Fake Problems are a band from Florida that can have many genre labels attached to them. At the moment, indie-rock works pretty well, but in the past you could call them anything from indie, to folk, to punk, to Americana. Needless to say, the band are never quite content to stay in one place or within one sound. They played a set at the El Mocambo a few nights ago along with Laura Stevenson and the Cans (which you can read about here), and I got to talk to lead singer and guitarist Chris Farren for a few minutes after the band’s soundcheck.
MVRemix: Have you been doing headlining tours for a while?
Chris Farren: This is only like our second headlining tour, but we’ve done a bunch of headlining shows. We try to headline as much as possible, but this is the second proper one, with promotion and everything. We just put out a record last year so we figured it was time.
MVRemix: How long has the tour been going for?
Chris Farren: A little less than a month; we started April 14th.
MVRemix: How did Laura Stevenson and the Cans get on the tour?
Chris Farren: We just really love their band, and we’ve been friends with them for a while, so we just asked them to come on the tour and they said yes!
MVRemix: How many times have you come to Canada?
Chris Farren: I guess it’s been like 6 or 7 times by now. We just came back from a tour with The Flatliners, the Menzingers and Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, which was an awesome tour.
MVRemix: Who have been your favourite bands to tour with?
Uhh…The Gaslight Anthem, Murder by Death, Frank Turner, Laura Stevenson and the Cans…so many. Those are definitely the top. Oh, and Look Mexico!
MVRemix: You came up with a new album last year, Real Ghosts Caught on Tape. Where did the name come from?
Chris Farren: The record has a lyrical theme of disappointment and unfulfilled expectations, and then the idea that any time you go on the internet and look for real ghosts caught on tape, which I happened to be doing at the time, obviously you’re never going to find a real…anything. When you grow up you have an idea of what your life is going to be like, and then when you hit a certain age, you kind of start realizing that life can be disappointing, and you just have to deal with it. So that’s where the title came from.
MVRemix: Your older albums have a lot of extended instrumentation – horns and the like – but your new one is a bit more stripped-down. How did that come about?
Chris Farren: With the last record we went as big as we could possibly go, with horns and strings and everything. It was awesome, and we loved that record, but we always want to make a different record, so we decided to scale things back and focus on our first instruments, and on the songwriting. We were trying to make every moment of every song count as opposed to just jamming a million things in.
MVRemix: How did you get onto your record label, Side One Dummy? I always figured you guys did more of a DIY thing.
Chris Farren: They just made us a good offer, and they were the best ones at the time. We just really liked them.