Family Force 5: Dance Party Across The Nation

Photo by Angela Morris

Family Force 5 has just hit the road on the It’s All Gold Tour, and will be making a party stop November 11th at The Roxy on Sunset.  Their brand new album III has just hit stores courtesy of Tooth & Nail Records, and it’s sure to cause even the most jaded of music listener to dance it up.  Here is a recent interview we conducted with one of the Family Force 5 members to discuss their new album, upcoming tour, Warped Tour, their Steve Jobs connection,  and a whole lot more.  Let rock!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Family Force 5, and what’s the most embarrassing song on your IPOD?
This is Crouton from Family Force 5. I play drums and I sing some too. The most embarrassing song I have on my IPOD – I think my whole IPOD is made up of embarrassing songs actually. I’m not going to lie – I have Taylor Dayne on there. I’ve got some DeBarge on there too. It’s probably not what anybody knows of right now. Uh, just put Justin Bieber

How does your new album III compare to your previous releases overall?
I think it’s a little bit more mature. It’s got that ghetto flag but it’s still really, really dancey. It’s gold – that’s what it is.

Select two of your favorite songs from III and what inspired the lyrics.
Paycheck is talking about the state of the economy. The information behind that was just seeing a bunch of my friends and family members – just a bunch of people we know at the time losing their jobs and losing their homes. It was inspired out of that. It talks about living paycheck to paycheck. And Tank Top – it’s this club song – the lyrics were inspired out of just going into a club and these people that are too cool for school are sitting up against the wall and being jealous of the person actually going in there and dancing. And it’s talking about how, “I see mad people, and I see sad people. Stone cold face looking like they’re bad people.” And then it’s kind of got a tongue in cheek hook of basically you need to dance and lose the I’m too cool for school vibe.

What are you looking forward to the most on the It’s All Gold Tour?
I think it’s going to be the kids doing Karaoke – I think that’s going to be awesome! Aside from being brand new music – I love doing that and just having a party. But I think it’s going to be pretty hilarious!

Tell me about the Gold Karaoke Challenge and who came up with that idea?
All of us. We were just like man, this would be incredibly fun and hilarious I think if we did that. So we do that, and we’re having this band called the 808er’s out to – which they helped us write Tank Top. It’s their first tour. I think it’s going to be fun.

To you, what is the best and the worst part about working with your brothers in a band?
The best part is there’s a chemistry there that’s awesome. I know it’s kind of weird, but you get stuff without even saying it sometimes. You know what they’re thinking, especially onstage. And you get to hang out with your brothers. The worst part you have to have a business relationship with your family – and sometimes that gets a little hard. We’re having fun and we’re a family and we’re doing crazy stuff. We’re getting to go all over the world and play music with my brothers – which is incredible. But also, trying to have a business relationship with your brothers – you really have to try and separate what’s business. If you take stuff personal or get offended, you can’t say okay this is me getting offended because of my brother instead of a business partner. And I think that’s the hardest thing for me.

Is there anyone else in your family into music at all?
Yes. My father, he is a jazz singer – sings R&B, kind of smooth stuff – and he still does. And my mom was a classically trained opera singer. She really doesn’t do that anymore, but she did that. My wife is a musician. My brother’s wife is a musician. So there’s a lot of musical people in our family.

What do your parents think about Family Force 5?
It’s funny. When we first came up with Family Force 5, my dad was like, “I don’t know. This is kind of weird.” But they love it now. It’s what we love and it’s a mix of a bunch of different music. It’s kind of put into a melting pot and it works for us. They love it though. Our dad is our biggest fan. Every time we get together, he’s just kind of like, “This is what you could do and this is what you could do…” And we’re like, “Okay dad.”

What was your experience like playing Warped Tour and what did you think when you had to play the super early time slot?
Warped Tour is always fun. This year – this was our fourth time on it this past summer. To be honest with you, we didn’t have that many super, super early slots, which was awesome. But there were definitely some years where we did. But it was cool. I love that about Warped, because you’re going to have kids there regardless of when you play. There’s so many great bands. When you play that early in the morning, it’s just like, “Oh my gosh, I just had my coffee and I’m going onstage – so I need two cups of coffee!” It’s pretty fun though.

With the holiday season on the way, do you think there will be any more Christmas Pageant Music?
Yes, we’re actually doing a tour. That tour will roll out probably December 1st. We’re doing a Christmas Tour again, and that’s always pretty fun. I think it goes until about the 28th. It’s not a real, real long tour, but it’s just enough to get some eggnog and Christmas spirit going.

What made you decide to cover the song Bulletproof, and do you know if LaRoux has heard it or commented on it at all?
I don’t think she’s ever commented on it. We were asked to do Punk Goes Pop. I think we originally wanted to do a Kayne West song, but it was already taken. I don’t even know if the LaRoux song was in the mix that we could pick from. We asked “What about the LaRoux song Bulletproof?” So we did that and it’s pretty awesome. It’s a cool song!

You mention Steve Jobs on your song Wobble. What do you think of his passing, and does he know that you referenced him in that song?
No, I’m sure he didn’t even know. He was on a whole other level from us. It’s super sad. For not only my generation, but my generation and the next generation – he definitely changed the world in the way people listen to music and the way people get to work on music or work on movies or just everything. He was definitely a genius, and that was definitely unfortunate. It was sad times, and I definitely feel for his family. He was super, super young. He was a genius of our time.

At this point, do you still consider Family Force 5 to be a Christian band?
Yeah, we are Christians and I don’t think that’ll change. If we talk about girls or dancing or whatever – it’s a part of our searchality and what we believe.

Do you have any messages for Family Force 5 fans out here in the Los Angeles area?
We are going to play out there on the It’s All Gold Tour, so you all better come out – and we love you guys! You guys are awesome fans. And I hope you guys pick up our record on the 18th. (Editor’s Note:  It’s out now!!!)

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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