Interview by: Lindsy Carrasquillo
Words by: Lindsy Carrasquillo
Singer/song-writer Chris Farren is known for his solo material, work in the bands Fake Problems and Antarctigo Vespucci, and of course, his sense of humor. After wrapping up a short string of shows with the band Katie Ellen, we caught up with Chris and discussed his most recent album, inspirations and the music he’s been working on.
Chris first met Anika Pyle (Katie Ellen, former Chumped singer) back when he played a show with Chumped. Since then, the two have remained friends and Anika is featured on some of his solo songs such as “Belize Navidad” from his Christmas record, “Like A Gift from God or Whatever.” Following his most recent tour, Chris went on to play a show that was a bit different for him. Instead of playing music, he did stand up. Held at the Nerdmelt in Los Angeles, the event was put on by the satirical website, The Hard Times. While Chris wasn’t sure of what to expect, he decided to do it anyway.
Currently, while on break from tour, Chris and Jeff Rosenstock are working on the next Antarctigo Vespucci record. The band’s first record, Soulmate Stuff, was released in 2014 and their most recent record, Leavin’ La Vida Loca, came out in 2015. Before being in the band together, Chris and Jeff met while on tour together in 2008. Chris was the front man and guitarist of Fake Problems and Jeff was the guitarist and vocalist of Bomb the Music Industry! The two bands broke up in 2012 and 2013, respectively. While Chris and Jeff weren’t close friends at first, they were both in a “weird uncreative place” after the two bands broke up.
“I felt lost. I wanted to do something interesting for fun on a whim,” he said. “It was such a big moment in both of our lives. It made us both realize that we could make music.”
For the first Antarctigo Vespucci record, most of the songs were already written by Chris but he shared that Jeff “just made them better.” While Chris may only sing, Jeff plays every instrument and plays the role of the producer.
“My mom took that photo,” he said. “I wanted to have a subtly dramatic cover for the record. It looks kind of serious and makes me laugh. I still had momentum from the AV record. I knew that I wanted to make a proper Chris Farren record. Something that happens to me is that I take inspiration from somebody else’s experience of how I experience that experience. I let the inspiration come from wherever.”
In September, the music video for the single “Say U Want Me” was released. Directed by Clay Tatum, the video doesn’t follow a specific story and allows for creativity as it goes through different scenes. “In the middle of the night I heard a cry, you were sound asleep I was too scared to look outside/So I tucked myself back in my bed and I tried to ignore the hurricane in my head” opens the song. With an upbeat sound, the lyrics touch on longing for someone while having to be okay with being alone. This theme of honestly if found throughout the album and allows listeners to relate to problems that many of us face.
As Chris continues to work on the next AV record, he’s going to be playing various shows and continue writing songs.
“I sometimes feel like not writing songs is not accomplishing anything,” he said.
In May, he’ll be playing some festival dates such as Pouzza Fest in Montreal and Bledfest in Michigan. Throughout June, he’ll be opening for Kevin Devine on a West coast tour. As he continues to figure out more shows, he wants them to be more consistent so stay tuned for upcoming shows and new music.