Far interview

Legendary emo originators Far are back in the game with their first album in over a decade, At Night We Live, slated to be released in the next few months.

The band initially reformed in 2008 under the pseudonym Hot Little Pony and recorded a whimsical cover of Ginuwine’s 90s hit Pony which was posted on here. Little did they know that they would go on to craft a whole new album of material over the next year and a half.

These guys are the real deal. Genuine straight-up rock. The likes of Fall Out Boy may have found inspiration in Far’s musical output but emo as a genre in the 90s was far-removed from what it has now become. We grabbed a chat with vocalist Jonah Matranga ahead of a special UK picturedisc release of the band’s Ginuwine cover which is released 1st February on Bright Antenna Records.

What are the differences between being in Far the first time around and being in the band as it is since the reunion?

The band doesn’t have to be our gang, our therapist and our job all at once. It’s just 4 guys that have been through a lot together, having fun making music, without all the pressure and confusion that can come with RockWorld.

What made you decide to kick off this opus of Far with the Ginuwine cover? Why Ginuwine?

I don’t even consider Pony a Far song. I love it, super-proud of it, but it’s a Hot Little Pony song. We made it for our joke band’s MySpace page, and it became the most popular thing we ever did. Too funny, how life works. Anyway, as with anything, just happy that people care about it and dig it. It’ll probably be on the record, but the rest of the record is REALLY the new Far.

What was the response like to the MySpace you set up for ‘Hot Little Pony’ and how were the shows you played under that name?

That was so much fun. Things got more confusing and stressful for a while when Pony blew up, but we’ve settled down. Those first shows and all the fake articles and stuff were a blast.

How did it feel getting together as a band again to write the new record?

Shaun and I wrote the record together, basically via e-mail. It was fun to work with Shaun that way, we’d never done anything like it, just sending stuff back and forth. Then Johnny & Chris came in and did their thing. Minimal rehearsal room time, maximum creativity. Good stuff.

Did everything click as you were writing / recording?

Jonah: Yea, it all flowed really well. We just took our time and let it come.

What can we expect from Far in 2010? Any trips to the UK in the works?

Jonah: No idea what the touring plans are, but UK has always been and will always be at the top of the list of where to go for a great show.

What similarities and differences are there between At Night We Live and your earlier body of work?

It just can’t help but be Far. The sound us four make is just its own thing. There aren’t any two Far albums that sound the same (or songs, even, really), so this is definitely Far, but we had no desire to try to sound like anything that came before. We just rocked it as we do.

Did you feel the pressure in creating the new album seeing as albums like Water And Solutions have come to be recognized as seminal in the emotional rock world?

Nope. Zero pressure. We’ve always been a band driven by making something that we’re proud of, no matter whether others like it or not. As it should be.

What do you think about all the other bands that seem to be reuniting at the moment? What are the right reasons to get back together? 2009 saw a bunch of reunions including Rage Against The Machine, Blur, Blink 182, Faith No More, Sunny Day Real Estate…

It’s interesting. I always thought our generation had too many bands that stopped too soon, which I thought was kinda cool, really. I never expected Far would be playing again, maybe it’s the same for them. All I can say is that I know we’re not in it for nostalgia or the cash or whatever. Just fun.

Which new bands stand out to you as being particularly good?

Band Of Horses, Dirty Projectors, Lil Wayne, Kanye, The Campbell Apartment…That’s enough for now!

How important is it for you to continue championing the 7” and vinyl in general as a recorded music format?

Vinyl’s so great. I’ve been ripping a lot of my old vinyl into mp3s, it’s so fun to hear hiss and pop on my iPod.

Conversely, how do you feel about embracing new technologies in the music industry?

The technology has never mattered, it’s what we give to it. TV can be the best and the worst, so can the internet. I’m always curious about what’s next, and lots of times a little sad about how badly we fuck it up, but hey, that’s being human. Onward.

You can catch up with all things Far on their MySpace, their official site and their tweetings!