Torpedo turkeys and trying to sleep on the road: A chat with Chris Farren at Bled Fest

Jun 1, 2017 at 12:22 pm
Chris Farren is back to work – another Antarctigo Vespucci Record on its way.

Metro Times caught up with Chris Farren before his solo set at BLED Fest last weekend, and asked him about his latest solo record, working with Jeff Rosenstock in their project together Antarctigo Vespucci, and advice on DIY touring. Here are his thoughts.

Metro Times
: Now that you’re here for the first time, what is your initial reaction to BLED Fest?
Chris Farren: It’s awesome. I like it a lot. I just like being able to play in all-ages environments, where everyone is included. This is a really good environment for that.

MT: Do you feel like all-ages events draw a larger audience for you?
Farren: Yeah, I just think that the more people that are allowed to go to a place, the better, ya know? What could the problem be there?

MT: You’re from L.A.?
Farren: I live in L.A., yeah.

MT: In social media from you and Jeff Rosenstock, it looks like a lot of Antarctigo Vespucci production occurs at his place in New York?
Farren: Yeah, all of it does.

MT: How is that environment different than L.A,. and how does it affect the process for you?
Farren: Well we’ve just always done Antarcitgo the same way. I’ll have demos and then I’ll fly to New York and we’ll take a few weeks and hang out at Jeff’s and write the songs and record them at the same time. It’s always fun to work with Jeff. Jeff takes my songs and just makes them so much better than they could ever be basically.

MT: What does Rosenstock bring to the table that brings out the best in your songs?
Farren: I don’t know exactly. I think he’s just a very talented person and he can see my songs from a different perspective and when I make my solo stuff it’s only coming from one perspective. I’m very pleased with my solo stuff as well, Antarctigo is just definitely a special thing to be able to do.

MT: Including Fake Problems, you’ve written in several different projects. What project’s material is most personally intimate to you?
Farren: There’s no difference to me. It’s all kind of the same level of personal. I don’t sit down and decide immediately, “I’m going to write an Antarctigo song. It has to be like this,” or “I’m going to write a Chris Farren song. It has to be like this.” I just write a lot of songs and whenever it’s time to make another record I’ll just be like, “I’ve got all these songs, let’s do it.” And then I start making another record and kind of start from scratch every time.

MT: What’s it like being on a restless DIY touring schedule and if you had three tips to keep those who do it sane, what would they be?
Farren: I love being on tour as much as possible.

MT: Some people really love it, and some people it’s hard for.
Farren: Yeah, I would say don’t drink or if you have to drink, don’t drink a lot. Be mindful of your drinking because it makes you sick. It makes your body sick and it will just ware you down physically and mentally. That would be the main thing. Be safe. Try to sleep as much as you can. I don’t know if this is good advice but I’ve recently tried to cut down at staying at strangers houses, because sometimes you’ll get yourself into a situation that is less than ideal for getting a good night’s sleep before you have to drive like six hours somewhere.

MT: What was one of those situations?
Farren: Well it’s just a lot of situations, where you’ll get to someone’s house and they’re like, “Oh, by the way we’re having a party. All night. But you can try to sleep in the living room!” a lot of stuff like that.

MT: I’ve heard a lot of touring horror stories from several local bands around here lately. What is your most horrific tour tale?
Farren: Nothing that tragic has ever happened to me on tour. But one time a turkey flew through our windshield of our van. That was pretty crazy. It just went head-on collision with our van. A turkey. And it like, died inside of our van.

MT: Did you give it a proper burial?
Farren: No, we just threw it out of the van.

MT: Your latest solo record is  called Can’t Die. Is that meant to sound immortal or anxious?
Farren: Not anxious. Not like I’m upset that I can’t die or something. I just thought it was funny. It’s more of a joke about being immortal.

MT: You say on the record that you just want to be like a human being. What separates Chris Farren from human beings?
Farren: Nothing. But my mind – I feel disconnected a lot and anxious and all those adjectives. Often times I just want to feel a little more grounded and present. I think that’s pretty normal for most people.