Interview with Folly bassist Arben Colaku

- Mar 12, 2006 at 04:43PM
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Folly are currently on tour throughout the U.S. Their latest album Resist Convenience is a twelve song energetic work of Ska, Punk, and Hardcore. The band also has another album under their belt and with this tour they are hoping to make some more noise on the scene. Here, in their own words, Folly talks about touring, their music, and band chemistry.

You are currently in the middle of touring, how has it been going so far?
Arben: It has actually been better than we thought it would be. We kinda underwent a lengthy self-imposed exile from the road, so it’s amazing to go out and see that people have not totally forgotten about little old us. Aside from that, it’s always good times.

How does Folly approach gigging, what is the attitude on stage and how does it relate to the music?
Arben: Our mindset has always been to play anywhere, for anyone. We have really tried our best to give all that we can as far as playing goes. As far as the onstage attitude, it’s kind of like just turn up real loud and fucking go. There is a sense of urgency that comes across when a band performs live that is much different than listening to an album. I think we try to keep that in mind, and play with as much intensity as possible.

What is Resist Convenience all about? What inspired it, and/or what were the themes behind it?
Arben: Resist Convenience was originally the title of the first song of the album, which is now called “Brooks Was Here.” The album name, as well as a few songs, address and observe the increasing homogeny of culture, while being stuck in the midst of it all. Other songs touch upon the fear of dying, concern over a drug-addicted friend, and of course, pop culture and touring. As a band, we gather inspiration from just about everything we hear or see. Music, movies, meeting people on tour, etc. We draw from just about everything. So yeah, there is not a central theme, and it has been inspired by life, dawg.

What are you hoping this album will accomplish for Folly, what are your expectations of it?
Arben: We habitually keep our expectations extremely low in this band, regarding just about everything. Therefore, when kids come to see us, or if we generally do anything well, it comes as a surprise. I know that everyone would really love to get the opportunity to tour Europe. That would be truly a highlight of Folly’s existence, so we’ll see what’s in the cards. Aside from that, we just want to keep touring and bringing our jams to as many people as possible.

What differences were there in the writing and recording processes of both albums, and why?
Arben: One big difference was that on Resist Convenience, we actually took the time to re-write several parts, and really go over each song, more carefully than we ever have before. We had many long practices/pre production sessions with our producer, Sal Villanueva, and a metronome, where we just drilled each song, note by note, beat by beat. Also, another huge thing for us was making home recordings of the songs. We had a lot of time to let everything sink in, and figure out what we were going to do. I think most of our difficulties came in during the recoding process. Everyone had slightly different visions of what this Resist Convenience should be. Initially, I was hard for us to balance out what everyone wanted enough to make every member of the band as happy as possible. Imagine this: Out of a band of 5 people, 2 people think that the cowbell is the most sweet sound ever recorded. 2 other people from the same band think that the cowbell is the worst, most un-pleasing sound they have ever heard. And the one remaining member is in the middle of the debate. We had many situations like these, but we eventually managed to come out alive, and meet in the middle collectively.

How does Resist Convenience differ from Insanity Later, both musically and in terms of their expectations?
Arben: Well, we have received some feedback that addresses the length of the album. Resist Convenience is about 10 minutes shorter, but still is nearly 35 minutes. Musically, I think a direct correlation to the length would be that we figured out some things we do well as a band, and trimmed down what we thought of as excess. Many of the songs are more concise and thought out, and dare I say, better? Insanity Later was a rush of ideas, spanning 3 or more years of writing. We just sprinted out of the gate with that one, and never slowed up. Resist Convenience certainly has more than its share of wild moments, but it generally feels as if it’s closer to a cohesive thought than I.L. I think some people may be a little surprised with which moments on the album we really feel shine through.

The music of Folly is a combination of Hardcore, Punk, and Ska. Is this merger of styles intentional and pre-meditated, or something that just happened as a result of your musical influences and interests?
Arben: It definitely just kind of happened on its own. The complexities of our music have evolved quite a bit over the years. It’s hard to compare the different time periods in this band, because they span a pretty long time, since some of the band members were barely 15 years old when it started. We’re all 21 to 24 years old now, so it had been a little while. With that in mind, our music is definitely a testament to our ever growing tastes in music, as well as our abilities in playing.

Folly is made up of an all-star cast of celebrities: Simon Phoenix, Derek Zoolander, Jeffrey Lebowski, etc. It is difficult to imagine Simon Phoenix working with Jeffrey Lebowski, or Marty McFly jamming with Hans Gruber. How does everyone in Folly manage to get along?
Arben: Almost everything we do has some degree of humor to it, even if it is only funny to us. The names I think we’re just picked at random, and really has nothing to do with anything, but being silly. As for how we all get along, I don’t know. I think it may have to do with the fact that we’re each other’s only loser friends, with a few exceptions. When we’re not playing or on tour, we’re usually hanging out. We realize each other’s un-coolness, and I guess that brings us and keeps us together. We really are losers. Hahahaha. We also really love playing music and a lot of the things that go along with being in a band. Meeting people, traveling, getting crazy... that’s what we all live for.

What is the next project or future plan for Folly?
Arben: Now that the album is out, we just plan on touring as much as possible. So, we’re hoping that we’ll be able to get to see everyone who wants to see us. It’s going to be amazing to see all the old friends and fans on the upcoming tours, and hopefully pick up a few new ones along the way. Thanks soo much for the interview. Get crazy!  [ END ]
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