Say hello to FAREWELL; a group that's on a mission to put the fun back into rock. Ascending from a small town saturated in metal and hardcore, the southern-based sextet set out to carve their own niche with a unique blend of lighthearted power-pop. With their debut album, Isn't This Supposed to Be Fun!? out now, the group aims to give the musical masses something to smile about.
The North Carolina natives Marshall Davis (vocals), Chris Lee (keyboard, vocals), Kevin Carter (guitar), Wil Andrews (guitar), Buddy Bell (bass) and Jeff Ellis (drums) met while living in Greensboro and were immediately bonded by their shared love of music and distaste for school and jobs. In an effort to escape sheer boredom, they began playing music together and in turn created Farewell in 2004. Drawing on a wide range of influences (Beach Boys to Greenday), the group crafted a tight upbeat pop-rock sound, which was a far cry from the scene that dominated their town.
"Overall, NC is dominated by hardcore and metal bands, so keeping our heads above water in a pop/rock band has proven difficult," asserts Marshall. "Luckily for us, we love it and can't imagine investing our time and energy towards anything else. Plus, we have the support of some of the most dedicated fans and best friends in the world, which has made the ride a little less bumpy."
Farewell, determined not to be a flash in the pan, spent the next several years honing their skills by touring relentlessly throughout the east coast.
"We have been busting our butts for a few years now; playing tons of shows and spreading or name, so it's a relief to see that our hard work has been noticed," says Davis. "There is a ton of competition in this state and a bunch of great bands in every city, which has made it that much harder to stand out and really make an impact."
With their fanbase growing rapidly and attention on the band beginning to swirl, Farewell entered Chicago's Dorisland Studios in 2005 to record a demo. After laying down nine tracks with producer Marc McClusky, the band decided to hold off on releasing an album. Instead the group began playing showcases for labels and continued writing and perfecting their songs before returning to the studio in 2006 to record nine new tracks. Soon after posting the fresh tracks on the band's MySpace page, the group caught the eye and ear of president and owner of Epitaph Records, Brett Gurewitz who saw the band's potential and offered them a deal.
"We feel lucky to have caught the eye of such a legendary label, especially coming from such an overlooked part of the country," says Davis. "It's good to feel like you have finally found a place where your band fits in, and Epitaph is the only label that gave us that feeling."
Comprised of thirteen of their favorite songs from the past two years, Farewell's forth album, Isn't This Supposed To Be Fun!?, boasts buoyant melodies, scintillating synth and quirky lyrics for an energetic and rollicking, energetic good time. With the super catchy sing along "Stay Pretty" and the piano popping "War" among others, Farewell captures a spirit of unparalleled youth and vigor on their debut release.
"Being from an area that is predominantly into heavier music or artsy indie-rock, we have a hard time being taken seriously by some," exclaims Davis. "That is one of the main reasons for the question posed: Isn't This Supposed To Be Fun!? We sure as hell think so. That's our goal in this band. We want to bring that care-free feeling back to music and get everyone to uncross their arms and sing along. Poppy bands have been "guilty pleasures" for too long! That's what we stand for, and we're gonna be fighting on the front-lines till things change around here."