This morning during my morning ritual of reading random blogs and just catching on on current events I found myself checking out +44‘s lead/bassist Mark Hoppus’ blog site. The former Blink 182 member had updated it for the first time in months. He explained where he has been, what he has been doing, and most of all reconnecting with friends from the past, more specifically Blink 182:
in the midst of everything else that has happened lately, tom, travis, and i have all spoken together. first through a number of phone calls, and then a couple of weeks ago we all hung out for a few hours. they’ve all been great, very positive conversations. we’re just reconnecting as friends after four years of not talking. it’s a good thing. obviously the first question for a lot of people will be “does this mean a blink-182 reunion?” the answer is none of us know. we haven’t talked about it at all. right now it’s just good for the three of us to see one another, reconnect, and let the past be the past. the events of the past two months supersede everything that happened before. life is too short.
Two months ago Travis Barker was involved in a terrible plane crash that left four dead. I posted a blog about it the day after it happened as I as a fan felt terrible about what happened. He luckily survived along with pal DJ-AM but it was still a horrific event and a real eye-opener for many. Seeing Mark Hoppus’ blog just proved more how the crash started to make people think about life and values of friendship.
It’s great to hear that the three members of the once power pop punk rock act are speaking. Blink 182’s break up was just dumb in my opinion. The guys had a good thing going and tossed it to the side for the sake of what seemed personal stardom. Each side had their story but once Blink 182 broke up it was clear that the three were not what they used to be. I would love to see Blink 182 reunite not for the music aspect but just to see the three together again. The band was a group of close friends and I myself liked them more because of that.
Whether they actually start up Blink 182 is still to be determined but at least they are hanging out again as friends.
Any fan of punk rock music has probably heard of a certain SoCal punk rock band called Face To Face. Formed by Trever Keith in 1991 the band gained commercial success with their ideal punk rock style and soon achieved commercial success. Trever Keith was the only original member to stick through the good times and bad times and sadly the band decided to call it quits in 2003
With the decision to go their separate ways Trever Keith did not stop there. He continued on with his passion for music and started recording solo material as well as maintained his own record label. On top of that he worked on other band projects including Legion Of Doom, a mash-up project of out of this world proportions. He is without a doubt one of the busiest punk rockers out there and it not willing to call it quits anytime soon.
Recently I learned that Face To Face had reunited for a small tour and possibly more. I decided to get in touch with Trever Keith to ask him some questions of his past, present, and future. Trever Keith was more than happy to take time out of his busy day and answer some questions for me.
B: So I guess my first question would have to be what finally prompted Face To Face (F2F) to reunite for a few tours? I remember reading an interview a while back that you did not think it was going to happen.
TK: Scott [Shiflett] and I missed it and the offers started getting a lot more interesting.
Any specific offers in general?
Bamboozle 08 in Los Angeles was the clincher.
Who is all playing alongside you when you tour?
Scott of course. Sometimes Chad Yaro (depending on his availability, LA area shows are the most likely) and Danny Thompson on drums.
Any chance of expanding the tour? I see that F2F is playing some shows in California in November as well as a few select dates overseas in 2009.
As long as there is an interest from fans, we will be back out playing shows. We’re not looking at being back out on the road full time for F2F, but we are definitely planning some more stuff for 2009. We’ll just see how it goes.
Does this reunion tour mean there is a possibility that F2F might be back to record new material?
I suppose there is a remote chance. Although there are no plans.
Any real reason why F2F ultimately called it quits?
A desire to try some other projects and a sense that we had really run our course as a band. We didn’t want to overstay our welcome. But the fans have proved that the reality of that is completely the opposite. So we’re back as long as there is a demand.
Enough about F2F, let’s talk about you and your continuing vision with music. Even after the band departed you continued forward. You released a solo album on your own record label. Can you tell me a little bit about both?
I have a label called Antagonist. I had an indie distribution deal that was a complete disaster. I’m out of it now. My plans for Antagonist are sort of changing with the landscape, but I at least know it’s a place for me to release my own music in the future.
My debut solo record was in limited release but is currently not available. I had initially had it available for download for $5.00 on my website and I pressed up about 1,000 limited edition CDs for sale only at shows.
These were things I wanted to do for the core fans. I am looking at an “official” release for early/mid 2009.
Will your “official” solo release be under your label or has anyone else shown interest is having it on their label?
There is interest, but it will be an Antagonist release regardless of whether I’m involved with another label or not.
You toured in support of your solo release. How were the shows you played at? Were there a lot of old school punkers there checking you out? Were a lot of people asking about the band you used to front?
Most of the shows were amazing. They were small sized clubs. Some were better attended than others but most of the time that really didn’t matter. The people that came were so cool. I made a point of hanging out a bit after every show and it was really something special. Many of these people are F2F fans but also really appreciated the work I am doing on my own and that was really the point of this small club tour; to really just get out there for the die hard fans and get the music to them first. Now my challenge is spreading it to a bigger audience.
Any plans for a second solo release?
Sure but give me a chance to promote this one properly first!
What is Viva Death all about?
It was a project that Scott and I thought up about 5 years ago. The first record was really a joint effort but on the second record it started to become more of Scott’s thing. He is just now finishing up the third Viva Death record which from what I’ve heard so far is amazing. He played all of the instruments on this one, even drums. It’s really a testament to what an amazing musician Scott is. You can check out his MySpace for more info. www.myspace.com/vivadeathmusic
I have read about a possible other project in the works as well called Pablum? Not much is known about them. Anything you might like to share?
