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Interview with Fu Manchu


Before the Fu Manchu show in Santa Ana at the Galaxy, I got the chance to speak with Brant Bjork, the drummer for Fu Manchu. After finding a nice quite place backstage, on the steps leading to someplace ‘up’, this is what went down…

fum0001-20000203-int-01So, tell me your name and the band you play for.
My name is Brant Bjork and I play for Fu Manchu

How is your current tour going?
Very well.. we are currently touring with Anthrax. We’ve been out for three weeks, with another week to go. Ahh and so far all the shows have been really cool and really positive. It’s been a lot of fun.

Did you do anything different while recording King of the Road?
Well the whole record in general was uh, the song writing and the uh all around record process was a little more relaxed. The songs were arranged in, came about, little bit more natural as apposed to the other records. But um, you know it’s all basically, the format is all basically the same. You go in, get your natural sounds up and just play live and catch the songs on the first couple of takes and the just work with them. Some times on King of the Road we, we ah, wrote a couple of songs while we were in the studio, just jamming, fucking around, King of the Road, actually that song and No Dice just kinda popped out, so we just like rolled tape and just catched them.

What’s your favorite movie?
My favorite movie, jeez. I don’t know if I have a favorite movie.
Which ones do you watch a lot?
I like Monty Python Holy Grail, I like Up in Smoke

Do you have any pets?

So, how’s your ’65 Impala?
Good! Well. No, is not good actually its ah, my starter went out about two months ago. So as soon as I get home I need to get a starter for it. I forgot to take my battery out before I left on this tour too, so my battery is probably dead now. It’s hanging in there. Needs some work. You know.
Did you make any special modifications to it?
No it’s pretty standard, I mean, it’s lowered and uh, It’s pretty clean. I got a pretty nice stereo in it and shit. But there’s definitely some modifications I gotta do to it, you know some bondo work to do, not much but a little bit. Get a paint job.

How’s your side project going?
Um. Well, right now I just finished a record with Alfredo Hernandez and Dave Dinsbore, where I play guitar and sing. We refer to ourselves as Chey and uh, as soon as I get off this tour I’ll be mixing the record and Frank Kosik gonna put it out. I don’t know when that will happen but it will happen sooner that later. And uh, I’m getting ready to start working on my next solo record too, which ah, basically all that will just take place when I’m not busy with Fu Manchu which is hard cuz we are really busy and I want to stay busy with Fu Manchu, but when I get any length of free time I’ll be taking care of both of those projects.

Are there any other bands you’d like to hook up and tour with?
Um, Yeah, I’d like to tour with the Donnas. I think that would be a rad tour. Um, I’d like to tour with Zeke, they’re a good band, good guys. Played a couple of shows with them. Wouldn’t mind getting on this AC/DC tour, go out and support this new record, which I’m sure they will.. I wouldn’t mind touring with them. So uh, we’ll see what happens.

Have you ever experienced road rage?
Ya actually I was driving the other night through Colorado or somewhere. Nebraska. It was like, you know, late, 11 or 12 at night. There was this guy in a white Saturn or something. For the life of him he just had to be in front of me all the time. He’d speed up to pass me and the he’d slow down and get right in front of me. It was driving me nuts. You know, I didn’t want to pull out a gun and shoot his face off but I was just like this guys is a fucking freak you know, it kinda got me pissed off, but I don’t have road rage.

What’s your favorite meal of the day?
Favorite meal of the day?
I don’t have a favorite meal of the day, really.. Whenever I’m fucking hungry and I get to eat. That’s my favorite meal.
That’s the best one.
Hell ya.

What equipment do you use?
I play Ludwig drums and um, Zildjian cymbals, although Paiste, I might be hooking up with Paiste here pretty soon depending on how much I like their stuff, but yeah, with the drums I pretty much play Ludwig.
You partly answered my next question, any endorsements?
Ludwig drums.

fum0001-20000203-int-02What has changed in the band since the album Eatin’ Dust?
What has changed in the band?
Not much. No shit don’t change much you know. We’re just four friends and we like rock music and we like to play our music and tour and have a good time. No special formulas. Were not on any agenda were we have to progress and you know, whatever happens, happens you know.. nothing is really happening to uh, no drastic changes since Eatin’ Dust, that’s for sure.

Any plugs you wanna toss out? Any props?
Props? Any props. Uh, ya props to our tour manager and soundman Curly, Mr Crowly.

Much thanks to our pals at www.streeteam.net for making this possible!
Until next time..
– Metalboy 

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