ANT FARM are John Chavez -JC-, Rob DeFriese -Rob- and Dan Feldman -Dan-, a 3-piece alternative Rock band 3-piece and they are giving 1 In Music an interview for the pcomng release of their new albumm.
1 In Music: What is unique about you and your music?
What is unique about Ant Farm is our relationship rapport with one another. Not many bands can stay together and grow together like we have. We truly are like brothers as we’ve known each other since high school, and though we had an hiatus of sorts, have been performing as a band for over a decade.
What is unique about our music is the particular sound we developed as a band. We consider our music to fall into the genre of “Alternative Rock,” but we like to call our sound “Desert Groove.” We have clean, driving rock that’s just a little gritty, but we also have spacious, slightly “trippy” songs and melodious, energetic, “power-pop” songs.
1 In Music: What/who shaped your music and who supports you?
The three of us come from different musical backgrounds, although we share some favorite music/bands in common, like The Beatles, R.E.M., Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and The Police. But our general musical backgrounds range from American 80’s Rock’n’Roll, “New Wave” and Brit-Rock to “Shoe-Gazer” Alternative.
We’ve only recently reunited, so we have the support of significant others, family and friends, and a few of the old “Ant Farm” groupies, but we are mostly supporting ourselves and trying to become re-established in The Valley as a regularly-performing band.
1 In Music: When did you realize you were going to make music professionally?
I think it’s safe to say each of us knew in high school (if not sooner) that we WANTED to make music professionally. it took awhile after high school to work out the logistics of being professional. So while we’re “working professionals,” I think it’s safe to say that we all still have the aspiration to be a successful band — that is, making a living from making and performing our music.
1 In Music: What music do you listen to?
As I mentioned in our influences, we have similar favorites, like The Beatles, R.E.M., Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Police. As for our other, individual favorites:
JC’s music tastes are wide and eclectic. Classic Rock, Latin, some heavy metal, R&B and BLUES.
Rob likes Sting, U2, Dave Matthews, Rush, Peter Gabriel, The Talking Heads, Foo Fighters, Tom Waits and sometimes oldie favorites like Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire, to name a few. He’ll sometimes listen to acoustic (classic) jazz and classical as well.
Dan, also appreciates a wide array: He likes “Alternative, College Progressive Guitar Album-Oriented Modern Rock,” 80’s & 90’s rock & pop, occasionally techno/house, and even some classic rock or classical.
1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued artist?
Dan: I’ll go with Let’s Active, of course led by the great Mitch Easter, producer of the early albums. If you like R.E.M. at all, you might like Let’s Active even better.
JC: Charlie Musselwhite, David Gilmour
Rob: I’d say Tom Waits, for one is greatly undervalued. He’s quite prolific, and all of the work I’ve heard is really intelligent and ranges from thought-provoking to gut-busting laughter. But there are many undervalued music artists, to be sure.
1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?
Rob: I prefer to have done my daily exercise routine and stretches (including wrists, hands, and fingers), and I do a series of vocal exercises — or as many of them as possible. Mentally I make it a point to always get a little meditation and “prayer” time before each performance.
JC: I prepare by going through check list of equipment for each show, which can be a lot as it might include the PA and/or recording equipment.
Dan: I try to get enough sleep due to my vampire schedule. Sometimes a shot of espresso. (And jokingly says…) I do an intense workout that entails benching 425 lbs. the morning of. Just kidding, no truth to that. I
1 in Music: What do you do when you don’t do music and that you are passionate about?
JC: When not performing with JC & The Juke Rockers Blues Band I also am a festival promoter and produce the N Mnt Blues & Brews, The Superstition Blues & Brews and the Babes Blues & Brews festivals.
Dan: I tell luxury cabs where to go in the middle of the night to prevent DUI’s and get people where they need to go. I efficiently direct the carriers of the lifeblood through the veins of the city in which I was born and I love. You were born in the city, concrete under your feet…
Rob: I wish I had more free time, but I make it a point to have family and/or relationship time, and I’m also firmly committed to my soul’s growth and being the best person I can. If I had more time, I might give more study to astronomical and natural-world stuff.
1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?
Things are much different now in the music industry than they were when we started out. But given how things are now, we guess we’d tell anyone starting out that there’s a lot on his/her own shoulders — managing, booking gigs, promotions/marketing, social media/internet interactions, recording, writing) — and you need to find what you like or have skill to do and try to find help to do other tasks. Also that being a musician is an honorable and much needed profession!
1 In Music: Any upcoming projects?
Yes, Ant Farm is in the middle of recording and will soon release a new “album” of songs, including our newest originals and some older originals which we’ve never recorded together previously. We will likely release certain of those songs, one-by-one, leading up to the album release to build interest in the album.
Also, JC is recording original blues songs with his Blues/Classic Rock/R&B cover band — JC & The Juke Rockers (w/ Rob on bass & vocals) — also to be released soon. And Rob is writing new material for songs to be played by Ant Farm and/or as a solo artist.
1 In Music: Where do we find your music/music projects?
Ant Farm’s upcoming album will be released on CDBaby, iTunes, & Amazon, but in the meantime you can find and stream/download our music at www.reverbnation.com/antfarm3. Rob’s most recent solo album, “Altitude” — including songs recorded w/ Ant Farm — is available on CDBaby and on Amazon (search “Altitude Robert DeFriese”).