"I think it was for CBS, and they just decided they didn't want it. They just weren't interested in the final result. So then it was just finding someone to put it out and that was very easily done," Reeder says. "Who knows what their motivation was? Their loss. In the end, it kind of worked out for the better."

Fu Manchu has been able to call its own tune ever since, whether it's recording a whole album inspired by vans (the epochal King of the Road), releasing split singles with whomever they wanted, or keeping the vinyl manufacturers busier than they might otherwise have been.

"People still buy vinyl; there's obviously still a market for that out there," Reeder says, noting the band's sonic as well as aesthetic preference.

Got gas? Fu Manchu goes for broke in the name of rock 'n' roll.
John Gilhooley
Got gas? Fu Manchu goes for broke in the name of rock 'n' roll.


Fu Manchu, Burning Brides, and Via Vengeance are scheduled to perform on Wednesday, April 2.
The Clubhouse Music Venue in Tempe

"Our records are short enough that when you master it to vinyl, it sounds better. We don't make hour-and-a-half-long albums because either we don't have that much to say or, I think, we're all fans of something that's to the point. And anything that's longer than 45 minutes is a waste of people's time. I'd rather have people actually wanting more music than going, 'Damn, they should've saved those three songs and not put them on there.'"

But rest assured that whatever Fu Manchu does, it's going to be something that pleases them first and you heathens second. "You should be in a band that plays things you want to play," Reeder reasons. "And if people like it, then consider yourself lucky. I'm sure we do. We get to go around the world and have people like it in different places. But we don't sit around and go, 'We can't do that because people won't think it's heavy enough.' We try and do stuff we like and we listen to first. And in that way, we may be into a lot of things we like that our audience is into and there's a lot of stuff we don't like that our audience is into — that's what makes you your own band, instead of a Nickelback cover band."

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