After I did an interview with their label- and country mates from Razor Crusade I decided to do an interview with Face Tomorrow as well because their latest record "The closer you get" is really outstanding. So here's what these guys had to say...
^Hey there, who is answering my questions? What's your job in Face Tomorrow and what would you do at the moment if you wouldn't answer these questions?
M: Hey I'm Marc, I play guitar. I'd probably be answering somebody else's questions if it weren't for you ;)
A: Hey I'm Aart, I play guitar. I'd probably be answering somebody else's questions if it weren't for you ;)
First off, don't expect a good interview and fair questions, because the German team is out while the Dutch team plays the quarter finals during this year's European Soccer Championship. Unfortunately I like "The closer you get" a lot, so go ahead, make fun about me and our team, it's probably your last chance because we will win the 2006 world championship, haha!
M: 'Lekker fucking boeiend' as we say in Holland....
A: Soccer? What's that?
No, seriously, I'm totally into your new record and I didn't hear such an amazing and unique record for a very, very long time. In fact it's been the second album by Thrice (even though it'd musically different) that hade a similar effect on me, so how have been the reactions to the album so far? I guess you must get a lot of feedback and interview requests, so does that start to get boring after a while? (I try to keep this one interesting though...)
M: What can I say, reactions have been very well so far. Reviews have been very kind and interviews, well it's cool that people are interested in us and in what we're doing. All these questions about soccer though...
A: If people keep asking the same questions it does get boring after a while, but hey, it's all for the cause man ;)
I did an interview with your country mates from Razor Crusade a few days ago, and their bass player Harm told me that he and Dax played in Reaching Forward before. I didn't know that even though I saw Reaching Forward a couple of times when they were still around. So could you please give me some information about the members of Face Tomorrow and their musical background? In which bands did you play before Face Tomorrow and how did you get together?
M: Well, for starters I guess we've been in Face Tomorrow for quite some time now. The band started out in 1997 and before that we were in several hardcore bands together. So we knew each other from 'the scene' so to speak. And we've been in a lot of projects together. Actually we just did two new ones called Malkovich and Razor Crusade. We pretend to be these dutch oldschool heroes going wussy and everyone seems to buy it. But in the end it's us behind all those records....
Before we get to "The closer you get" let's talk a bit about the musical past of Face Tomorrow. I heard that you released two EPs on your own before your debut album came out? What can you tell me about these two EPs (title, recording date/place etc.)?
A: We did two EP's, one called 'Live The Dream' which was recorded in 2000 and released in 2001 in Rotterdam. And one called 'Worth the Wait', which were recordings from our full length record which came out later on Reflections.
M: That one was more of an appetizer...
A: All the songs from these EP's are on the first record, except one which is only on the vinyl version of the record...
Did any of the songs from the EP end up on your two full length albums or will this be the case in the future? How about the music on these EPs, would you say it was different than the sound you're playing today or were there some elements that can be heard today also?
M: No we never released them after that. It would be so stupid to recycle your own material, we'd like to steer away from that as far as possible...
A: From now on...
M:: But seriously, I think the EP's gave a pretty good impression of where we were going with the band...
After the two EPs you released you're debut album called "For who you are" on Reflections Records. How did you get in touch with them? Was it because it's a Dutch label or have there been any offers from other labels as well (also non-Dutch ones)? Did the Reflections guys ever ask you to re-release the two EPs on their label?
M: We really wanted to have an honest hardworking label behind us. We knew Reflections for quite some time and I guess we are and have always been in a sort of the same line with our views on music and everything surrounding it. It's great working with them and we're happy they decided to release our records.
A: Of course it's nice they're a Dutch label. That way communication goes much better, we can visit each other regularly and work closely together.
Talking about the touring activities that followed the release of "For who you are": I guess you played a lot live, right? With which bands did you tour and do you have any cool tour stories from that time?
M: We played a lot of shows with a lot of different bands. Two tours that stand out are with A.F.I. in the UK and with The Break through Germany...
A: Most fun we had was with The Break in Germany. Lots of crazy nights and they must be some of the coolest and most friendly guys we ever met. I guess we shouldn't get into much details about that. With them just signing an important contract and stuff ;) A.F.I. has always been a personal favourite of mine so it was great to be able to play with them and meet them. They're one of the most honest and hardworking bands on this planet.
Now let's go to "The closer you get". As I said I think it's a true masterpiece! When did you start writing these songs and were they all completely finished when you entered the studio? I could imagine that especially the horn and synth parts were added in the studio quite spontaneously?
M: Thanks so much for the compliment. We started working on new songs as soon as the previous album was released. So all in all it took us almost two years to finish the record. We spend a lot of time on figuring out how it should sound, how we could add something extra in the studio. And although we had a lot planned out on forehand some of the actual sounds on the record were finished in the studio...
