Folk rock and folk punk hahs been a thing for 50 years now, and we could easily name at least a couple of different brands and styles in the soulful genre, and it’s truly amazing that after all these years, we’re still witnessing a high volume of original, organic, and sensuous additions to the canon, well-crafted offerings by prolific artists that are pitching in their energy to keep the evocative and hearty aesthetic alive and well. With almost a decade of hard work, playing energetic shows and total commitment to his craft, our today’s guest, Berlin’s Freddy Fudd Pucker is a fine example of that. He has recently produced and released without a shadow of doubt his finest, strongest, and most sensitive album to date, and we’re thrilled to give you an extensive tour inside its lyrical midst, the first-hand commentary on each and every track from “Open Doors”.
Here’s what Freddy had to say about the lyrical content of “Open Doors“:
When I write songs I never really know what they’re about until I’m at least half way through. Occasionally the meaning doesn’t even appear until a song is finished, recorded and I’ve listened to it ten times.
In the first page of the zine that accompanies this album it says:
‘This album holds no answers and offers only questions. If cultures are largely the stories they tell themselves, it begs the question: Which of these stories are true? If our belief systems are blindfolds, how do we know where we are walking? Its a genuinely strange time to be alive.’
I have strong socio-political opinions, but I’m not really into preaching at people. Its a confusing time. I just hope people will listen to these songs and perhaps think about their place in the human hive and how they interact with the world around them.
Open Doors, the sixth full-length album from Berlin, by way of Dunedin, New Zealand prolific writer and folk rocker Freddy Fudd Pucker, was released on June 6th 2018 in collaboration with Rebel High Records and Round Dog Records (The Murderburgers, Wonk Unit, Rational Anthem). It follows Freddy’s acclaimed 2015 release, ‘Hourglass Wine’ (Monkey Records / Ramones Museum Records). The album can now be streamed on all streaming platforms and purchased (physical copies come with a really impressive Zine made by Freddy himself) via this location.
Over the last decade, FreddyFuddPucker (Tom Young) has built a loyal fan base in true DIY style. He has tirelessly toured New Zealand, Australia, arrbout 42 of the United States, as well as at least 15 European countries. He has thousands of fans around the world and has been listed as an important influence by many artists. He has been invited to perform in hundreds of basements, dive-bars, bedrooms, clubs and festivals performing multiple times at The Fest in the US, Manchester Punk Fest in the UK, and his album release shows will include an appearance at Hamburg Booze Cruise in Germany. Freddy has played and toured alongside many world class acts such as Against Me, Deer Tick, CJ Ramone and Royal Republic.
Freddy is fixated on the absurdities of contemporary life in the western world. His lyricism tells personal stories from a world in which we learn more about governments and big business through leaks than press releases. Considering you may be tempted to call Freddy a singer-songwriter, this collection of songs is fast, aggressive and at times brutal. The instrumentation juxtaposes the confusion and human-guilt suggested in the lyrics.
Open Doors is a meditation on a species that is simultaneously moving towards technological singularity, and the absolute annihilation of the finite physical world in which their bodies live. Freddy is fixated on the absurdities of contemporary life in the western world. His lyricism tells personal stories from a world in which we learn more about governments and big business through leaks than press releases. A world in which one must constantly navigate the minefields of individualism, meritocracy and identity politics. He finds a way of personally explaining the ever-growing disconnect between our uploadable consciousness and the physical world our bodies inhabit.
Track by track commentary below…
Habitual Illusions of a New Dawn
Most of us wake up to “news” on a computer or a phone each morning. Every day it makes less and less sense. There’s more information flying around than ever before. Our technological abundance seems like way too much for our biological processing capabilities to deal with. So it feels like we live within a vortex of confusion where problems are never really solved and are only forgotten or replaced by new ones.
A River Rising
This is a song about the detachment one can often feel from their physical environment. Everyday we give more and more of our selves to a giant digital brain in the ether, and yet we still have to navigate the physical world with our fragile bodies and very finite energy resources. This song is written from the perspective of one person running the maze of a city, alone, while surrounded by millions of others doing the same.
This is a weird song. Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation with someone at a party or something, and suddenly found yourself in a parallel dimension, watching the conversation taking place? People’s personalities and perspectives are a result of a whole lifetime of personal experience. We can never know exactly what its like to be someone else. All we have to offer is our ability to truly listen.
A meditation on the personal politics of migration. Many people are forced to leave places they call home, and some of them will never be able to return. Navigating starkly different cultures is difficult at the best of times. When your survival relies on you learning how to fit in (‘to be the flowers you’d wish to receive’) it can be truly terrifying.
This is a confused rant. It kinda continues on from the first track, Habitual Illusions. Its a peep inside a mind in the process of decoding too much information. Trying to turn this information into something that can actually be used in a constructive way. This is easier said than done, when the dominant culture of modern civilisation is a suicidal madness.
Everyday more and more of my consciousness is harvested. As I write this, I am giving parts of myself (however small) to a giant hive mind. Relatively soon we will collectively experience some kind of technological singularity. We will enter an era that we literally cannot imagine. New forms of bio-technological beings will then use, for whatever purpose, the information that I have gifted from my mind… Wait, if my thoughts are then part of some kind of super-hive-mind, does that mean I will never die?
I think salt is really interesting. What else tastes so good, while also rusting and eroding everything it touches? I feel like there aren’t that many songs about salt.
I don’t need to go into how we’re fucking up the earth’s water. I think everyone knows. Thats kinda my point in this pretty depressing song. Water flows through all things, connecting everything to everything else. This is a song about greif. Some kind of funeral dirge.
A think this is a song about attempting to unlearn indoctrination. I remember as a child, being so excited when it snowed and I didn’t have to go to school. It was an opportunity to play with and learn from water: the great shape-shifter.
This is a love song. Its about loving while living upon a dying planet. The water theme continues…
A Famine Too Big To Fail
Cultures and Peoples are largely the stories they tell themselves. We create our own realities. This is a song about some kind of mass-extinction. Of what, I’m not exactly sure. All things must pass, n’ shit…
We have more power and information than any ancient god ever claimed to have. We don’t have to pray to a god for crops to grow, we can learn about how to make them grow better “online”. We know how to ward of sickness without asking a god to keep us safe. We can be in multiple places at the same time via video, etc. We are, however, increasingly detached from what people call ‘the natural world’. This is obvious in our lack of ability to hault the slaughter of the only home we have. This makes a lot of us, whether consciously or unconsciously, pretty unhappy. And yet we continue to worship ourselves. Humans have become a kind of unhappy god.