ARTIST - FAREHAVEN ALBUM - UPSIDEDOWN (EP) SAMPLER The Artist I recently checked out the latest EP from Cincinnati, OH.absed 3 piece unit "Farehaven" who just released their latest CD entitled Upsidedown in 2011. The band Standard 3 piece line-up which includes David Sizemore (Guitar, Vocals) Dan Durrant (Drums) and Rob Jamison (Bass). I would say the band possesses above average to advanced alternative rock paying skills, and intermediate writing abilities. You will find a musical personality that is rich with Alternative Rock with a side of guitar driven-Pop-Rock. Timing is spot on within this genera. Sizemore can hold his own on vocals but more importantly this band delivers music that is highly entertaining, passionate and uplifting in nature. The strongest aspect of the production is the polished crystal clean sound quality. The music possesses a clean Alternative Rock, Passion-Pop. All in all great music to get your head wrapped around. Will remind you of classic Dishwalla, Stabbing Westward and Daughtry. The songs Simply put - deep music with thought provoking lyrical content. I kept waiting for a weak song to come down the pike - I eventually gave up on that. The vibe Overall very thought provoking, melodic, progressive with amazing stories that possess incredible highs and lows. The CD has it’s shares of positive moments. Simply put - very much like life itself this CD personifies life experience, with music that are 100% honest and pure. There is no attempt to sugarcoat the truth. The production is professional grade from start to finish. There's not many songs you can listen to time and time again. The good Crystal clear recording quality, solid production value, entertaining music and solid musicianship. The bad Song for song, note for note the EP is a tad bit repetitive. The ugly Nothing to report. The verdict These 6 songs from the Upsidedown CD by Farehaven has everything from good chops, entertaining songs, heart felt vocals and music that makes a solid first impression. The Bottom Line WARNING - Listening to this music and studying the deep lyrical content will open you eyes and turn your world Upside-Down. Markus Druery Indieshark Music Critic
ARTIST - FAREHAVEN
ALBUM - UPSIDEDOWN (EP) SAMPLER
The Artist I recently checked out the latest EP from Cincinnati, OH.absed 3 piece unit "Farehaven" who just released their latest CD entitled Upsidedown in 2011.
The band Standard 3 piece line-up which includes David Sizemore (Guitar, Vocals) Dan Durrant (Drums) and Rob Jamison (Bass). I would say the band possesses above average to advanced alternative rock paying skills, and intermediate writing abilities. You will find a musical personality that is rich with Alternative Rock with a side of guitar driven-Pop-Rock. Timing is spot on within this genera. Sizemore can hold his own on vocals but more importantly this band delivers music that is highly entertaining, passionate and uplifting in nature. The strongest aspect of the production is the polished crystal clean sound quality. The music possesses a clean Alternative Rock, Passion-Pop. All in all great music to get your head wrapped around. Will remind you of classic Dishwalla, Stabbing Westward and Daughtry. The songs Simply put - deep music with thought provoking lyrical content. I kept waiting for a weak song to come down the pike - I eventually gave up on that. The vibe Overall very thought provoking, melodic, progressive with amazing stories that possess incredible highs and lows. The CD has it’s shares of positive moments. Simply put - very much like life itself this CD personifies life experience, with music that are 100% honest and pure. There is no attempt to sugarcoat the truth. The production is professional grade from start to finish. There's not many songs you can listen to time and time again. The good Crystal clear recording quality, solid production value, entertaining music and solid musicianship. The bad Song for song, note for note the EP is a tad bit repetitive. The ugly Nothing to report.
The verdict These 6 songs from the Upsidedown CD by Farehaven has everything from good chops, entertaining songs, heart felt vocals and music that makes a solid first impression. The Bottom Line WARNING - Listening to this music and studying the deep lyrical content will open you eyes and turn your world Upside-Down.
