Interview with Face to Face front man Trever Keith

Face to Face, mainstay of the 90′s punk music revival, have led an enduring and, at times, trying career. There have been label run-ins and issues, as there often is when a band comprised of smart, astute people realizes that they’re not getting their due. There was the break-up from 2004 to 2008, and now in 2013, there is an eighth studio album, Three Chords and a Half Truth.

Throughout it all, Trever Keith has stayed above the fray, turning out the classic, super-catchy punk tunes Face to Face has become known for. My favorite thing about them has always been the lack of pretense they come forth with. There’s no gloss or faux shine, it’s just Face to Face, and you either love ‘em or you don’t. For most of us punk holdovers from the 90′s, they’re a favorite that we’ll always hold on to. I have a special place in my heart for them, simply because of the time they helped me and my buddy get our money back from a crooked ticket scalper in NYC, a story that Trever vaguely remembers (he was just glad I had a positive story about my brush with the band).

Check out Face To Face on:


Trever Keith was kind enough to rap with me on the phone and answer a few questions for SurfRhythm.

Jeff Schad: Let’s jump right into things. Face to Face went through a long layoff, but then came back with a vengeance. What keeps you guys going so hard to this day?

Trever Keith: After we reformed we had a freedom we never had before. In the early years of the band we didn’t have that, but we’ve got to a point where it’s easy to have that freedom, to be able to do it for ourselves. As we’ve gotten older we’ve been able to get a better appreciation of what it is we want, and a better sense of everyone and everything around us.

JS: How has the reception to Three Chords and a Half Truth been so far?

TK: It’s been good for the most part, but it’s hard to tell. It seems when we release new stuff it takes a minute for our fans to really get into it and get behind it, but I think that’s just the nature of them. It’s an interesting mentality our fan base has. They love the old stuff, they want to hear the old stuff when we play live, but we’ve been sneaking in one or two new songs every show.

JS: Compare and contrast today’s punk scene vs. when Face to Face was coming up and  you were getting into the scene.

TK: It’s definitely a different landscape today, entirely. The last generation of rock bands understand the importance of playing local and the DIY ethic. The internet has really changed it all, so it seems there is this lost sense of being local, regional, fan zines, etc. It’s not worse today, per se, just different.

It’s harder for me to find good punk bands these days, but they do exist. As things evolved from punk music into offshoots like hardcore, screamo, emo, etc, it seems like things have become more about fashion, tight pants and having the right look than just being yourself and playing your music.

JS: I heard a rumor years ago that back when Green Day signed with Reprise that you were also being considered by the label, and were in negotations. True or false?

TK: Not true, vicious rumor. But I do recall that we played a show with them just before they released Dookie, at a place called Billiards in Lake Elsinore, and we chatted them up about their upcoming release. That was about it, we were just bands on tour sharing a bill for a night.

JS: What does the future hold for Face to Face? Can we expect to see you around for a while?

TK: Well, I told the guys in the band that we’re in this for ten albums, so we’ve got at least two more. I’d say as long as we’ve still got a good attitude and we’re having fun doing this, then there’s no reason to stop. There’s really nothing to stop us; as long as we’re loving what we do and we’re physically able to do it.

Exclusive Interview with Aaron Bruno of AWOLNATION & photo gallery – DC 101 Chili Cook-Off, May 4, 2013

Ed Note: Aaron and I started talking before the interview, some of which is recorded as well. We were just talking surf jive and getting acquainted, then we rolled right into the interview with no major fanfare. (I may release the pre-interview conversation at some point in the future, we’ll have to see on that). I’ve never met a more humble and real human being that has been dubbed a superstar, and I’ve met my share. Aaron was thoughtful and revealing in his responses, giving us way more insight into him than we ever thought we would get. My favorite part is the ending, where Aaron says, “That was heavy, it was like a therapy session.” Thank you, Aaron. This is the best interview I’ve had the pleasure of partaking in. – Jeff Schad

Click play to hear the interview:

By Kevin Henline
At last year’s Chili Cook-Off I had to begrudgingly watch AWOLNATION from the will call booth; thankfully, that was not the case this year. This time our accommodations were a bit more… lavish. What can I say, we sat down with Aaron for almost half an hour. He only left for a meet and greet, and when he did he left us sitting there on his tour bus, with a singular order. “Only the Whiskey is off limits” he quipped as he skated off to meet the lucky fans that won meet and greet tickets. But that’s Aaron, humble and real. Trusting. He feels much more like an old friend than the massively successful frontman of an internationally-touring band that is minutes from playing in front of thousands of adoring fans. To get as much of his time as we did is something for which we are ever grateful. The interview is nothing less than legendary and is going to be the crown jewel of SurfRhythm for quite some time I imagine.

