor as he feared a possible curse from the owner of a Halifax Greek Restaurant. When I phoned him back, I mysteriously heard plates still smashing in the background, albeit faintly. We were able to have a short conversation while he carelessly chewed on some romaine lettuce.
“It’s time to laugh again even if we are the only ones who are laughing.” Froog summarized the duo’s plans wonderfully in that sentence. With the rich musical history behind them, there is always a coming together of ideas which generate many great songs. Some of which clock in at a mere second or two.
Here is the duo in early formative days pre the old name “Zouave”. This was taken at a contest for best hair. Buck Hanson is holding the winner’s trophy while Froog stands next to him, chagrined by his 43rd place finish. Unidentified source reports indicate that Froog also had not showered in over a month when this photo was taken.
Many do not realize that the duo’s early works were not even close to being metal. As “Zouave”, Buck and Froog (using their real names of Buck and Froog) recorded a rap album which ended up drawing in significant sales of 1 copy. The album was critically acclaimed and even feared by many American rap groups who were fearing a sudden takeover by some not-so-funky boys with attitudes.
As Buck and Froog gradually learned to master their instruments and gain valuable experience on session and gig circuits, they gradually improved their deliveries and performance chops with immense intensity that no one could have imagined. In the late 1990’s they recorded two demo tapes as “Diamond Marmalade”. One of those tapes was a bare-bones stripped down to the core bass and drums masterpiece which explored many dark food and drink related themes such as being out of sandwich bread and mustard, to baking crayons into cakes in order to give an illusion of flavour enhancement.
“Those were some dark times in our lives”, Froog explained.
Buck’s follow-up e-mail subsequently arrived in and shed some more light on the duo’s plans which are perfect to conclude this article.
“We work constantly. Every day, we flip some sort of theme to each other and we run with it. If it’s funny and makes us laugh, that’s all that matters. We can then transpose it into music and make it loud and crazy for all to enjoy or despite. Either way, it works.”
The album which is tentatively untitled, is sure to spin the heads of grindcore fans all over the world, while reminding everyone of how well some working relationships can last.
C.B. Bannerman is a Freelance Writer who really doesn’t exist……