The three-wheelin' Family Force 5
Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Updated: Friday, November 11, 2011 12:11
A Christian band from the Bible Belt isn't surprising. A band based near Atlanta, making "crunkcore" music — also not surprising.
When they are one and the same, and said Christian crunkcore band starts getting away with wheeling gold spray-painted three-wheelers onstage, releases a Christmas album and is about to head off into its third year of Christmas Paegant shows where VIP ticket buyers can chill with the band and eat holiday treats with them – it's definitely tip-toeing into the territory of geography-free weird and unusual.
The band, Family Force 5, a group of three brothers and their two long-time friends, released its third (although technically fourth) studio album named, III, and has embarked on the It's All Gold Tour to support it.
College Times talked to guitarist Derek Mount, aka Chap Stique, about the FF5s more mature lyrics (despite the Disney Channel-esque chorus of "Wobble"), touring, stage props, record stores and Christmas.
College Times: Was Family Force 5 part of any of the efforts to keep Criminal Record in Little Five Points from closing [the store was the initiator of the nation-wide Record Store Day]?
I actually don't live in Atlanta anymore, but we are all really huge fans of Criminal Records and we were all really sad when we heard about that. We've been on the road and traveling and stuff and heard all the hubbub, though we can't take any credit for that. We wish we could.
Let's talk about the tour, then. You guys bring three-wheelers onstage.
That's right! On our record, we have a big three-wheeler on the cover. We spray-painted it gold and put these huge Roman numerals behind it with gold dust flying off it. It's kind of hip-hop and hilarious and it represented III pretty well, which is the name of the album. We decided to buy a second one, paint that one gold and throw it onstage. We light them up, so they look like you're at a jewelry store and they're on display. One of our fans came up onstage the other day and sat on it and sang while we were doing our last song. It was hilarious.
Have any venues not allowed them onstage?
No. They're used to it with Family Force 5. In the past, we used to bring up this huge 800-pound drum machine we had built and it was like, you know, 800 pounds [and] 7-feet tall. So, they were like, 'Alright, we'll take a couple three-wheelers over that. At least you can ride 'em in and we don't have to push 'em in.'
I think my favorite gimmick of yours I've seen was at Vans Warped Tour with the giant bubble.
On Warped Tour, we loved bringing out that big gerbil ball that Soul Glow Activatur [vocalist Solomon Olds] would get inside. Except at the Phoenix show, where it was 8 billion degrees, there were a couple times we got scared for his health. It would fog up and there's no air in there.
The band has matured lyrically on songs like "Paycheck" and "Not Alone." Do you think you'll continue to change or is party rock the core of FF5?
I think we've found where we're going is a little more serious, lyrically. But we also found we love to have a blast when we play. People like to smile when they listen to music. […] We're finding every time we put stuff out people go, 'Whoa, what's that? I wasn't expecting that.'
FF5 is to Christmas what Alice Cooper is to Halloween. So let's talk favorite Christmas movie or song.
Aw, man. Christmas movie? I'd probably have to go with "A Christmas Story" because it's my childhood. I love that movie. I wanted a BB gun only because Ralphie wanted a BB gun. For favorite Christmas song, I think I'd have to go with "O Holy Night." That, or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, I love "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" by Paul McCartney. That's pretty quirky and very '80s and I heard that as a kid probably more than any other Christmas song and I loved it.
Family Force 5, Martini Ranch, Thursday, November 10, 7 p.m., $16