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Filip Fuchs memorial

Rest in Peace to Filip Fuchs, passed away on January 9, 2016 at 40 years old. This is a bit of a memorial text I wrote for him. It originally came with a bunch of pictures that I couldn't figure out how to post here.


I woke up yesterday morning to a message that Filip Fuchs passed away, succumbing to liver cancer, leaving behind his partner (recently turned wife) of 20+ years and their three young daughters.

I suppose that shouldn’t be shocking; Filip was wrought with health problems over the course of his life. And I had already cried in 2012, when Lotus Fucker went to Europe and Filip collapsed and was hospitalized just two days before our leg of the tour with See You in Hell, forcing them to cancel. I got the message in Lyon and was just so worried and stressed out that I broke down in tears on the spot. But thankfully we got to visit Filip in the hospital in Brno a few days later. He seemed to be in high spirits and was so happy to see all of us, and of course he was bemused to see that I too required a hospital visit with yet another torn ACL. This time around I’m crying again but there is no relief, I won’t get to see my friend again.

I met Filip through Zach Howard. Zach was already in touch with him, trading records and videos and zines, and had released a collection CD of the early See You in Hell records. I was already a fan and always had so much respect for See You in Hell as a hardworking band that did everything ‘the punk way’, as I saw it. When I started writing Filip as well, I had the idea to invite See You in Hell to the USA, to tour with Lotus Fucker and xBrainiax. We pulled it off in 2011, and over the last few years we would share plenty of other experiences together and became close.

I loved Filip. I would consider him one of my best friends. We wrote novels back and forth over e-mail, and whenever we were together, we could talk for hours about punk, about politics, about life. He was a constant source of wisdom, inspiration, guidance, and comedy for me. I valued his opinion more than almost anyone else’s in my life, and I sought his opinion on just about everything. People like him, with a clear-cut vision and uncompromising dedication to their passions and beliefs, are fucking rare in the human race. It made him an irreplaceable figure in the modern punk scene. He will be missed and never forgotten.


I love this picture of Filip because, by unintentionally playing into the ‘shots fired’ meme, it also kinda unintentionally sums up one of the most important and influential parts of Filip’s personality. Hanging out with Filip was a constant ‘shots fired’ moment because he was brutally honest and he was brutally punk.

Filip loved punk, deeply and passionately, dedicating a lot of his life to it, in bands, in zines, in gig organizing. But more than that, he believed in punk. He believed that punk is important, that DIY is important, that punk ethics and politics are important. This was one part of him that inspires me the most, and this was a big part of how we always saw eye-to-eye on just about everything.

Filip was also brutally honest, which some people found aggravating but I found immensely humorous. He loved to complain and he was never afraid to challenge those around him for not living up to a pure notion of DIY ideals or not living up to their own potentials. I always found this refreshing, but I couldn’t help but have a laugh sometimes too. One of my favorite memories of Filip was when he made a big speech at the See You in Hell/Lotus Fucker gig in San Jose CA about how American punks don’t know how to be hospitable (truth), American punks are rude (truth), American punk scene basically sucks (not true), etc. I mean he was pretty eloquent yet straight-forward, I’m not doing his points justice here, but you get the idea.

But of course San Jose was also a gig where we get the deluxe treatment from our angelic gig organizer Stephanie, with a great dinner, great breakfast, comfortable place to stay, lovely company, etc, a real proper treatment. And we laughed our asses off after the show as we chowed down and gave Filip a proper roasting and amidst all the laughing we jokingly made him apologize to Stephanie and sing the praises of American punk, which was a pretty hilarious moment in and of itself.


Of course all the beliefs in the world don’t mean much without action, and Filip had no shortage of that. Filip talked the talk but also walked the walk, a combination that made him highly influential in his regional community and also made a huge impression and influence on me.

Being from the Czech Republic afforded Filip’s bands no inherent international acclaim or “hype”, Filip definitely felt this and it played a big role in shaping his outlook on punk. There was no spotlight, no hookups, no given loyalty or reputation the way countries like Japan or USA receive. But See You in Hell toured the entire planet Earth, had domestic pressings of their releases in numerous countries, and became a well-known band on the international level, basically putting Czech hardcore on the map for a lot of people. This was always accomplished in a completely DIY style, as punk as possible, without any compromises, entirely through hard work and dedication to punk.

Filip, and the rest of See You in Hell, were always making connections, building relationships. With an encyclopedic knowledge of punk and never-ceasing curiosity and drive, Filip and his bandmates constantly sought to both bring Czech punk to the rest of the world, and bring the rest of the world to Czech punk. 

Filip worked tirelessly to promote Czech punk to the rest of the world. He released records highlighting their regional scene, and traded them all around the world. He wrote long scene reports for MRR (an institution that he cherished and valued immensely), culminating in writing a short book about Czech hardcore history. He had an endless number of penpals that he wrote and traded with, spreading stories and information about Czech and Slovakian punk scenes.

But in equal amounts, Filip promoted the world of punk to local Czechs. Behind the scenes, he sorted releases for cool foreign bands on Czech labels. He brought cool foreign bands to the Czech Republic, from Vivisick and Systematic Death to Lotus Fucker and Ruidosa Inmundicia. He organized tons of gigs. He had a zine the size and scope of which rivals MRR, entirely in Czech, with a focus on international bands and foreign tours by Czech bands, always with tons of pictures, scene reports, descriptions, documentation. And of course, the zine was bursting with record reviews.

Filip was a key personality in Czech and Slovakian punk music, but also in the international punk community, by being a centralized bridge between his “small redneck country” as we’d joke, and the rest of the world at large.


But I know Filip would not want to focus entirely on punk, because he believed strongly that punk is more than just a music, it’s a politic, it’s a way of life. And Filip walked this walk too. He worked as a lawyer fighting in solidarity to help the disenfranchised Romani in his locale. Of course a big chunk of his zine was dedicated to political discourse and news stories. He was active with protests and outspoken in his beliefs.


My personal favorite story of Filip, and perhaps how I’ll always remember him, is when he got his nickname “Two Fingers Chelsea”. When See You in Hell started playing Japanese hardcore-style punk, it requires a good amount of guitar solos, but Filip was never good enough to play the solos correctly night after night. So us Lotus Fuckers would always joke with him, “oh you play like Chelsea…if Chelsea only had two fingers!”, which always made everybody laugh. And Filip would just kinda chuckle in that nervous childish chuckle he did and make some remark that punk isn’t about being great at your instrument, that’s only for metal (truth).

Underlying this, something I really admired about Filip, was that even when he wasn’t good enough at playing guitar to really nail every solo perfectly, he went for it anyway. He never let something like “skill” hold him back. He had a vision, he knew quality, he loved punk, and nothing was going to stop him from that expression. And in the same way, he never let being from an uncool country, or his health, or communism (He was old enough to have tons of fascinating stories of discovering punk when Czechoslovakia was a Soviet country, and how the punk scene (and society) had changed throughout the radical social upheavals of the fall of communism and the birth of the Czech Republic. And I loved hearing them) stop him from being punk, knowing as much as he could about punk, and making punk happen. He had a drive that was almost without peer, fueled entirely by his love for punk.

I will always remember Filip as one of the most intensely dedicated and passionate individuals I knew, and our conversations, our shared experiences, his beliefs and values, will continue to shape mine and inspire me. For years I ask myself “what would Filip think about this?” as I try to gauge my own actions or opinions, and I know I’ll continue to wonder that.

I’ll never forget my hardcore brother Filip. He will be missed and loved for as long as I’m still alive.

-Kamikaze Dan