Ok, this interview took place a loooong time ago, as will become evident by some of the references contained within it. January 1997 in fact. It was conducted via e-mail, and was actually my first ever interview, so, obviously I've managed to get much worse at things since then. But, seeing as the new album is now out, I thought I'd use this, otherwise it was just going to lie dormant on the web site.
Jonah - Vocals and Guitar
Shaun - Guitar
John - Bass
Chris - Drums
J = Jonah S = Shaun
Can you tell us something of the history of far. how you got started,
and maybe signed up to immortal records. who are the members of the
band, and can you dish any dirt on them :)
J: The funniest thing about Far is how UN-rock we are. We don't
screw groupies, we don't do drugs, we aren't assholes (except to each
other), we're just really normal. Not good for imaging, but oh well : )
We've been together for 5-6 years. Immortal found us hiding out up in
Sacramento, and the rest is history : )
What are your influences, both musically and maybe in life generally.
J: People who aren't afraid to look stupid. People who put themselves out there naked. People who have ideals and ethics and try to stick to them.
S: I would say that I am into people who get into a postion of power
and try to make changes, rather than just going by the standards. I
hope we will make it there someday.
How many records/demos have you done and where are they available from,
apart of course from tin cans with strings ...
J: With the current lineup, we've done another CD called 'Quick', a
4-song tape and a couple of 7" singles.
I heard that you're not overly keen on videos, but you've recently made
one for love american style. Anything to say on it.
J: I actually like it a lot. We made it in an afternoon with a
friend, so it was totally comfortable. It's scary, it makes you feel
something, which automatically makes it better than 90% of the crap out
there. I hope we can at least get a few people to see it, I think it's
a pretty good piece of art.
Tin cans ... contains a number of uptempo songs, but some of the
highlights for me are the quieter moments like Girl and Job's Eyes. Any
stories to these.
J: There are stories to all the songs, but they're hard to tell. I'm
glad you like the quiet ones. The loud ones are fun live, but the
softer ones I like listening to more.
S: I think that the quieter songs would not be as special if the
other loud ones were not there to accompany them.
I can't help but think when i listen to Love American Style that there
is a riff which sounds like something Sepultura did on Chaos A.D. Am I
just completely mad, or is there anything to confess to there.
J: Honestly, I don't think so, but Shaun wrote it, maybe he knows
something I don't.
S: I think that you are mad. We as a band try very hard not to rip
other bands off, so if you hear something there, it may just be an
influence thing. I'll admit it, Sepultura is the best metal band ever.
However, my favourite song on the album is Punchdrunk. During it,
there's a line borrowed from The Boxer. Was this an intentional thing
with some meaning in terms of the song, or did it 'just happen' when
you were recording.
J: Definitely intentional, I wanted to draw a parallel with that
song. To me, both are about the futility of trying to succeed through
compromise, or maybe just the futility of trying to succeed in the face
of all the crap that would love for you to just take a number and wait
The artwork seems quite distinctive, yet describes each of the songs.
Each set of lyrics has a piece of art which seems to illustrate the
song. Was this the interpretation of the music that Stephen Nix made
S: We had Stephen just go for it and we would add little things here
and there. He is the man.
A number of people that I've heard talk of Far, seem to lump you with
Korn and the Deftones. Personally, when I listen, I see more
resemblence with Sensefield. Do you think you fit with these bands, or
is the similarities based on your friendships with the bands.
J: If there's anything I regret about the way we're perceived, it's
that we're lumped in with that Korn thing. I'm glad you see it
differently. We're more like Deftones, but still, the Sense Field thing
is way closer to the mark emotionally. Categories and comparisons suck.
S: The whole Korn thing is just record company bullshit. I don't
want to be lumped in with Korn. They do what they do, and we do what we
do. I don't think the two are compariable. I see us more along
The bands i mentioned are begining to make a splash in the UK, Korn
more than the others. How are things going generally do you think in
the states, for both yourselves, and other bands taking this kind of
general musical approach.
J: We're in between worlds. We're not 'pop' enough for radio, etc.,
but we're not 'hard' enough for most of the Korn kids. I guess that
means we're sort of doing our own thing, which is nice, but I wish we
could find more people that were into it.
I've heard this style of music described in the UK as emocore, -
emotional hardcore. Would that be a label that you'd agree with, or is
it just the press once again having to try and pigeonhole something
fresh and exciting.
J: The term 'hardcore' has a lot of baggage with it, but I like the
'emo' label more than most, it fits us. Like I said, categories suck,
but people seem to need it.
Is touring and playing live as much fun as it would seem to someone
like me to be. are there any good stories of events at gigs.
J: Sometimes it's wonderful, but the bad side is really bad. Boring,
dirty, whorish, those are words that come to mind sometimes. There are
the good days, too, when someone comes up and tells me how much our
music has affected them, that means a lot. I've had my life changed by
different music, so if we can do that for anyone, that's a great
feeling. I'll always love music and write music, but if it doesn't work
out as a career that's okay with me too.
S: It seems to me that once a band gets a bigger following, the
touring seems to be more fun, and easier.
I'm not sure if you want to talk about this, but you recently toured
with Sepultura, having I believe been recommended to the band by Dana,
who of course was recently killed. I was at Donington when Andreas,
Paulo and Igor played the day after Max and Gloria flew back and the
tragedy was announced. It was an eerie time. The band earned so much
more respect from myself and I'm sure thousands of others that day. I
missed the initial announcement when they started because i was still
watching Korn on the other stage. Do you have any memories or stories
about your times with the band and Dana.
J: Sepultura are an amazing band and a beautiful group of people. We
were just getting to know them well when Dana was killed. Dana did have
a lot to do with us being on that tour. We only met him once, he was
full of life and wonder. I remember talking to Max about spirituality,
I wish we had gotten to talk more. I think one day we'll go to some
sort of church together. I miss them, I hope we get to spend more time
with them someday.
S: I already loved Sepultura's music before we started the tour, but
now after getting to know all of them it makes me appreciate it even
more. They are like a huge family that is really close with one
another. Dana was a great guy. He called me the day after the tour got
started and made sure everything was going ok for us. I hope to see all
of them again someday.
Finally, are there any hopes or plans to tour the UK. Maybe a Korn,
Deftones, Far combination, running order to be decided on the night of
J: We'd love it, of course. Getting to the UK is one of my biggest
dreams, hope you'll be there when we make it.
So there you go. Of course, since this took place, much has happened.
Far have toured Europe with the Deftones, released the new album, and
are preparing to return to tour here in May with labelmates Incubus,
and also One Minute Silence. Much of course has gone on in the