Indieshark Music Critic
Band/Artist – Farehaven
CD: Upside Down EP
Genera: Rock, Hard Rock
NOT BAD/GOOD/REALLY GOOD/AMAZING
Remember that song "Heart of Rock n Roll" be Huey Lewis and the News. There was a line in that song that went "The one is sill barely breathing – but the heart of Rock n Roll is still beating." Actually I think it’s fair to say "the old one" is on life support and has flat lined. In fact the last kick ass rock n’ roll band I can remember was "The White Stripes." Looking at what’s out there right now it’s hard to imagine mainstream music getting any worse. Is there any artists out there that has the guts to release music that stands for something? There may be hope because Cincinnati based Farehaven headed up by David Sizemore and company represent all that was good in Rock
It’s truly amazing what Farehaven has done via this latest string of songs from their latest CD entitled "Upside Down" released in 2011. I’ve never had a band suck me in quite like this one did – refusing to let go and calling me back after it was complete. The music just flows like a river via an invigorating vocal front and an addictive rock driven vibe that is comparable to a modern-day 3 Doors Down, 3 Days Grace and even Creed. There is also an undeniable Classic Rock quality to these songs which will remind you of music back in the 90’s. Music is complex enough to even get the math rockers excited. Farehaven works its magic when you just let go and roll with the melodies. You never know what’s around the next corner as the EP touches a wide range of emotions and thought provoking subject matter. What I like most about Farehaven is the bands ability to touch multiple musical styles without trying to hard to do it. This is usually what happens when artists are being themselves.
Criticism: Nothing worth mentioning.
Favorite Track: The Black Heart, Nobody Knows You
"Upside Down" EP by Farehaven is an endearing album limited by nothing. It’s not to be underestimated and if you do – you will get exactly what you deserve. Your face melted. I would imagine as time goes by we will hear more from these 3 lads from Cincinnati. Perhaps Rock n Roll is not dead after all.
Rating: 8 of 10 stars
Cincinnati OH. based band Hard Rock band Farehaven just released their latest CD entitled "Upside Down" in 2011. I recently reviewed their 6 song sampler from the CD. This is not the first we’ve heard from Farehaven. Reading from their bio: the band has been featured on local radio shows such as native noise and 94.9 the sounds perfect ten. They were receiving airplay on about 40 radio stations throughout the country. They were number 6 on the STS college chart and number 16 on the STS Hot AC chart. They were nominated for the New Music Awards college category for new band and they have been featured in New Music Weekly Magazine, as well as City Beat Magazine(Cincinnati) and nominated for the New Music Awards College category new band
Their latest release has much to commend it admittedly, there’s a whole lot of variety to these arrangements and performances. First: the line up consisting of David Sizemore (Guitar, Vocals) Dan Durrant (Drums) and Rob Jamison (Bass). The 3 piece holds its own dishing out soaring guitar licks, progressive movements, thunderous low end drumming and melodic vocals. Influences include the likes of Van Halen, Creed and Led Zeppelin. No doubt this A-list would indicate this band has something for both just about any music fan – past and present. Sizemore’s voice possesses an appealing baritone and top flight passion play is both marketable and unique. Let’s be honest for a second – this genera has been known lately for it’ mundane highly commercialized sound. But I give high marks to Farehaven for breaking this mode by combining elements of Progressive Rock with Melodic Hard Rock reminiscent of the mid nineties hey day. In a nutshell it’s the best of both worlds. Sizemore’s voice has power, raw emotion and a smooth as silk timber via an impressive 6 song line-up. All of the above make for very deadly combination. Even more impressive is the music itself which delivers a modern day hard rock vibe that has much in the way of originality. I honestly can hear some of this on the Radio this Summer. I like how there is no attempt to deliver what I call over the top pop-rock with nothing more than a highly corporate 3 chord rock delivere compatible to a mass audience. That ship has sailed, now it’s time for something new. Farehaven is an artists that goes above that.
So what’s Niklelback got that Farehaven don’t got? Not much musically. With all due respect Farehaven has got the look, sound, voice, songs and staying power in the industry to grab mass appeal. Their music is powerful, entertaining and yes marketable. Yes – I could hear this at a party, club or on the radio today. Yes – I could go on all day about Farehaven. They are clearly punching all the right tickets since forming in 2010. In close Farehaven’s got what it takes to occupy a special place in modern rock during 2012 and beyond.
