Chris Farren is an American country music songwriter and record producer. He is the president of Combustion Music, a publishing and music production company which was founded in 2001.<
• Kate Taylor (Kate Taylor is an American singer-songwriter, originally from Boston, Massachusetts.)
• Victoria Atkin (Victoria Atkin is an English actress best known for playing the character Jason Costello, previou...)
• Charlie Hamilton James (Charlie Hamilton James is an English photographer, television cameraman and presenter, specialisi...)» All Songwriter Interviews
It's me, baby, Chris Farren. I make music under my own name (which is Chris Farren, just to remind you), and also have involved myself in a few other musical projects as well. I just put out a record called "CAN'T DIE" on SideOneDummy and am spending the rest of this year and a lot of next TOURING performing LIVE MUSIC, PERFECTLY. Please be nice to me I am very fragile but also let's have FUN BABY. Also I'm not a ghost.
So how come you didn't marry Jeff Rosenstock when you had the chance?
I'm already married.
Do you have any good promotional portraits of yourself? "Head shots" if you will.
yes I have one that comes to mind
Hey baby! In regards to the story where you got stoned, took a poo at a college girl’s party, and then proceeded to scoop said pieces of your shit out of said college girl’s toilet only to hide them in trashcans around her house; Have you done marijuana since?
Yes I have. But generally weed stresses me out so I don't do it all that much.
Chris, with all the controversy around you clearly being a ghost, what are your thoughts on Jeff clearly writing about you in To Be A Ghost and making plenty of more references in his new album about your ghostliness?
That song is actually about cops killing innocent people and Black Lives Matter, I'm pretty sure.
Chris "Where U Are" is a great song but Can't Die is an even better album. I'm an animator and I'd love to make a cartoon music video of one of the tracks from it, so here's my question: what song from that record would you like to see turned into an animated music video??
TO INSECURITY AND BEYOND OMG
Can you please have Brian open for you next tour instead? Thx
Will you and Jeff ever start 'Back to the Island' back up and what is your favorite song that you guys made for that podcast?
I like the one where we just say BRIGHT EYES ROCKS over and over again, and also Weenie Boy In Space is maybe the best song I've ever written period.
we'll bring it back soonish, i promise, probably
Is Fake Problems completely dead now? What actually happened with you guys? You seemed to be at the peak of your popularity
This piece Maria Sherman just did pretty much sums this up, from my perspective at least. We're definitely open to doing something in the future if we can find time and think of a cool idea for a record. http://clrvynt.com/chris-farren-interview/
Long time fan, first time listener. Just kiddin baby. What's your go to tour food? Has Against me! ever opened for Fake Problems? Do you sleep on your back, stomach, or side?
hi no Against Me never opened for us, but they took us on our first big tour in 2007. 7 weeks full US and it was CRAY. I sleep on my side
Chris, I know recently relocated to California after living for a long time in Florida. How has the move influenced your songwriting, music career, etc.?
I haven't really had any time to write songs since I've been in LA - just the nature of releasing the record and being on tour a lot. Music career I imagine it has helped, just being around a lot of the PEEPS and NETWORKING BABY AAGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
HI OK I've got to stop now but feel free to send me more questions on twitter of Facebook or whatever , im /ChrisFarren on both.
ill also try to circle back to this page and answer any questions I didnt answer that arent about ghosts or fake problems
Chris! I saw you open for Brian Fallon back in July in Canada, and had to come shake your hand of course! I absolutely love your music, and you put on an excellent live show. My girlfriend thinks you're amazing and was surprised you sounded so good (just you and a guitar).
Just one question, I'm dying to see you live again. Do you have any plans on cruising through southwestern Ontario, Canada in the future?
PS my 3 year old loves "say you want me" and screams the "saaayyyy that you waaaaaaaaaaaaant me" EVERY TIME. He loves ya!
haha that's awesome!!!! I don't have anything on the books right now for Ontario, but I'm FREQUENTLY there, so I would bet I'll be back in 2017!!! Thank you!!
Oh Chris I love your band Antarctigo Vespucci
can you make more of it's music for me to listen to?
yes maybe next year
How do you keep ur hair looking so nice???
