Archive for the ‘farewell’ Category

Farewell: Interview With Marshall

August 25, 2009

Interview By: Pablo Cortez

PC: How is Greensboro these days? Are you guys home or out on the road at this point?

Marshall: Greensboro is great! We’ve been home for a few weeks, just practicing and partying a lot. Our CD release show was on the 22nd, then we shoot our music video for “Devoid (That’s What I Think About It)”, then we leave for over a month on the AP.net Next Favorite Band Tour. Busy, busy, busy.

PC: Where was your first show as Farewell? How did it go?

Marshall: The first show for us was at a place called The Salty Dawg in New Bern, NC. It was a redneck bar with no PA, no stage, and no fans. It was a horrible experience, BUT we did get to arm-wrestle the owner for our money at the end. Buddy won it for us.

PC: How did you hook up with Epitaph?

Marshall: From what I hear, Brett was just surfing the net and stumbled upon our Myspace page. He liked what he saw/heard, and my number was listed at the time, so he called me. We were really excited to have interest from an independent label for once. It seemed like that was a better option for us than the majors that had been stalking us.

PC: Tell us about your first recording studio experience.

Marshall: Our first recording sessions were really weird. I had never sung in a band before, but the singer at the time was told to leave by our producer.

Apparently he was THAT bad. I was just the keyboard player then, but they all pushed me in the vocal room and made me try it out. I guess they liked it, cause here we are four years later, and they’re still pushing me out on stage every night.

PC: What was it like to work with Marc McClusky? What did he bring to your upcoming LP?

Marshall:
Marc is a really good producer, but he’s also a pain in the ass. I swear he played World of Warcraft more than he worked on our record! He did bring a lot to the table on this record, and he definitely knew what we were trying to do and say, so that helped.

PC: Who does your album art? I especially like the cover for “Isn’t This Supposed To Be Fun!?”

Marshall:
Thanks! I actually did the art for “Isn’t This Supposed To Be Fun!?” I’m a graphic designer in my down time. I do band merch, as well as corporate bullshit. We wanted to go a slightly different route with the new album art, so we asked my friend Derek Deal to get involved. I wrote him and told him what I wanted and he did it perfectly. I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out.

PC: Speaking of which, how did that title come about?

Marshall: The title, “Isn’t This Supposed To Be Fun!?” was a response to all the critics who were coming down on pop-punk and trivializing it’s value. We started this band because music SHOULD be fun and far too many people take it WAY too seriously. That’s not to say that we don’t, but we know when to act professional and when to say “screw it” and party.

PC: Do all the members of Farewell get involved in the writing/composing process?

Marshall:
Musically, yes. Lyrically, not too much. They add ideas here and there, but that responsibility rests on my shoulders.

PC: What can we expect from your upcoming release? Have you changed up your sound from your previous album?

Marshall: The new record is very straight-forward. It’s a little less synth-pop, but still VERY pop/pop-punk. There is a bit more “substance” I guess, but it’s basically a story-telling album. We love to share our lives with our fans, and we’ve found that most can really relate to the things I’ve been through. It’s nice to have that connection with our fans.

PC: What’s the game plan for you guys in the upcoming months?

Marshall: We plan on touring our asses off for the next 6 months while trying to get this record in every person’s hands we meet. We hope to make it back over to Japan and Europe this fall too. All I know is that this is still the beginning for Farewell. We’re going stronger than ever now.

Farewell

August 4, 2009

Photo Credit: Brett Arthur

The sophomore album poses an interesting situation for any artist: They can either take the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it approach, or they can opt to push the envelope and try something progressive, all the while subjecting themselves to potential failure.

On “Run It Up the Flagpole,” Greensboro, NC pop-punkers Farewell have chosen the latter, toeing the line between sugary pop melodies and unbridled punk-rock energy while creating a record that both Top-40 fans and punk purists can enjoy equally. The set follows 2007’s “Isn’t This Supposed To Be Fun!?,” which, along with the band’s earn-it-yourself attitude, kept Farewell on the road alongside acts including Forever The Sickest Kids, The Secret Handshake, Four Year Strong and Hit The Lights, as well as earning them a spot on last year’s Van’s Warped Tour.

When facing the task of writing their follow-up, the band — vocalist Marshall Davis, guitarists Wil Andrews and Kevin Carter, bassist Buddy (just buddy) and drummer Jeff Ellis — set out with one goal: to diversify its sound while proving that it’s possible to play catchy, pop-based music without pandering to overtly glossy production and studio trickery. “So many bands’ second record sounds exactly like their first one, and it’s almost always a letdown,” says Davis. “We wanted to continue to move forward as a band and help expand our fans’ perception of what ‘pop-punk’ could be. That’s why this new record has its own identity. It’s a perfect blend of our past and present.”

If you’re looking for a record full of snot-nosed vocals and breakneck tempos, you’ll probably be disappointed. Instead, Farewell’s punk influence is exuded in swagger and attitude, drawing from influences like Jawbreaker and Screeching Weasel. Even so, it’s clear the band isn’t pulling any punches this time around. Calling out the “cookie cutter caffeinated teens, deployed for mass consumption,” the lead single “Devoid (That’s What I Think About It)” kicks listeners in the teeth with massive Green Day-sized guitars and its rallying-cry chorus of “When did rock and roll become this fucking fashion show!?”

No, Farewell has not become a band of crusty punk-rock belly-achers. Nor have they turned their backs on the fan base that’s supported them since the beginning. They’re simply not willing to stand by and watch their pop-punk scene be overrun by sound-alike clones who care more about looking good than making good music. “We’re basically a punk-rock band that’s more rock than punk,” Davis laughs. “I wish I could sing like Armstrong, but I guess I’ll settle for Hoppus.”

Farewell’s members, most of whom had grown up playing in various punk and hardcore bands, came together in 2005 and quickly built a name for themselves, touring the Southeast and crafting their upbeat pop-rock sound, all the while showcasing for labels across the country. They eventually caught the ear of Epitaph founder Brett Gurewitz, who signed the group in 2007. It was an ideal situation for the band; many of their influences were veteran Epitaph artists. “They understood our band and didn’t want to change us,” Davis says of the label, “They were stoked on what we had to offer and gave us 100% creative control. It was perfect for us.”

Throughout “Run It Up the Flagpole,” Farewell tempers it’s us-against-the-world mentality with a hearty dose of earnestness and sincerity. That’s best found on “Catch As Catch Can,” an autobiographical mid-tempo number that recaps the band’s history – from its nascent stages in the dive-bars of North Carolina to an eventual deal with Epitaph and subsequent worldwide touring. “Run It Up The Flagpole” not only cements Farewell as a band that won’t compromise its ideals for the sake of rock stardom, but also shows its members will never forget their roots and what it took to make it this far.“You have to keep in mind that your fans are growing as individuals too, along with their musical tastes,” Davis explains. “We’re playing the type of music that made us want to do this in the first place. It’s what we love, and what we do best.”

“Run It Up The Flagpole” hits stores September 1st, so be sure to pick up a copy and listen for yourself.

Farewell – Devoid (That’s What I Think About It)

August 3, 2009

Download “Devoid (That’s What I Think About It)” by Farewell