SNFU Interview, Issue 60: December 1993

SNFU Interview: December 1993


Despite popular misconceptions, the U.S. doesn’t have a monopoly on great hardcore music. In fact, Canadian hardcore acts (including Nomeansno and D.O.A.) have enjoyed long and successful hardcore careers. And don’t forget SNFU, whose harmonic punk is always at least amusing if not outstanding. SLUG caught up to SNFU guitarist Mark “Muc” Belke before the band’s stunning Nov. 17 show with The Bouncing Souls. Helping out and recording was K-UTE’s Kurt Geltz. SNFU is Chi Pig (vocals), Muc Belke (guitar and backing vocals), Bunt Belke (guitar and wing vocals) and Davey-boy Rees (drums).

SLUG: Unfortunately, even though Canada has a lot of great bands, most Americans probably know your country for Bryan Adams and Rush. Do you see that changing anytime soon?

Muc: Well, other bands just aren’t getting the exposure they deserve. There’s a reluctance on the part of the bigger record labels to take a chance on Canadian bands.

SLUG: The whole Nirvana thing has really changed the face of “underground’ rock. Even Bad Religion has signed to a major label. Do you think that you will finally get the attention you deserve? 

Muc: I think it was a good step for all of us. But for whatever reason, we haven’t been attracting a bit of attention. Epitaph (the label owned by Bad Religion’s Brett Gurewitz) was the only label interested in having us.

SLUG: Sorry if I’m kind of speechless, but that’s incredible. Speaking of Epitaph, you guys seem like a great acquisition for them. Yet, you have nothing in common with any of the others. Although, your sense of humor is somewhat akin to NOFX.

Muc: Well, we really don’t try to take our music too seriously. I think some of our songs do say something if you read between the lines. But some are definitely tongue-in-cheek. We all are.

SLUG: What were the circumstances of you guys getting back together and what’s the status of the band?

Muc: We’ve been back together for two and a half years now. When we originally broke up in 1989, we’d been together for eight years and had been out on the road most of the time. A lot of it had to do with us wanting to branch out and try different things –The Belles formed the Wheat Chiefs, while Chi Pig joined Little Joe. It’s still on kind of a show-by-show basis. The first show we did for this tour was incredibly bad. But we all play music for live shows. It’s hard to tell where things will go from here.

SLUG: How has your music changed since you began and also since the breakup?

Muc: Not that drastically. We’ve matured in our songwriting and playing, but we’re still not taking things seriously. We also get along better.

SLUG: I almost forgot to ask this, but do you see yourselves as the prototypical Canadian hardcore band? Also, is there a Canadian punk sound?

Muc: On the first, not really. The Canadian punk sound is hard to describe. There’s definitely a personality crisis for it. I don’t know, maybe not really thrash-y but fast and loose with melody.

SLUG: Thanks for taking the time out. It looks like we saved you from unloading the equipment.

Muc: Ah, that’s Chi’s job. 

Read more from the SLUG Archives:
Doughboy Interview: December 1993 
Bouncing Souls Interview: December 1993