Fury Of Five was introduced to me quite early when i got into hardcore music back in early 2000’s, it seemed to be a band, that people would either love or hate, but for some it was a band that they dug, but thought somehow it’s embarassing to like them or something really whack like that. I always embraced Fury Of Five from the start, i got hooked from the first album i bought, it was their 1:st full-length, No Reason To Smile cd. Now in 2015, the band that broke up after their third euro tour back in 1998, is back for good and they are doing a tour in Europe in February. With a new 7″ coming and lots more on the way, i decided that i need to ask for an interview. This is e-mail interview is done with James Ismean, who resurrected Fury Of Five to bring the band back to all those who never got to see them back in the day. Big thanks to James, now read up.
KTL: Lets start with very basics, could you introduce who is playing in Fury Of Five today?
James: Dave Devastation, Sean Guillotine, Derrick Haymaker & Johnny Warbeatz
FOV goes way back in the 90’s, how did Fury come together originally back in the day?
Fury formed in early 1994. My band Position Of Power had broken up so I was sitting idle. Mike Terror met Jay Fury at an AA meeting and was jamming with our first drummer Mark. They were looking for a singer, so Mike called me because we had history. Mike was in my first band Locked Up In Life. I went to check them out, named the band Fury of Five and we wrote our first song called IOU Nothing. The rest is history…
I know you played in Position Of Power and Locked Up In Life prior to FOV of which the later one did couple demos, were there any other bands and did POP record anything?
No other bands, but Position of Power did record. I just haven’t uploaded to the computer because the recording isn’t that great.
Your sound has always been very unique and for what i think, about NJ back then when you started, most bands seemed to do whatever they wanted regarding mixing influences. Bands like FOV, E-Town, Burnside and so on, played very original style of hardcore, their very own, where you took influences in the beginning of Fury?
We all had different band influences from metal, hardcore and rap. Biohazard, Sepultura, Slayer just to name a few. Lyrically I write from true to life experiences and the heart – reality being the main influence.
I’ve read that you have mentioned in several occasions that Ritchie Kruth (from Wisdom In Chains) has been pushing you to start playing again for some years. What’s up with that, can you tell a bit more about why you wanted to get the band back into the stages?
Rich is a great friend of mine. He has kept me relevant, as well as Fury, since our break up in 98. I never really wanted to do it out of respect for the OG members or even thought I could pull it off, but as time lapsed and none of them wanted to play due to internal personal differences, I decided to make my first attempt to try it with other players in 2010. That was Chris Mushmouth’s first Tsunami Fest. Chris played bass and that’s when I first met Dave and John. Doc from God Forbid played guitar as well. A lot of controversy came with that show, which we called the Fury Jam, but it was a success despite all of that. In 2013, I was offered This Hard Core Fest. Dave and Soda were down, Derrick and Sean joined us, we practiced hard, and killed TIHC 2014.
And to continue the topic little, what did the original Fury guys think of about the band getting back together? Was any of them even interested to start play again?
I wanted to do it for the fans that still support the band regardless so I reached out hoping they would be interested, but I was told that they couldn’t play for different reasons. Jay blessed me to do both shows and Mike showed some interest but later changed his mind, so these new guys stepped up and now real is back.
You played Fury Of Five show with Mushmouth/Out To Win & BFL -guys few years back at East Cost Tsunami, it was prior the new Fury band members, but was it like a launch point for the return of the band?
Not really. It was a great show but all the hate deterred me from wanting to continue. That’s where Richie coached me and told me “you are Fury and nobody cares who plays the instruments.” It was something really hard to wrap my mind around until we played TIHC. Then I finally believed I could continue without the original members.
Now that you have played couple of shows and recorded old & new material with the new lineup, how you feel about kids receiving you guys, i watched the TIHC set and it was at times really crazy?
TIHC was great but the scene and attitude has changed. I think it has a lot to do with crew violence here in the states. Hopefully that’s not the case in Europe. We’re also 17 years out of the loop with many different generations who have never heard or seen us. It’s kinda like starting over, but we’re ready for the challenge and determined to win over the new hardcore generation.
You released Takin’ Respect -video early this year with re-done music, it features Karl of Strenght For A Reason and your son J-Rock dropping some lines, how have people received that song?
