The Butterfly Effect of Fuck Money

Fuck Money Press Photo

By Giles Sibbald

Around 60 years ago during a weather pattern simulation experiment, Edward Lorenz stumbled on a significant finding – that small, ostensibly unconnected events can have large consequences for weather patterns. To give an example, he argued that a butterfly flapping its wings in Hong Kong could cause a tornado in New York.

It became known as the “butterfly effect”.

The chaos theory.

The point where order moves to disorder.

Chopping up the ingredients of a sonic and visual ceremony. Throwing them into a pit governed by disorientation and clarity, pandemonium and serenity, distortion and melody. No rules.

Fuck Money lives here.

Here’s their story:

Bill Kenny

Jeremy, Alton and I had played together for years in Future Death. We’d played shows with TaSz’s (Trébuchet, singer) band, BLXPLTN, before. Then when Future Death fizzled out, the four of us started this project. The four of us already had, like, a pretty good rapport beforehand. TaSz was looking for a project, so we started talking. I mean, we already had our EP somewhat written, so it felt kinda natural to take that forward. We’ve been around for a while, so you know, learning from the decisions we’ve made before and which way they’ve gone is pretty important for us. It’s pretty easy to get lost. TaSz has mentioned something similar in other conversations where you get a little bit of material going, and then all of a sudden, all of these “opportunities” or whatever start coming at you. And then before you know it, you’ve been playing the same set for a year and a half.

Giles Sibbald

It’s hard for everyone to be on the same page, y’know, keep the vision in line when lives are so busy, complicated and often uncertain.


And that’s why most projects don’t last very long. Because it’s outside of, I mean, obviously, the crucial element of getting along and not hating being around people – which is a relevant fucking detail ({all laugh} – it’s also four separate lives with other shit going on, you know. It takes a certain type of person to make something like this a priority where you’re not guaranteed to get paid, it’s going to cost you money, it’s going to cost you time. As cheesy as it might sound, it really does help to be getting something out of it for yourself. Just doing it for you. And success – in the traditional sense – is very incidental to our work. I think we’re all of the same mind with Fuck Money – it’s something we have to do. It’s like therapy, or keeping our minds stimulated to push ourselves.

As far as the name of the project goes, it’s pretty literal in that sense. This is clearly not, you know, a fucking cash grab. Everybody knows somebody who are just doing it for the money. So, it’s just kind of like…..Fuck Money!

We’ve been very, very deliberate in trying to make the priority to be us liking what we do and being 100% committed to it. Whether it’s the music or whether it’s the shows or whatever we’re releasing – us liking it is the priority. We’re not doing fucking market research or analysing the demos to try and find an “audience”. It’s just been, you know, organic and fulfilling.


What’s the scene like in Austin right now?

Alton Jenkins

I like the scene right now. I mean, I’ve been in Austin for 14 years and it’s the best scene that I’ve seen in a while. The city is growing and obviously, this is bringing a lot of issues. It lacks diversity; there’s a giant influx of tech industry, and gentrification has decimated parts of Austin. But the city is undeniably growing. And therefore, over the last few years I guess, more bands have been popping up and doing very original stuff. Versus like, in the past, you know {mimicking TV presenter voice} “Austin, live music capital of the world” which was just blues bands or soft rock bands. And it was like always the same fucking type of bands. I mean you could find a show any night, but you weren’t guaranteed to see something interesting or new. I think right now, there are just more interesting things happening which definitely makes things more fun for us. Because when we book shows, we try to book shows intentionally. We want to do stuff that we want to do, and we want to play with bands that we like, versus just accepting whatever comes in. There are a good group of bands and homies to choose from currently. And I heard someone say at a show, not too long ago, they were just like, “I love going to Fuck Money shows because I know there’s going to be three or four other bands that are going to blow my fucking mind.” And that’s aside from how they feel about us. So that’s been kind of nice. The scene is pretty strong, I’d say.


Talking about originality and doing stuff that’s pushing boundaries – which you guys 100% are – I did an interview with Elisabeth Elektra and Stuart Braithwaite recently and Elisabeth was saying that there’s so much new music that is too safe, it’s not pushing any boundaries or challenging.


Yeah, I mean, I think it all comes down to what your intentions are as an artist, as a musician, and people sort of have to figure that out on their own. There’s always going to be that sort of split, where you have people who are married to some sort of industry idea, or people who are married to making music to mimic something. There are so many different ways it can happen. And, obviously, the industry is focused on a certain thing, which is, well, what’s gonna sell to the masses. So, wherever the public’s focus is kind of dictates all that, but we’re just like, pulling it back. We just like being in the room and making stuff that interest us. We’re just very selfish in that way, but people are digging the music and that’s great.


What’s the glue that holds you together?


I think we all have that drive to just freak the fuck out. I can’t speak for them, but I think we all equally get something out of it. There’s like a cathartic release. There’s structure and there’s a pop sensibility kind of sewn in there. We all like a wide variety of music. And we all want to perform live. And I mean, that’s how we write – we write live. Nobody’s really bringing in full songs. A lot of it’s been happening pretty organically.


The writing is like a stream of consciousness. I feel like we all share – like Bill was saying – an ethos that there are no rules in here. There are no boundaries. We can push this however the fuck we want, to whatever extreme. So, we all know that no one’s gonna be like, ‘Well, why aren’t you doing this?’ You know what I mean? It’s so free. It’s even freer than, like, jazz! We’re just going wherever the stream of consciousness takes us. No structure whatsoever. There are these moments that happen throughout those sessions, where we all come together and something happens, like a bit of magic. It’s like alchemy in a way. There are these sporadic moments that just pop in where the song ideas sprout and we then try to grow songs from there. I feel like so many different things can happen like that. I was talking to someone last night about ‘Holy Fingers’ (Future Death’s last track on their final album) where we put that drone track at the end, which is like one note for like, 30 minutes. I love that track! But not only do we come together and make like, I guess the real heavy stuff, but we have deep interest in other things like techno, ambient, drone music and stuff. There are a lot of things that, you know, could happen sonically with this band.


