Fake Problems: Naples’ Hometown Heroes

Posted on December 18, 2011

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By Ryan Toohey

rttoohey@eagle.fgcu.edu

In a world full of real problems, Naples presents Fake Problems.

The band Fake Problems is currently at home in Naples.  They have no tours planned, and they are not ready to record a new album until 2012.

“The thing about Naples is that there is nothing to do here,” said frontman Chris Farren.

Fake Problems consists of Farren, who plays guitar and provides lead vocals, bassist Derek Perry, guitarist Casey Lee, and drummer Sean Stevenson.

*Band Bio*

Fake Problems is a self-proclaimed “beach-punk” band.

“It’s a good brand,” says Perry.  “No one else is beach punk.”

We are trying to cultivate our own scene, says Farren.  Fake Problems wants to separate themselves from other bands they have been compared to, such as Against Me! and The Gaslight Anthem.

The members of Fake Problems have a history of playing in bands with each other.

We were each in bands together growing up, or we were playing shows with bands in which the other members were a part of, recalled Farren.  One of Farren and Perry’s bands was also called Fake Problems.

Now in their mid-twenties, Farren recalls being in those bands as a learning experience for them.

“There was screaming when their shouldn’t be screaming,” says Farren.

Farren, Perry, Lee, and Stevenson joined together in 2005 to form Fake Problems.

Fake Problems released their first full-length album, “How Far Our Bodies Go” in 2007.  Their most recent record, “Real Ghosts Caught on Tape,” was released in 2010 and peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.

Fake Problems latest single, “Soulless,” was featured in an AT&T commercial for HTC Status.  The song has also been featured in a commercial for an Android Mobile Application from Google.

The AT&T and Android commercials can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEbceOwwykY and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC31WJOJVBk respectively.

Even with the popularity of “Soulless,” Perry says their next single, “Songs for Teenagers,” can find even more success.

A music video for “Songs for Teenagers” has been finished, and its estimated release is in January.

So what are they doing with their time here in Naples?

*Off Tour*

 

When Fake Problems is at home, Farren says he is either wishing he was on tour, or he is writing songs.

He says being in the same place every day drives him crazy.

“I don’t think there is a five minute stretch of time I don’t think about this band and what I can do to make it better,” said Farren.

Farren says the hardest thing about being a musician is not touring or working toward anything.

“We’re not people thrust into this crazy life, we’re people that saw this regular life as a crazy life,” said Perry.  “We strived to get into this crazy life, we find it normal.”

Although Farren says Naples can be boring, he says he doesn’t want to move.

Meanwhile, Stevenson says Perry is bringing a music scene to Naples with Neapolitan Underground.

Neapolitan Underground is a not-for-profit organization set up by Perry.  Their goal is to generate money in order to establish a full-time venue in Naples.

Perry has set up two Neapolitan Underground events in Naples for 2012.

The Max Levine Ensemble, a punk band from Washington D.C., will be headlining a show at SquareHead on Jan. 3.  The Upright Citizens Brigade, an improv and sketch comedy tour, will perform a show at Fleischmann Park on Jan. 14.

The Upright Citizens Brigade touring company has had past members move on to comedy programs such as The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live.  Upright Citizen Brigade alumni include: Ed Helms of The Hangover and The Office, Rob Riggle of SNL and The Daily Show, and Rob Corddry of The Daily Show.

Perry says Neapolitan Underground will flourish on the actions of Fake Problems.

When Fake Problems is on national tours, Perry says he pitches Naples to almost every band they play with.  He has recently brought Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio and The Menzingers, as well as other bands, to Naples.

Perry has recently been playing acoustically at Southstreet City Oven & Grill on Thursday nights.  He said he is playing open-mic night to strengthen his musical ability.

*Tour Life*

 

Fake Problems doesn’t get tired or bored on tour, just sleep deprived.

“You wait all day to do one thing,” said Stevenson.

Farren says the weirdest experience they had while on tour was when a turkey flew through the windshield of their van.

“Are you kidding me?” said Farren.  “That doesn’t happen!”

There are probably still turkey feathers in the van, said Stevenson.

A video of the result of the accident can be seen here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRy25SF-ej8.

Fake Problems periodically releases “Highlights and Lowlights” videos of some of their tour antics and adventures.

Playing in Naples is different than in other cities, says Fake Problems.

Farren says he sometimes gets self-conscious playing in front of his friends and family.

Fake Problems says they still get the feeling they are seen as a local band amongst the community, even though they only play a show every four or five months.

It’s annoying to still be known as a local band, says Farren.

Instead they may prefer being known as hometown heroes.

For now, local fans can spend Thursday nights at open-mic night at Southstreet City Oven and Grill to watch Perry perform.

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Posted in: Ryan Toohey