Interview: Far From Sanity
By: Dale Huffman
Dale: I Had a great time talking this new metal band from Tulsa, OK “Far from Sanity”. We discussed their newest endeavors, including upcoming releases!!
When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
Mark and Eddie: We got the band back together a little over 2 years ago and simply thought it would be fun to jam a little bit. Things just started moving from there.
Jamie: FFS was a previous entity before I came into the band. I joined in late 2010. Horace and Aaron joined us about a year ago. For me, my inspiration was simply an opportunity to share my passion for music with a group of dudes who were of the same heart.
I was reading the band’s bio on Facebook and noticed that there didn’t seem to be anything related to your faith on the page, is there a reason for this?
Mark: No reason really. Our faith is part of who we are in how we live our lives and how we carry ourselves, both on and off stage. Most people know we are a Christian band. And it’s pretty obvious in our lyrics. For those that don’t, walking in love is a better impact with people than just preaching at them. That doesn’t mean that you condone everything that others do around you, but you can love people and be accepting of them without approving of things that they do. That’s the example that Jesus set before us as I read it.
Eddie: Around this part of the country, actions speak way louder than words. So for me you shouldn’t have to “advertise” your faith. People should be able to tell you’re different by your lifestyle.
Aaron: The way I look at it is why should that matter. We live our lives according to God’s will. If we do that day to day than that’s all that really matters. Then it (our faith) would be pretty easy to see.
….we understand that God has a higher priority on the care of our families than He does on being the next rock star.
I see the genre of your music is Christian metal. How would you define your music style?
Mark: Aggressive groove metal. We jokingly call ourselves Not-Core, as we really don’t seem to fit into any sub-genre of metal or even hard rock. If it rocks, if it makes our heads move, if we like it, then it works for us. It’s just pretty cool that others like what we’re doing.
Horace: Our style is evolving. While some of the earlier music is of the groove metal genre. We have now incorporated more thrash and nu metal elements into material we are currently writing.
Jamie: Each of us is inspired by a wide array of musical styles…some metal…some- not so much. In fact, while there are some commonalities…..each of us do not really listen to the same bands. This is a good thing when creating our music because it lends to creating a sound that stands on its own. In the end though….we definitely want the heads moving when we hit the stage.
What is the theme behind your lyrics? Are there any specific topics you are passionate about?
Mark: The songs to our current set consist of:
-Crucified Again – This one is inspired by the words of Paul when he wrote about how he keeps doing the things that he knows that he shouldn’t be doing, and he can’t seem to find himself doing the things that he knows that he should be doing. Even after being a Christian for 18 years now, I still find myself struggling with less than Christ-like attitudes and responses that i know should be better, but I find myself giving into my flesh again and again.
-R.P.G. is about hypocrisy, people only playing at being Christian instead of actually living it.
-Apokolypsis – The lyrics were inspired by the Nightmare, which is an outreach that the church Eddie and I go to (Guts Church) has been doing for the last 20 years every Halloween. http://nightmaretulsa.com/
-That Which Compels Me – We have a new song called That Which Compels Me which is about how God’s love compels me.
-Chernobyl is the newest song we’re working at the moment which is about bitterness
Jamie: We normally close our set out with our rendition of a song called You Can’t Break Me. It was originally written by an early nineties Christian band called Precious Death and it’s our way to pay homage to those who came before us but the lyrics to that song are as relevant today as the day they were written – “If everything is relative and nothing is absolute….then why don’t I take this gun and blow your head off?” We cannot get more “in your face” than that. Lol!
Mark: We actually added the “and blow your head off?” part, but it always made sense when I listened to the song. I think it really puts the moral argument for the existence of God in better context.
You already have an EP, “The Lockdown”. What was the experience behind the recording?
Jamie: Bob (Recondite Recordings) was awesome, helpful and knowledgeable. We go back over 15 years so it made him the easy choice but he’s also got a sick metal pedigree though his history with former Solid State band Still Breathing. We feel like he is well equipped and can take our sound where we want it to go and look forward to recording our full length with him.
Mark: Pretty amazing and fun. But we all get along and enjoy hanging out. Bob Hensley, who we recorded with, also fit right in, and is an old friend of Jamie and mine, so yeah, the whole experience was fun.
Our motto is “Step outside of yourself, stand up and be involved.”
