Lo Faber's House Party
by Lee Abraham
Lo Faber is ecstatic - again. For years, the singer/guitarist was happy fronting God Street Wine, a now defunct, east coast jamband that played three HORDE tours in the mid '90s with neo-hippie heavyweights Phish, Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic and the Spin Doctors. Faber also did the major label thing, recording for music biz biggies Geffen and Mercury. But the only part of the corporate gig he really enjoyed was leaving it all behind.
"I'm totally independent now," says the thirty something rocker from his upstate New York home. "I find the whole game of pursuing radio play, and trying to come up with that kind of song, very boring. So now there's no label thing going on, there's not even a band, it's just me, and now I can be the total control freak that I've always wanted."
The first solo freak out is Henry's House, an ambitious double CD rock opera. Combining a grand musical vision and Faber's self-described "eccentric" sense of humor, Henry's House (only available at www.lofaber.com) is a toe tapping fantasy world of classic rock influences - Bowie, Zappa, Genesis - mixed with quirky, high octane bluegrass and acid laced vaudeville theatrics. Faber is so pleased with the results, he's taking the show on the road with the same group of musicians who made -Henry's House-, including former GSW bandmates, friends from another upstate New York jamband, the Ominous Seapods, and an opera singer.
"We're doing Henry's House tunes, we're doing a lot of my God Street Wine tunes, we're playing some Dylan covers, and doing some Seapod's stuff too," notes Faber. "At this point I look forward to playing live and touring because I've been off the road for two years. I'm really excited about it!"
--------note: due to word count limits on this article for purposes of print publication, there was no room for the quotes below, but here in cyberspace the operative word is -space-... so here's a few exclusive bonus quotes from Lo we thought you'd enjoy...
On God Street Wine signing with a record label:
"Bands put the pressure on themselves because they think, 'We're signed we oughta turn in a pretty commercial record and then if it gets successful we can take more liberties. That's definitely the way we thought and I don't think it was the right way to think. Then at some point there did come a time where my thinking was that we should just be ourselves and go out on a limb and emphasize what people like about our live show."
"Phish was more committed to the independent thing than we were. We sorted of bended into more of the major label thing. When Phish got signed to Elektra they were already so big that it was just like a big distribution deal for them. But in our case we really had to deal with the major labels and the pressure to have songs on the radio."
"A mentality set in that our career wasn't going to be viable anymore unless we could manage to get a song on the radio, and I guess the jury is still out on that, because we'll never know."
On the motivation behind Henry's House:
"I wanted our daughter to have something that I worked on when she was about to come into the world."
On making music with members of the Ominous Seapods:
"I've always known the Seapods, but once I was living up here (upstate New York), they were my neighbors so I started seeing more of them and when I started working on my solo project they were natural choices."
"They'd be out on the road and I'd send them my demos and then when they'd come home for a few days they'd come up here and record the tunes."
"They'd call me up and say how's the songwriting going. They were a big motivation. I kept thinking, 'They're coming home in a week and need four more songs!'"
On producing Jet Smooth Ride, a classic album by the Ominous Seapods:
"That's one of my favorite things that I've ever worked on. I really think it's a good cd."
"When things went sour with Geffen, we asked to be released and were released. So we were independent again in '95, so we built a studio and recorded our own albums, which was going to stay independent, but we got picked up by Mercury, which was actually our second deal with Mercury, and after we recorded that album... we were just hot to do another album, so we approached the Seapods and said let's do a record."
On the music of God Street Wine:
"We always did all originals. When we started off we were very much into jazz, funk, fusion, Steely Dan thing. And then as this jamband scene started to emerge, our music didn't exactly turn a 180, but it evolved a little bit to fit more comfortably in that scene. We started putting more major chords in as opposed to altered ninths and more focus on vocal harmonies and stuff."
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