Hong Kong Fuck You is a hardcore punk band based out of Tijuana, Mexico. Blending the elements of power violence and grindcore, HKFU can turn a priest into a demon.
I got the opportunity to chat with vocalist, drummer, and part-time psycho, Christian Hell. He gave me insight on everything from DMT trips, puking back-to-back playing shows, suffering, insanity, death, and much, much more!
First and foremost, thank you so much for your time, Christian. Give the people an idea of who you are and what tickles your creative fancies?
Who am I? I'm just a fucking clown, to be honest. I also love creating music a little too much to the point where I can't even be a functional human being. As for what tickles my creative fancies, 99 percent of the time, while I'm dropping a fat shit pie on the john, my "creative juices" get "flowing." 1 percent of the time, it's the same thing but while not on the clock at work.
Occasionally, 100 percent of the time in an alternate predicament, it is inspired by kink-shaming my bandmates. There's something about the pain in their eyes after being verbally abused for being caught with feet pics ... that kind of suffering just fuels me like breathing fresh air on a Tibetan Mountain. Suffering creates the greatest compositions known to mankind.
[Laughs] You fuckin’ psycho. I love it. I get a lot of my creative inspirations on the shitter as well, especially when you're like half-awake it just seems to flow more naturally. Your poor bandmates though, introduce those poor souls and what's the fire to their ambitions?
That is such a loaded question as I've got bassists on both sides of the border. Isidro in Tijuana is the only remaining member from the "Phase 1"-era of HKFY, which was originally just me and two bassists. Unfortunately, he cannot cross into the states anymore, so he remains as a member on the (Mexico) side of the border. The other member (Zendejas) is an original member from the "Phase 2"-era of being a quartet with me on drums and 3 bassists.
Abaasi, Irish Jake, and Leonardo are the newest members who bounce around whether that's filling in for each other or playing together. Me and Zendejas usually sit back on lawn chairs and watch them violently backyard lube wrestle to see who wins to play whatever next gig is available since we typically only need 2 out of the 3 per gig. Keep in mind that 1 out of those 3 dipshits were caught with feet pics when 1 out of 2 remaining members of "Phase 2" were scrummaging through their underwear drawer for undisclosed reasons.
Collectively we are all a part of "Phase 3," which is still in progress with our future releases and touring endeavors. As for what drives them? I'm assuming our passion for creating music and performing would be it. Without that, we would be back in the "Phase 0"-era of HKFY being a drunk band playing in basements in Tijuana for 12 of our confused friends.
There are no lies being told her except maybe for Leonardo—it's safe to say feet pics drive him. Oh snaps, now the cats out of that bag. My bad.
Wow! Y'all are like the Marvel Universe with all these phases going on [Laughs]. Lube wrestling sounds kinky, and you can't wrong with a good foot pic, or can you...? Hong Kong Fuck You—that name makes a statement. What birthed such a raw specimen (TJ strip club)?
Well, when Isidro was eating Alphabet Soup after snorting a hefty line of DMT, and the only thing he was able to formulate was "Hong Kong Fuk Yu" (Apparently there wasn't a letter C or an extra O), I laughed like an ass, and we decided that there is no better name in the world. The proof of this was in the polaroid pictures of his hallucinogen-Induced masterpiece, but he ate that too, along with a whole box of packaging Styrofoam popcorn.
The Styrofoam was my fault since I lured him by putting them in a bowl and salting them. He still doesn't know to this day that that wasn't actually popcorn. As for that TJ strip club, it is widely known here in Mexico to be associated with Child Trafficking, so that place can simply burn to the ground for all we care.
And they say drugs are bad for you! I wonder had you guys never got a hold of that DMT sac what the name of HKFY would’ve been? I’ve had friends only tell me horror stories of that place so fuck ‘em, piss on their grave. Speaking of Mexico, how has it shaped and inspired your style as a human, artist, and part-time psycho?
I'm sure the name would have been something a lot cooler and generic like "Stabbed" or "Ass Nibbler," but, no. It's sadly a Hong Kong to the Fuck You, and we are nearly 6 years too deep to change it. What a shame. As for Mexico inspiring my style as a Human/Artist/Part-time psycho? Hands down-Panam™ shoes. Sickest Mexican tennis shoe swag ever—makes me think I look cooler than I think I am, play drums with a 2 percent increase in efficiency, and I suppose it fuels the narcissism to own the sickest pair of tennis shoes in the world. They stay on during sex or it's no deal.