Pablum is just an early name for my solo effort. I decided to go with my own name for simplicity.
How did you become involved with mashing up songs in Legion Of Doom?
Chad Blinman is a longtime friend. I sort of convinced him to start this mash-up thing while him and I had some downtime. We really started digging in and get hooked into the project. We decided to give ourselves a name and some soundtrack and remix work followed. It’s a project that is an amazing creative outlet for us that is unlike anything else we’re involved in. It’s something I look forward to doing for a long time. There are many ideas in the works for Legion of Doom.
Where did the idea come from to do such a thing, mash up emo/punk songs and even add a little hip-hop action? I admit the first time I heard it I was hooked?
Well I’d be lying if I said it was all my idea. I was doing some work with Darren Doane at the time and we always had this knack for discussing all sorts of crazy ideas for projects and stuff. He had this idea to do DJ style mash-ups of emo/hardcore bands. Since he’s in film and music videos he didn’t really have the know how to pull off such an idea so I ran with it.
The CD Incorporated is out of print and pretty much impossible to find. Do you think you would ever consider re-releasing it?
We don’t have the permission from labels or publishers to release the CD, so probably not. Come to think of it, who made those first CDs anyway?
So you had nothing to do with the CD being released or do you have no comment? Haha.
What is your favorite mash-up so far that you have helped create? I personally love the Coheed vs. Senses Fail mash-up called “Devil In A Blue Dress”. It seems like the two songs were meant to be mashed.
Destroy All Vampires [My Chemical Romance vs. A Static Lullaby mash-up]
Just curious on how Cleveland artist Derek Hess was recruited to draw up the cover for the CD?
That was another Darren Doane connection. I met Derek through Darren.
A couple of the Legion Of Doom songs were featured in movies such as Saw II and Resident Evil: Extinction. Any plans on having more mixes pop up in future movies?
I’d love to. Nothing confirmed at the moment. The last thing we did for a film is a placement in the movie Pathology which just came out on DVD.
Eyes Front is a movie released on Antagonist Films. Any relation to your own Antagonist Records Label? What all did you contribute to the film? Is this just the beginning of you working a little more in depth with a movie?
Antagonist Films is the same company as Antagonist Records. The Legion of Doom did all of the original music for the film and I was a producer on the film. I would love to do more work in film, but I’m not currently involved in any projects at the moment.
How did you land the role of producing the movie (Eyes Front)? Have you had previous experience producing film?
Again Darren Doane was the one who got me involved with the film. I have had no previous experience.
Speaking of movies it seems like you take samples from older movies and add them to the mix, how do you come across some of those?
There are websites with such material. Just gotta know where to look.
Have you seen any of the fan made videos of Legion Of Doom mash-ups on YouTube? What do you think about your fans creating them?
One of the most satisfying things about creating something is knowing that people really get it. Seeing those music videos to me is proof that people out there are really getting what we’re doing and they’re taking it up a level by adding their own creativity. It’s a humbling experience.
What is next for Legion Of Doom? Would you/have you considered touring? Will there be another CD released?
We’re getting ready to release an entire album of new original material.
When you look at all that you have accomplished musically, how does that make you feel? Any advise to share with anyone looking to be successful in a musical career whether it be creating or remixing?
I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I feel lucky to have had some success and I am proud of the body of work I have created. And on the other hand I want to achieve more both as an artist and performer. The only advice I could give is you have to be relentless.
What’s next for Trever Keith?
Look for Trever Keith’s official release of his solo album in early/mid 2009. For more information about what cities Face To Face is touring or to check out all the projects Trever Keith is currently involved in check out the following links:
I was just killing some time tonight when I came upon a post on Punknews.Org stating that Face To Face has started a reunion tour. Excuse me??? Apparently I have been out of the loop because I thought the band called it quits for good in 2002. I really hadn’t heard anything from them since.
Face To Face is a So.Cal punk rock band that was one of my favorites in the late nineties. Their one song that got major attention was “Disconnected”…
I am not sure yet if the band is going to only tour a couple of cities at this time in the US and overseas or if they will take it one step further and create and album together. I would love to see a new Face To Face album as they are one of those punk bands I wish never broke up.
I have been aware that front man Trevor Keith has been doing his own thing since the band split. In fact he has been doing a few things…a few things I was not entirely aware of.
First there is his solo material he has been working on and his label Antagonist Records. I had no idea Trevor Keith has been working on creating music on his own. Earlier this year he released his solo album Melancholics Anonymous. The album is available on his website via download for 5 bucks or you can send him some of your cold hard cash and he’ll send you a CD if he has any left. I am going to be dishing out 5 bucks myself so I can check it out. He has the album streaming on his site and from what I hear I like so far.
Then there is Legion Of Doom, a mash-up project like no other featuring Trevor Keith and producer Chad Blinman. The duo remixes emo, punk, and hip hop songs as well as creates original material, some of which have been featured in films. I have been a fan of this project for a couple of year now when I accidentally came across a remix of Senses Fail and Coheed & Cambira….
I love the sound of the two bands clashing together, it’s perfect (but you have to like the bands to appreciate it too of course). I also got a kick out of Claudo’s shorter hair on the video…. This song and others were released on Legion Of Doom’s debut CD called Incorporated. The CD is well out of print but you can find it out there in the digital world, I know I did.