I think people like it. It’s updated and freshly recorded. The updated recording has Mad Joe Black from Wisdom In Chains, Karl from Strength For A Reason, and Jeremy from Lifeless on it as well as my son. I though it was a great song to re-introduce ourselves.
Regarding Takin’ Respect i have to ask about the original too, it had feats from Ant Money of E-Town and Joe None of Second To None on vocals, are you still in touch with those guys and was the NJ scene real tight back in the day? You guys did also together the Want It All (Rap remix) -track.
Jersey was tight back in the day and I tried to look out for all the local bands. When we went away, so did that mentality. We just played with E-town at TIHC. I know those dudes well. All great guys. The other fake you mentioned is dead to me and that’s all I say about that.
As you know there are many stories about how crazy times could get with Fury Of Five, New Jersey and maybe hardcore overall back on ’90’s and the book that is in works of Fury Of Five, you know anything about what’s up with that project?
Haven’t heard much about the book. That was also being written on the thought process that FOF was over forever, which we now know is not the case.
You always had an reputation of not taking shit from ANYONE, that led the band to all kinds of situations in the past. How are things today, do you see that there is these days have called down the scene so there isnt’t need for street justice and hostile situations?
I still have the same attitude but at 47 years of age, I have mellowed out a bit. I’m not looking for hostile situations but if they happen I will absolutely handle myself. I’m just back to play music and that’s it. I’ll leave the fighting to the young bucks lol.
Okay, enough of old shit, your new 7″ is coming out soon via Fast Break Records it’s titled; “Real Is Back” and it features 2 old songs re-recorded and a brand new one, how did it feel to be writing new material again after so many years?
Awesome. The new song is called Real Is Back. I couldn’t ask for a better song for us to write. The fellas did a hell of a job. That song isn’t on the 7in, though. It’s only available on the digital download of the 7inch.
You have also shot Real Is Back video, when that will be released?
On recording / release front, what are your plans next, a new full-length maybe?
We are working on material for a full length that’s already named “Welcome To Evolution”.
Fury Of Five is also hitting Europe in February and i’m sure that there is shitloads of people over here who are waiting your return here, it’s been a while since Fury went on tour, what kinda memories you have from you last tour in europe?
We were there 3 times. There were good shows and bad shows. The Dynamo Fest is one of my great memories. So many bands, 3 stages and thousands of people. We also played with Misfits which was an honor. Had some good fights over there as well lol.
This tour seems to have pretty cool dates, you are playing also in places that US bands don’t usually play like Finland and Czech Republic, how the tour came together?
Martin from No Turning Back / Stronger Bookings hooked it up. Respect to him for bringing us over there.
I’ve heard from some of my friends that when you played first time ever in Europe, you played also in Sweden and there were some kids who traveled from Finland to see you and they remember you guys were so stoked about it, that you gave ’em shirts and all, any memories of that?
I don’t specifically remember that, but I know I’ve hooked people up in the past. I appreciate the love and respect from the fans of Fury. I never put myself above the crowd because I am the crowd.
You’ve had your crazy past on tour, like beating up a band that you toured with, want to go into that story at all?
Not really lol I have apologized to most and am friends with some so there is really no need to tell those stories anymore.
What expectations you got with this tour and do you have any other tour plan currently regarding other parts of the world or the USA maybe?
I’ll take it one show at a time and do what we do. The times have change and crowd participation is not what it was so I don’t know what to expect. As for touring, it is hard since we all work, families, and responsibilities but we are working on things so that we can tour the west coast and Japan.
Lets talk a bit about hardcore scene in general today, how you feel about it since you have been around for a good while, is everything the same, better or worse in the states in your eyes?
Worse for sure. Nothing is original and all the music has been done. PA (Pennsylvania) is probably one of the best places for hardcore right now in the states. Jersey scene is ass. NYC always maintains itself and thrives. Not sure about the rest of the states but I don’t see it getting any better or united.
Bands, is there any new bands that you are into, specially what’s good in NJ?
In NJ – Sicker Than Most, Lifeless, Old Wounds, and Suburban Scum. On the West Coast, LionHeart, and of course Wisdom In Chains, Madball and Strength For A Reason.
I think were pretty much done here, i want to thank you guys for answering the questions and taking time to do this interview and see you in Finland!
You can send shoutouts or whatever you want to say here in the end?
Listen the new track Real Is Back at Fast Break Records Soundcloud here;