This is Farehaven’s latest effort and it certainly delivers. Venture to the internet – it will reveal an emotionally charged musical journey starting from Cincinnati to your heart. This is one band from Ohio who brings to the table an elite songwriting craft coupled with top flight musicianship and a knack for making a the emotional connection live with listeners. Musical flavors presented: Hard Rock, Alternative Rock, Modern Rock.
The opening track "Nobody Knows You” is a marquee song that sets the stage perfectly for this CD. It was a great intro piece that stuck in my head and had me eager for what was ahead. All in all the whole CD is brilliantly delivered with warm musical textures and flowing compositions that push hard. Headed up by singer-musician David Sizemore, backed up by: Dan Durrant (Drums) and Rob Jamison (Bass). Sizemore’s voice compliments this style of music perfectly. Musical overtones reminded me a bit of Finger 11, 12 Stones, Breaking Benjamin and even Sevendust. There are some fantastic pieces on this CD which gives this musical production a very accessible feel emotionally. Also you will notice impressive shops and playing that will cause your jaw to hit the floor. The overall fretwork is impressive and the writing style is brilliant and I would describe it as emotional, pure, genuine and straight from the heart. These 3 have all the talent and musical flair needed to make their mark here in the US and abroad. Need I say more..
Favorite piece on the CD is a toss up between “Caught in your Trap” and the title track.
/ Capsule / The Black Heart / Caught In Your Trap / Nobody Knows You / Wandering Alone / Upside Down / Tell You / The Liberty / Going Nowhere / Cast Out /
If there were two words I would use to describe Farehaven it would be enlightening and powerful. Enlightening is the way that writing music can be a cathartic thing, but also enlightening to the listener to never take any style of music for granted. Farehaven is highly original in this regard.
Bottom Line: Upside Down by Farehaven has potential if delivered effectively on the radio an on the stage. It’s a musical experience you will return to time and time again.
10 star rating average – This CD gets 9 stars!
Rory Richardson...EvO:R Reviewer.
Mix it up with Farehaven
By Mindy Zhang
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the Ohio-based alternative rock band, Farehaven, was formed. Farehaven’s lead vocalist/guitarist, David Sizemore founded Farehaven (formerly called “Torsion”) in 2001, when he was 14, with a completely different line-up. Within the past 11 years, Sizemore has endured many line-up changes, with a revolving door of members, until he finally created the perfect three-piece blend— himself, drummer Dan Durrant, and bassist Corey Glass. Combined, they bring something different to the table; something that has a bit of the blues, hard rock and metal, pop and even jazz!
Sizemore and Durrant met after Sizemore posted on Citybeat’s musician classifieds looking for a drummer whose first priority was his music. Sizemore’s former bandmates decided to focus on academics and embarked on different career paths. He says, “[Durrant and I] had similar musical tastes and an attitude.”
Durrant adds, “I was in a lot of different bands with friends throughout the years. None of them were as serious as I am about actually making it somewhere playing music.” Glass, a friend and former bandmate of Durrant, became a member of Farehaven in late 2011. “The biggest common interest is all of us wanting, and planning, to rock the world with our music,” says Glass.
Sharing the same commitment and passion for music, the trio is working on their next album. Their debut album, Upside Down, which doesn’t include Glass, features some great shredding, especially in “Caught in Your Trap,” terrific consonance in “Going Nowhere,” and good chemistry in “The Liberty,” with the vocals pleasantly complementing the instruments. Their songs have catchy beats, good hooks, and well-written lyrics that make it enjoyable for casual listeners. You don’t have to be a rock fan to enjoy Farehaven.
For those who are rock fans, Sizemore has controlled vocals and plays awesome riffs. Durrant’s drumming gives each song the right drive and force, and Glass brings the experimental abstraction. “[I use] whatever [gear] I can get my hands on. I like to experiment,” explains Glass. “My bass rig currently consists of two guitar pedals, and I’m thinking about cracking open their cases to try some mods on them.”
Glass brings out the bass counterpoint to Sizemore’s melodic guitar. “Caught in Your Trap” also has a rich texture with the combination of all the instruments giving it a fuller and more complex sound. “I use a custom Warmoth guitar, a fender super sonic amp, and a Line 6 pod processing pedal,” says Sizemore. “I like the convenience all in one, for wah, delay, distortion clean and compression.”
