Punknews writer, David Wilkins, just sat down with QADR and Fara7 of The Muslims, to discuss their signing to Epitaph and their general need to see the destruction of everything that was, in an effort to build the world anew. Check it out below.
Alright, Let’s jump right in. You guys just signed to Epitaph! Tell me how you’re feeling about that! QADR: Yeah - Off that - We feel pretty shitty about it, cause its capitalist trash - No shit, just kidding. We love it. They hit us on our DM’s on Instragram, and initially I thought this is fucking spam, ignored it. Then we talked about it as a band, and were like “do we want to be signed to a label?” But we got on the phone with the rep that had reached out to us. They were hella real. Hella sweet. We got to chat with Brett. He was like, “I wasn’t sure if you wanted to be signed to a label. I figured you guys were like socialists or something.” And we were like “You’re absolutely right Brett.” We just decided to go for it. I mean as an up and coming band, it just has all the resources.
I find that as a common theme of a lot of bands that I like because we’re all pretty anti-capitalist. You want to be against the system, but you have to survive. QADR: Right, that’s literally where we were at. Do we wanna sign? No. But if we’re stoked about other bands we liked, getting signed, we’d be hella stoked for them.
Right, you want to fight against the system, but to survive you have to play within the system, at least a little, while still trying to change it. Until the system’s gone… it's a real mindfuck if you really get into it. Fara7: I thought it was kind of dope, we joined the call - Why? Why not? Why are you interested in us? Brett said “We’re interested cause we think your music and your message is awesome, and we can make money off of it.” And I was happy that he was hella up front about it.
QADR: And we were like straight up
FARA7: He burned a statue of Karl Marx in front of us.
QADR: Yeah, he burned a bible and a Koran - We were pretty offended and impressed.
I have to be honest. You guys are relatively new on my radar, but I have to say that your sound is so entrenched in what I was listening to in the 90’s. You don’t sound like a whole lot of bands that are out there right now? QADR: I feel like our style was really influenced by music we dug, we listened to and music we played way before we even played together, our bassist is like a professional, like a phd in bass, if that’s even a thing. I don’t even know if that is what it’s called. He plays fucking Soundscore and Experimental garage rock.
FARA7: Fucking Bullshit. It’s fucking bullshit.
QADR: I grew up listening to a variety of like punk to classical, to R&B. I feel like it's a combination of everything we grew up, and the fact that we’re just a bunch of weirdos.
FARA7: Me and QADR met through playing in a protest Cacalak Thunder. QADR had come up with the idea, I remember we were at a fight for 15 protest, and QADR came up to me hella judgemental, and said I don’t believe you’re going to want to live up to this vision. I wanna start a punk band. Are you down, are you in? Sure, let’s do it. No, fuck you, you’re not gonna show up to practice. You’re never gonna show up. You’ll be playing video games or with your partner.
QADR: This is only like 75% sure.
FARA7: I’m literally gonna be at practice. I’m a competent human being, and I can do that. And When I showed up to the first practice, it was fire. Then QADR put out the word for a bassist. Did some recon and found the gooiest little baby gay, and it was just magic. We all met up.
When was that? 2017. QADR: The protest we were drumming at was at the end of 2016. Fresh after the election.Basically, I was like, I’ve always wanted to be in a punk band, I’ve always wanted to yell about the same fucking things, and after the election, I was like “I’m gonna either gonna assault random ass chad’s, or I’m gonna start a punk band.”
Hahahahahaha! QADR: Sorry, you didn’t know what you signed up for.
Oh no, I totally hoped this is what I signed up for.If you had been a bunch of normies, I’d have been very disappointed. FARA7: We do have 401k’s, ok.
QADR: K? K? Put that in there. Wait, don't.
I’ll cut everything but the 401k’s. Too funny to cut. Let’s talk about the new single, the coming album, tell me what’s up? QADR: We can’t confirm these false allegations that an album was coming, because we’re gaslighting our fans, and we’d like to keep it that way. No, but the answer is yes.
Each album kind of has its own sound. Do you feel like whatever comes next, will be more focused? FARA7: Thanks for asking. So, I don’t really know.
QADR: WHAT THE FUCK?
FARA7: I guess this time around I feel like… hold on you can take it.
QADR: Yeah, I feel like coming into this, I really wanted to write, even before epitaph, I wanna write more sing along, boppy ass punk songs that people are like “I can’t get this out of my head”, where people are singing to their kids, and now their kids are singing fuck these fascists. I think this will have a super hype, super antagonistic, album. Maybe it sounds more buttoned up, maybe more down. We’ll leave that up to the youtube comment professionals, whether it's quality punk or not.
FARA7: There are definitely some anthems on there.
QADR: Yeah, more anthems.
Let’s talk about your political views for a second. I think that’ll hit the readers pretty hard. I personally agree with nearly everything you say. But tell me, what do you see as the pathway to the future you want. What you would want to see in the next year, five years…. QADR: That’s loaded as shit
It is… QADR: Sorry, it's gonna be like “The muslims have just confirmed that they just wanna destroy everything.” I wanna see billionaires taxed all the way to the middle class. I wanna see every day working class people rising up and saying fuck you, and fighting to control the means of production. I wanna see Free Palestine - I think something in our lyrics is like We’re going to keep it real, straight, and not walk lightly about anything. We’re going to say things that people want to say, and have for generations, and also make it clear that we are chillax and cuddly ass, nice ass people, that literally get along with anyone. I wanna make people uncomfortable in the best way. I want them to feel comforted. I want them to feel disturbed. I want folks to get the entire variety of experiences, in relations to power/race/gender, and everything else. These guys are really bringing it out. They don’t care about anyone’s feelings. They’re just saying what it is. I’d like to see a world where people aren't just throwing up BLM signs, and they’re actually doing something about it. And to feel braver to say things, and if they see someone wearing a racist ass sticker, they say “I bumped the muslims today, so I should walk up to this mother fucker and punch him in the middle of this bar.”
