R.I.P. URGENT FURY
Abraham Rodriguez, founding member of URGENT FURY
December 5, 2017
After a good four year run in Berlin, I have decided to split up URGENT FURY for the last time. What I mean is that I’ve reformed the band several times over the years or tried to keep it going, but right now I think it’s time to move on from FURY.
When I reformed FURY in Berlin in 2014, I felt that I wanted to take it as far as it would go musically, hoping to go beyond the core of Urgent Fury music into new turf, to make a new band out of it, to get the old stuff out of the way and redefine the band, bring it into the present. And for a while, it felt like I was doing that. The first album, “Let Freedom Sting,” captured the first batch of old songs plus some new ones, and “Hasta Fuego” finished the process by wrapping up all the old music with a few new tunes, like “Time Bomb”, “Power Move” and “Old Age.” The third album would definitely be “us,” all new music and new songs we had already been doing live, like “Cage,” “Hang,” and “Drone.” It would be new sounds and new places. It was the only reason I reformed the band to begin with, to grow beyond, and for a while, I felt that in Michael and Steiff, I had the crew to do it with. I wanted to push FURY into a rockier direction and expand the vocabulary. Not be so limited or stuck. Break new ground.
What changed with the boys that last year I don’t know, but all of a sudden we were not in synch. Guys that loved my music two years ago were now bitching about too many leads and song length. Something to do with “being punk,” conforming to what is around us and not stepping outside those barriers, something I heard from them but not from fans. When I presented the demos for the next new batch of songs, I was told I should maybe “start another band and do them.” Things got meaner than that, and band meetings became free-for-alls where it was time for some people to get personal. In either case, I wasn’t planning to play in a band I was unhappy with. More than that, it was MY band, and if I couldn’t go where I wanted with it, then fuck it. A last meeting to confirm I wasn’t getting what I wanted, and I decided to split it up. I wish I could say it all ended amicably, but hopefully bad feelings will have time to heal.
I am proud of what we accomplished together. And with the two albums I feel I pulled it off, finally put all the old music behind me and out to the people in versions I am happy with. So thanks to Steiff and Michael for all we got done. Thanks to all the people that helped us over the years and gave us support. A good hefty thank you list is forthcoming. Right now I just wanted to finally make it official here.
The page will keep going for the time being, a good place to look up the band and get info.
Merch: it has come to my attention that it could be that some people have put in orders that have not been filled. If you are one of those people who have been waiting, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be writing some of the people that put in orders, as I was not managing the merch and want to be sure everything is ok.
Thanks. It was mostly a great ride.
Steiff, Michael, and Abraham.
Here you can find a short band history in German. There’s also a much longer and very detailed band history in English below the German text.
URGENT FURY wurde 1985 in New York von Abraham Rodriguez gegründet und war dort in der Punk-/Hardcore-Szene aktiv bis zur einstweiligen Auflösung der Band 1992. Detaillierte Infos über die damalige Besetzung, Veröffentlichungen und mit welchen anderen Bands sie gemeinsam Konzerte spielte, findet ihr in der ausführlichen englischen Band-History.
2011 liess Sänger & Gitarrist Abraham, der auch alle Songs und Texte geschrieben hatte, URGENT FURY wieder von den Toten auferstehen – gemeinsam mit einer neuen Bassistin & Schlagzeugerin ging er in New York ins Studio: die drei spielten die alten FURY-Tracks neu ein und nahmen diverse neue Songs auf (aus diesem Material besteht das Album „Let Freedom Sting“), desweiteren gab es in New York wieder einen URGENT FURY Live-Gig, der erste Auftritt nach fast 20 Jahren.
Die Reunion war allerdings aus geografischen Gründen nur von kurzer Dauer. Abraham Rodriguez lebt schon seit mehr als zehn Jahren in Berlin und hätte die Band nicht über den Atlantik hinweg längere Zeit am Leben erhalten können. 2013 lernte Abraham schließlich Drummer Michael und Bassist Markus kennen, somit war die erste Berliner URGENT FURY-Besetzung komplett – seit 2015 ist Steiff am Bass mit an Bord.
