Against the grain
Many bands make decisions based on what’s going to get the most people at shows and what’s going to get people to buy CDs. Like them, Facebath wants people to come to the shows and shell out for a CD or T-shirt, but they don’t really care what most people like. MC Tony Rosado says, “We’re not going to try to fit, even if they don’t like it. We’re gonna do what we do.”
With a demo that sounds like lost B-sides from the Judgment Night soundtrack, Facebath doesn’t really see a need to follow the rules or fit into preconceptions. The seven members are as musically, culturally and personally diverse as an Internet village, with influences ranging from Boston and Mos Def to Slayer and DJ Tiesto.
“If you lined us all up, right next to a wall, you’d be all like ‘Man, these people can’t know each other!'” Rosado says.
Guitarist Sean Price agrees, saying, “It’s strangely worked to our advantage. Probably because we’re all a little disturbed.”
Facebath is MCs Rosado and Jacob Robinson, Price and Al Black on guitars and backing vocals, James Mcinnes on drums, Jose Medina on turntables and electronica, and Trey Gott on bass. Comparisons to rap-rock or hip-hop groups are about as accurate as comparing Lassie and Godzilla. While jazz, rock and funk all rear their heads in different songs, there’s only one word for Facebath: metal. Facebath is comprised of much more metal than any of the current mainstream showboats would dare put into their music. No singing. Rapping, sure. Screaming, definitely. And you can’t forget the grinding chugga-chugga guitar leads.
It’s not surprising you may not have heard of Facebath or gotten a chance to see them locally. Although they’ve been in various incarnations since 1999, and only since December in this one, they keep a heavy tour schedule along with full-time jobs. They’ve been doing a lot of West Coast touring with the help of their sponsor, Liquid Salvation. They’ve hit 25 or so shows in the last three months alone, most of them out of town. They aren’t against playing in Reno but just haven’t had quite the turnout that they have in other towns.
“It’s been hard finding people around here who accept the kind of music that we play,” Rosado says. “The 21-and-over crowd, they’re pretty much set in what kind of music they like. And you can’t really compare us to anything. It’s brand new.”
The rest of the band agrees and is grateful for the support they’ve received from the underage crowds and all-ages clubs.
“I think most of why we have so many all-ages fans is that they’re more open to original music,” Robinson says. And that’s why Facebath does it—to light up a crowd, to get the night going and have some fun. The subject gets them all talking, before Mcinnes shouts them down with a simple phrase: “We play for the fans. We play for ourselves and the fans. And that’s about it.”
However, this fall they won’t be playing for much of anyone but each other, as they head into creative hibernation. The hiatus includes plans for working on their next full-length CD and a live DVD. The next month or two will be your best chance at catching an earful of Facebath-brand music