Live Reviews

Fu Manchu Interview

Few bands have lasted the test of time quite like Fu Manchu. For nearly twenty years the California quartet have produced some of the loudest, fuzziest and all round fucked up rock and roll since Sabbath first turned their amps to 10.

Considered by many to be the godfathers of the ‘Stoner Rock’ movement, they’re a band that’s been copied by many but equalled by virtually nobody.

With the band’s latest masterpiece We Must Obey fresh on the shelves, front man Scott Hill took time out of his busy promotion schedule to join Ryan Bird in cyberspace for some proverbial tea and crumpets.

You’re about to release your tenth studio album. How would you say it compares to your previous efforts?

I think that this new record is A LOT more aggressive. I definitely feel that this record is heavier than anything that we’ve done in quite a while.

What’s the concept behind the title?

To be honest there’s no major concept. It’s just about doing what’s right for yourself for whatever situation you’re in. It’s also about not listening to others who think they know what’s best for you.

Did recording at such a revered studio as Grandmaster (Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Black Crowes) have an effect on how the record came out?

It was a cool experience, plus we produced the record ourselves. We went into the studio with a friend of ours – Andrew – and he got us the exact sounds that we wanted. We had all the songs arranged before we went into the studio so it was relatively pain free.

After doing the band for so long, what is it that keeps you going?

We just love playing live LOUD music! Plus, we’re also still able to enjoy touring around the world playing said LOUD music. The system works.

The current band line-up has been in tact for over half a decade. Do you consider it to be a completed puzzle now?

I’d say so. I think this is probably the final line-up for Fu Manchu. We all get along great so I think if someone left, we would call it a day.

Do you find yourself running short of ideas after so long?

No – not yet at least! We always seem to be able to come up with riffs and that sort of stuff all the time. Different arrangements are always a fun part of song writing too. There’s plenty of stuff you can do to help keep the juices flowing.

Having spent time on numerous labels over the years, do you feel settled with Century Media?

Absolutely. So far so good with Century Media. They seem to understand a band like ours, what we’re doing and where we’re going. We’re definitely very happy with the way the label has treated us thus far.

Who are some of your favourite bands around at the moment?

Hmmm… I’d have to say: Easy Action from Detroit, Clutch, Helmet, and Corrosion of Conformity.

What about your least favourite?

I don’t really have a least favourite to be honest with you. If I don’t like a band I just don’t listen to them. I’ll give any band a chance though. Probably.

If you could tour with any band, who would it be and why?

Any band is cool with us really. We particularly like to tour with bands that sound a little different than us, though. It’s fun to play to a different crowd.

How about if you could take any band on tour with the sole purpose of terrorising them? Any names or plots?

Ha! To be serious I would never want to terrorize another band. It’s hard enough to keep it together on the road without another band giving you hell.

What are Fu Manchu’s plans for this year? Any UK news?

The new CD We Must Obey will be out in a few weeks. After that we do 7 weeks in the USA before heading to Europe at the end of April for 7 weeks. Hopefully we’ll just tour some more until the end of the year after that.

Fu Manchu’s new album We Must Obey is in stores now through Century Media. Find them at

Listen to Fu Manchu kick start the latest Crossfire produced Heavy Shit radio show here. You are one click away from an hours worth of the latest tunes…click the flag when you get there.