Face to Face with punk

By Matt Oakes

"I don’t think The Offspring is a punk rock band and I don’t really think Blink 182 is really a punk rock band either," proclaims Trever Keith, the lead singer of the energetic punk rock band Face to Face. "The Offspring just really became more of a rock band and I think that Blink 182 is a pop band."

Unlike many other bands that have come before them, Face to Face remains true to their roots, not only in their music but also to their fans. Seven years after first gracing Canadian stages, they’re back for another three-week tour of the great white north to promote their new album Reactionary.

"We haven’t been up [to Canada] for three years and we are excited to get back," says Keith. "Canada was one of the first places that we ever toured and it has always been a really great country for us."

Face to Face is set to howl at the MacEwan Hall Ballroom on Halloween night with opening acts Gob and Saves the Day.

"I kind of like to be spontaneous with our shows. I have to see what happens based on the night and the audience," says Keith. My experience is that the Canadian audience is more into it and I find that the shows go off a little bit more than they do in the U.S."

For this tour the band will perform as a three-piece. Rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Chad Yaro will stay behind in California due to some prior commitments. Nevertheless, the group remains enthusiastic.

"The band plays a little bit tighter and we [will be] a little more raw and energetic," states Keith.

For their latest album, Reactionary, Face to Face is breaking new ground. They recorded 16 infectious and hard-hitting tracks earlier this year and much to the chagrin of bands like Metallica posted all 16 on mp3.com. Then they allowed the fans to vote on which tracks they felt should make the album. Reactionary is a compilation of the 12 songs that received the most votes.

Unlike many in the music industry, Face to Face’s attitude towards "file sharing" is a breath of fresh air.

"It is the natural progression of what has been the basis of the do-it-yourself punk rock ethic," he says. "It just makes sense to me that it is a great place to promote new music."

Many music industry traditionalists see the Internet and Napster as the death of music as we know it. However, Face to Face is optimistic.

"The idea of a record industry is less than 75 years old and whose to say that the system that came into place based on the technology at the time is the right one? You have to embrace the coming changes because it doesn’t make any sense to fight it," explains Keith. "I think that we need to be sensitive to those needs and wants of the public so that we can survive as an industry."


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