The Power To Change – The Peter J. Amdam Interview Part two – Sportswear & For Pete’s Sake.

By Ed

FPS-logo

DR: How did you end up hooking up with Ray Cappo?   

When it comes Sportswear the deal was that we played with Better Than A Thousand at a festival and Cappo got really, really into Sportswear…  We had a blast hanging out that weekend and if you look at the flipside label of the “It Runs Deep” seven inch you’ll see a photo of Cappo and me—and that was taken backstage at that festival. Good times. I think we already had committed to be on that “The Rebirth of HardCore” compilation that he was doing on his Supersoul label by then but this was when we started talking about doing a full album with him.

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pete singing New York Crew with YOT in Oslo.

DR: How was recording “Building Dwelling Thinking”  at Don Fury’s place in NYC?

Man, that was sick. Complete sickness. You have to understand that I used to be—probably still am—the biggest fanboy ever. When I was a little kid was always staring at those records and I was totally mythologizing and idealizing this name and place: “Don Fury”… All my favorite bands recorded there, it’s as if this special timbre emitted from there, and from reading fanzines and hearing stories Don Fury got this extremely special aura as well. So, to a fanboy like me, when we actually met up with Ray, my favorite singer and hardcore superhero, at his place in Brooklyn Heights—where we stayed when we recorded—and actually crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and walking into Little Italy and then crawling into that tiny little basement on Spring Street… It was really, really special… In a way it was like actually entering the fantasy world you read about as a little boy you know… GB, Judge, Cro-Mags tags on the walls, United Blood, Victim Pain, Side By Side records gracing the wasll above the mixer, all that crazy stuff. And the singer from Youth of Today was there and he was producing our record and I was even using the very same mike that YOT used for the “Disengage” seven inch. That mike actually had a tear in it and I remember squeezing it so hard when I did the vocals that I was literally bleeding. All this probably sounds very cheesy and sappy to most of your readers but it was how it felt at the time. Still does, when looking back at it. I was so nervous I blew my voice out the first night so there was a sense of nervousness in the air. I needed to get my voice back real fast and I needed to nail it. But man, it was inspiring to record there at that time, a very special energy, and Fury was this totally chill and fun dude to hang around—and always throwing out obscure anecdotes and stories that we leapt up. Some of my fondest memories are walking around Little Italy, Soho, and the LES with Ray writing the lyrics to Power To Change and Erase The Pain together and actually getting into fist pumping and “youth crew jumps” in the streets because we were getting so completely enthused and carried away.

Recording at Don Fury at that time, with Don, with Ray, was quite the experience, not just because it was steeped in history and charismatic personality, but also a very dynamic, learning and forward looking experience because I understood so much more about recording modern hardcore after.

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Sportswear in Norway.

DR: What were some of the other bands ‘The Wear’ guys were involved in?

Espen, Arne, and me were doing Onward. Kim and Espen used to be in Rectify. Kim was in Tiebreak. Espen used to be in Hands Tied. Arne and Espen used to be in Contention. Haha, the guys were involved in a ton of bands I guess. I’m probably leaving a lot of stuff out. My apologies! After Sportswear Espen was in Amulet and Damage Control. Kim did this band Team Spirit with Øyvind who is in Pete’s Sake as well.

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DR: Ok, so let’s talk about FPS- when did you decide to start the band and who with? 

Well, I had been wanting to do this band, For Pete’s Sake, for quite some time, but nothing ever really materialized. So, what actually happened that got the idea, the dream, off the ground was that that Youth Of Today was about to play in Oslo and Sportswear was asked to play. We were doing a one-off reunion with Onward for a Supertouch show and everything started to gel. It all felt so right playing music together again. It was magic. Then: should we do a Sportswear reunion or not?  No. We are not doing “Sportswear”—we need to it [Sportswear] to be a new, functional, operational band that does everything right from the start. Let’s do all the best Sportswear songs, but lets not make it into a “reunion”—let’s make it into a new beginning. So, FOR PETE’S SAKE was finally born. If this thing could work it needed to be totally serious and actually reflecting the gravitas that marked Sportswear. We needed Pete’s Sake to be a mission you know. A calling of sorts. Sportswear was an intensely emotional band and this new incarnation was to be an even deeper and more intense continuation of that legacy. This was the winter of 2011 and we played our first show, fittingly enough, with Cappo and Youh of Today in February that year. I moved to NYC later that year and it wasn’t really until last year, before we went to Antwerp to play this huge show that Filip from Powered Records and Justice set up that FPS got into that manic, militant, and almost machinic work ethic that we had in Sportswear. Since then it has really been a massive, immersive, spiritual quest.

And yeah, FPS is the exact Sportswear lineup. The first couple of months with For Pete’s Sake, Daniel Frankowski from Eyeball, Damage Control, Common Cause, who was in Sportswear in its final incarnation, played with us. Then he had to leave the band because of family and other commitments and then our man Øyvind Svendsen joined. Øyvind—Kobba or Auget as we call him—used to be in Team Spirit with Kim and he was also in this Turbonegro spinoff band called Euroboys for a little while there.

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DR: Tell me about the video for “Deeper Praise”?