A band that is keen to bring in different soundscapes that challenges the “norms” is so exciting.


Yeah, I see a future of incorporating more and more of those elements. Obviously, this current setup {pointing to the instruments}, these are our, you know, primary instruments, but even this is starting to kind of flesh out and we’re starting to get impulses to incorporate new sounds. Like you said, it’s about challenging and evolving so that you can bring in what you are feeling at the time with no constraints. Going back to what Alton was saying about songwriting, if there’s ever like a vague idea, it is exactly that – vague and conceptual.


I guess coming in with just a concept and letting the improvisation just happen naturally, that helps with your glue – trusting each other as human beings and bandmates to take that idea and run with it.



TaSzlin Trebuchet

It’s the same for me doing the vocals. They pretty much just let me say whatever I want. As long as I’m going all the way in with it, you know? So, as they’re just playing all these different sounds, I’m kind of just throwing stuff out there to see what works. I’m also taking that stream of consciousness approach.


TaSz is part of that sequence. Bill, Jeremy and me have been playing together longer than we’ve been playing together with TaSz, but the writing process is still essentially the same. But now, we have TaSz in the room with us doing that. And truthfully – I, at least, feel and I think the other guys feel the same way – having TaSz in there improvising with us, elevates the writing experience, because there’s these moments where, like, you know, I can tell he’s scatting around, finding things, fucking around, but then I know that something is really connecting, when all four of us at the same time are gelling an idea together out out of thin air. And having him part of that helps us identify the stuff that is Fuck Money. You know what I mean? This is like, really, really going to hit and that I feel that having TaSz’s vocals incorporated into that is what’s helping to take our writing to another level.


It makes it easy, because it is so free, you know? It’s free flowing. There are no expectations. No-one’s gonna be looking at me like, “you haven’t come up with anything”. There’s none of that, you know, and there’s no “ok TaSz, here’s your bit, come in now.”


Yeah, I mean improvisation is probably the key word. All of our songs come from one of those moments. Recording every rehearsal, every practice, every session, going back and listening to it. It could be 45 minutes of being just all over the place, but there’s just this 3 second clip where all the puzzle pieces kind of fit together. The songs always come from that place originally.

Giles Sibbald

So, from what we’re talking about, what I see from the UK and the times I’ve spoken to you, it feels like you guys and other experimental bands are building and creating pretty strong movements and communities with folk who are totally engaged with your whole ethos…it’s all very open minded and supportive. I think the intensity with how people are engaging with you shows how important movements are.


Oh, yeah. And I mean, from what I’ve noticed, it’s kind of generational. You know, I lived in Houston. The band I was in at the time kind of came in the middle of these two kind of arcs. Like Alton was saying, right now there are definitely a lot of active participants in an underground effort where tunnel shows and bridge shows are happening.


I know you can’t speak for those people as to what’s making them do that, but do you have a sense of why people are really kind of like into these movements?


Like you said, I mean, it’s being a part of something. It’s something that you can be proud of and identify with. It’s a lot of work, but what else would we be doing? Like at one of the warehouse shows, I was just ‘hmmm…of course, this is where we are supposed to be.’ So, I think it’s being a part of something. I think the punk scene has always been a place where people can, you know, find a tribe. It is free and open and it’s not always perfect. But the younger bands are getting way more shit done.


They’re getting a lot of shows. Oh my god, yeah, there’s a lot of younger bands who are just so ahead of where we were at their age.


Do you mean in terms of ability?


There’s that yeah, musically, also the type of shows that they’re throwing, how busy they are, all the shit that they’re involved in musically, the type of tours they’re getting on. They’re just doing everything at a high level so early on. I think a lot of what’s driving this scene right now is like, you know, the economy of Austin has shifted a lot. So much of Austin has been gentrified, so many people have been displaced and can’t afford to live in Austin. And so, it has forced the underground further underground. I mean, as the city expands, it’s how it goes, you know. So, through all that turmoil, it pushes people to do more and they’re finding newer ways to be creative, finding new outlets. I think playing in the DIY and liminal spaces around town, a lot of that is a protest in a way. We’re not the first people to ever do this, but it always stems from some sort of struggle or some sort of protest that the artists are the real culture and those scenes are part of the real heart of the city. So, we’re just making some noise. And I think right now, there’s a heightened sense of that.


So, what’s coming next?


Writing, recording and live – we got some really cool shows coming up. By the time this goes out, we’ll have played with the Octopus Project at Parish – Parish has a new space now and it’s really fucking nice. So, you should come back! We’re playing Pearl Street Co-Op with a whole line-up of rad bands. And then we’re doing Oblivion Access Fest on June 17 at the Mohawk with Clipping, Clams Casino and some other really rad, really big bands. And then with LustsickPuppy and Johnnascus at the Mohawk on June 24. And then we’re gonna try to record our first LP later in the summer and plan on how we’re going to release that. We’re with Three One G, a label that we’ve all looked up to and loved for so long, and they’ve got our back to help us make the best decision for ourselves. Justin Pearson is so rad for that and it’s such cool position to be in.

Gentrification and corporatisation swallow up creativity and its habitat.

The sub-cultures are driven underground. Further underground.

They are at home here.

They sew new seeds and nurture them in nascent, fertile spaces….

….where Fuck Money, counter-culture’s butterfly, thrives.

TaSzlin Trébuchet – vocals

Alton Jenkins – drums

Jeremy Humphries – bass

Bill Kenny – guitar

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