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Interview with Family Force 5 - New Album III and Song "Wobble" Pays Tribute to Steve Jobs

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Family Force 5
photos by Crawford Ifland

"Let’s party with Family Force 5!" Gearing up for Family Force 5's forthcoming album III, lead singer Solomon "Soul Glow Activatur" Olds took a few minutes to chat with OFC about the new album and the band's It's All Gold Tour. Solomon talks about the inspiration behind some of the tracks from III including dance song "Wobble," with lyrics which pay tribute to Steve Jobs. As a veteran Warped Tour band member, Soul Glow Activatur holds nothing back with behind the scenes Warped stories including FF5's up close and personal encounter with Katy Perry! Check out the OFC Insider interview, also available on video, for a glimpse into the party on, booty quaking band Family Force 5 and front man Solomon. Look out for III coming out October 18 on Tooth & Nail Records//III Entertainment!

Check out Family Force 5 music on iTunes

Find tickets for Family Force 5 on Ticketmaster and for more tour dates check out FF5 official fan site

Check out Family Force 5 official fan club site


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Interview took place with Solomon Olds in Los Angeles, CA on October 13, 2011

OFC: Family Force 5 is based out of Atlanta, where are you now; are you on the road or at home?
Solomon "Soul Glow Activatur" Olds: We are in LA right now.  The record is done, the artwork is done. I went to Vegas for three days and LA for a week and then we go back home and practice for a few weeks and then start touring at the end of October.


Very exciting news about the new album III!  Is it pronounced like the number 3 (three)?
Yeah, I know people are asking is it “I-I-I” and I’m like “come on guys, it’s Roman numerals, let’s do it!"

III is due out October 18.  “Wobble” should be getting a lot of heavy rotation and featured as iTunes single.  Ironically the lyrics mention Steve Jobs in the song.  How timely is this song with the untimely death of Steve Jobs.  Can you talk a bit about the inspiration behind the lyrics of “Wobble?"
Well, it’s obviously for dance and stuff.  We’re all fans of Apple products and use them in all of our music. He’s a super important person to the whole musical community.  And we’re like “dude, who’s got the ultimate job in the world?” at the time when we wrote it not too long ago.  “Dude, it’s Steve Jobs.  He’s the CEO.  He’s the master of the biggest company in the world.  He made that. “ So we're talking about how we made this dance and we’re the CEO of this dance called the wobble.

The song “Paycheck” off  the new album is also along the same lines of work theme as “Wobble”.  Did you have an overall political message in III about perhaps the hurting economy, working or something else?
“Paycheck” definitely has a vibe.  Some of our friends in bands and personal friends affected since the market crashed. There’s a lot of people hurting for money.  Some of my best friends who I’ve known for eight or nine years who were doing great in the entertainment business all of the sudden are broke.  I think there’s a part of America and something about every American who could probably relate to this on some certain level.  We wanted to write something that was kind of heartfelt and talks about the economy.   I guess it does have a political theme but it’s a song that has a message about living paycheck to paycheck, it’s pretty literal.  The overall theme of the album, that’s probably our most serious song.  A lot of the other songs are really, really fun – dancing numbers or hard rocking numbers.  With Family Force 5 you’re always going to have fun, upbeat catchy fun tunes.  We wanted to make a very serious song about what some of the guys in band went through and stuff that our friends have been through and try to tell that story.

Do you have plans for any videos coming forth?
Yes, we have a video promo coming up pretty soon.  I think we’re shooting something for “Wobble” towards November.  We’re getting amped up for that.  And we’re coming out with a video for “Paycheck” as well.  We’re getting ready for the tour end of this month – IT’S ALL GOLD TOUR!

I understand the band is running a “The Gold Karaoke Challenge,” on the tour for fans.  Can you talk a bit about that?
A band called the 808’ers we hired to do karaoke and play our songs.  And we may jump up on stage with them here and there.  But we were like why don’t we get a karaoke band to do our back catalog as well as “Wobble” if the kids wanted to sing whatever.  So we asked our kids on line, because we’re pretty involved in the social community.  We asked them would you want to sing karaoke with us.  And the kids were like “oh my God, it would be amazing to get to sing next to Soul Glow Activatur and be on stage with you guys!”  Looks like a  lot people are really interested in it and really excited.  I hope they warmed up their vocal chops because if they suck, I think we’ll kick em off the stage (joking).