But sick kicks aside, Mexico is simply the birthplace of HKFY thanks to its immensity of music enthusiasts. I never would have gotten back into full swing as a musician hadn't a certain somebody constantly nag me to drum for them. Before investing my life into the Fucking of Hong Kong, I was fully committed to being a pen & ink artist and doing volunteer humanitarian work here in Tijuana.
I have no idea where I'd be in life if I didn't start this band. I can't honestly say living here entirely has an effect on me and my style. I've always thrived to just march to my own drum, and it just so happens to incubate in one of the most violent cities in the world.
"Ass Nibbler" has a nice ring to it high key. The logo would be you smiling with a Dirty Sanchez as an ass is chillin’ in front of your face - imagery. In terms of you manning not only the drums - which take an immense amount of energy and focus - but also the vocals is some crazy shit. How do you do both without puking all over the place? Also, have you ever shat your pants?
Lately, with our setlist now reaching about 20 mins, I've been puking shows back-to-back. So, I suppose I can't truly answer how I don't puke all over the place. The answer to shitting my pants is neither here nor there. Hopefully the same goes to anyone attending our shows. Would be nice to add feces onto the blood and chipped teeth from the animals going wild at our shows. Maybe one day when we are on Turnstile's scale of crowd hype.
You little puke machine! That's how you know you're going hard when you're puking more than shitting your pants. Which came first: your passion for signing vocals or smashing the drums?
Thinking that far back, I gotta say, my drums and "vokills" had developed simultaneously. I was learning songs by ear on an electric kit starting at age 12, while also figuring out more extreme vocal techniques by screaming to the point of hypoxia induced migraines in my closet like any normal 12-year-old metal head. Anyways, a little plot twist for ya - my first instrument was guitar at age 8.
That is a plot twist! What made you stray away from guitar?
I never did! I know it's bass, but the idea of making three bassists in the band, is that I play two of them like guitars, from technique/style - to the tone. Technically only one of the basses are serving the band as a bass. Recording all three basses myself is probably my favorite part of the studio recording process. However, at the end of the day, drumming is my passion, and that is easily the best part of the creative process. But, when I'm at home late at night, I'm playing guitar.
Good! Keep at it. Something I noticed is that the HKFU roster are a bunch of renaissance men who specialize in more than one talent. Is the whole band normally present during the recording process or what is that situation like?
From Third World Fighting Music and up, it was just me and Zendejas on the recordings. Zendejas just laid down vocals with me. With future releases, me and him will cover the basses, and I'm sure we'll hold a cage match to let one winner do vocals. We are simply sadistic.
If a cage match does ensue, film it for us fellow sadistic cretins to get off on. May the best man win! With Third World Fighting music coming up, what are the other bands prior to HKFU that you were in? Did they kick you out or what happened there?
The other bands ended simply because they probably don't have the drive, I have for creating music, nor the curse of perfectionism or perhaps a self-awareness of constructive criticism - which in my opinion - is a winning recipe for being a functional band. I was never kicked out. Those bands simply ceased to exist, and I really wouldn't write home about it - except for the fact, that they were all lessons that have led to much needed improvement.
Totally understandable—the curse of perfection is indeed real. I’m happy that you’ve found your place now and left the past in the past. Yet, always applying those experiences to the bigger picture. Everyone needs to be on the same page or else things won’t align properly in the stars of creativity.
Speaking of creativity—your lyrics, man! They contain great moments of imagery. Some, but not all, notable tracks such as “VODKA & SHITPILLS,” “I DESERVE THIS,” “SOONER OR LATER, SOMETHING IS GOING TO GET YOU” all have great lines that paint vivid mental pictures. Do you undergo any creative process when writing or does it all just come out?
What lyrics? Whenever I record, I actually just go off of the nearest reading material within arm's reach. All of Third World Fighting Music was me reading a Denny's menu. At a certain point, I'm just vehemently screaming "Moons over my Hammie." The lyrics to "Kill a Skinhead," is just the nutritional facts from a bag of Chex Mix. Traditional flavor. They're not a bad source of iron, and they're cholesterol free, man. I eat them in a bowl of whiskey every Tuesday. I recommend it.
At live shows, I just shout, "Can you smell what the Hong Kong is fuckin?" over and over and over again. No one has ever seemed to notice, but I notice them pretending they know my "lyrical content", and according to Jeff Bezos, people pretending to mouth your lyrics is a sign of success.
I see you. Being a writer myself I understand the struggle [Laughs]. I’ve noticed that a lot of the music Hong Kong Fuck You contains is a lot of chaotic noise. How do you think just implementing noise into a track makes a bigger statement than a song with instrumentation accompanied by lyrics?