I don't KNOW i still don't have a good routine or regiment for it. I try not to wash it too much because when I wash it it gets all huge and fluffy and i feel like an IDIOT
will any more of the "least embarrassing demos" ever get properly recorded and released? or are they destined to just be demos? any plans to release any more? some of them are total jams
Thanks! I tend to write about 60 songs per record cycle so I will always have demos that could be released. I don't usually go back too far to old demos when I'm making a new record. I like to just move forward. But sometimes, rarely, there's a song from the past that I could never figure out that just suddenly clicks with me. But yeah mostly I just write new songs.
Hi I recently read the article where you are on a TMZ tour bus (http://clrvynt.com/chris-farren-interview/) and it really moved me. I was really glad to read where AV came from. I also felt less alone reading that one of my heroes quit drinking and struggles with depression. I was wondering how have you dealt with your depression and do you have any advice for those who do?
If that’s too morbid and you don’t wanna answer, feel free to answer any of these:
who were you most excited to see/impressed you most at FEST (besides Jeff)?
what is yr fav podcast (besides yr own lolol)?
I go to therapy and I am lightly medicated - but also I try to read positive stuff, like borderline CHEESY sometimes like "The Magic of Thinking Big" type stuff. It's goofy but my brain is always in such a danger of going dark that keeping myself ambitious really helps. Also exercising and eating healthy, sorry I AM YOUR MOM.
My fav sets of Fest were ROZWELL KID and LOOK MEXICO
My two fav podcasts right now are DOUGH BOYS and HOLLYWOOD HANDBOOK
Hi Chris, excited to see you at the end of the month performing your perfect music. I might even stay after your set for that Fallon guy.
My question is: Can I hug you? Wait, I know I can hug you cause you're not a ghost; let me rephrase. May I hug you?
You may hug me but warn me first so I'm not surprised thank you
Hi Chris! Longtime fan.
I listened to an interview with you talking about making your live solo sets more dynamic and involved by using loops/MIDI stuff with a looper. (Boss RC3, maybe?) I recently picked one up with the same intention and was wondering what your process was and what resources you might recommend.
Appreciate any insight! Keep being perfect always :)
Hi! So since I've recorded my records myself, I went into my program (Logic Pro) and zoomed in on the drums and replaced every real snare hit with an analog snare, same for kick, toms etc. Replaced all of the drums piece by piece to make them sound more electronic, then I did the same with lead guitars, replaced them with synthy sounds. For some reason it feels more authentic to me to perform live over electronic music than to perform over real recorded things? It's like I'm not trying to pull one over on the audience or something.
After I get the track to sound the way I want it to sound, I bounce it out and drag it into the loop pedal. Every track is seperated by number on the pedal, and I bought a foot switch for the pedal so I don't have to bend over between every song to switch between them!
Hey Chris, thanks for all the good music.
What's your typical songwriting process like? Much like getting into the 'funny zone' do you have to get into the 'music zone'? I only ever feel motivated to write stuff when I'm feeling really strong emotions/feeling depressed. Whenever I try to just sit down and write stuff on a normal day it always feels like I'm forcing it and it doesn't sound good to me.
Any tips/advice is appreciated! Excited to see you play the new stuff whenever you're up in Minnesota next!
Oh and a fun story: When I studied abroad in London I took my friend to see you for his first ever show. He thought you were great and so did I. Thanks again for the music and the laughs!
When I'm in writing mode I force myself to sit down for at least 4 hours every day and just focus on writing. Yes, most of the time at first, it does feel forced, but it's a muscle that I'm exercising, so when the real inspiration strikes, I'm ready for it and prepared and know the best ways to deal with it. Does that make sense? Basically I write a song every day and force myself to finish it even if I think it sucks, which I mostly always do. But then when I finish it I get a sense of accomplishment, and momentum grows from that, and I learn what I like and don't like. I feel like I HAVE to write the bad songs to get to the good ones. It's like digging thru the landfill of my subconscious
Hey Chris! Caught you at Wrecking Ball back in August and loved every bit of your set and Antarctigo's.
Anyway, 2 questions if you don't mind:
Since Can't Die was self-written and self-produced, do you have any recommendations on recording on a budget as far as software goes? I have some experience with ProTools and have dabbled a bit with Cubase, but all of those were through using friends' computers. I'm ready to start recording my own stuff now.
Also, how did you and Derrick Peltz (paging /u/chefderrickpeltz) come to be friends (and has he cooked for you yet)?