Sizemore draws his songwriting inspirations from his upbringing and past experiences. “If you’ve been hurt or had to go through a rough time, I think the emotion and the feel come out in your music—definitely.” And it certainly does in “Going Nowhere” when Sizemore belts out, “And if we’re not mistaken/cannot take a chance to waste our time/it’s now or never/so choose your fantasy.”
Farehaven’s song, “Upside Down,” has so many awesome riffs that it would be the perfect song to jam out to on Guitar Hero for those extra points. Farehaven’s musical influences range from Metallica, Led Zeppelin, and Disturbed to Eminem and Lady Gaga. Sizemore says, “It all mixes together. A lot of people may not cross genres like that. There's a lot of Van Halen inspiration, but then darker stuff like Nirvana and Disturbed.” The grunge, alternative, pop rock, and the greats of the 1990s rock scene are all big influences on Farehaven.
“It’s really impossible to say we sound like any one band, because we really don’t. We just sound like Farehaven,” says Sizemore. “That’s what makes us so diverse. We have several different influences that make it such a melting pot of sounds,” agrees Durrant.
On the road to success
Several of Farehaven’s songs were already written by Sizemore, before Durrant and Glass joined the band and threw in their own mixes. When Glass first joined Farehaven, he studied Farehaven’s songs day and night, and his efforts paid off when Farehaven was given an opportunity to play as an emergency backup band for the Blessid Union of Souls in Connecticut’s showcase for NACA in front of 3,000 people. They only had a few days to practice a 15-minute set. “It was awesome!” exclaims Durrant. Aside from Connecticut, Farehaven has also traveled to Louisville, KY, but they mostly play locals shows in Ohio. Their music, however, has been featured on 40 different radio stations across the country.
Though it’s not been long since Durrant, Glass, and Sizemore started playing together as a band, it’s admirable and inspiring the way they’ve meshed so quickly. “I think that just being able to put together a band so fast, and make as much progress as we did, is one of the biggest accomplishment we’ve done as a band,” says Durrant.
Farehaven practices at least twice a week together, and almost every day individually. “I turn on the radio and pick out the songs by ear and play along, then improvising when I get a feel for the progression,” says Glass, who does finger flexibility exercises whenever he gets the chance.
Though the changes in line-ups have caused some setbacks for Farehaven, the band is now united with members who’re passionate about their musical careers. It won’t be surprising to soon see them doing big things outside of Ohio.
Farehaven's plan: work hard, prosper
Some bands are content to steer away from the spotlight, while others like West Chester trio Farehaven crave it. Guitarist and lead singer David Sizemore formed the band in high school, then revived the group with a new lineup consisting of drummer Dan Durrant and bassist Rob Jamison in 2010 (Corey Glass replaced Jamison last summer). They released their debut record, “Upside Down,” in January 2011 featuring grunge-y, classic rock-inspired tracks designed for Top 40 airplay. Metromix spoke to Sizemore about getting his songs critiqued and his aspiration to conquer the world with his music.
What was the earlier incarnation of Farehaven like?
It was a few of my friends from high school and it just didn’t work out because they weren’t as serious about it as I was. I had written a few songs and recorded some stuff under that name, but this has been the most active, serious version that we’ve had of the group.
What’s the dynamic of the band? Or who brings what to the table?
We bring our own ideas into it. Everybody brings their own sound to the table and just making the whole band a team. I composed a lot of the music and wrote a lot of the music myself. But then, as a band, we refined it and they brought to the table what they had to bring. That’s pretty much how it works. We have a good lineup, too. Everbody’s dedicated to sticking with it and we all work hard. That’s one of the crucial things that I always thought: to find the band that would be serious and dedicated and stick with it for a long time.
You worked with Don Grierson on your songwriting. What kind of tips did he give you?
He gave me consulting because he has a really good ear for music, and he worked at Capitol and he had been responsible for finding some really successful artists and songs for the artists. He found songs that he’d say go number one and then they did. He just knew what the mass audience would want to hear. He could listen to something and tell you if it was going to sell or go number one, or whatever. Basically what I did with him, I would write little pieces of something and I would send it to him, and he would say ‘Hey, you need to be more melodic,’ or ‘this is too predictable.’ He would say you need to structure this like a pop song or sound more commercial. He’d critique everything.
