Now, we all have that band. The one that you adored religiously, covered your walls with, and for lack of a better description, decided that you will love forever and ever and ever. And for all the growing up I did, I felt sixteen again when Faber Drive came to town for Music Matters Live 2013.
The Canadian band easily had one of the most energetic sets and played to much fanfare at the music festival. The current line-up, consisting of Dave Faber, Jeremy “Krikit” Liddle, Jordan “JP” Pritchett and Seamus O’Neill, rocked the outdoor Fountain Stage with early favourites like “Second Chance”, “Tongue Tied”, “When I’m With You”, as well as their latest infectious offering “Candy Store”.
The band was tight. All decked out in similar boyish apparel, Faber Drive put up an intoxicatingly astounding performance that was entertaining as well as cohesive. Seamus kept the crowd’s energy levels high with his solid beats and rapid stick-twirls, while Krikit kept the groove running with his effortless bass-picking. JP’s backing vocals and fluid riffs gave the band a much fuller sound, and Faber’s resonant and soulful singing really tied the group together. The excitement was contagious. Hordes of fans had gathered and huddled up close to the stage, embracing the dynamic set that Faber Drive had in store for them. They bopped. They swayed. They chanted the lyrics they knew by heart. At one point, Faber paused mid-set and teased the crowd for not singing loud enough. These spirited fans repaid him by singing and cheering at deafening volumes. It was truly an electrifying experience.
In our second instalment of Music Matters Live with HP 2013, Krikit and Seamus take some time out to do an interview, discussing their music, killer tans, fan appreciation, and the possibility of returning to Singapore (Author’s note: this really needs to happen. Word has it that if #bringfaberdrivebacktosingapore trends on Twitter, there is a real possibility of it happening – so if you’re a fan, you know what to do!)
We heard that Faber Drive got started with Chad Kroeger. Is that true?
Krikit: This is actually a pretty common myth about Faber Drive. The actual story goes like this: Faber’s previous band had just broken up, but he wasn’t ready to give up on music. He kept writing songs and recording demos and eventually tracked down Nickelback’s producer, Joey Moi. After sending Joey demo after demo after demo, Joey finally called Faber up one day and asked if he wanted to come into the studio to finish some songs. Chad started to hear the buzz about Faber Drive after we had won a radio station contest in Vancouver called Fox Seeds, released an EP and started touring western Canada. That’s when he decided to sign the band to 604 Records and help co-write and co-produce some songs off of Seven Second Surgery.
There is a break of 3 years between the releases of “’can’T keEp A SecrEt” and “Lost in Paradise” so it seems that the latest album has been a long time in the making. What are you most proud of?
Krikit: We wanted to make Lost In Paradise the best Faber Drive record yet. Faber and I spent about a year travelling all over Canada and the US, collaborating with different writers to create 70 songs for the record, from there we had to choose the 10 songs we felt were the strongest. We saw a lot of success from can’T keEp A SecrEt so much of that time was spent on the road touring that record with bands like Simple Plan and Hedley, as well as our own sold out cross Canada ‘can’T keEp A SecrEt Tour.’ I would say we’re most proud of our killer tans.
Your roots as shown in “Seven Second Surgery” are in the punk rock genre. Starting from your sophomore album, you seem to be dabbling more in electropop. Was this intentional?
Krikit: This was not intentional at all. At the end of the Seven Second Surgery album cycle our original drummer and original guitar player both left the band to pursue other interests in life. So it was just Faber and I left, and we wrote this song called ‘G-Get Up and Dance’ while we were looking for new band members. We were intending to release it as a side project but everyone loved it so much that we put it out as the new Faber Drive single, only to have it become the best selling Faber Drive single ever.
Do you write autobiographical songs?
Krikit: Songs are always autobiographical to an extent, they are also stories though, and fiction is more interesting than fact. I guess its like when a movie says ‘based on a true story.’ I think all songs are based on a true story, but imagined into something bigger. One very autobiographical song of Faber Drive’s is ‘By Your Side’ which Faber wrote when he was thinking about his dad, who passed away from lung cancer in 1995.
You guys have a reputation of being pranksters. With Seamus as the newest member of the band, were there any “initiation rituals” or epic pranks pulled on him?
Krikit: We prefer to keep him looking over his shoulder and sleeping with one eye open on a daily basis for now.
“Candy Store” is the perfect summer song. What is your favourite candy and why?
Seamus: I feel the same way, when we play Candy Store I close my eyes and pretend I’m rocking out on a sandy beach somewhere! My weapon of choice for candy is Reese’s Pieces chocolate all the way.
What do you like to do in your downtime?
Seamus: Music is my life so if I’m not behind a drum kit you’ll most likely find me playing guitar on my balcony. I’m also a huge movie buff and a massive horror movie fan. The four of us enjoy golfing as well and it’s fun to hit up the course before practice sometimes for a little band competition. JP wins every time but it’s usually pretty close!
What is your craziest fan encounter?
Seamus: We’ve got a great collection of stories but one sticks out most for me. We were doing a live, on location radio interview before a show here in Canada. While answering a question, Faber took out his gum and stuck it on the top of his water bottle so his chewing couldn’t be heard on the microphone. There were a bunch of fans around and to my surprise a girl reached right across the table, grabbed the water bottle, and put that piece of ABC (already been chewed) gum right in her mouth… chewing it like it was hers all along. It still makes me giggle just thinking about it!
What are your most played songs or albums now?
Seamus: I’m looking at my most played list on my iPhone: Simple Plan, Get Your Heart On!; Florida Georgia Line, Here’s To The Good Times; Journey’s Greatest Hits Album; Metallica, The Black Album; Backstreet Boys, Millennium; and The Lion King Soundtrack (I know it’s nerdy but the songs are amazing!)
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your experiences as a band, that you would pass on to bands just starting out?
Krikit: The most valuable lessons I’ve learned that I could pass on to other bands are: find people who all want the same thing out of the band, work hard and don’t give up! It’s so important to have like minded people in your band who you can get along with like brothers and who all are willing to put in the same amount of work. Being in a band is not easy but its so much fun if you’re truly willing to put in the time it takes to have success and become a solid band. Finally don’t give up, most bands don’t even stay together long enough to see success, so stick it out and work hard and things will begin to happen for you!
Did you get to catch other bands at Music Matters Live? Any favourites?
Seamus: I got to see a lot of performances and a lot of bands and I must say that I enjoyed every single one of them. I was so excited to see Boyce Avenue. I’ve been a fan since I first heard them and they delivered an excellent performance. I loved rocking out to the Japanese band SID and Famous blew my mind as well.
Will you come back to Singapore please?
Seamus: Two words… YES PLEASE! During the flight home, the four of us could not stop talking about how great Singapore was to us. The people in Singapore were beautiful, and when we come back we’re gonna have to bring it larger and louder to keep up with Singapore’s amazing singers!!
What is coming up next for Faber Drive?
Krikit: Faber Drive will be spending the summer doing festivals back home in Canada, however we just got signed to Warner Music in Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and about 8 other Asian countries, so we’re trying to build support there so we can get back to Asia for a full tour! If you want to get involved and help get Faber Drive back to Asia, there’s a brand new page you can join on Facebook… check it out at: www.facebook.com/bringfaberdrivebacktoasia