Horace: At first it was a step into the unknown due to the fact that we had never worked with the Bob Hensley (the producer) before. But the experience was awesome and we learned a lot about the recording process as well as established a relationship that we will continue to work with in the future. .
Eddie: Very cool. Very laid back, Bob is an amazingly cool dude
Aaron: The recording was a blast. Getting to hang out with everyone and play music over and over. What else could you ask for? Bob was amazing and real laid back.
Has there been a good response to your EP, “The Lockdown”?
Mark: Yes. It’s been pretty humbling, in that everyone, Christian and non-Christian, old friends and new friends, all seem to love it.
Aaron: I would say the response has been pretty darn good. It also has been heavily marketed.
Jamie: It’s been well received. Apokolypsis (our first single) has been taken by several radio stations which, for any artist, is always exciting. I also believe we are almost sold out of the first batch of cds.
What are your plans for 2013? Will you be recording an album? Perhaps a tour?
Mark: Write more songs. Play bigger shows. We’ve talked about recording some more songs, and doing another video.
Eddie: Just wait and see. We kinda take it as it comes since we are all family guys and not starving musicians anymore. Mini tours maybe. Family first, and with limited amounts of vacation, we’ll see what pans out.
Aaron: We’ll cross that road when we get there. We all have jobs and families so we have to keep our priorities straight. We have been writing some new songs and we would like to get them down but it’s all about finding the right time.
Jamie: As you can see…in our camp…it’s family first. Lol! . In our lives, we understand that God has a higher priority on the care of our families than He does on being the next rock star. We pray and seek His guidance, work to be very professional and take the opportunities we feel provide us the best opportunity to reach the goals we’ve set as a band. God is good and He’s blessed us. I know we’re talking about the possibility of a mini tour and we’re definitely working toward a full length release.
We are also looking at some regional metal festivals as well as a show with War of Ages.
Since you are brand new to the Christian metal scene what are your first impressions and opinions on it?
Jamie: As indicated before…FFS has been around for quite a while. But….this entity is really a new animal especially in the “Christian Metal” scene. My opinions……there’s good and there’s bad. We really try to focus and keep our eyes upon Christ and be an example to the area that He’s placed us in.
Do you have a favorite song that you like to play live?
Mark: The new song I mentioned earlier, “That Which Compels Me”, is a blast to play. We really enjoy it. The people love it as well, which is always a bonus.
Eddie: You Can’t Break Me
Aaron: As of right now it’s “You Can’t Break Me”, but our newest song is called “That Which Compels Me” and that one is gonna rip some faces off. We are very excited as a band about this one.
Jamie: For me, I think “You Can’t Break Me” is my favorite. It’s our sing-a-long. It also has a very universal feel to it. It does not matter what your day has brought you…..when you can yell at the top of your lungs “YOU CAN’T BREAK ME!!” …..it just allows you to really make a personal declaration to whatever your dealing with right now. We have an audience participation interlude where we invite our audience to sing with us. It’s definitely one of the highlights to my night.
This question is for Jamie. I see you posted on Facebook about something called “MPact Events”. Could you tell us about that?
Our foundation is James 1:27. If you read this Scripture, you will understand our heart.
MPact Events grew out of a seed that was planted many years ago when my wife and I volunteered at a Christmas party for a church we were attending in Houston, TX. It was our way of getting involved in our community. Little did we know that its effect would be felt many years later. We did not know we were volunteering for an organization called Court Appointed Special Advocates. This group advocate in our court systems for children who have been removed from abusive situations. One thing to note is they throw a Christmas party each year for these kids because they will be without many of the comforts that so many of us take for granted.
Now fast forward and we have MPact Events. Our primary ambition each year is our Not So Silent Night. We throw a full on rock show and all we ask for is a new, unwrapped toy to give to these kids. Today…we still reach out to our local CASA. It continues to grow each and every year and I am so proud of the work we do in our community.
Our motto is “Step outside of yourself, stand up and be involved.” For anyone interested in knowing more, we can be found on Facebook and on the web (http://kucinski02.wix.com/mpactevents)
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. I greatly appreciate it. Any last words?
Band: Thank you for taking your time to interview us. As for our last words….we know that it’s not all about us. There have been so many people who have supported us and though we cannot name each and every one of them…..we simply want to let everyone know that we are really grateful. We think it would be fitting to end with one of our favorite Scriptures and we’ll let you research it. Romans 8:28.