I record using my Macbook and LOGIC PRO X, which is very very easy to use. But if you already have experience with ProTools I would stick with that. Honestly all you really need is one of those programs and good EARS and a basic interface. Don't worry too much, just trust your instincts and put stuff out there and you'll just keep learning how to make it sound better. Don't be afraid to fail!
Hey Chris. How many times have you turned down offers to be a judge on The Voice? What do we--I mean they need to do to get you to finally agree to come on?
more money baby
What is your favorite current Facebook password?
Lost sucks! I think you and Jeff should do more podcasts. Also, what does Jeff smell like?
he smells like me
Fuck ya that Look Mexico set was tight af
best band ever
Hi Chris! I have been blessed with the gift of your music by the lovely AJJ fam and I am now the only mod of your very smol subreddit /r/chrisfarren ! I was wondering how long you have known Mark because you two have an awesome dynamic that is super fun to watch and while you're at it, how long have you known the rest of AJJ?
EDIT: Cass says hi
hi hi hi! i met mark at Jeff's wedding last year I think but we became friends thru the internet! and now we share hotel rooms together!
Hi Chris! Do you have any plans for another holiday album? A super spooky Halloween album by someone who may or not be a ghost would be amazing. Epecially if said person was punk rock legend Chris Farren.
Also, what's your favorite Birthday Boys sketch from each season?
No more holiday albums, I might do one offs or something if I think of a good idea?
I don't know which season each sketch is from, but the "BOOK GUY" musical type sketch is so amazing. Goldoff and Steinstein, UGH there are so many. Every sketch on that show was so good. I loved it so much.
What's your favorite Dave Hause song?
besides your own perfect and flawless album, do you have any new music recommendations?
Diners - Three
Emperor X - Western Teleport (not new but it's new to me)
Jonny Fritz - Sweet Creep
John K Samson - Winter Wheat
and AJJ has been listening to Mannequin Pussy in the van a bunch and I really like that too.
Thanks for stopping by!
Definitely. Thank you!
Hi Chris! Saw you in Atlanta with AJJ and the others a few days ago, was an instant fan the moment you came on stage.
Did you go into making music knowing you'd be a one-man act/doing all the music yourself? Or did it just kind of happen by accident/on a whim and you rolled with it?
I've been in bands and done all sorts of different musical projects for the past 12 years. This "one man act" thing is kind of new for me, and perhaps temporary. I really enjoy playing alone though, it definitely FORCES me to be more present and communicate with the crowd, which I needed to get better at. I like collaborating and performing with others too though. Right now I'm happy to be doing it this way, but I'm sure I'll get sick of it eventually and want to add some more elements.
Where is Fake Problems?
up yr butt u lil peckerhead
What are you favorite and least favorite parts about living in LA?
Favorite is definitely being around a community, or various communities, that share similar interests with me, being able to go to music and comedy shows pretty much whenever, being close to my record label, and the WEATHER is great!!!!! Umm least favorite is I guess being far away from my family in Florida?
How does it feel to be 3 letters away from being the best comedian ever?
it feels great I think about it every day
What was your first album?
What goes on the perfect pizza?
my first actual album I played on I would say is probably a fake problems full length/sort of demo that was called "Watching The Bull Get The Matador", which we cribbed from a Bukowksi poem. We recorded the whole thing ourselves in our guitarist's (Casey Lee) parents house. It was a VERY fun experience. I haven't listened to it in a very long time. I wonder if its still good. We drank champagne when we were finished with it. that's silly. but it was fun
Hey Chris, what song are you most proud of writing?
I think I See Failure from AV's Leavin La Vida Loca is really good and I'm happy I made it. That whole bridge part where I ramble on about my insecurities was Jeff's idea. I don't remember exactly what he said but it was basically "this part you should just list off all these things that make you feel bad" and then I wrote the lyrics right in front of him within 10 mins and we recorded it.
I like "Still Beating" and "Until I Can See The Light" on my new record a lot.
and Complaint Dept on the FP record "Real Ghosts Caught On Tape" is really cool because the guitar part is super weird and a way I don't normally play, so that was fun.
What's your album of the year thus far? You can't answer with you own record, by the way.
Chris Farren - Can't Die
How tall are you? Such a small perfect human.
Also you are a ghost.
Hi Chris! Which of your songs (perfect as they are) could do with a bit of accordion?