FARA7: That’s great. I feel like I couldn’t add anything to that cause it would just be racist.
QADR: Wait, suddenly I’m blacker than you?
FARA7: No, I’m just kidding. That was great.
All of that really resounds with me. Like back in the 90’s, that was what the scene was about. And for years, it was nothing more than a fashion show, but now the kids are starting to get it. Where people are going to get called out. QADR: Yeah, totally. I think like, and part of the conversation and the way we did this big announcement drop with Us punching Johnny Rotten, we wanted to say we’re done with these fucked up ass idols. It’s also about correcting actions in our own scene. There is a reason, there’s a lot of reasons, that people say “Punk is Dead”. Its so fucking fractured, and there’s not enough people willing to call out the cancerous people, the people that gatekeep the scene and making it feel uncomfortable for the people who love punk. Fuck the ones that are like ”No, you’re 19, you’re not punk.” Punk is youth - It’s everybody, but it was birthed with the youth, and the angst of the youth. You’d be dumb as shit to not listen to the youth. We should be listening to the youth, and think “Alright that’s hard, but I hear.”
I feel that. I don’t feel like a punk most days. I definitely don’t look like a punk, but most days, I feel like a cog in the machine, and it's only when I’m hanging with my younger friends, and I realize that its a mindset, and that’s when I start to feel like my old self… like me. FARA7: I just wanted to say, I grew up in the punk and the hardcore signs. In the city in NC that I grew up in, and I remember going to shows in the late 90s and early 2000’s and feeling like there was a lot of fucked up things in the scene, and as folks of color, people would just single me out. And punk and hardcore were the worst scenes, and I’ve kind of veered away, but now I’m seeing an infusion of people with a political analysis, and punks of color and queer punks, and its redeeming all the shittiness of punk when it was just the “white dude punks”, and now when we’re getting invited to people’s homes, and they’re making us cheesecake at 2am after performing a show, and we’re realizing punk is home to some of the most badass and visionary people. Its just been usurped by nihilist white dudes who don’t give a fuck about anyone else.
QADR: Even when we played some overseas stuff, when it comes to white people there, they’ll at least have an analysis, or are practicing anti-racism, but the scenes we are playing in are actually diverse and this is what punk should look like.
Tell me about some of your tours. How much have ya’ll hit the road, and will we see more now that Epitaph is backing you. FARA7: I mean, you know we have 401k’s and p’s and q’s and we have to be accountable to the system, as much as possible, and we’ve gone out once or twice a year while we’ve been a band, and we have our people, like punk black in Atlanta and different cities as well, we have a crew in NYC; bands like moppa, winterwolf, choked up, and yeah, right now, we’re just excited to get out to more places, we’ve been lucky to be invited to Canal Rock - A punk fest in Norway, which is really amazing, and then we went out to some real amazing stuff, like clear arts festival right before COVID> We’ve been blessed - If anything, with the added exposure, we just have more solid people who want to book us. We’re super stoked to meet more people, and build this community.
QADR: I will say we haven’t played enough dirty ass basement shows - But after putting out this post, we got a lot of offers, and some really grungy ass basement shows.
Those are like the only ones I go to anymore. QADR: Hell yeah, I love a good basement show.
Alright - Bucket list items as a band. What do you wanna see happen before whatever end comes? QADR: I would say, Bucket List, for me, would be to play with Bikini Kill. Bad Religion, but not because Bad Religion’s music, only because Bad Religion and the Muslims on the bill would be, visually, fucking great. It would be dope as fuck to do some like some South African shows. There’s a couple of bands that I dig. I’m thinking of bands that I really dig, and they’re all dead. Can’t play shows with them. A non-show bucket list item is to actually punch Johnny Rotten right in the face.
FARA7: Let’s punch Fat Mike.
QADR: Oh yeah! Let’s punch Fat Mike. Now that we’re label buddies with him, maybe we’ll run into him and we can beat him up.
FARA7: Yeah, definitely. Next time we’re at a festival, we can just punch him in the face. For no particular reason.
Wait - What’s the deal with Fat Mike? FARA7: Listen - hey, we all love Fat Mike
QADR: We do?
FARA7: I don’t mind Fat Mike.
QADR: I’m fatter than Fat Mike. Nah, fuck him. I just wanna walk up to Fat Mike and tell him don’t call me black and punch him in the mouth. No, you know, I love Fat Mike as a political ideology, as a belief system but you know - Anything else.
FARA7: We love beef more.
QADR: We do love beef more. Seriously, We’re confrontational.
Alright, well, is there anything I didn’t cover, that you want the readers to know? QADR: I’ll say, I feel we should add something. Like, stay hydrated - Drink Modelo, only - Free Palestine - And if you need to process some feelings about our music, please take it to God or a therapist, cause we don’t give a fuck.
FARA7: I’m just gonna say, you know um, keep it kosher, and you know, my therapist once told me - “I’ve got good news and bad news for you” I asked for the bad news first. The bad news was “You’re not that big of a deal.” And The good news: “You’re not that big of a deal.” And my therapist’s name was Jimmy Buffet.
QADR: No Coincidence.
FARA7: No lie.
QADR: This was really fun.
Thank you guys so much. I had a killer time. See you guys when you hit up Texas!