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Trevor Keith on Face to Face’s New Album

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The band’s founding member discusses how this album differs from the rest, the band’s 30th anniversary, and the impact the pandemic had on the band. 

November 3rd, 2021

Trevor Keith, founder and singer/guitarist of punk band Face to Face, has just passed his 30th year in the music industry, but his drive hasn’t wavered.

“At the outset of this when I was in my early 20s, I didn’t picture I would be in my early 50s still doing it,” Keith said. “…I’ve kind of just gone where it’s taken me and gone along for the ride. So I’m happy to be here. It’s been a lot of fun these past 30 years. And we’re not really showing any signs of slowing down or anything and we will just continue to keep doing it for as long as we’re able to and as long as it’s fun and people keep showing up to the shows.”

Face to Face’s recent album, “No Way Out but Through,” delivers the same energetic, thrilling sound that has kept fans coming back for decades. However, Keith admits that in the process of conceiving this album, his own personal life weaved its way into the songs more than usual.

“I guess the music just kind of compelled me,” Keith said. “This is our tenth album, for example, so you sort of run out of things to write about that are academic. At some point, you’ve got to write about what you know and what you feel. And actually as you get older, hopefully, I’ve gained perspective and a little wisdom. So I think I have a little bit more to share.”

Face to Face’s records have always had the emotional character you would expect from a punk band. Keith, the main songwriter for the group, is responsible for the personal experiences that go into the lyrics. 

“​​I hope that all of the records that I write are personal,” Keith said. “I am putting a little bit of myself into the lyrics and the music because that’s really what creates a connection is making yourself vulnerable and being able to share things about being human and what it’s like to live on a daily basis and have that be a relatable thing for the people that listen to your music and your lyrics and have them connect with you based on that common ground.”

Keith discusses how he changed his writing process to focus more on the theme of each individual record before he started writing them. For example, he revealed that the theme for “This is my Vanishing Act” was the feeling of struggling with anxiety and depression. Contrasting this was the track “Long Way Down,” which had the theme of bettering yourself. 

“They started with themes and then I eventually went back and and and you know, gave them titles and, and worked it out from there,” Keith said. “It was a much better songwriting process. I think the quality of the lyrics is better because of the process.”

Keith also discussed the struggles the band faced during the pandemic, when live concerts were basically nonexistent. Like many artists, they struggled to adapt in an industry that is characterized by togetherness. 

“I was super worried,” Keith said. “It changed everything, so that was scary … There’s no real substitute for playing live music, and that’s always been kind of at the core and essence of what Face to Face is. We’re about being a live band, even more so than making records or doing anything else. And so it was really difficult not to be able to have that.”

Now that restrictions have mostly been lifted, Face to Face has some tour dates booked and are cautiously optimistic about being able to perform them. As for the band’s future, Keith explained that they are solely focused on the new album.

“As far as Face to Face is concerned, all of our focus is on ‘No Way Out but Through’ right now,” Keith said. “We really are focused on promoting that record and hoping everyone gets a chance to check it out and hoping people will dig it and make it a regular part of our catalog.” 

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