So Far Left’s Guitarist James Talks about Band’s Beginnings and Ongoing Future

So Far Left got their start in 2009 in Orange County, California. Their first EP entitled "Kill The Messenger" was released late last year and since the band has been moving forward writing new tunes playing shows just getting their name out there for everyone to know. Guitarist James spoke to me about the band’s beginnings and current plans they have in store.

1. What type of band are you?

James: We are a Post-Hardcore band. We blend elements of Punk, Metal, Hardcore and Rock into our own brand of Post-hardcore

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

James: The band formed in 2009 in Orange County, CA. Originally being called So Far Left It’s Right. When we had to replace our original singer, we decided to short our name to simply So Far Left. Our first EP was released on 11.11.11 entitled “Kill The Messenger”.

3. Who are your musical influences?

James: Our biggest influences are bands like Silverstein, The Used, A Day To Remember. We all have such a different range of influences all the way from Prince to Metallica to the Beatles.

4. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

James: Our songs are about what’s going on in our lives. Whether it’s relationship problems with a girlfriend or moving on from a bad situation one of us we’re in. A lot of people can relate to the lyrics because everybody goes through these types of things.

5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

James: We take a lot of pride in our songwriting. It usually starts with an idea from either James or Alex on guitar. Then the entire band jams out the entire song together. A lot of times Brandon as the singer can hear things that the rest of the band doesn’t hear. Everyone has a big say on how the songs are crafted. Everyone in the band can look back at certain parts of songs and say “That was my idea” or “I remember when I suggested that change”.

6. What's new in the recording of your music?

James: We are currently writing towards a full length album. It’s coming along great. We’ve written close to 6 songs and we’re excited for people to hear them when they’re finished.

7. How do you promote your band and shows?

James: So Far Left does A LOT of old fashioned promoting at shows. We hand out CD demos as much as we can. We owe the bulk of our fans from just going out and talking to kids at shows and letting them know who we are and what we’re about. Over the life of the band, we’ve easily handed out over 20,000 CD’s.

8. Describe your show, visual and musically.

James: When you come to a So Far Left show you should expect to see a lot of energy, passion and sweat (except from Roc) We lay it all out there when we perform.

9. How do you describe your music to people?

James: Our music has something for everyone. Whether you’re into punk, hardcore, metal, pop, blues, rock or whatever you can find yourself saying “These guys are good”

10. What image do you think your music conveys?

James: Honesty. We definitely don’t try to be anyone we’re not. People can spot a fake a mile away. A lot of people like to say that we have a really awesome sound and that they don’t hear it from any other bands. I think that’s because us as individuals aren’t like every other band and it shows from our music and our stage performance.

11. What's your outlook on the record industry today?

James: The internet has made it so ANYBODY can be heard. This is a good thing in theory. But it has also made it so that the trendy bands or music will overpower more talented original musicians. In this YouTube generation, everybody wants to be famous and unique but what ends up happening is you get a lot of repetition. And what is sad for bands like us is that record labels will give a deal to a band based solely on how tight their pants are and how good their hair looks. This of course isn’t always the case. There are still a lot of talented bands that are doing very well. True talent will always shine through. But there are also a handful of bands and artists that are just good for the moment and will dissolve with the next trend.

12. How you had any luck in getting signed with a label or do you want to fly solo for the time being.

James: We are a DIY band because we believe in ourselves and this is all of our dreams. If and when we sign with a label, we definitely want to make sure that it is the right fit. First and foremost we are musicians, but we also realize that this is a business. And there’s nothing wrong that.

13. What advice would you give to fellow bands?

James: Always keep writing. You never know if that next song could be the one that will take you to the top.

14. What are the biggest obstacles for bands?

James: Money and time. We all work full time jobs to be able to do the band full time. We make a lot of sacrifices with girlfriends, family, and careers to do what we love. And it’s always worth it. Writing an playing music with 4 of our best friends never gets old.

15. What inspires you to do what you do?

James: When we see kids at shows that come up to us and say that they’re really into our band and we mean a lot to them, because each one of us was that kid not too long ago. Looking up at our idols wishing we could be on stage making an impact. It’s a great feeling to know we’re doing the same thing.

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