The recently reunited and all-around awesome act Far is currently wrapping up their fifth full-length release with producer and guitarist Shaun Lopez fiddling the knobs with an early spring release to look forward to. I don't think we need any more reasons to do an interview with Shaun.
PRT: So what made you guys get back together and why now?
Shaun: We had always said, we would only get back together if it felt right. After a nice phone conversation with Jonah it seemed like a possibility but nothing firm. At first it would just be one show and see where it goes.. Then the idea of a UK tour seemed fun and semi-easy. And here we are… That’s where it started..
PRT: What was the reason behind the breakup in the first place back in ’99 and how did you solve any problems between you guys (if there were any)?
Shaun: The classic breakup reasons. Egos, solo projects, communication. I think we have gotten better at communicating now. That’s a good thing. We all still have egos, but that’s what makes us, us..
PRT: Looking back are there any things you would’ve done differently knowing what you know now?
Shaun: I never like to look back and think about that. I like to look back and think what we did was pretty cool and how our music had staying power. Not many bands have that. I’m sure there are things we could have done different/better but I’d rather look forward!
PRT: Is the reunion a matter of picking up where you left off or does it feel more like starting all over again?
Shaun: Both I would say. The playing was actually very easy. It’s just something that’s natural to us I think. The 4 of us get into a room and it just happens. I think when you are away from each other for 10 years people’s personalities change so I would say in that sense it is like starting over. In a mostly good way I would say.
PRT: You’ve already created a lot of buzz with your cover of Ginuwine’s “Pony”. Who came up with the idea of covering that track and the Hot Little Pony moniker?
Shaun: Johnny came up with Hot Little Pony, which was an old inside joke that our friend and photographer Jeff Gros came up with. We needed a secret name for a couple secret shows we were playing and it seemed fitting. The idea to cover Pony was Jonah and me. We thought it would be fun, since we had always loved the original. The idea was to cover it as if Ginuwine were fronting Helmet.
PRT: There’s a ton of bands that name you as one of their biggest influences. What was it like to see those bands go on and get a ton of mainstream success? Did breaking up ever feel like a missed opportunity?
Shaun: Again, prefer not to look back. Sure there will always be those shoulda, coulda, woulda, things, but at this point, I think we are all happy. It’s great to have influenced. Maybe one of those mainstream success bands can buy my ass a taco one day. Not much to ask, right?
PRT: Jonah started other bands with Gratitude and New End Original, you started The Revolution Smile but they both came to a halt as well. Are you guys just impossible to work with?
Shaun: Ha! I like your style dude… Not sure of Jonah’s situation but The Revolution Smile guys are still my closest friends, so there wasn’t any bad blood there when it came to ending that band.
PRT: You’re doing a lot of work as a producer as well. How different is it to be a part of the recording of an album in that role instead of being in the band?
Shaun: I love it. When a band trusts you to fulfill their vision, it’s a great thing. The thing that is great about producing is that you get to work with so many different genres at times. I would never want to be a “metal” producer, or a “pop” producer.. As a fan of many different kinds of music, it’s great to work on different stuff
PRT: You recently signed with Vagrant. What made you decide to go with them over other labels?
Shaun: The deal made sense. That’s pretty much it. We signed with them in the states only, which gives us the freedom to seek out our own deals in each market. Majors are in the shitter, and their fate is very uncertain right now. We didn’t want to be a part of that. Vagrant understands who Far is. They know we are “the guys with the Pony song”. Good dudes, good label.
PRT: Right now you’re recording a new album which should be out this summer. Can you already tell us a little bit about it?
Shaun: It’s our most diverse album yet if you ask me. It’s the heaviest, yet lightest, yet poppest, yet weirdest, all rolled up into one. I feel like we are making the record I have always wanted to make. I’m excited.
PRT: What’s up next for you guys once the record is done and what are your expectations for the future?
Shaun: We don’t know actually. I know there will be some touring involved, hopefully overseas. I love touring over there.