The struggle of what? Being broke? [Laughs] I hope so. I'd say those are good problems for writers. I'd feel sorrier for the ones with writer's block. Safe to say you'd suffer more with that problem .... oh! the throes of a suffering writer without the poetic tendencies to cry about it on paper. [Laughs] Anyways, what do we define as "noise"? The harsh depths of distortion we force feed to our listeners? Or perhaps the literal bits of noisy interludes we have?
Regardless. I cannot say it makes a bigger statement. It's all a part of the journey. The journey of making it all sound like shit. I thrive on that. I play the drums like shit, I play basses like shit, and I scream like shit. When I go to work - I work like shit. When I take a shit - I think of shitty music. When I go home and sleep at night - I sleep like shit. I love it. It's the best. My ethic is just not giving a shit about making a bigger statement, and just doing shit.
Being broke is on that list for sure! [Laughs] Along the lines of being misunderstood for being yourself and contemplating suicide often. Being an artist is like playing tug of war with your sanity and emotions – which do we feed more? I know for me it’s more my own emotions that causes my sanity to ripple into a million pieces until I find the energy to put it all together and throw on that happy smile.
Earlier you mentioned something that stood out to me about suffering and how “suffering creates the greatest compositions known to mankind.” What are some personal sufferings that you face today and how to do you overcome them when things feel dark?
Ah man, sorry about that.
Just don't write poetry, and you'll be okay. It's a dark void that leads to suicide, and suicide means you won't crossover to the other side which loosely translates to purgatory. Now, imagine being stuck in purgatory in the afterlife because you wrote shitty poems, and running into Sylvia Plath's redundant ass. That's basically worse than hell at that point in my opinion.
I can tell ya one thing, the closest thing to poetry I have, is writing lyrics , which is great. What is better than that, is writing music intended for my personal catharsis. Without that, I'd probably be even more worthless to society. Creation is entirely my response to life and my personal struggles. I'd hardly say my personal struggles are much of a thing these days as I am vastly distracted with work, dad life, and band life. However, there is no escaping the death of loved ones, which has been very present and imminent as of late, but such is life.
And dealing with death, is its own struggle, but, once again, I cope with that by creation. I have an entire untitled concept album separate from all my bands and projects that I intend to release one day as homage to my friends who are no longer here today. It's absolutely insane how many of them have left us in the last 3 years, but there is a very special melancholic melody for each of my loved ones who have passed away, and these melodies linger in my mind like a restless ghost. As soon as I build my entire rig of noise pedals, guitar pedals and bass pedals, it's going down.
Maybe that's my problem—quit writing those scary poems. The concept of death is well ingrained in my head as well—have had a lot of friends pass on my end as well in recent years. I'm excited to hear that project when it's ready to be heard! Straying away from life’s deep dark depths, I almost feel as though HKFU is a metaphor for making things not so serious during a time where everything is being so serious, yet you still maintain a grounded tone of seriousness.
I'll tell you what it is—it's just my philosophy of how to accept reality with a smug, shit-eating-grin.
What kept your mental sanity during the pandemic? Did you have any days where you just were going insane or felt alone?
I had no problem with the pandemic. It actually felt like being born again for me—my firstborn son arrived, previous members who were holding back HKFY's potential were cut from the band, and we released a lot of material (4 EPs, 2 singles, a remaster, lots of cassettes , our first 7-inch vinyl, even a fucking flexi-disc, and they all sold out), not to mention we also managed to tour, and sell out shows.
This pandemic made me the most productive I've ever been in my life. I even sold a single pair of underwear for 300 bucks. So, there you go, I never stopped creating, and I sold underwear to escape the cabin fever-esque mental fortitude of quarantine. That, and the love I was missing in life - my amazing child. but all credit is because of selling underwear. That funded HKFY's studio time. $150 for a pair, and an extra $50 per day worn. Spread the word to all your horny ass friends and family.
I’m positive there is plenty more ammunition in the loaded clip that is Hong Kong Fuck You in store. What are some things we can expect from you guys as 2021 comes to its conclusion?
So, it's almost been a year since the release of our hit EP Third World Fighting Music. We are thinking about selling a very limited 1-year anniversary edition of it on cassette. It would be made of fucking gold. Just think of how shiny and shimmering it would be. It's literally an allegory of a polished turd, and it can be all yours for Sixty-Nine dollars, and Sixty-Nine cents.
You heard it here first. A shitty gold cassette, for $69.69. It's gonna raise awareness for Hong Kong, and all proceeds go to Fucking your bank account.
Be sure to check out HKFU’s final show of the year tonight (October 28th) at Deaf Club in LA! Buy tickets here!
Help Support What No Echo Does via Patreon:
Tagged: hong kong fuck you