What was the first song you played last night in philly? You were using that electronic doo hickey
To Insecurity & Beyond
Hello Mr. Farren! I met you at the recent show in Richmond, and you were super-nice to a super-awkward fan. Thanks for being cool. A few questions:
Hey! Yeah I really promise I wasn't at that video shoot. I'm really curious why someone was there pretending to be me!?! That's actually insane. I was on set for his NEWER music video but that's not out yet and there wasn't anyone else involved and it was shot in LA.
How do you respond to reports that you had a less than perfect show?
when who the hell said that
Who were some of your favourite people who played FEST this year?
Also from now until the end of the year, I'll be spinning "Like a Gift from God, Or Whatever."
What is it like being a punk celebrity? Do you have trouble keeping the hordes of groupies at bay?
it's great and no
Do you like the title "Live. Die. Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow" or did you prefer when it was just "Edge of Tomorrow"?
edge of tomorrow is better
any chance for a second season of the blanket boys? #respecttheblanketboys
Chris, your lyrics always seem to perfectly capture my personal insecurities in a way that's cathartic and provides clarity; do you find that writing about those personal life problems improves your ability to handle them?
Also, what are the current Antarctigo Vespucci plans, if any? Leavin' La Vida Loca was so incredible that I'm really just clamoring for more.
Yeah definitely. Just writing things out in GENERAL helps, and even more so when I can put it out there and people can tell me they relate to it. that's really helpful to me.
no plans right now but jeff and i both want to do more
Reading the article you posted made me go back and thoroughly listen through the Fake Problems discography for the first time in a while. Brought back a lot of good memories of that time period, and being young and genuinely excited to go to shows/play shows. And now that I think of it... traveling to Cleveland or Philly to catch em, too. Always had a good time when you guys came around and sorry I've been missing all the solo sets in Pittsburgh.
Trying to come up with a question... hmm.
Thanks for the good times Chris!
mike posner was nice. definitely from a different world than me. but very talented
What the fuck is up with the music video for Where U are? And why is it so weirdly mesmerizing?
I made it on my phone and yes It is GREAT
Who is your favorite one handed person?
UMMMMMM imma have to go with Angel Giuffria
Should I go to your show in Boston next week wearing all of my Hurry merch?
You down with OPP?
what does it stand for i forget
Chris, I saw you perform in Tampa at epic problems in March. I wanted to let you know that it was a very enjoyable experience. Having said that, what inspires you to write, and play your music perfectly?
It's really fulfilling to write and record music - I don't know what specifically drives me to do it, or what inspires me, but I know it is a uniquely great feeling to share these personal things with people and to have them relate. I guess it just makes me feel good and less alone in general knowing that there are other people who feel the same ways I feel and like the same sounds I like?!!
Hey Chris, great to have you here!
What's your favorite non-us country to visit or play in?
Excited to see you and AJJ in a couple weeks! Keep it up!
Oh damn I really love playing in CANADA a lot. I also love going to the UK, and Germany. I'm excited that I get to play a bunch of Euro shows coming up and I'm going to a lot of Scandinavian countries I've never been! COOL
Love the album, planning any UK shows?
Thank you! And yep, a bunch in two weeks with Brian Fallon. tix and stuff at chrisfarren.com/tour
11/16 London UK - O2 Forum !
11/17 Norwich UK - The LCR !
11/18 Cardiff UK - Great Hall !
11/19 Leeds UK - O2 Academy !
11/20 Liverpool UK - O2 Academy !
11/22 Glasgow UK - O2 Academy !
11/23 Dublin IRL - Olympia Theatre !
11/24 Oxford UK - O2 Academy !
11/25 Newcastle UK - O2 Academy !
11/26 Wolverhampton UK - Wulfrun Hall !
11/27 Portsmouth UK - Pyramids Centre !
What's your morning ritual?
IDEALLY my morning ritual is writing in my notebook and exercise and showering but in dark times I just eat cheerios and stroll through instagram jealously.
Hey Chris! Just wondering, how did your relationship with SideOneDummy start? Through Jeff? Do you think they're a good label for pushing punk-centered music forward?
My old band Fake Problems was on Sideonedummy from 2008-2011, so I had some history with them already. But it was definitely Jeff's involvement, as well as AJJ and Smith St etc that made me want to go back. I really like all of the people at Sideone. There are specifically two REALLY fantastic people who work there, Jamie Coletta and Christina Johns, who are so intensely amazing at what they do and are SUCH a pleasure to work with. So a mix of all of those things make it a really great place for an artist to be. I think they're doing a great great job.
