Vocals / Guitar: Chris Farren
Guitar: Casey Lee
Bass / Vocals: Derek Perry
Drums: Sean Stevenson
Although Naples, Florida is just five short hours from Gainesville—the birthplace of bands like Against Me! and Hot Water Music—the area isn’t commonly considered to be a punk Mecca; and with good reason. “Naples is a really thriving vacation spot, so the whole city revolves around people who come here for three months of the year,” explains Fake Problems frontman Chris Farren. “So it’s a strange environment, but I think it’s a good environment creatively because it’s very… nice.”
Despite the fact that they’ve only been together for a few years, his group of four friends—which also features bassist Derek Perry, guitarist Casey Lee and drummer Sean Stevenson—have already logged more miles in the van as a full-time touring band than most acts years their senior. “Last September we started touring for two weeks out of every month and then that started increasing to three,” Farren explains. In October, the band blew the minds of fans from around the world at last year’s Fest in Gainesville, and the band just finished up a largely sold out tour alongside Against Me! and The Riverboat Gamblers.
Recorded with Rob McGregor (Hot Water Music, Grabass Charlestons), the band’s full-length debut How Far Our Bodies Go has a timeless feel that pushes the boundaries of punk rock while retaining the youthful exuberance inherent in the band’s music. With it’s blaring horns, swinging tempos and anthemic vocals “Maestro Of This Rebellious Symphony” sounds like it’s about to combust at any moment; although “Astronaut” starts with an acoustic intro the song quickly erupts into the cathartic punk of “Crest On The Chest”; and the confessional ballad “Staying & Leaving As Living & Dying” evokes Saddle Creek artists like Bright Eyes and The Good Life.
A concept album about morality and driven by a love of life and a fear of death, How Far Our Bodies Go manages to tackle existential subject matter in a way that doesn’t come off as preachy or pretentious. In fact, metaphoric references to birth, travel, bones, weather, goals and uncertainty litter the album, forming a patchwork of experiences that make up one complete life experience. “I need to swing, I need to move/You need to stand up, look forward and go,” Farren sings during “Life’s A Drink, Get Thirsty,” trying his best to move ahead amidst all this self-imposed chaos and confusion—and his catharsis seems to be working.
“In my lyrics I definitely like to say what I feel, but I don’t like to alienate people or create a niche so that you can only listen to our music if you share our beliefs,” Farren explains about the disc, which begins with his birth (“We were born in our mothers arms but we have since grown”) and ends with his imminent death (“I missed you, I barely hit you but you could have gone to heaven today”). “I don’t like to bring my problems to other people unless they’re really important,” Farren continues, elaborating on the band’s curious moniker. “I don’t like to trouble people with trivial things, so I just write ’em down and play guitar to ’em.”
Fake Problems aren’t concerned about fitting into any type of niche, selling a ton of records or wearing make-up in effort to perpetuate some kind of image. If anything the band’s image is that they don’t have one, instead choosing to put their energy into seeing the world, writing honest music and pouring their hearts out every night—and now that people are starting to take notice, well, that’s just a bonus. We can’t wait to hear if you agree.