Fury 66 tore through the Santa Cruz Punk Rock scene from 1993-99, headlining with bands such as AFI, Good Riddance and Screw 32.
The band's roster of musicians reads like a Who's Who of the Santa Cruz Punk Rock scene.
Fury's music combines highly charged riffs with combustible punk rock and screaming vocals—all played loud and proud.
With lyrics that speak about the twists involved with keeping it real and growing up, these emotionally charged and precise performances established Fury 66's important place in punk rock history.
Fast forward to 2011, and Fury 66 has fired back up for a "last time ever" benefit show for Multiple Sclerosis and Grind Out Hunger at The Catalyst Saturday with At Risk and Good Neighbor Policy (click here for Facebook Event).
There's even a skateboard deck that will be sold for charity at the show, designed by legendary skateboard artist Jimbo Phillips from pictures by Peter Saporito. (Click here to order the Fury 66/Grind Out Hunger skateboard.) Skateboards will be available at the show for purchase.
I spent the better part of the '90s following Fury 66 with a vengeance; it defined our town, our surf/skate culture and our Santa Cruz attitude. So when I had a chance to go to "The Compound Recording Studio" and interview the band along with listening to them practice, I said, hell, yeah!
I was offered some earplugs when I walked in. At first I was about to put them in, then I said, no, thank you, I want my ears to bleed. I sat 2 feet away as Jeff Frady, Jon Cattivera and Micky Dunegan ran the guitar frets like it was yesterday; Joe Fish was pounding on the drums with Joe Clements preaching the word.
Yes, I was in heaven.
As Shawn Hatjes snapped photos, I asked the questions to the current lineup, including singer Joe Clements, guitarists Jeff Frady and Jon Cattivera, Mickey Dunegan on bass and drummer Joe Fish.
Danny Keith: So you guys getting excited for the show?
Joe Clements: I’m not sure if I’m more excited about Saturday or Sunday. I never realized how much work it is.
Jeff Frady: Yeah, it’s crazy. Unbelievable, man. Just the anxiety that's been, at least for me, but definitely excited about it more than anything else; but it's been a long time. After the first few practices, when we got in here, it felt normal again, like we never even stopped doing it.
Joe Clements: If it was just us going and playing, it would be different, but it’s like all the red tape. Even down to the merchandise. I just want to show up and play, but you got to deal with all that stuff, too, because people want merchandise.
Micky Dunegan: I wouldn't say that used to be the fun part (making merchandise). But it was kind of the deal. So it was cool.
Jon Cattivera: Not when I was in the band. Basically they just got a crappy shirt done. And it was like, there's our new crappy shirt. It was like, "hey give me $100 to pitch in … here's this crappy shirt." No, we had some good ones too … (room busts out in laughter).
Keith: Give us a little glimpse of what touring life was like back then.
Frady: Yeah, Danny, when we were touring, you had the Santa Cruz Surf Shop right next to Pleasure Pizza. Joe, Noah and I were living together, when Joe Fish moved up from LA, and we had essentially a one-bedroom apartment with an off room that we made into a bedroom for Noah.
Clements: I roached in there for a while.
Dunegan: I can count the amount of time on, well, probably both hands, that we would drive home from LA, well, I would drive home from LA, while everybody slept. I would pull up to my work at 7:30 in the morning and say, "Somebody wake up; you have to drive the rest of the way home, because I have to go to work."
Frady: Hell, yeah, that was mental.
Clements: I remember I had to be dropped off at Seacliff Beach during our first tour, because I was doing community service hours.
Dunegan: You know what’s awesome about way back then, the best part? There weren't any smartphones! Or Facebook! $20 Jeff's on Facebook right now. He's got to be.
Clements: He actually used to pay attention in practice back then; it was so cool …
Frady: I remember going on tour with these guys, and people were like, where are you from? Santa Cruz. No way!?! Is it rad there? And pretty much we were all, yeah, it is kind of rad. Out in the middle of Kentucky or somewhere, people were stoked on us, because Santa Cruz is known for its punk rock scene.
