20 years ago, I didn’t care about many things in life except for punk rock. I lived and breathed the genre and knew that it was for me. I fit the role, spoke the language, and enjoyed every single second of it.
I grew up, but refused to leave my love for punk rock behind. The best times of my life were fueled by the music and filled with other advocates of the genre. There’s no way I could ever give up something like that.
When I think about the bands in the 90s that meant the the most to me, Face To Face was at the top. This So-Cal pop punk outfit was the soundtrack to so many episodes of my life. Their music is timeless and never has grown dull on me.
Fronted by Trever Keith, the band is celebrating 25 years of being a band this year and decided to put out an all new release on a label that is an old friend of theirs – Fat Wreck Chords.
I am actually in the middle of reviewing their new album Protection, but became so amped while listening to it that I wanted to reach out to Trever Keith and just throw a bunch of questions at him. Of course he was cool with it. Check it out…
BHP: First things first, Face to Face is back with Fat Wreck Chords for an all new release in 2016. How did the band and Fat get hooked up again?
TK: I finally figured out that it would be a good idea and I emailed Erin and asked if she wanted to hear our demos. She did and then told Mike. It was very easy
I have to put this out there… I was stoked Face To Face got back together in the late 2000s. You once told me there was a remote chance the band would regroup, but nothing was certain. Was it the fans that brought the band back?
I would say so. We have such a loyal following. The real appeal for us was getting to play live again as face to face. The fans make the live show what it is. We missed that. There is nothing else like it.
The new album is incredible. What did you guys do differently this time to capture a younger sounding Face To Face and put it in your new material?
We just went back to a simpler more immediate style of arrangement and song. I think they convey the message more clearly. There was a simplicity and honesty to our earlier records. We tried to key into that.
It seriously sounds like you all had fun recording this. This was not a forced release by any means. Am I correct in stating that?
Absolutely. The whole experience really feels like it zoomed by.
“Bent But Not Broken” sounded like a war cry to me as in Face To Face is still here and not going anywhere soon. Was that the intention?
It’s not about us as a band, although I would agree with your sentiment that we intend to stick around for a while longer. It’s more about the type of person who is unwilling to think outside of their dogma.
What is your favorite track off the album? I dig “Double-Crossed” and “See If I Care” a ton, perhaps because they hit on some of my harder times in life.
“Keep Your Chin Up” is probably my favorite song
So, who all is in the band this time around? Scott is, I know that much.
Danny, who has been drumming with us since 2008, is on the record and so is Dennis Hill who has had guest guitar spots on both records since we started playing again.
Can we expect a proper US tour for this release?
That depends on what you mean by “proper”. I can at least tell you that we plan on hitting all of the big cities.
So how does it feel to be back in the band doing your thing?
The band has been around since 1991, did you ever think that Face To Face would ever be around for this long?
I never doubted it, but I never really thought too much about it. It’s not surprising to me. They know what they’re doing over there.
Now that you all are more seasoned musicians and humans for that matter, how different is touring versus back in the 90s?
We get tired easier. There are naps…
I remember seeing Face To Face at the Warped Tour in 2010 and literally yelling at kids to get off their asses and get closer to the stage. Did it bug you seeing those kids more amped to see new acts over yours, or were you guys too busy playing to your true fans?
Trying to focus more on the people who were there to see us.
Out of all of your albums, which one would you consider was your finest?
In 2008, you dropped a solo release called Melancholics Anonymous. Personally speaking, I loved that album and still listen to it once in a while. Do you think you will ever go that route again?
I doubt it. It was a fun record to make and I even did a brief tour supporting it. These days Face To Face is enough for me.
What do you think about the music these days? Are there any newer acts that impress you?
Western Settings, Iron Chic, Radioactivity
Finally, this is more of a personal question… Why was Big Choice never properly released on vinyl? That promotional album is the white elephant of all LPs out there to me and one day I would love to have a copy in my hands one day. Seeing the album passed the 20 year mark, I’m just curious why it never made it to the turntable.
I am reissuing Don’t Turn Away, Big Choice, and Face to Face on 180 gram colored gatefold, limited edition vinyl in 2016 on my Antagonist Records label to celebrate our 25th Anniversary as a band.
Can I tell you how excited that last answer made me? I did not even get to close the interview down, I immediately looked if those LPs were up for pre-order yet.
Face To Face’s new album Protection drops March 4th on Fat Wreck Chords. Head on over to pre-order it by clicking HERE.
Check out a new track off the release:
Here’s the music video the band just released for “Bent But Not Broken”: