Eric Pettersson, IVM: Let’s get started with your name and duties in the band.
Brandon Welch, Far-Less: Brandon Welch is my name. I play guitar and I am the lead vocalist in the band.
E: What are you guys up to right now?
B: We are waiting for our record to come out in October. We have a tour with Secret and Whisper and Glass Ocean coming up and a tour with He Is Legend after that. Other than that we are just hanging out.
E: Cool. So how did Far-Less first come into being?
B: Jordan, Joseph, and our old drummer, Ray, set off on a musical quest together like 6 years ago, with a buddy of ours named Jake. Things happened, and now we have the 6 of us. Well… a lot happened.
E: A lot?
B: They fired Jake, hired me. We added Mark, lost Ray, added Todd and now Elizabeth. Jordan was the singer at first, but when they fired Jake they asked me to come and sing.
E: Hm, okay. That was one thing I wanted to talk about actually. With all the line-up changes since the last record, how have things been working out with that?
B: It has been a blast. I mean we aren’t a huge band or anything but we always have fun. The writing process was very relaxed as well. Everyone had something for this album.
E: How did you get to be hooked up with Tooth & Nail? What made you choose each other?
B: The first label we were on flooded their offices with our CDs, I’m pretty sure. So John Frazier called us up and told us he liked us. He’s cool, so we signed with them. We needed them, and we hope that they will need us.
E: What’s the significance of the name Far-Less?
B: There isn’t one really. At this point we have even made up tons of meanings for our name. We have a buddy with the last name “Farless.” They just split it up and used it. It’s not the coolest name ever, but I think the music makes the name eventually. Think about The Smashing Pumpkins. What is that? They are one of the best bands ever, though.
E: Haha, yeah. So what’s been one of your best experiences on the road with this band?
B: The best experiences are the cheesy ones. When we went to Niagara Falls or when we went to the Hoover Dam. The Grand Canyon ruled. We also went to visit what was left of the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco. That was weird.
E: Ooo, I bet.
B: We needed some excitement.
E: Far-Less’s sound has been one that’s changed a lot over the years from your pre-Tooth & Nail stuff to the EP to the last record to now the upcoming A Toast to Bad Taste. How would you personally describe to fans what to expect with the new album?
B: It sounds like we grew up. For this record we had, for the most part, a very unified vision of what we wanted out of it. It was way more like an art project then piecing cool riffs together.
E: Yeah, one thing I noticed was that you almost completely did away with the screaming, which I think is a big step since it was so much of your old sound. What influenced that decision?
B: The record is more mellow, with more singing. It gets raw at times but we just wanted to play rock and roll. I was just tired of seeming like I was all the time pissed off at something. I’m not pissed off all of the time. I get sad, but that’s about it. Also, I just really enjoy singing and listening to singers.
E: Cool. And what was it like working with producer Mike Green?
B: Mike Green is very chill. It was one of the smoothest recording processes ever. He’s awesome.
E: Why are you toasting bad taste?
B: Because I feel like I have been doing it over and over for years in my real life. So, to do away with that whole idea, we wrote a record about it.
E: What do you mean?
B: Getting involved with the wrong people and getting stepped on. Caring for people that don’t care for themselves. It gets old.
E: Hm. So lyrically then, what themes are going into these new songs?
B: Lyrically, it’s just everyday feelings, but from my brain. It’s about missing things and people in your life that you were so used to. The balance of power and peace inside ourselves and in the world. Trying to come to terms with and enjoy what you have and what you don’t have.
E: Alright, cool. So what role does faith play in your music?
B: I don’t really bring faith into our music. I tend to write about what’s going on around me… or aliens… or cartoons.
E: Okay. I know a lot of bands on T&N have different philosophies or purposes with that.
B: It’s a sensitive subject. I don’t want what we are doing artistically to be looked at as particularly a certain type of mindset. I will use “the devil” in a song because you can relate that to something bad or wrong very easily, NOT because I am saying that you should go to church.
E: Hm, alright. Well, how have you grown through your experience in Far-Less?
B: I have met lots of great musicians and I have collaborated with some of them and learned more about music. That’s what we are here to do. Play music and get better at it.
E: Collaborated? Really? Like how?
B: I wrote songs with the guys in House of Fools and The Commonwealth dudes. I write songs with my friends all of the time.
E: Are these songs going on records or just for fun?
B: After shows, it is guaranteed the cops are coming to the house we are at. We also go on the back porch and jam.
E: Haha, hilarious. And awesome. I bet many a fan would love to watch that on YouTube.
B: Well, there is a song on the H.O.F record I helped with and Josh helped me with a couple on this album. It happens all of the time to us.
E: In your opinion, best CD release of 2007?
B: oh man… the new Queens of the Stone Age rules me and so does the new Wilco and the new Oceansize. Otherwise I just listen to oldies. And the new Brand New too. And the House of Fools. Our record is pretty rad too.
E: Haha… yeah it is. I’m listening to it right now, actually. Dude, this thing is so long. It’s definitely a refreshing break from the 25 minute CDs I’m used to spending money on.
B: Good. Thank you. We wanted to make an album that flowed well. The next one will probably be longer.
E: Wow. So with wanting it to flow, is that the idea behind all the “segue” tracks?
B: Yeah, we actually wanted to make it more like a Pink Floyd album, you know? We didn’t have the studio time to really get down and turn the whole album into one big song. We have always tried to make our albums flow well. I really like what we did with this one.
E: I always wondered, do bands actually ever choose to listen to their own records? Like, simply for enjoyment sake like you would choose any other record?
B: I listen to our records all of the time when they are new, maybe just to correct myself for the future. I catch myself putting the new album in my car quite a bit, but I like it. I can’t help it.
E: Okay, one more fun question and then I think I’m out of things to ask. What’s been your favorite of the recent flood of superhero movies?
B: DUDE!!!!!!!!! Batman Begins! And the new Fantastic Four was fun. But I read these comics, and Batman really nailed it. I really wanted to see Galactus. That disappointed me. I went to see Fantastic Four just to see Galactus,
E: Alright. Well, thanks so much for the interview. It was fun. Anything else you’d like to add?
B: Not really. Thank you, man. We appreciate you spreading the word.
E: Hey, no problem.
B: Cool. Let me know when it’s up. I’m gonna go play Halo 3 now. Peace.
Thanks to Christine Ernest at The Planetary Group, Nathan Mallon at Thoughts on Vinyl, and of course Brandon Welch from Far-Less for working out this interview.