Of all the first-round upsets in MTV's Musical March Madness tournament (and there were a lot), none was as shocking as Toronto hardcore act F---ed Up's trouncing of top-seeded — and heavily favored — Mumford & Sons. Except to F'ed frontman Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham, that is. He saw this one coming from the day the bracket was revealed.
"I think anyone who bet on them was a fool, because, let's just be honest, if their fans were really living the Mumford & Sons way, they're probably not the most technologically savvy individuals in the world," he laughed. "It's all based on, you know, the 1920s, so the Internet at that point was just a wireless typing device, and it takes a lot longer to spell out 'Mumford & Sons' in Morse code. How many dips and lines is that?"
Of course, he was joking — he never really thought F---ed Up stood a chance against the mighty Mumford — though, as three years of Musical March Madness has proven, anything can happen. And as the first round wore on, and F'ed closed the gap, Abraham actually started believing. Even if he didn't want to tell anyone.
"Mumford & Sons have sold, conservatively, 100 times as many records as us; and they are a very popular band. ... I mean, they've played with Bob Dylan. I thought it was a sure defeat," he said. "I gotta admit, I really hate sports, but I think everyone at their core has a competitive nature, and as soon as I saw there was a glimmer of hope that we might win, it felt amazing. But, like, I didn't want to start shouting, 'We're going to win!' or anything, because I still wasn't sure, you know?
"And I'll be honest: I never wanted to be in a really popular band,'" he continued. "So it really felt strangely touching, because it was like, 'Wow, this many people cared enough to take time from looking at pornography to vote for me? That's awesome.' "
So now, having dispatched of Mumford, F---ed Up draw #8 Radiohead in round two — voting closes Sunday at midnight ET — with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line. And, well, let's just say Abraham isn't confident about his band's chances ("It's like a commuter college taking on Duke," he laughed). Though, as Sum 41 proved with their miracle run to the Elite Eight in last year's MMM tourney, stranger things have happened.
And if F---ed Up somehow manage to take down Radiohead, Abraham has already done some advanced scouting on his band's next opponent, Tokio Hotel. And he's sufficiently terrified, to say the very least.
"This is a tournament that's not going to get easier; it's not like we're going to get to the next round and find ourselves facing No Use for a Name. It's just going to get worse as time goes on," he said. "Mumford & Sons? That was just a taste of what's to come; we're dealing with people that have really, really rabid — to the point of being mentally unstable — fans now, and F---ed Up's fans are just a bunch of nerds. We're nothing against these Tokio Hotel zealots. I'm worried they're going to firebomb my house or take out my knees."
MTV's 2012 Musical March Madness tournament has reached the second round. Voting runs until midnight ET on Sunday, March 25, and winners are determined by fan votes, so if your favorite act is still alive, it'll be up to you to guide them to glory. You can rally the troops on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM or by downloading one of our custom badges — but get ready, it only gets more difficult from here on out.