Sunday, February 12, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! Farewell Continental INTV!

What started off as a secret side project for Motion City Soundtrack front man Justin Pierre has now blossomed into a touring band that has developed a cult-like following along the way. The band, Farewell Continental began in 2008 as a group of friends from the Minneapolis area began, with each member taking on identities of characters from Harrison Ford films and never revealing who was who until the release of their debut record, ¡Hey, Hey Pioneers! and a non-stop touring schedule, Farewell Continental have become fan favorites. As the band embark on a tour this month and gather up cash to begin recording their sophomore record, we spoke with singer Justin Pierre about the group's history, music and Harrison Ford. Take a look!

The band was an enigma at first before you revealed your true identities, why did you plan out doing that at first?

I wanted to put out the music and just let people stumble upon it rather than have people respond to it as a side project from a guy in another band. That way people either liked it or disliked it without having any preconceived notions.

For a while you had fans guessing and arguing on blogs that “Richard Kimble” was in fact, you - Justin Pierre. Did you find this amusing?

We didn't really try all that hard at hiding it. Although at our first shows I did make everyone wear ski masks to hide our identities. In retrospect that was dumb and very hot. I think what humored me most was reading that people though the singer of Farewell Continental was a shitty version of Justin Pierre.

What made you eventually reveal who you actually were?

We wanted people to come to the shows on our tour. We hoped that we could either con or intrigue people who were into our various other bands into spending their hard earned dollars on our nonsense.

You all took your names from Harrison Ford characters, who chose what? Why Harrison Ford? Also, no love for Dr. Henry Jones, Jr?

Harrison Ford is the greatest. We couldn't be too obvious with the names, therefore no Indiana Jones or Han Solo. Because we have a girl in the band we had to find a suitable name. The Mosquito Coast was our ace in the hole in that department.

How did each of you link up to form the band?

I've known Tommy since the mid/late '90's. He actually played keyboards in MCS for a brief while and even wrote the lead for a song called "Don't Call It A Comeback," but he wasn't interested in joining the band. We both share an affinity for all things feedback laden and late '80's/early '90's. Josh played in Small Towns Burn A Little Slower with Tommy. Kari used to drive me to various Emergency Rooms across Minneapolis and scrape me off the floor for several years. She was a genius piano player and had a great voice. I always wanted to do something musical with her. Jim was some hardcore kid that was a friend of Tommy's and talked his way into recording on the first Farewell Continental EP even though he didn't actually know how to really play bass. I found this out recently.

All of you come from other bands that sound vastly different than Farewell Continental but all have the same influences. Is it difficult transitioning from one style of rock and roll to another?

We all play in 1 to several other bands and they are all quite different. The trick for us is that we try not to think too much about what we are doing. Also, our schedules never really line up so we rarely every rehearse or write in the same room. We send ideas to one another and then show up for the few hours we can while in the studio and do our best to come up with stuff if we haven't had time to do so beforehand.

What form do you like better?

I like the freedom that comes with not having to care about cd sales and whether or not people listen to your band. Unfortunately, one cannot support themselves with this type of artistic outlet. But for FC it is all about gut feeling and not over analyzing anything. Hell, it's about not analyzing anything to begin with.

You finally released your debut, Hey Hey Pioneers. What was that experience like?

It was really fun. Fun is the word that we function under. If we're not having it, then there is no point in existing. We also sold 200 copies on the little tour we recently embarked upon, which is huge for a band that nobody really knows about.

Being from different bands and knowing the recording process, was this a quick and painless recording or the total opposite?

It took over a year to record because we could never find enough time when all of us were available, so we had to do it in small increments. I think we spent a total of 12 days recording and Ed Ackerson mixed the whole record in a few days.

Do you envision yourselves recording more or is this a one off project?

Absolutely. We already have our next 2 records somewhat worked out in our heads. We have an insane amount of songs, snippets or ideas floating around. The thing that is proving hardest is our ability to tour. We hope to at least tour once for every record, but mostly it'll be around Minneapolis unless we run into some rich people that want us to come to Amsterdam for a private show or something. That we can handle.