BAND HISTORY (English)
In 1985, a Puerto Rican from the South Bronx named Abraham Rodriguez gave a demo tape to Jeff Rogoff. The two met at City College of New York through a friend who heard Abraham was looking to form a band. Jeff knew a drummer, Harry Viderci from the SIC FUCKS, and the three of them began to play as URGENT FURY.
The band combined speed with melodic punk and rock riffs influenced by “The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, and The Who,” according to an early self-description written by Rodriguez on a flyer someplace, Abraham being not only the songwriter but a ranter and a raver who began putting out a “rant sheet” known as STATE OF FURY, handed out free at gigs or found in record stores and fanzine shops, a tradition later mentioned by lead singer Sam McPheeters from BORN AGAINST as “an inspiration”, rag sheets that actually criticized and railed against what was going on in the New York hardcore scene…
URGENT FURY expressed the disenchantment with the New York scene that many punks felt at the time, as it degenerated into a metal mayhem far removed from its punk roots, philosophiocally as well as musically. With songs like “58,000 Dead”, “American Nazis In Chicago”, and “Body Count”, FURY established itself early on as a political band in the “Peace Punk” scene along with bands like THE FALSE PROPHETS, A.P.P.L.E., REAGAN YOUTH, HEART ATTACK, and VIRUS, all critics of Reagan’s foreign policy. Rodriguez’ songs tended to tell stories rather than preach, “a fist slamming against the wall,” as Joe Strummer once put it, “political without being didactic,” according to TIN PAN ALLEY, a ranting rave put to music that “pushed the limits of hardcore and punk,” according to JERSEY BEAT.
The band banged around the NYHC scene for 8 years, going through a few bassists in the process, opening for SCREAM at CBGB’s, and gigging with bands like STISISM, MARGINAL MAN, OSKAR, FALSE PROPHETS, A.P.P.L.E., at places like NEITHER/NOR, TIN PAN ALLEY and ABC NO RIO, written up in THE VILLAGE VOICE, JERSEY BEAT and MAXIMUM ROCK’N’ROLL, where Tim Yohannon described URGENT FURY in 1990 as “THE CIRCLE JERKS meet JIMI HENDRIX.”
Live appearances on Pat Duncan’s WFMU show. The band released an early demo cassette and live tracks recorded at Donny Fury’s studio. Some of these, along with 5 songs recorded at Noise New York with Kramer (HELMET, GG ALLIN) eventually ended up on the Urgent Fury 10″ Record put out in 1992 by BROKEN REKIDS. There was also a split single with YOUTH GONE MAD which was released just before Abraham Rodriguez split up the band in 1992.
CUT TO 2011. When BROKEN REKIDS approaches Abraham about putting out a reissue of the original 10″, he decides to record all new versions and reforms a new FURY in New York. This new FURY features Geena Spigarelli on bass and Kaleen Marie Reading on drums, and not only records 22 tracks at John Mollusk’s studio in Brooklyn, but even plays a gig at The Charleston Bar. The album, “Let Freedom Sting” is drawn from these sessions.
But a FURY based in New York would be a temporary measure at best because Abraham lives in Berlin, Germany, and so the concept was unworkable. Still, a great amount of music was made, recorded and preserved on video too! BROKEN REKIDS didn’t want a new band though, so Abraham decided to release the new Urgent Fury album himself. “I was kind of bummed I couldn’t make more out of it right then and there,” Abraham said, “but the experience convinced me that I really want to do FURY. The music feels fresh and new every time I play it and now all I need to do is form a band and grow it into something.”
The album is called “Let Freedom Sting”. It includes 13 tracks and is a good place to start getting an idea of what FURY is about. But it’s “just” the beginning of an idea, the first part.
In 2013, Abraham has (finally!) formed a new URGENT FURY in his hometown Berlin, readying itself to gig out and put a new face on URGENT FURY music.
URGENT FURY is: Abraham Rodriguez, guitar and vocals, Steiff, bass, and Michael Richter, drums.
The new band is rehearsing, playing gigs and promoting the album. It’s also doing some new recording of its own to supplement the already large UF catalog. And there are new songs…