Far*Out, the West Covina trio with the hard-to-look up name, formed in high school after hearing Oasis' Definitely Maybe. Now that far Joseph Canal (guitar and vocals), Charles Gray (bass), and Chris Canal (drums) have a full-length they can call their own, they're celebrating with a release show at Chain Reaction on Saturday. Bassist Charles Gray talks about how the band formed, and why you should go check out their Brit-pop-inspired sound.OC Weekly: What's the best thing about being a three-piece?
Charles Gray: I think being a three-piece band gives us a more focused sound, since there aren't any other members weighing in their own ideas. It gives us a lot of creative control, and our original vision is more realized. The downside is the same thing that awards us this control can sometimes be negative. There are times when we would like to have a fresh take on a demo we're working on. But like all other bands or group partnerships, just as long as the members get along well, you can make any situation work. So even though we only have three members, the band still have plenty of juice to run on.
Why do you have an affinity for Brit pop?
Because Britpop rules! We just remember being in high school, and all the rocker kids were listening to Nirvana, Green Day, Sublime, the Offspring. . . . It wasn't bad, it's just that Brit pop was this happy reaction from overseas to all of the music here, and it just had more of a romanticized, rebellious nature fueled by such catchy melodies and clean cut looks.
Oasis opened the gates for all the other great bands that came out in the '90s such as Blur, Echobelly, Supergrass, Ash, Super Furry Animals, Elastica, Pulp, Sleeper, Cast, Suede and more. We always try to capture some of that rebellion, romance and the lyrical cleverness of storytelling into our music--as well as catchy melodies and raw emotions.
Do you have particular stories behind the songs in the album?
We wanted to create an album that encapsulated our life experiences growing up. so this album is very personal to us. Each song describes a significant event or time period in our lives. For example, we were going though a transitional period when we wrote "Late Downtown," so the song is about a person who wants change in his life. "Let's Get Lost" is about wanting to flee the world to be with the one you love. The first song on the album, "We Are One," was inspired by one of Barack Obama's early speeches that really juiced us up at a time when we were all in need of hope and seeking a positive change.
Why the album title?
Teenage Afterlife was taken from a line in our first single, "A Reminder." It's about life in your 20s, when you're finished with high school, and you slowly disappear from that kid you were, and you float around life, trying to find yourself and meaning to your existence.
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Do all your songs mean something?
The most important thing to the band is to convey our stories and ideas through our music. Everything we write has a story behind it. Sometimes, we try to make the story or idea blatant, and sometimes, we try to disguise it as something else, but there is always an original inspiring idea that fuels our material.
Oh, and why the asterisk in between your name? Doesn't that get confusing for people who want to Google you?
At first the asterisk sign was just a way to separate the two words so people wouldn't ever think it was one word. But after discovering over time that there a lot of other bands called Far Out (there was also a TV show about lesbians), we figured it separates us from other things called Far Out. And yes, we had that asterisk before Stellarstar*. As far as Google is concerned, we're just gonna have to work harder and get bigger than all the other Far Outs out there to get ourselves on the top of their radar!
Catch Far*Out at Chain Reaction, 1652 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 635-6067; allages.com. Saturday, March 19, 9 p.m. $10.