Face to Face celebrate 25 years of in-your-face punk rock

By Sarah Mac
Face to Face are celebrating 25 years with a tour and a new record on Fat Wreck Chords.

Face to Face are taking their 25-year celebration on the road.

CALGARY — It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since the legendary Face to Face began their punk-rock journey into our hearts.

Face to Face hail from Southern California and are known for their melodic punk rock style. They have released nine full-length studio albums; their first full-length, 1992’s Don’t Turn Away, was an instant classic. Since then, Face to Face have swapped record labels and faced their share of lineup changes as well. But as it stands today, Face to Face are as follows: founding member, front man and guitarist, Trever Keith; Danny Thompson, drums; Scott Shiflett, bass and Dennis Hill, guitar.

Recently we caught up with Keith to get a glimpse into 25 years of Face to Face.

“When we started the band we just knew what we wanted to do at the time. I didn’t know how long it would last but now I don’t want it to end,” he laughs and continues.

“But we’ve been lucky, as a band we’ve gotten the opportunity to make very different kinds of records and we’ve tried a lot of different stuff throughout our career. Sometimes people love it, sometimes not so much. But we’re gonna hang on and keep making records and playing shows for as long as we can.” Keith boasts.

Their albums may have differed in the past, but it seems as if Face to Face has come full-circle in 25 years. They’ve returned to Fat Wreck Chords for the first time in over 20 years and their latest record, Protection, is an album reminiscent of some of their earliest releases.

“It feels comfortable and natural to go back into making a record like Protection. I think it gives a nod to the past, but also definitely showcases the fact that we’ve been doing this for 25 years and we’ve developed our musical skills. I think it’s a good balance of both of those things.”

As for returning to Fat? Most fans of Face to Face saw this as a no-brainer.

“Well, I think the time had come. It’s the best way I can put it. It’s one of those things that was probably pretty obvious, and I think it took us a little too long to figure out we should have just been there anyway. It just seemed like coming home.” He pauses, “so in a weird way, we’re kinda like prodigal sons.” Keith chuckles.

For any music fan, the tour is the icing on the cake and Keith fully understands the importance of hearing your favourite songs.

“I try to think about it like a fan, I want to hear some songs from my favourite record. I’m looking for at least a couple from each album. Protection, is our main focus right now and what we’re promoting. So we’re going to play quite a few songs from that record, but it probably makes up less than half of our set list. The bulk of it will be songs here and there from older albums. We have a lot of material to choose from, but we try to do a little bit from each record.”

To commemorate 25 years, Face to Face will be reissuing their first three albums, remastered on 180-gram vinyl; they’ve also teamed up with Vannen Watches, for a special limited-edition timepiece. So don’t worry if you can’t attend one of their many shows, there’s plenty of ways to celebrate with Face to Face.

Don’t miss Face to Face at one of their many Canadian stops, including MacEwan Hall (Calgary) Oct. 29, Union Hall, (Edmonton) Oct. 30, Louis’ Pub (Saskatoon) Oct. 31, and Pyramid Cabaret (Winnipeg) Nov. 3! Check out their website for all the dates: www.facetofacemusic.com.  

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