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FTS: Five Terrible Scumbags.

April 6, 2015
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FTSonline02Interview by Elias Morris. Images by Michael Bucher.

Leading a never-faltering hardcore punk sound into the future are South Philly punk band FTS, which the band jokingly says can mean anything from “Financially Tight Situation” to “Five Terrible Scumbags.”

This powerful group of self-proclaimed social wastoids have been gaining praise from under the radar for three years now. FTS commands a loyal legion of super fans who regularly turn the mosh pit into a warzone within the first note of their set. Senior members Will “Scabiez” Moran (guitarist) and Zaya “Distraught” DeNut (vocalist) describe what it’s like being a part of the ever-changing Philadelphia punk scene.

What kind of themes do you touch upon in your lyrics?

Distraught: There’s a theme?

Scabiez: There’s a fuckin’ theme. The theme is misery. Lots of misery, but surviving through that misery and ways to have a different mindset. You just worked a shitty job, you walked home through shitty fuckin’ weather, you’ve got holes in your shoes and you’re fuckin’ freezing. I dunno. Fuckin’ life sucks.

Do you feel like you represent Philadelphia?

Scabiez: Absolutely. Philly has always had a lot of great punk rock bands in it and it’s never ever gotten acknowledged. So I feel like now is the time to really actually say, “We’re from Philly. Philly has a great fucking music scene.” That’s what we’re really trying to get out there.

Distraught: Philly has always had one of the hardest working scenes. It just sucks – there’s so many amazing bands that never made it past those first couple of tours from Philly and they just die off. Every year, you can go through a list of amazing bands who were around and alive and then just done.

Do you believe that there is a rift in Philly punk between the different scenes?

Distraught: There’s always been something between everyone in Philly because everyone likes different things and everyone always has a different thought. That’s also one of the cool things about Philly. You have so many different people with overlapping ideas. That’s one of the cool things, there’s always different ideas hitting each other. Without any kind of conflict, none of us could ever find a real way to grow.

Scabiez: Yeah, of course. But even with people that come here who aren’t from here, when they see the amount of things they can go to, they kind of realize, like, “Holy shit. I’ve just really dived into a city where, A). it’s already cheap to fuckin’ live here, and B). there’s so many great things happening in my fucking back yard.”

Do you see a younger group of kids coming in trying to change things?

Distraught: It’s cool, I’ve been around for a little over a decade now in the street punk/hardcore/DIY punk scene, and there’s always the different trends that come through. Like right now, you see a little more of the Oi and street punk coming through at the same time with D-beat style hitting really hard.

Scabiez: I’ve only been in the Philly scene for like what, four years? Five years? I got started up with Kryovax and shit and that’s how I got introduced into the whole entire Philly punk scene. I completely missed the Halfway House days. But there was still a huge street punk scene. Then I don’t know. From what I saw, things started getting not like, darker, just, like, more heavy. A lot of the bands started getting just more of a heavier sound. It was almost like they just had more anger and wanted to have more aggression in their music. Things got a lot more rougher, at least in South Philly. Things got a lot more intense.

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