Saw you in Cleveland and Detroit this summer with Brian Fallon and you were fantastic both nights! Your autographed headshot now graces one of my music walls in my place. I was curious to know if you had anything interesting or funny to say about touring with Brian Fallon and the Crowes?
Thank you and make sure to get back to Michigan!
Nothing specific comes to mind, but I've been friends with Brian and the rest of the Gaslight guys for like 10 years or something at this point, so hanging out with Brian and Alex and Ian is always very very fun. I am always treated SO ridiculously well on those tours, by the crowd and the band and crew. Everyone is so nice. Also Ian Perkins is perhaps the funniest person in the world. And for some reason he always convinces big companies to let us tour their factories or send us free stuff. It's GREAT.
WHY WONT YOU COME TO CHICAGO, BABY? I HOPE WE DIDNT DO ANYTHING
I love Chicago. I've been there 3 times this year. I'll be back next year.
When are you combing back to Boston?? Baby??
Literally Monday. chrisfarren.com/tour
Why do you hate the song Motion of the Ocean? and deep down do you hate the stunningly handsome fan of yours who is always asking you to play motion of the ocean?
On a much more serious note, What is the song above all other songs that you are most proud of, and is that song heart BPM?
I don't hate Motion of the Ocean, I just don't play Fake Problems songs really anymore. And I like Heart BPM.
I almost saw you in Dallas with AJJ a few weeks ago, but you ran into some issues. Hopefully I'll see you the next time you come around here! Tonight I'm seeing your friend Jeff, do you have anything you want me to tell him??
no I have nothing to say to jeff. Also sorry about that Dallas thing. That day WAS A NIGHTMARE
Any chance you'll do a show in Naples in the near future?
Nothing planned but I'd be down!
Why are there no pictures of you with Tanner Jones (from You Blew It!) at the most recent Fest?
omg are there really not. we were supposed to take one for his mom. CRAP
Is it too early to start listening to your Christmas album?
Also smh at all the FP Qs already. Don't people follow your Twitter?
START LISTENING NOW!!! BABY!!!!
~~Your perfect new solo album aside, what actually happened to Fake Problems, the world's first ever band? Is it over? Is anything in the works? What happened?~~
Can you be my dad? Also what happened to that "Old Friends" song Fakey P's played back in like 2014?
we recorded it but I don't know if it will ever come out
What's up baby! Thanks for doing this! I saw you and Brian Fallon in Seattle earlier this year and I just wanted you to know it is some of the most fun I've had at a concert. Also, now that you're coming up on the 10 year anniversary of How Far Our Bodies Go, what is something you never thought you'd get to do when you first started working on that album?
a reddit AMA bc i dont think they existed 10 years ago!!!!!
Hey Chris, HUGE fan here. I was brainstorming some questions after your perfect set in Philly last night, here's what I got:
When is the next Blanket Boys video coming out?
How much parmigiani is too much parmigiani?
Can you play Christmas songs tonight in Baltimore? When's the Chris Mas Tour?
How do you know Vanessa Bayer and does your mom take all of your headshots?
k thanks baby!
Any plans to head back to Canada in the near future? We would love to have you back again soon!
nothing planned but working on some things for 2017
Yes baby!! What the fuck is up? I feel like "I'm giving up on U2" puts out an American Pie vibe. Like it could have been the intro track to that movie. Just wanted to put that out there. The riff and lyrics are amazing. How the fuck does it feel to be the best looking punk in the world, Chris? That's my question. Pce from Milton, ON.
You're very open and accessible to your fans, so I feel like I know everything there is to know. So how about something easy? What is your favorite book? Can be fiction, non-fiction or both. Even the book your mom gave you.
i really liked INTO THE WILD uhhhhhhhh that's the only one i can think of right now. OH the War Of Art is GREAT
Hello Chris Farren
What kind of animals do you like?
they're all fine
Sorry man, I'm just really excited. I just discovered AV like last week.
Why didn't you play more slayer last night in Philly? Also what pedals were you using?
mel9, boss rc3, ibanez tiny tube screamer thing, ehx chorus pedal, POG2, digital delay