Keith: Santa Cruz was pretty raw back then, too. Back then, none of us really cared about money or what our status was. It was all about punk rock, surfing and skating every day.
Cattivera: We practiced a lot. I can't even believe how much we practiced.
Dunegan: And nobody was ever late … until Jeff.
Keith: He's on Facebook right now.
Dunegan: I mean, we would meet before practice, coffee, and Vallarta afterward.
Cattivera: I'd go to Vallarta after every practice. I'd go with Micky and we'd talk smack about Joe's lyrics. Then Micky would use it against me later.
Clements: I would talk smack about my lyrics now, but back then, I would be like, "What are you talking about, these lyrics are epic … I'm totally making a statement. I rhyme every lyric."
Dunegan: I can already see it at the show. The raddest thing is that Jeff is going to check-in to every song. And then "like" it.
Cattivera: In the set, we have, in-between every song, "Jeff Frady check-in" marked there.
Frady: With these breaks, we are going to have to extend the show a little bit.
Keith: You know what would be rad, is if you guys rolled up an oxygen tank on the stage. Put it up right by the mic.
Dunegan: We were thinking about having my dad come out to play guitar, classic.
Room busts out in laughter; after multiple heckles, we get back on course.
Keith: I think it tripped me out the most when the Facebook event went up, and so many people jumped on it and bought tickets.
Frady: The response was overwhelming. I see other Facebook events, and there is like 22 people attending ... ours was over 300 in the first day.
Dunegan: I can't wait to see some people. I am looking forward to playing, but I can't wait to see some people. I just want to hang out with everyone that I haven't seen for over 10 years.
Frady: It's like a Santa Cruz reunion more than anything else. It's going to be nuts.
Cattivera: I think a lot of people look back at that time too, and that was a fun part of their life, you know, and it seemed like the music scene in Santa Cruz was exciting and you were stoked to go to shows.
Clements: Right in the mid '90s, around '93-'98.
Dunegan: Not only were the local bands having great shows, but it became kind of a destination for almost any touring band. Santa Cruz had its own style going on.
Frady: Red Room shows were intense.
Clements: We played there with AFI and Screw 32.
Frady: One of the best memories I have of Fury 66 in those days was the Monkey Magnet show. Where we played on the ground. The kids were just up in our grill. I got throttled into my amp, fell down; it was frickin crazy. All in all, it was one of the better shows.
Keith: Why did it take so long for Fury 66 to get back together?
Dunegan: It's been talked about, what, every two years? Joe? About every two years.
Clements: Yeah, and somebody always couldn't do it.
Dunegan: Wouldn't do it or couldn’t do it whatever, no big deal. I have no idea why this is the one, but no turning back.
Keith: Is there anybody that you want to thank?
Dunegan: I got one. Eddy Numbskull. And the reason I want to thank Eddy Numbskull for our band is because I'm the one that made that call, and all he said was "absolutely sounds great." No questions. Nothing, no wow, you guys haven't played for 12 years. It was just, absolutely. I didn't think of it at the time, but a little bit later, I was like, he didn't even have a talk with me about it.
Clements: I think I want to thank all the fans that bought a ticket and are excited about the show.
Fish: Definitely, Eddy. I totally agree with Micky on that one. And everyone that's stoked on the show. We were talking earlier about if we thought it was going to be this well received … I definitely didn't. I was totally blown away. I'm really grateful for everyone that's so into it.
Frady: In all sincerity, I'd have to thank Joe Clements for letting me use all his guitar equipment. I got rid of all of my stuff when I left the band.
Cattivera: I should thank Rye for NOT being able to do the show.
When the dust settles it doesn't surprise me that punk rock and skateboarding can help out some very worthy charities and bring awareness to a group that may not realize the effects of multiple sclerosis or going hungry as a child, which Grind Out Hunger helps to overcome.
So in case you missed the message, it's Saturday at ; doors open at 8pm