Chris Farren’s 2016 record “Can’t Die” is a year old now, not only surviving, but thriving. To celebrate, the pop-tinged rock-and-roller hit the road. Before playing at Mac’s Bar this Saturday, Farren spoke with City Pulse about the album, staying genuine and admitting that he will almost certainly die someday. How has a year changed “Can’t Die” for you?
It makes me hear the songs differently while I’m playing them. And seeing the way people react to certain songs gives me a different perspective on them. There’s a song on the record called “Human Being,” and as is the case with many songs I write, I wrote it and thought, “This is the way I feel. I can’t imagine anybody else in the world feeling like this.” But that seems to be a song that a lot of people like. That obviously makes me feel very good and like I wasn’t a prick [laughs]. Was mortality a subject you were grappling with while writing “Can’t Die”? Yeah, it was. A lot of the stuff on the record is about my band essentially breaking up. I called the record “Can’t Die” because I was thinking, “What will I call my next project?” And I thought to myself, “Well, if I name it Chris Farren, it can’t break up because that’s just my name; this band will never go away.” But then there’s stuff that kind of started to reveal itself about mortality, control, security, safety. Until my old band broke up, we would just go hardcore at all times. I never stopped to think about anything, including the fact that one day I would definitely die [laughs]. As your popularity grows, is it easy for you to keep that mindset? Yeah, I think so.
There’s definitely some part of my sense of humor that is reliant on me being unpopular [laughs]. I’m not a famous person or anything like that, but as the popularity grows, it takes some tweaking and adjustment figuring out how to talk about myself that is still genuine. You have a unique aesthetic that I can only describe as “crappy web-design chic.” Where did that come from? One thing I don’t like is super serious stuff. I don’t like any artist that seems to take themselves too seriously or is extremely precious about seeming smart. That has always really bothered me. There’s so much stuff that’s designed to make you feel like it’s greater than you are, so you should like it, and that’s so weird to me. I want it to be like, “This is something you could do just as good as me, and I think everybody should do this.” With all that being said, I work very hard. These things are important to me, but I don’t take them seriously [laughs].
Chris Farren Saturday, Oct. 28 $10 Mac's Bar 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing (517) 484-6795 macsbar.com