As for the show, his set was a nice cut of Megalithic Symphony but also with the two new tracks thrown in, “This Kid’s Not Alright” and of course “Some Kind of Joke” that we got to hear last year. If you haven’t caught AWOLNTION’s live show I do really implore you to at least check out some live footage, if not take it on blind faith and just buy a ticket, Aaron won’t disappoint. The sheer volume of AWOLNATION shirts on the backs of EVERY type of person speaks to the power of Aaron’s message: old, young, beautiful, ugly, white, yellow, American, Indian or Japanese, We are all AWOLNATION. We’re all beautiful human beings.

All photos © Kevin

Aaron Bruno AWOLNATION by SurfRhythm

Aaron Bruno of AWOLNATION at the DC 101 Chili Cook-Off

Later Today: Exclusive Interview with Aaron Bruno – Mastermind of AWOLNATION and Tube-Seeking Surfer

We had the great fortune to sit with Aaron Bruno yesterday at the DC 101 Chili Cook-Off. Later today we’ll post the full audio version, picture gallery and set review.

Here’s a little teaser for you. Picture © Kevin Henline. Check back later today. Don’t miss it!

Aaron Bruno - AWOLNATION © Kevin Henline

Aaron Bruno yesterday at the DC 101 Chili Cook-Off

Interview with Requiem For The Dead Front Man Steven Juliano – Plus 2 Streaming Tracks

SurfRhythm interviewed Steven Juliano, vocalist for Santa Cruz, Ca based Requiem for the Dead. Upon listening to their songs, a dark, goth-punk vibe is definitely the first thing that sticks out about their sound.

Memories is their latest release, and it’s a diverse piece of work for an EP, so much so that it is nearly disconcerting, as I wasn’t sure what I was listening to the first couple of times through. That said, this is a talented band that fans of their influences will enjoy (see the interview below for their influences–nice teaser, right?).

Stream “Ghost of Winter” and “Poison” by Requiem For The Dead

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SR: Tell people how the Memories EP is different from your first LP.

Steven: Well, on the first album, the group was only together for a few months. We were super excited to just write music together, and the songs came out pretty quickly. I think we wrote and recorded eleven songs under two months. That’s a lot of songs to write and then record. I don’t even know who we did it quite honestly. For the EP, “Memories”, we took time off shows and kinda just stepped back a little, and tried to find more of a sound for Requiem. The first CD was a cluster of everything; punk music to hardcore to pop rock. This time around we kinda wanted to stream line the bands sound and figure out who we are as a group. We spent a lot of time in pre-production… a lot of time with acoustic guitars working on the vocal  arrangements on these songs…

Santa Cruz, and Northern California in general, tends to create artists that keep pushing genres in different, and subtle new directions. Why do you think this is, and do you feel like Requiem for the Dead is one of those bands?

Steven: The biggest reason is that Northern California bands do not have the Southern California band mentality in a lot of ways. Meaning, the bands up here are way more relaxed. They tend to take things slower, and seem to help each other out a lot more. I had a Southern California band, and now that I have a Nor Cal band I can see the difference. Everyone in So Cal is kinda in a rush to “make it”. They tend to latch onto whatever is cool at the moment, which makes a lot of shitty bands. Up here, I see most bands don’t really give a fuck about what is cool. They just play more so on what they like…

List your biggest influences:

My Chemical Romance, AFI, Alkaline Trio, I Am Ghost

Where can people catch you live in the coming months?

Steven: We took off quite some time to write and record this EP, so we are just getting back to playing shows. Right now we have three shows booked, all around the Santa Cruz/San Jose, CA area! You can get tour dates and more on our official site at: Right now, more shows are being added each day.

Interesting track you guys cover on the EP: “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight”. That was definitely a bit of a surprise. What made you pick that song as a cover for this EP?

Steven: It was a song that I absolutely loved growing up as a kid. It was my first ever slow dance song with a girl, and what makes the song so good is that it is timeless. It came out in the 80′s yet still get’s played on the radio. If that song came out today for the first time, people would latch onto it still. It’s just one of those special songs…