Face to Face: 25 Years of SoCal Punk (Excerpt)

Page 1

Face to Face’s ethos is a choral composition of rugged individualism, principled propriety, and personal responsibility paired with apathy, cynicism, and self-doubt. For over 25 years, the comforting cadence of their music has helped a legion of fans navigate the turbulent waters of everyday life. Paul Carlson

Face to Face have given me the drive to live life hard and smart every day; putting a positive mark on our world with the legacy I want to leave behind. Cameron Hutcheson

When I started Saves the Day, Big Choice was the soundtrack of my life. Chris Conley Saves the Day

Face to Face was the picture of my youth. I drove around with their tapes playing in my car my whole high school career. I saw them play at least four or five times. One show stands out above the others: Kutska’s Hall in Green Bay, WI. The band was playing “Sensible” and during the line “makes no sense to me,” everyone jumps and BOOM! The floor caves in and a ton of people are on their ass! It was an amazing show that I will never forget. Valerie Vanderlinden


Almost 15 years ago, a friend of mine was going out with a guy. I didn’t want her going by herself, so I said I would tag along. Afterwards, my friend and her boyfriend were nowhere to be found. Trying to be nice, I sat with the guy they brought. It was very casual; nothing exciting and no sparks. He tried making small talk with me; asking what kind of foods I liked, what I liked to do on the weekends, and what kind of music I liked. I said that I liked punk rock, hardcore, and ska. He asked what my favorite band was. I said Face to Face. He said he hadn’t known a girl who liked them, let alone know who they are. After that, we just started talking about music for hours. It was getting late, and I had to go. I gave him my number and thought, “If he calls, great! If not, oh well.” He got into his car with his friend that night and said, “I’m going to marry that girl one day.” Well, we have been married for seven years, been together for 15 years, and have three beautiful children. Rachel Grieder


A few years ago, I read a book called The Things They

separated from my wife and children for a year. I have

Carried by Tim O’Brien. The book is about a group of

blared their music through a dusty tape deck while

infantry soldiers fighting in the jungles of Vietnam.

transporting nuclear missiles across the barren high

The author describes an item each man carried in his

plains of eastern Wyoming. The band’s songs motivated

rucksack that made him feel close to home. For some

me and kept me alert. Trever’s lyrics provided me

men it was a photograph. For others, it was a letter

the insight to endure incredible pain following major

from a sweetheart. When I reflect back on the trials

reconstructive spinal surgery. I had to learn to walk

and tribulations of my 20 year (and counting) military

again following the operation. I remember pushing a

career I’ve carried one item with me; the music of my

walker down a hospital hallway thinking “Never look

hometown band, Face to Face.

down. Just keep my focus straight ahead, and try to walk this line.” The band’s music motivated me when I

Just like Face to Face, my journey began in the high

had nothing left to give, when the pain was unbearable;

desert of Southern California. The band’s journey

pushed me when I wanted to stop. Their music

started at warehouse parties and small Inland Empire

changed my life.

clubs. Mine began at the Greyhound Bus station off

of 7th Street in Victorville, CA where I shipped off

I’m not alone in my deep emotional connection for

to boot camp. As I have endured the ups and downs

Face to Face. They are the type of band that fans

of my military career, I have leaned on Face to Face

connect with on an emotional level each and every

as my pillar of support more times than I can count.

day. These emotional connections change lives and

I have listened to the band while my plane lifted off

because of this the band has been blessed with the

the ground headed to an assignment where I was

most dedicated fans.

Jack Cohenour III Face to Face Fans and Collectors Connection


There are few bands out of the thousands I’ve embraced in my life that I can still hear myself trying to emulate shamelessly. It’s produced some of our most popular songs and some of my favorite moments simply because they taught me how to create that particular vibe. It’s the way Trever plays deceptively simple, expansive, dreamy major keys over a raging, complex punk rock rhythm section and the constant presence of existential sadness and longing amongst all the incriminating punk rock fury of it all. These are things I cannot stop ripping off. They are ingrained in the DNA of my band. It happens so often and so blatantly that I had to invite Trever to sing a Face to Face-ish vocal part I had written myself over a song that blatantly borrows from his own band. Give a listen to our song, “People Like You Are Why People Like Me Exist,” and you’ll witness the sound of a 22-year-old punk basically wanting to play his own Face to Face song live. A guy who still cockily smiles to himself knowing he roped one of his idols into playing himself in a fanboyish recreation. Max Bemis Say Anything


When I discovered punk music, so much of it was dark and nihilistic. When I heard Face to Face, I found punk music that was edgy and aggressive but also uplifting and laced with hope. It felt more like a sunrise than a sunset. The songs left a deep impression on me and my own songwriting. Tim McIlrath Rise Against