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.