Well, it’s technically not a “video”… I mean, the thing was that Tim, Ed, and Double Cross wanted to put up a profile on FPS and “premiere” one of the key songs off the new album. And we thought that rather than just throw a sound file up there with the FPS logo or something it would’ve been cool to have something a little more exciting to look. To make the first proper listening experience of Pete’s Sake something a little more special. So I talked to this guy Jørgen Johannessen who is a long time friend and fan of the band. He is a venerated maker of skateboard movies and also works in the film industry professionally. We have worked with him previously as well, we recorded a song, “In Search of the Truth,” for him a while back so that he could use it for the slam section in his movie Oslo 5 [URL]. And we gave him a rough instrumental demo version of “Sail Away” to use in a promo he made for a brand new skatepark just outside of Oslo[URL]. The thing with the “Deeper Praise” promo was just to get some footage from practice asap and edit in a way that made it watchable and then good enough to publish on DCXX and the web.  We then added some super 8 film footage from the streets of westside Oslo (that would be “my” part of Oslo) and some live footage. Just real quick, real simple. But Jørgen is such a talented guy and the whole thing ended up looking very slick and powerful and it definitely holds its own if you ask me. Maybe now that the record is actually coming out we should make a “proper” video for another song off it.

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DR: What do you guys have out right now?

At the moment the only recorded stuff you can listen to online is the 2012 demo version of “In Search of The Truth” that I just talked about… You can watch the actual slam section from Jørgen’s flick here: [URL] or listen to the song on Soundcloud [ https://soundcloud.com/fps-3 ]. Then there’s this super rough rehearsal demo of “Sail Away” that’s on this skatepark promo. I guess you have linked the YouTube of “Deeper Praise” on top of this interview: )

BUT TAKE NOTE:

Our LP—In Faith And Loyalty—will be out this fall on REACT! Records.

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DR: Looks like you have some killer shows coming up man, any tours on the horizon?

We are playing with Sick Of It All [insert link to facebook event]] August 7th in Oslo… Then we are looking to play as much as possible — that includes touring. We definitely need to play London and the UK as soon as possible man.

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DR: What would you say the core influences for FPS are?

Pete’s Sake is picking up where Sportswear left off you know. But it’s not doing it over or rehashing it… The sound is more evolved, more dynamic. Harder, stronger, yet more emotional. I would say the core influence is HARDCORE, all caps. Meaning, to us, Minor Threat, SSD, 7 Seconds, you know, the early greats… Then Cro-Mags. Youth of Today. Bold. Judge. Chain, etc. Then what we are trying to is to run with that, see how you can take that stuff—athletic, energetic, fast, catchy hardcore—further without ending up in a macho tough guy posture or a uninspiring retromania. A lot of these cues we get from late Bold, Inside Out, Quicksand, Moondog, Verbal Assault I guess… Stuff like that. My whole obsession the last few years have been to understand how to make fresh, powerful, intense, emotional, athletic, urgent hardcore, hardcore that is really conscious and dignified. Urgent and relevant. I have become obsessed with running, working out etc… And I have been running so much—really long distances—with bands like Verbal Assault, YOT, Sense Field, Further Seems Forever, on my iPod and I have finally, after all these years, started to get a new sense of how rhythm, pulse, repetition etc work in hardcore. It’s an extremely physical form of music. It’s got so much to do with energies and intensities. And an almost spiritual sense of search, sorrow, and hope.

DR: What are your future plans for FPS and where do you want go with the band?

Our album is coming out on React as I said… W are very anxious to see what kind of response it gets and where that response will allow us to take the band and aim to take the band. We want to, and plan to, support that record as much as possible. We’re awfully proud of it. It’s the best thing I have ever touched.

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DR: Let’s do a couple of top fives.

These kinds of lists are heavy man. So what follows needs a disclaimer. I love to make these lists but they are in a perpetual flux, they always change. Except for a few fixtures that never ever leaves the top spot. Youth of Today the most obvious one. I kinda rushed making these so please bear with me.

Top Five – Straight Edge Hardcore Bands?

Youth of Today

Minor Threat

BOLD

Chain

Insted

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Top Five – Hardcore Records?

LP

YOT We’re Not In This Alone

BOLD Speak Out

Minor Threat Out Of Step

BL’AST! Power of Expression

Verbal Assault Trial

7”

YOT Disengage

BOLD

Judge Forget This Time

Chain both

Inside Out No Spiritual Surrender

Top Five – HC shirts?

Wide Awake longsleeve Schism

Project X Schism

BOLD Revelation

Unity “You Are One” and “Diehard” Wishingwell … tie

Insted “Bonds of Friendship” / BL’AST!  Wishingwell tie

Top Five – All time favourite Sneakers?

Nike Air Trainer I

Vans US made two-tone Eras

Nike SS 2014 Free 3.0

Nike Air Max 90 infa red / SS 1999 (I never saw any reissues of those ever. I wear those on the back of Buildng Dwelling Thinking. Been hunting high and low for another pair ever since. If any sneaker heads read this let me know. I’m not a huge sneaker collector or anything, I just like those a lot)

Vans US made Style 36 (also know as “oldskool”, “Chain,” or “Ian MacKaye” vans)

DR: Anything else you want to say bro?

Yeah, actually, I got tons more to say. I’m only getting started here. That’s why I’m doing this band. I have a lot on my mind, in my heart. This band, this whole undertaking, is of paramount importance. It’s filling a huge, excruciating void with pure energy and passionate promise. There’s so much more I want to say, talk about. This is only the beginning. I need to thank you for being a part of it and giving me this opportunity. Much appreciated. I sincerely hope people will get into us and our record and understand where it comes from. Hardcore is so fucking cool man. Thanks.

Lots of love, Pete

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2 Comments

Filed under Crucial Response Records, For Pete's Sake, Oslo City, Peter J Amdam, Sportswear, Straight Edge

2 responses to “The Power To Change – The Peter J. Amdam Interview Part two – Sportswear & For Pete’s Sake.

  1. Davey

    Excited for this! Does FPS have a Twitter presence?

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