Family Force 5 has a very impressive catalog of albums and EPs, I counted at least seven, since the band started up in 2005. How do you manage to crank out so much music, recording sessions, touring and everything else in between?
It’s in you.  If it’s something you’re passionate about and something you love it, doesn’t really feel like work. When we're not working, I tend to get kind of bored. The vacation is nice for a few days, and then you kind of want to get back to making something.  It lives within all of us and we need to feel the need to create all the time.  I hope our fans appreciate it and I think they do.  I think you have to keep going.  Sleep when you’re dead I guess.

What would you say was your breakthrough hit as a band that boosted your career to a higher level?
“Love Addict” did the best for us. It seems to be the one people really go nuts for.  It’s done well for us. That was from our first album.   We’re looking for this third album on III, “Wobble” or “Paycheck” or song called “Can You Feel  It”.  A lot of people are responding to that - our friends and just random people. They’re digging those songs a lot!


Were  you on the Warped Tour?  Can you share any backstage / after the show experiences from the Warped Tour road or other tours?
We did  Warped Tour this year and it was definitely fun,  but my favorite Warped Tour memory was with my brother the drummer Crouton, his name is Jacob, he had a dance off with Katy Perry.   Katy Perry still won, Crouton got second place.  Katy Perry she jumped on top of us two guys and they played her like a keyboard. Wow! That’s a finishing move right there.  That was definitely one of the fun deals.  This year, Family Force 5 was one of the bands to set up the tent and pop out the DJ rig and set up next to buses. People started coming over and we started dance parties all night.  That’s what we're known for, throwing parties so it’s fun.

Justin Bieber or Nick Jonas, if you had to tour with one of the pop teen idols, who would you pick and why?
Bieber, I’m a fan.  I love that guy.  I hope he’s our new Justin Timberlake.  Cause Timberlake looks like he’s just gonna to be acting for a while.  He seems like a really talented kid and seems pretty cool in interviews.  Justin Bieber tour would be the one, it sounds like it would be really fun.

If you could bring one music legend back from the dead to go into studio sessions with, who would that be and why?
I have to go with Michael Jackson, dude. I love that guy’s stuff.  I worked with a couple engineers who said he didn’t know how to play any instruments but he sang everything to everybody.  The parts he wanted, the guitar parts, the piano parts, the drum parts. After seeing the documentary and seeing how involved he was with every decision from the lights to the stage to the dancing to the notes to everything. This dude was super intense and he seems like an inspiring character. I actually cried when he died.

What do you think of the some of the new music applications Pandora and Spotify?  Are these new “Napsters” essentially overriding the artists’ royalties or do these tools support the bands?
At this point in time, a lot of people started asking me when they came out “what do you think about Limewire. what do you think about file sharing, does that affect you?”  It affects everybody in a certain way but if it weren’t for that type of file sharing and Spotify, I don’t know if Family Force 5 would be around.  Our name has gotten out there because of that.  That’s what kids are used to, that’s what they’re going to grow up and what’s going to keep going for the rest of our lives.  It’s really up to the artist to find a new way to get your music heard and find revenue from it.  The old way is kind of dying. I don’t think it's going back to where it was.  We even give some of our songs away.  A few months ago we gave away “Get On Out of Here” and we plan on giving more songs away.  That’s how you keep fans these days, if they can get if for free why don’t you give away for free.

What’s on the horizon for FF5?  Are there more tour dates coming up after the US fall engagements?
We’ll be doing a spring tour through America and get over to UK and Australia as well.  We’ll probably be recording the deluxe version of III – we’ll call it III.V(5).

Do you have a personal message you would like to impart to your fans?
Yeah, let’s party with Family Force 5!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:16  

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