Photography by Tarina Doolittle
A few short weeks ago US rock band Farewell, My Love unveiled their debut album Gold Tattoos, a release which proved that the drama and aesthetic look of the band is more than a look. Hailing from Arizona, the inventive quintet has found their first full-length being heartily embraced by fans and given strong attention by the media. Just as eager to get our 15 minutes of attention with the band we had the pleasure to keep vocalist Ryan Howell busy with our questions, finding out about the origins of the band and the recording of the album as well as the neck break recruitment of Ryan himself on the eve of the band’s first tour…
Hi Ryan, welcome to the site and thanks for taking time out to chat with us.
First up can you give us some background to the early days of you all and the impetus to the forming of the band?
The Farewell, My Love you see now was formed through very intense and careful searching, far and wide ha-ha.
Were your previous bands/projects seeded in a similar sound to that of Farewell, My Love?
I believe that all of us share a very similar vision for what we want this band to sound like. None of our prior bands sounded crazy similar to Farewell, My Love but you could definitely tell where it grew from.
How long from the first seeds of an idea to the full emergence of the band was it?
Not too long, we’ve been blessed enough to find an amazing group of musicians that all share a similar vision and drive to push through anything. We are happy to say that through all our struggles that we have really found a strong line-up that is ready to take over.
You came into the band later than the other members, replacing the first vocalist who I believe left on the ‘eve’ of a tour. Tell us how it came about that a guy in South Africa became a part of an Arizona band.
The band’s previous vocalist quit the band just three weeks before their first tour, so they spent the next week or so looking all over the internet for who they believed would be the right guy to join them and they found me. We shared a fair amount of mutual friends in the industry who suggested me to them & it just kind of all fell into place. They flew me out 2 weeks later and we left for our first tour together.
Was it an easy fit so close to going on tour and how difficult was it for him to leave his homeland and family?
Obviously leaving your home and family for an extended period of time is never something that is easy but if you have a dream that you would do anything to chase then it is a sacrifice well made.
The work leading up to the tour must have been rather intensive for you all with such a change so soon before?
Yeah, that it definitely was ha-ha. I had to learn an entire set worth of songs in a matter of weeks. I remember having to polish up on learning all of the lyrics on the plane ride over to the states and it being a very stressful, but exciting process.
Did you find that pressure and issue equally though gave your live performances an extra edge?
Yeah definitely. Pressure sometimes gives you that extra drive to make everything as perfect as you can possibly make it.
You have recently released your debut album Gold Tattoos; the response to it seems rather feverish so far.
Yeah, it has been received very well by our fans for sure and has opened up the door to us gaining a lot more fans as well. Definitely been very flattering to have our album voted into the Alternative Press Readers Charts multiple months in a row after the album’s release along such acts as Black Veil Brides, Pierce The Veil, and Get Scared.
The album brought up thoughts for us of My Chemical Romance at their best at times; what are the inspirations which have had the biggest impact on your songwriting?
Honestly our band has a very diverse array of influences from Frank Sinatra to Aerosmith to My Chemical Romance. We find a lot of pleasure in combining as many sounds as we can to create our sound while still creating something cohesive.
Talking of that how does the songwriting come together within the band?
Röbby comes up with a lot of the skeletons of what the songs are and then from there we all collaborate to give the songs that signature Farewell, My Love sound.
The album suggests you maybe feel a greater affinity with nineties metal than the current state of the genre?
We appreciate bands that started around that time period, along with many others.
As well as offering thumping slices of passion soaked melodic metal, Gold Tattoos is quite a theatrical encounter too, though not an overblown one; has this aspect of your sound emerged organically or is it something you have crafted into your music as say the band’s look?
We definitely spent a lot of time creating what we feel to be the missing piece in the music scene nowadays while still maintaining a vintage vibe. We are always pushing ourselves to be better.
Lyrically the songs are quite emotive, tales looking at relationships and those off-shooting dramas; how personal is the lyrical side of the album to the band or individuals?
Each song is a personal journey that we’ve all gone through but told through the use of metaphors and storytelling. There are a lot of bands out there nowadays that are very straight forward with their lyrics, which although is cool, doesn’t really fit with the theatrical vision we have for this band.
The album was produced by Don Debiase (Modern Day Escape, Beneath the Sky, For All Those Sleeping), how did that link up come about and what was the biggest impact he had on the album or you as a band in the studio?
Our relationship with Don Debiase came about because of our label owner, Neil Sheehan. They had been friends for a long time and Neil suggested him to us when it came time to write and record our full length album. I feel like he contributed in the way of always pushing us to our limits ad creating a very positive vibe in the studio.
Did the songs during the recording process emerge exactly as you envisaged going into the studio or did they evolve a lot further?
The songs were pretty close to being finished when we entered the studio to record the album but obviously the more you mould with your art, the more it reveals its true potential.
I can image that a debut album is an exciting unknown which equally can be nerve shredding at times. How did you find the situation?
We were honestly very excited to put the album out because we felt that it really represented what the band sounds like. We knew when we were writing it that it wasn’t going to be for everyone but honestly, no style of music is and we’re perfectly okay with that.
For us the first half of the album was a furnace of excellence compared to a ‘mere’ fire of enjoyment for the second. Obviously personal tastes dictates how successfully songs work for people but what did you use as a gauge or influence when it came to the order you placed the songs on the album?
When it came to the arrangement of the tracks we sat down as a band, listened to all the tracks separately and just felt it out. We wanted it to flow as much as possible while still having an unexpected edge.
Tracks like Afraid Of The Dark and My Perfect Thing thrust the album to the heart of a hungry attention whilst others like Faceless Frames turn up the heat further, but Mirror, Mirror is the biggest prize of them all for us. Can you give some insight into the triumph?
We like to keep our songs as diverse as we possibly can.
Is there a particular track or moment on the album which gives you just that extra tinge of satisfaction inside?
Every single song on the record is something that we are very proud of.
We mentioned My Chemical Romance earlier as a potent comparison to your sound, a band which was the flavoursome pioneers in melodic metal at first for the media and then seemingly within an album the target of ridicule and disdain from the mainstream press. Do you keep that ‘image’ in the back of the mind as you feel the ‘love’ of the media right now?
We keep our influences very close to our hearts but we try to do our own thing and create music that we feel is one of a kind.
What is next for Farewell, My Love? Tours can be expected?
Lots and lots of touring & new music videos. Be sure to keep checking in with us on Facebook, Twitter and all our other social sites for the latest updates!
Thanks once again for chatting with us.
Is there a last thought or quote you would like to leave us all pondering?
Be prepared for the future and remember that we love every single person out there that supports us! We couldn’t do this without our Farewell Family <3
Read the review of Gold Tattoos @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/farewell-my-love-gold-tattoos/
The RingMaster Review 23/04/2014
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