A: The horn and synthparts were indeed added in the studio quite spontaneously...
It's pretty hard to describe the sound on "The closer you get" because there are so many elements in the songs (as I said, I think your sound is quite unique), but I would say you can make out influences from bands like At The Drive-In, Boy Sets Fire (especially on "Sign up") or Tool, so I would like to know how you are writing the songs? Does one of the members come up with a whole song or do you all contribute to the creation of a song?
M: Usually we just go into the rehearsal room with a certain feeling or an idea and we just start to jam on that together. That way we all contribute to all the songs. We keep on working on these jams until we get the feeling it brings across what we want to bring across and then we start putting these jams in a song structure... Which can take up quite some time discussing on breaks, choruses etc... So it's usually quite a long process but in the end it's really satisfying when you made something you all have your part in.
Does the cover art and the pictures in the booklet have any connection to the title of the record?
M: Yes they do. For us 'The Closer You Get' is all about little girls, train stations, tunnels and radio telescopes. And about a journey called life...
A: The train station for example is a stop you make on a journey same as our record is a footprint on our road as a band.
M: 'The Closer You Get' to us is about growth and development. As a band and as a person you're constantly on the move, trying to get better, to reach goals etc. And in the end it's not about those goals but about the road that takes you there. (The tunnel, the train station)
A: And music to us is a way of communication, through music, through lyrics, through conversations etc. That's why the telephone wires and radio telescope are on the lyric sheet...
Who came up with the idea of having the thanks list not printed in the booklet of the CD but rather available on your website? I think that's a pretty clever idea, because so you can skip some people after a while without regret, hehe... What was the reason for it?
M: Actually I guess it was me who came up with the idea. The rest of the guys really wanted to have a thanks list and I was basically hoping we could do a 'Face Tomorrow thanks you!' in the booklet, coz I hate leaving out people. There have been so many people over the years who helped us out tremendously that it's inevitable you might forget somebody. This way we can always update the list as soon as someone seems to be pissed he's not in it ;)
I heard that "Sign up" will be released as a single? What can you tell me about that? Will there be any unreleased songs on it as well or how will it come out?
M: It's already out, we released it as a kind of promo single for radio stations and stuff before the record came out...
I also think that a video for "Sign up" is planned? Is that one already finished? What can you tell me about it, who directed it, is there a certain story behind it (which one?) and do you expect it to be shown on music television?
A: Yep, check it out on our website; www.facetomorrow.net It was directed by Britt, a close friend of us and about the story. 'Sign Up' is about not doing things because everybody tells you to do so, or because other people do it, but because YOU want to do it. So that's the general idea of the video as well.... It's being played on music television in several countries...
A lot of people in the Hardcore scene seem to be into the Smiths and Morrissey a lot. You too? What do you think is the reason that so many people like the Smiths?
A: Yes, I am a big fan of The Smiths and Morrissey as well. And I can tell you exactly what it is that people in the hardcore scene like about it I guess. Although The Smiths are musically more like a mainstream pop band from the early eighties, they always had a very important message in their lyrics. A lot of stuff they say in their lyrics is stuff that is said in the hc scene as well, like vegetarianism and political issues as well. That's probably why a lot of hardcore kids can identify with it. The new record by Morrissey is another lyrical masterpiece, so you should all check out his lyrics.
Please comment in short about the following topics:
a. Your label mates from Razor Crusade
M: Like I said, it's us...
They are very good friends of ours... actually we were in the studio when they
were recording their record. turning their knobs and stuff....
A: One of the best old school bands in Holland ever. Their shows were amazing and they are still sadly missed. Reaching Forward took over for a while, but they're gone now as well, so...
c. Reaching Forward
A: I was so upset when I missed their farewell show because we had to play a show of our own. "Burning the Lies" is still an amazing record and they are really cool kids who are still around in the hardcore scene, still doing bands.
A: One of my personal favourites, they introduced me to a lot of political stuff. A band with a brilliant political message.
e. Dutch Hardcore in general
A: At the moment it's really good with bands like Razor Crusade and Malkovich keeping up the spirit. And we have a very good past with the aforementioned bands.
A: Too bad there aren't that many around anymore. I still miss my Second Nature zine...
g. Message boards on the internet and the spreading of (stupid) rumours
A: We love it!
I think we're at the end of this interview. Did you like it and do you have anything to add? Maybe how far the Dutch team will come during the Soccer Championship, hehe... Thanks for taking the time answering my questions!
A: Dutch team? Soccer? I didn't even know they played that...
M: Thanks so much for the interview... We'll be in Germany in September, come say hi!