Rock The Summer – Face The King
When a website creates a project like Rock The Summer and teams with ReverbNation, it is inundated with submissions. As we have documented previously, we received well over 3,100 for RTS. Imagine listening to that many submissions. It can be a daunting and overwhelming task; one where every submission starts to sound the same. How do you find 25 needles in a haystack that size?
In some cases, you don’t find the artist, they find you. As ridiculous as it might be, the first thing that grabbed my attention was that the band listed that they were from Amityville, NY. While I don’t live there anymore, I grew up on Long Island and it’s always nice to root for the home team. They didn’t need any favoritism on my part though. Instead of listening to a snippet of a song or two, I was locked in a Face The King vacuum for the better part of an hour. I listened to the tracks on Reverb and then found their Bandcamp page.
I went back to 2011 and their release The Burning and Falling Down. The big sound of the title track is just a glimpse of what is to come in the maturation of the band’s style. They aren’t a one trick pony though. When listening to the softer, darker “Parachutes,” there’s a fatal beauty to it; like watching the petals falling of a rose one by one.
The Sound was the band’s follow up release in 2013. It is 4 tracks of heart-pounding music that assaults your senses in all the right ways. The hairs on the back of your neck will stand up and pump their fists as you get lost from the opening notes of “You, Me & The SOUND.” You cannot separate these tracks individually. While they each have a distinct sound, they complement each other the way basil and oregano do in a good marinara sauce. At just 18 minutes, it is an appetizer and not a full meal, but who said we can’t order multiple helpings?
In March, the boys from Long Island released their first single for their upcoming album, “The Sea.” It is apparent that they have grown in maturity with their songwriting and have made their sound even bigger. We couldn’t even wait to show it to our readers that we featured it as a Daily Krapht back in July. With multiple stints on the Vans Warped Tour, fans across the country have found a band they can truly invest their hearts in. We will all sit and watch as they take the next step on what seems to be a very prolific career.
I couldn’t let a chance go to talk to the boys and had a few questions for them. Bassist Joey Dammacco took some time answer them for us…
Let’s start with the basics. For those readers who are new to the band, who is Face The King and how did the band come together and is there a story behind the name?
Face the King is an independent hard rock band from the mean streets of Long Island, NY. We banded together almost 5 years ago on a cold stormy night… Wait no, it was June and I’m quite certain it was sunny. In reality, Eric and I (Joey) were in a band together that was coming to an end and decided, rather than part ways, we can start something newer, fresher and better than anything we have done in the past. I remember Eric being reluctant to start over, but ultimately my good looks and charm kept him reeled in : ). We had found Dan after our guitar player parted ways and we knew that we had something special. Once Randy joined the equation, we finally realized that we had found the final line up and all this untapped potential was now in front of us.
The name Face The King came from a song from song that Eric wrote. Each member kind of translates it differently because it means something different to each of us. For me, it means that in the end of your life, before you meet whatever higher power there is, you really have to look back on everything you’ve done. You have to look within yourself decide if you are satisfied with the choices you’ve made… So that is where the line to the song ‘Before you face the King, you face yourself’ comes from….. Jeez that was wordy….
It is apparent that most of your music is built for a big live show. Was there a plan to create this “Arena-Rock” sound or did it just evolve on its own?
We started this band just wanting to write genuine, honest music and with no planned intention of being ‘arena rock’. We just did what was comfortable and what we loved…. It just turned out to be that way. We really wanted to be a Weird Al tribute band… That didn’t work out.
What would the members of FTK 2014 want to warn/tell the guys back in 2011?
To write ‘Call Me Maybe’ before Carly Rae Jepsen does it. But really, I think we’d tell 2011 Face The King to not worry so much about the deal, and to just enjoy the ride. We have had some pretty amazing times.
What other artists do you also get inspiration from and why?
I think the real magic stems from the fact that we all listen to different music. We draw influence from everything. From 30 Seconds To Mars, The Dear Hunter, Nine Inch Nails, U2, Coldplay, Muse, Young The Giant, Jeff Buckley, John Mayer, Damien Rice, Glen Hansard, Dream Theater, Imagine Dragons, The Killers, Circa Survive and everything in between.
With several Warped Tours under your belt and other major appearances, do you have any great road stories to tell?
Not too long ago, we invested in our first band vehicle and we had a show in North Carolina and we had a day to get there… It’s a 12 hour drive. Now, mind you, this is our first the in the van and I have finally gotten to sleep after driving through the night, I wake up to a boom and then a lot of thudding…. We had a huge tire blow out in the middle of Virginia. I had this really awesome moment when we pulled over and unloaded our gear on the side of the parkway and changed our tire…. 4 New Yorkers, gear on the shoulder… All of us sticking out like a sore thumb… We did it. We are on tour. It was pretty crazy.
Take us through the process of writing a Face The King song? Who is involved?
In order to write a Face The King song, it really takes all 4 of us. It usually starts the way you think it would. Someone comes in with a riff or a whole song… It doesn’t become a Face The King song until everyone has put their seal of approval on it though… By that time, the whole song has probably changed. The other way is my favorite; it’s when we jam. We will often just start jamming on nothing and out of it comes some of our best material to date. I remember us writing ‘The Stage’ this way. It was actually the first song we wrote after Randy joined.
What have been your biggest struggle so far and your proudest moment?
Honestly the biggest struggle is keeping people’s attention. We live in a time where everything… and I mean EVERYTHING is accessible at the snap of a finger. It makes the unsigned band’s journey that much harder. That brings me to our proudest moment. Warped Tour… We begin a performance to a handful of people and by the end, its loud cheering and packed. You know what that means! We kept their attention, and grabbed the attention of others. It’s a proud moment when you defeat your biggest struggle.
You have more than a few musical sponsors listed on your Facebook page. For the less experienced musicians out there, how important are these relationships, what do they provide and how would they work towards landing one?
These relationships are incredibly important to me. For a touring band any type of endorsement or sponsorship helps. When you are struggling on the road to eat or put gas in the tank to make it to the next stop, the last thing you need is wondering how you are going to replace that A String I broke last night. Whether you are given a few packs or boxes of strings or even a discount… every little bit helps. I have made great friends from endorsers and great relationships and it really motivates you to know that a company believes in you enough, that they would stake the reputation of their company on your success.
You’ve released the first single for the new album. When will it be released?
We are headed back to the studio in the beginning of September to finish up the last few songs with our producer, Rob Freeman (Gym Class Heroes), at Audio Pilot Studios. The record should be out by late 2014/early 2015. This is definitely our proudest material to date… there will be a lot of surprises. We are really pulling out all stops.
What does being an independent artist mean to you?
As Eric says a lot… you see so many famous bands who just phone it in. We go out every night, and whether there is 2 people or 20,000 people we will play like it is Madison Square Garden. We believe to survive as an independent artist you have to leave it out on the stage. Being independent is not easy, but each new victory tastes that much sweeter and each new fan, becomes that much more appreciated. There is something special about the band who climbs their way up, knowing that there is no one there to catch them if they fall. We are excited to see who is waiting at the top. Don’t say the scene is dead. If you think it is, then go out and change it.
Artist Name: Face The King
Location: New York, NY
Genre: Alternative, Rock
Members: Eric Zirlinger, Dan DelVecchio, Joey Dammacco, Randy Palumbo