Another city; another gig, but not just another band. If you haven’t already heard about Fake Problems, then now is the time, as the boys from Naples, Florida are doing what they do best and releasing their new album, Real Ghosts Caught on Tape, on September 21. Fake Problems define modern punk with an optimistic, melancholy attitude, all the while staying true to their punk roots with addictive guitar riffs, catchy beats and yes, of course, a whole lot of wailing. I recently chatted with vocalist/guitarist Chris Farren and got a reality check about the true definition of a rock and roll band. Farren also set the record straight about the thrills of life on the road and what really happened on the interstate on that memorable day in 2008 in Tennessee.
Q: I read that the band pretty much grew up together, and that you’ve known each since the age of 14; What are the pros/cons of this?
A: We can relate to each other. We’re from the same town, have most of the same friends, and grew up with all of the same people. Being on the road as much as we are, it’s important to be able to feel that connection to home. Musically, we know how we work together so well. We play off of each other and we know how to make music that compliments each of our individual talents, but never upstages anyone.
Q: It’s awesome how much the band commits to touring. I read that in 2006 you guys played 150 shows – plus the 20+ shows you have from now ’till October – why is this so important to Fake Problems, and how do you think it affects the success of the band?
A: Touring is honestly the only way a rock band can find success. We’re from a town in Florida that doesn’t get too much touring band traffic, so from day one we knew if we were going to make a name for ourselves, we’d have to get out and personally reach as many people as possible. Those ideals have taken us across the country, into Canada, and overseas in Germany, Scotland, England, Wales, Prague, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and more countries I don’t even remember. I guess our idea is the only way to get our music anywhere is to deliver it in person.
Q: What are the best aspects of being on the road so much?
A: Performing for new people, our fans that have been with us for a while, and seeing all of the friends we’ve made over the years.
Q: Most memorable show: where, when, why?
A: We played a show in Boston last year that was our first ever sold-out show – that was a pretty fantastic feeling. So many people singing along to the songs we wrote in our practice room in Naples.
A: Basically, a turkey flew through our windshield while we were doing 80 down the interstate. It was terrifying – the turkey landed in the very back of the van and we had to pull over and take it out. Our windshield was completely shattered and we were stuck in the middle of nowhere for the weekend, until we could get it fixed.
Q: Fake Problems is influenced by an array of music that is quite different from each other, such as punk and country music – Is there a genre that you identify more to than others? Which genre best defines Fake Problems, in your own words?
A: It’s hard to say. We switch it up from record to record. A friend of ours referred to the sound of the latest record as “beach punk.” I thought that was pretty cool. Yeah, let’s go with that: Beach Punk.
Q: Where does your inspiration come from and how are the best songs written?
A: The best songs are written from real emotion, reactions to real situations – whether it is positive or negative. Outside music influences are all over the place for us. We’re always seeking new music, old music, anything to move us. Our minds work really fast and we get sick of stuff really quick.
Q: What does Fake Problems do during down time?
A: Honestly we’re always doing this. I’m never not planning something for Fake Problems; from working on music in my head to figuring out touring schedules, opportunities, anything we can do to get our name out there. This is our life, constantly. We are an unstoppable train of rock and roll.
For more Fake Problems and a FREE song download go to http://fakeproblems.com/