RIO DE JANEIRO – Farside was initially inspired by bands like Husker Du, Bad Religion, Dag Nasty, early REM and the Descendents, Farside’s sound pre-dated a lot of current “emo” bands hitting the big time today. After several tours and lots of local shows, Farside called it quits in 2000 after demands from “real life” became too much to be financed by part time jobs and summer tours. Band members are currently scattered across the country enjoying life in various capacities.
More on http://www.myspace.com/farsideofficial
1990 First Demo
1991 Second demo (both of which released on Scrap)
1991 Keep My Soul Awake 7″
1992 Rochambeau LP
1994 Rigged LP
1994 Scrap LP (demos from 1990)
1995 Farside 7″
1995 Land of Need…World of Need comp LP (one track – cover of Embrace)
1996 Anti – Matter comp LP (one track – early version of Moral Straightjacket)
1997 Violent World comp LP (one track – cover of The Misfits Return of the Fly)
1997 The Spandex Incident comp LP (one track – cover of TT Quick‘s Metal Man)
1999 The Monroe Doctrine
2000 Some Japanese comp that may have never come out – cover of the Sex Pistols
2000 Significantly Live comp (one bad live track from 1992 tour)
2002 Revelation 100 comp LP (one track, previously unreleased)
How was the feeling of being a part of Revelation’s team in 90′s?
It was great. Revelation was just starting to take off in a big way and had a great lineup at that time, maybe the best it ever had. We were label mates with bands that we had a lot in common with musically (Sense Field and Shades Apart are the two that come to mind) but also with some of the more “out there” bands as well. Engine Kid is a great example, we wound up touring with them for about three weeks in ’94 and ’95 and it was fantastic. Great band and awesome guys that I don’t think we would have met if Jordan hadn’t have taken a chance with them.
How could you describe the last Farside’s phase?
I’m not sure what you mean. In terms of the band itself, we lost Bryan and picked up Sean which was both good and bad. It was good because Sean is an awesome guy and was a great bassist. It was bad because, for me at least, Farside was like a family and when a part of your family leaves, it’s a very sad thing. I had been in several bands before playing in Farside and there was always what I called “band friendships” – meaning that you were friends with the guys in your band, but the only thing you truly had in common with each other was that you were in the same band. With Farside, it was much different. I connected with those guys at every level and I never got sick of them. We hung out with each other outside of practice and shows and, I guess, ultimately, it kind of led to our breaking up. Around 1993 Bryan and I moved to San Diego which made practicing regularly kind of tough. A little later on, 1996 or so, Bryan moved to San Francisco which made practicing even tougher. So, whenever we would see each other, the time was spent catching up and having fun. Our practices became nothing more than a venue for that and as a result our output declined and we spent more time laughing and playing covers of Helmet and Entombed. . . which partially explains why The Monroe Doctrine took so long to come out.
Is there a possibility around a reunion show soon?
I guess it’s possible, but it’s not on our radar. It’s been discussed before but until everyone is comfortable with the idea it’s not going to happen. Right now the feeling is that we accomplished what we were meant to accomplish and that’s good enough.
What’s you best memories about Farside’s days?
Without a doubt my first tour with the band after joining in mid 1992. It was the first time any of us had been to Europe and the entire thing was a disaster. This guy was tagged with booking it and about 3 weeks before we were supposed to leave he contacted Revelation and announced that he had not booked a single date and was not going to. Now, being dirt broke, we had purchased non-refundable tickets to and from Germany, so we were going, tour or not. Jordan knew this great guy in Bradford, England named Ian who had booked some shows for some other touring Rev band before. Ian sang for an incredible HC band called Voorhees. He agreed to book this tour for us and we left the U.S. without having more than 3 or 4 shows booked. So we’d finish playing in a squat in Freiberg, Germany, go to the payphone and call Ian and he’d tell us we were scheduled to play in Italy the next night. It was crazy. I also blew my amp the first night which meant I had to borrow equipment every night of the tour. Plus, we were all cramped inside of this tiny VW Eurovan along with all of our gear and merchandise – it was just horrible. And somehow, we walked away from it, after losing tons of money, having had an amazing time. At the time, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be a permanent member of the band, but I couldn’t leave after that. It sounds cheesy, but it really was a make or break moment for us and it made us. We felt extremely “punk”.
I’ve read somewhere that Popeye mentioned in Anti-Matter anthology about diaries that individual members wrote while touring Europe. Tell me about that.
We all kept diaries of some sort, mainly just so we would be able to look back and remember the experience. I think we did that every time we toured except for maybe the last one. Some were published in fanzines back in the day – Extent published one of Popeye’s I think. I published a couple in fanzines I did.
What did you do when Farside disbanded? I mean, did you record some solo material?
No, I haven’t really done much musically since Farside. I briefly sang for a band called Adult Crash which was made up of some guys from Kill Holiday and Amenity, but we only played 4 shows or so. But since then, I haven’t done anything, no solo stuff, no new bands. I don’t really miss it. I always thought I would but I think I really just hadn’t focused on anything else. I didn’t know anything other than playing bands. Turns out I’m capable of doing a lot of things besides playing guitar.
As a musician, how’s the feeling when you realize that your music are still alive in people’s hearts?
Well, it’s a little awkward to be honest. There are bands that to this day mean so much to me. Husker Du and Black Flag made me want to play music. I had never heard anything that connected with me like that. It was a revelation (no pun intended) the day I realized that there were weirdoes like me out there feeling the things that I felt. I’m not trying to compare Farside to the Huskers or Flag, I’m just saying I know what it’s like to have certain bands that are important to you. If Farside is that to some people, then it’s awesome. But it’s a little weird at the same time. I guess I’m always a little surprised by it because I never considered the audience when writing and arranging songs. I wrote what appealed to me and what I thought was good. So while I certainly thought Farside was a good band (I wouldn’t have stuck around if I thought differently), it never occurred to me that people might really connect with the band, let alone still hold an interest 8 years after we split up.
What are you have been listening lately?
My tastes have always been all over the place. A quick peek in the CD case I keep in my car has Mastodon, M.I.A., Rogue Wave, Georgie James, Glorior Belli, Earth Wind & Fire, Sun Kil Moon, Magnolia Electric Co., The Shins, Pogues, Judas Priest, and Morrissey. I’ll tell you what I am not listening to these days – hardcore. I haven’t purchased a new hardcore LP in about 6 years. Well, aside from Paint it Black, I like those guys. But otherwise, I think I stopped being able to distinguish them from each other. Not sure if that means I’m old or just tired of the same chord progressions. I hope the latter.
The best record in 2007 was… why?
2007 was a good year. I picked up good stuff from Spoon, Radiohead, Ravens & Chimes, The National, Yeasayer. The Jarvis Cocker solo record was amazing (released at the end of 2006 I realize), Neon Bible by Arcade Fire was fantastic, Andrew Bird’s latest was a gem, Band of Horses’ second LP is great…lots of good stuff.
What’s your opinion about music x indie/majors labels?
So I’m speaking for myself here, not the other guys. I’m still a fan of the indie labels, and when Farside was around I was adamant about Farside remaining on an indie label. Me, personally, not necessarily the other guys. This isn’t because indie labels are necessarily better than the big players, I’ve just never been comfortable with the ties the majors have to giant corporations. And I’ve never liked the idea of being force-fed music that sucks, only to be told it’s good. Major labels control the “taste” of so much art and I simply don’t like being told what to do or think. Juvenile, maybe, but I don’t. There are a lot of great bands on major labels so I’m certainly not saying anything bad about anyone that chooses to go that route – more power to them. It just wasn’t the path I wanted to take. Now, saying that, I am fully cognizant that we may have “blown it” by turning down offers or blowing off A&R guys who were interested in checking us out and I am fine with that. My life has turned out pretty well despite not making a fortune off of being a rock star. Oddly enough, as it turns out, the kind of music we were playing really blew up – more than we really thought it would. After Nirvana exploded the scene in the early nineties and bands like The Offspring and Green Day were suddenly huge, I saw a lot of my friend’s bands sign and ultimately get screwed over. I saw bands whose label refused to release the album they had recorded – good albums too – and I saw that more than once. I saw bands get massively into debt because their contracts required them to tour 8 months out of the year, but often for less than what they were pulling in as an indie act. I guess I assumed that as soon as the hype died down that the whole “punk” thing would simply fade into the background and go back to the underground where it should have stayed in the first place. But a weird thing happened – Blink 182 came around and suddenly it was very, VERY cool to be a punk rocker. You could now head over to the local mall and buy everything you needed to be punk, or at least to appear the part. And that’s a very sad thing to me. It’s what the song “Lollapalooza” was about, 100%. So maybe we missed out, but I’m very satisfied being able to say that we did things our own way, fucked up as that may have been.
What do you think about discboxes, free downloads and such trends around digital music?
I’m not sure what a discbox is, but free downloads don’t bother me that much. I mean, I guess it depends on the band. Take a small band that’s just starting out, maybe has one LP out there – well, I’ve always been of the opinion that small bands don’t make any money on their CDs anyway, they make it by touring and selling merchandise. I honestly don’t think it’s going to hurt them that much in the long run. If anything, it might spur people to go see them when they come to town, maybe buy a shirt or something. But a band like Metallica, I just don’t buy it. Not for a second. I understand the idea that it’s “stealing” from bands when people download their stuff for free. I get it. But I can also see the other side which is this: CDs are not only expensive but they are truly overpriced. The cost of manufacturing a CD is much lower than most people think. And when you start talking about major labels, where they are producing huge quantities of product, the cost is even less. Even downloading music from something like iTunes is expensive. $10 for a CD that has NO manufactured product associated with it? The bulk of the cost of a CD is the manufacturing process – that $5 savings doesn’t begin to cover it. Bottom line is this – the money I earn is important to me, I worked hard for it. So when I spend it, I want it to be spent well. And let’s face it; we are saturated with music these days. There are so many bands out there – there’s never been a guarantee that what you were buying would be good, but at least you knew that if you liked metal or you liked hip-hop you’d probably like the metal or hip-hop record you were plunking down $15 for. These days there are so many bands of every genre that statistically this can’t hold true anymore. So. . . I’m not advocating piracy or illegal downloaded, I’m just saying I understand why some people might do it.