Frontman CHRIS FARREN tells the stories behind each song on FAKE PROBLEMS’ latest Real Ghosts Caught On Tape.
We started another record with a drum intro. Suck it! The lyrics to this one are pretty straightforward: Loner dude at a party wants to go home. We chose “ADT” to kick the record off because it brings the new styles and sounds we use throughout this record to the front.
This song rules. I just really wanted to write something that sounds like Prince. The lyrics were inspired by Kanye West's 808's & Heartbreak and that dichotomy of "I'm awesome" and "I hate myself.”
Songs For Teenagers
A girl from our town who was around my age died about a year ago. We had a handful of mutual friends. I don't know how she died or who she really was, but I wrote this song because of her.â€¨â€¨
Honestly, I'm surprised this song made the album. We tirelessly worked on this song before we went to Los Angeles to make the record. We threw it away, but it came back with a whole new energy when we were in pre-production. It's now one of my favorite songs on Real Ghosts, and absolutely my favorite song to play live. Lyrically, it's the nicest break-up song I've ever written.â€¨
Here's another song that almost didn't make the cut. It’s the same story as “RSVP.” We worked and worked and couldn't get it quite right. Once we got with [producer] Ted Hutt, he suggested stripping it down, making it real simple and having it move along with a Motown sensibility. That's exactly what it needed. We had our good friends [actresses] Mae Whitman and Alia Shawkat sing back-up on this, and they really drove it home that this had to be the first single from the record.â€¨â€¨â€¨
I'm particularly proud of the instrumentation on this song; it’s a sporadic afro-beat underneath ’90s emo-style noodling guitars. It's basically a total Look Mexico rip-off.
Done With Fun
This is the song that shaped the entire sound of the album. We weren't quite sure how we wanted the album to sound. We toyed around with a lot of different styles, but when we started working on this song, it all came together so easily. The sound was exciting and fresh to us: clean, jangly guitars with a real beach vibe. We used this song as a reference point throughout the rest of the writing process.â€¨
Being in this band, I've made a lot of friends over the years. I think we all do our best to keep in contact with friends, but for whatever reason, it can be hard to stay in touch or be able to relate to old friends you no longer have much in common with. This song is both about feeling burned by old friends and keeping myself in check. Cool fact: According to my GarageBand file history, this is the first song I wrote that ended up on the record.
While we were writing, I became obsessed with Phil Spector. I got my hands on as many of his records as I could. I love the big wall of sound production style. This song is a direct result of immersing myself in that ’60s pop world. There's also a little bit of M. Ward in there, too.â€¨
Ted Hutt, Derek [Perry, bass] and I stayed up until 9 a.m. finishing this song. There were a few lyrics missing that I had to fill in, and we worked into the night writing and recording. This was the very last song we recorded, and it was such a good feeling to finish with it.
Ghost To Coastâ€¨
When we first demoed our record, we went up to a cabin in North Carolina to seclude ourselves from the outside world. We worked on songs all day and hung out and talked and drank through the nights. When we would play this song, the mood would change drastically. We would all get very somber and kind of not want to play anymore for the day. We eventually just stopped playing this song because of the physical and emotional effect it had on us. Months later, when we were working on what songs to use, we came back to this one. It's hard to explain, but we've never had a song that moved us the way this one does.â€¨alt