Playing Pretend: Few Faces

Pop Punk. A lot of people have their own opinions on who and what defines this genre. People want to protect and defend it and some even criticize bands and artists for not “staying true” to what they think the genre should be and sound like. However, shouldn’t we be praising and encouraging new bands that have been influenced to create their own music by bands that we grew up with? Nothing lasts forever. Growth and change are inevitable. Especially when it comes to music and the industry.

Today we head to Massapequa, NY. There we find a band known as Few Faces. And not only are they a new up-and-coming band, these gents are YOUNG. And they give us a sound that takes you back and gives us hope that Pop Punk is most definitely changing, but it also is not going anywhere anytime soon. Let’s head back to NY to Play Pretend.

Now when I say this band is young, I meant it. Some of the members are still in High School and it seems a few of them, that being Dave and Zander, started playing music together since 6th grade. They then grew up, a bit, made a few more friends and a band formed. Originally they called themselves “Without Caution”. They started out playing local shows and even recorded an EP in 2020 called “Winter Days” which they released in June of that year.

2021 came along and they decided with the New Year, they also needed a new name. They then became “Few Faces” and re-released their first EP. They also took a trip to NJ back in February where they of course visited The Gradwell House and worked with the one and only Nik Bruzzese. There they recorded their sophomore EP “Play Pretend”. The EP opens with the track “Permanent Solution” and boy does this song pack a wicked punch. Not only is it ridiculously catchy, lyrically it’s so mature and that makes it relatable to even the eldest of Emo Kids. “Chaser” is another amazing track on this EP. With this song, in my opinion, you hear what sounds like a combination of Title Fight and TSSF. And how can we not all rock out and appreciate that?

All in all the whole EP gives us a fresh new sound that they’ve made their own, but you can also hear the early 2000s Pop Punk influence. I recently got to ask the bands singer, Dave Carroll, a few questions pertaining to how the band came to be, recording with Nik and of course the bands influences. Take a look at his answers below!

For starters can you give us a little background on yourselves…Where are y’all are from, how do you know one another and how did the band come to be?

  • So the band started coming together when I (Dave) had asked Zander if he wanted to start a band with me in 6th grade. I was playing piano, and he was playing drums (since we were both super into Twenty One Pilots at the time). We asked a friend to play guitar with us and started writing music together. A few months later, when I was in the school musical in 7th grade, I started playing “When I Come Around” by Green Day on the piano, and an emo boy walked up to me and started singing it, being our bassist, Ryan. Zander, Ryan, and I wrote many songs together over the next year, and as the months went on, we started getting better and better. Eventually, by the middle of 2018, when we were finishing middle school, we were writing songs that we had finally felt comfortable releasing. So, we acquired recording gear and started learning how to use Pro-Tools, and started recording and releasing our own music under the name “Without Caution”. We started playing shows in our local scene at Amityville Music Hall. In the Spring of 2019, when I was a freshman in high school, I met a kid who was a junior that played guitar for the pit orchestra of the middle school show named Mario. Shortly after the release of our 2nd EP, we brought him on board to join the band, finally establishing the full lineup. We played shows together until the end of 2019. By the beginning of 2020, we had taken some time to record our EP, “Winter Days”. Once we were finished with it, however, the pandemic hit. We decided to release it in June of that year. A few months later, we had decided that on Friday, January 1st of 2021, we would change our name to “Few Faces” and re-release “Winter Days”.

Now when I heard from Nik that you guys were in High School I was literally like “Holy shit” haha. You guys are wicked talented and have a sound that is super refreshing. Who would you say a few of your biggest musical influences are?

•Yes, it is very crazy how young we are. Our ages range from 17-19 years old. As we grew up altogether we liked many different genres and were influenced by a melting pot of metal/old school punk and alternative music. Bands like Neck Deep, A Day To Remember, and Bayside have been big inspirations to us during a time when we took our group to a higher level in writing and putting out music. 

Now you guys recorded “Play Pretend” at The Gradwell House with Nik Bruzzese. Did you know from the start that you wanted to record there and with Nik? Tell us a bit about the experience and is there anything you took away from it all that you’ll use for the future when you record again?

• Well going to The Gradwell House was always a plan of ours. We would always see people recording at Gradwell and would always see Nik’s name over a bunch of great work 24/7. We wanted to be a part of his community, success, and all these great bands we kept finding. Doing more research we realized some of our friends record there, such as our good friends Keep Flying. After reaching out and talking for a while we decided it was in our best interest to put our songs in his hands. Working with Nik was an incredible experience, he really pulled the best out of us and pushed us to do better every take. We joke about his famous sentence he would always say to us, “you can beat that”. This meant that our previous take was good but he believed so much in us that we could do better than us. Him saying stuff like that and him telling us we are killing it made us super confident and comfortable recording with him. We all became better musicians after working with him.

Now shows are obviously happening and you guys recently got to play with Keep Flying! First off, what a lineup to be to be apart of! Second, how did it feel to be on stage performing songs you just recorded and released?

•Playing with Keep Flying was incredible. The energy in the room was electric and the reaction of the crowd was more than we could’ve asked for. After a long year of hard work and patiently waiting for our comeback this show meant a lot to all of us and gave us even more drive to continue our antics. It’s always a good feeling when people scream the lyrics you’ve written back in your face. 

Lastly, if you could feature any band or artist/band on your next release, who would it be and why?

• We are all obsessed with Bonnie Frasier from Stand Atlantic, we think she would drop the hardest bridge feature of 2022 on one of our songs. She has such a great voice and vibe we totally dig. 

Bands like Few Faces are why we should be open minded to new sound when it comes to the Pop Punk genre. They have only just begun and with having 2 amazing EP’s under their belts already, I can only imagine what kind of Pop Punk greatness they are destined for. Until then, please give this rad EP a listen, follow Few Faces, play pretend and keep looking for those permanent solutions.

Article by Kristen Hernandez

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