Go to any Farewell, My Love show and you will see fans raising signs with this motto. For them, the music is more than just that, its therapy. For the band, their supporters are more than just that, they’re family.
Substream Magazine: You call your fans “lovers.” What’s the history here?
Ryan Howell : We have a very dedicated, devoted and loving fan base which is our primary focus as a music group. We think of them as family rather than “fans,” the family which we refer to as the “lovers” family. These unique, diverse and inspiring individuals are most definitely the reason we do what we do and give us the opportunity, possibility and greatest gift of being able to follow and live our dreams. They are truly amazing.
SM: Have you had any truly unique experiences with your fans?
RH: To be surrounded by our family every time we play is a special and unique experience by itself. We have had the most magical moments with so many amazing people, especially when you get to speak with them at great length before or after a show.
SM: I know a lot of fans look to their favorite artists for therapy. Do you feel an obligation to get your fans through tough times, or do you consider this a burden?
RH: We don’t see this as a burden at all. Young minds are so fragile and so are their emotions. They are souls yearning for a place to belong and turn to when they don’t have a place of refuge and love elsewhere. In the modern day society we live in, there are many young people who are developing the horrible habit of coping with problems through self harm. They somehow feel comforted by the physical pain as it makes them forget about the emotional hell they are facing, even if it’s for a brief moment only. The fact is that the main originating source of the problem cannot be eliminated through this act of hurt and pain. If need be, and if we are capable of doing so, we will be there for them. Like I said previously, this is a family. You will be there for a family member in time of need wouldn’t you? We choose to be their light in the dark, their beacon of hope.
SM: What kinds of therapy do you personally get out of music and this journey?
RH: Music has always been my escape and my light in times of darkness as well as my passion and expression at times where I am at my happiest. As human beings, we are all driven by our emotions and we are moved emotionally by music. We attach ourselves to that which adds meaning, reason and passion to our lives. For me, this has always been music. Being fortunate enough to be doing music is a blessing in itself. Not to mention the incredible journey of sharing this with other individuals who love it as much as I do. I’m blessed.
SM: How important do you think image is in the music industry? What would you say your image says about you as well as your music?
RH: The music industry is so incredibly diverse nowadays. It is so important to be unique (although hard) and stand out from that which is already known. I’d say our music is exactly that. It’s different. There are many individuals who don’t take their music to image as a way of expressing themselves, in the fear of being persecuted for it. One shouldn’t be shy, scared or hesitant to express one’s self through your outer image. You should fully embrace who and what you are as an individual and run with it! Believe in who you are!
SM: Why do you “Like music more than you like people?” (In regards to a recent facebook post)
Chad Kowal: It is because there could always be room for disappointments with people, but music can never let you down!
SM: How do you maintain a sense of honesty in your music now that you are signed? Does your label allow you creative freedoms?
RH: Contrary to popular belief, being signed does not take away the artistic freedom that you have as a music artist. It gives you the necessary tools and support to help further your career for your future. We have been incredibly blessed to have such a supportive, dedicated and understanding team of individuals at our label, Standby Records.
SM: What are the biggest advantages to being signed. The disadvantages?
RH: I would truly say that the biggest advantage to being signed is having such an amazing group of people who understand and support your musical vision as a product. They help form the product from the growing stages and up. The sky is truly the limit. There aren’t any downsides to a label as long as you are willing to work your backside off, don’t be a diva and don’t cause unnecessary problems for them. It’s all business etiquette in a nutshell. A label won’t pump you full of money and favors to be successful overnight. It is a business venture that works hand-in-hand to make both ends meet. Work hard to play hard people!
SM: You guys had a serious restructuring of the band. What would you say that you lost with the old members, and what would you say you gained with the new?
Röbby Creasey: Within the last year we definitely went through a major lineup change and honestly, I’m not really sure what we lost. Everything feels so perfect with who is in the band now. I feel like this is how Farewell, My Love should have always been. The five of us together are unstoppable, the perfect fusion of people.
SM: Do you guys want families? How will you balance that? How do you balance it now?
RH: In the future I can see myself having a family, but not now. Being in a band is like being in a relationship with 4 other people. Let alone having a marriage and kids entering the equation. Being on the road you learn to cope with what comes your way. Being away from family and loved ones can be hard, but it is the purpose of why you do what you do that keeps you going. The power of dreams is unlike anything that can be described.
SM: Why music?
RH: Music is that which has always been the key to my soul. That which has always been the best way I can connect with myself and set my inner soul free. When I close my eyes and sing, there is nothing better than the feeling of my vocal chords vibrating. The feeling of my body working together to relieve stress, bring about happiness and fulfillment. Singing fuels and ignites the absolute and utter passion I have for music. If I ever had to lose my voice (God forbid) I would most surely be the unhappiest living creature to ever walk the earth. It is everything to me.
SM: What is something that no one has ever asked you that you’ve always wanted to let people know?
RH: I love to look at a girl’s hands (laughs).
Farewell, My Love
The Extended-Family Affair
By: Tanya Traner
*We sincerely apologize for the mistake in our print article on Farewell, My Love. We hope you enjoy this extended web piece!