The band Few And Far Between has learned the art of addition by separation.
Since 2006, when frontman Joe Philips moved to Brooklyn, followed by guitarist Derik Lee, the quartet has existed in two cities, with drummer Brian Galindo and bassist Darrin Hunt staying in the metro Detroit area. But the group has turned that into a benefit, according to Philips.
“We kind of in many ways feel like a better functioning band like this than we did when we lived together,” says Philips, 32, who works for a music production company, writing original music for TV and film.
“It really helps us value our time together and brings a perspective to spending time with people. A lot of time in a band you’re together all the time, in a van, you get irritated with people. Now we really value each other’s friendships and musical abilities, so when we’re together we focus a lot harder than we ever did before.”
FAFB plans to hunker down soon on its fifth album, the follow-up to “We’re All Safe,” which came out in late 2009. Philips says that a number of songs are already together for the album, which hews toward the sophisticated, textured modern rock of its predecessor.
“We’re really starting to focus on what the songs need,” he explains, adding that FAFB will likely play three of the new songs this weekend at the Magic Stick. “We look at everything and say, ‘Do I need to play more or step back? Should we let the lyrics breathe or play more?’
“It’s a little more structured. With my experience working in a very structured environment in TV and film and Derik working as a recording engineer at one of the top New York studios ... it kind of gives us a more polished perspective of what a record should sound like,” so we’ll keep pursuing that.”
Few And Far Between, Heads Will Roll and Bars of Gold perform Sunday, Dec. 26, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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