How did band change after Corey joined?
We’ve been performing the same songs ever since we’ve had Corey. The chemistry has changed and I think it’s changed in a better way. The chemistry of the band has improved. Between me, Dan and Corey, we work very well together in that we get along very well. We mostly agree. We work together and compromise, and do whatever we have to do. Chemistry-wise, it’s improved a lot. And I think Corey has a lot of talent to offer, and I think that his bass playing has brought the par of the band up from where it was. And honestly, I feel like his dedication and devotion to the band and how much he’s willing to put into it is more so than what we had before.
Was your expectation in starting the band -- to do it for a living?
That’s always been my expectation and that’s still the expectation. I took music very seriously, and I was diehard about I’m going to succeed. I don’t come across too many people like that and that’s the difference. I’m not too sure those other guys in band knew how serious I was. I don’t know if they really realized until we really started going, but I think they’re all in now, and they really want to do it. Once now they’ve seen that I think we’re making some progress, I think they’ve gotten a lot more motivated and excited about it. That was my plan from day one. I never set out just to hope to do anything or just jam and maybe do something. I was diehard serious about definitely doing it.
Is it tough to get gigs?
Sometimes. Mad Frog was usually pretty easy to get in, and the Mad Hatter. We’ve played a few of those places. Some places are more difficult to get in. We’ve had some tough gigs where we didn’t have many people there, or no people there, and then we’ve had some more successful gigs where we’ve had quite a few people there. It has ups and downs too, but I think honestly it’s come longer and people have seen us live and they’ve told their friends and people have enjoyed it.
What are some of your goals for the next year?
Hopefully we can be signed by then and maybe have our album starting to get out. Hopefully playing some bigger shows. I just want to see things continue to build. What we’re doing is just building. Our following just keeps growing. Our shows, we start to play better and better shows. We’re going to open up for Seven Mary Three and Adema. So hopefully in a year from now we’ve made more accomplishments and grown a lot more as far as the size of our following, and the success of our band has all diversified and expanded. The big goal is to get a record deal and to sell a million albums. That’s what we’d love to do. The ultimate goal is just to conquer the world and be the biggest band in the world. We’re not to that point yet.
Farehaven plays the Mad Frog at 10 p.m. Friday. Read more of our interview with Farehaven‘s David Sizemore at cincinnati.metromix.com/music.
Local band strives for unique sound
It’s a musical blend of alternative, classic and modern rock.
Most bands meet when they are in high school or through a mutual friend of a friend. Not Farehaven.
The band, which was conceived by vocalist/guitarist David Sizemore, formed straight from a musician’s classified section.
After recording a few demos by himself, Sizemore realized he was going to need a band to start playing live shows.
“I put an ad in CityBeat looking for a drummer and a bass player,” said Sizemore, of West Chester Twp., who placed the ad in 2010. “I figured I could record demos by myself, but it just didn’t feel complete without a band. I wanted to play live.”
After trying out a few people, who Sizemore said were a bit less passionate about the music than he was, Sizemore was contacted by drummer Dan Durrant and Durrant’s friend Rob Jamison, a bass player, who both were from the Harrison area.
After a few practices, which Sizemore admits were a bit iffy, the band began to jam more together and the sound they were looking for followed. The sound was a mixture of alternative rock, blended with some classic and modern rock influences like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Nirvana and Creed.
Sizemore said he doesn’t want Farehaven to sound like any other band.
The song “The Black Heart” opens with melodic notes that suddenly give way to heavy guitar, while the song “Going Nowhere” has clear influence from Creed, with Sizemore’s tranquil voice leading the song throughout.
“It’s kind of darker sound and maybe a little metal,” said Sizemore.
With a determined band, which lately has been playing in venues across Butler and Warren counties and in the Cincinnati area, Sizemore was ready to head into the studio and cut an album.
“We got into the practice room as a band and tweaked the songs I had already written,” said Sizemore. “We refined them and decided to record the songs.”
With the help of Chris Schmidt, Farehaven released their debut full-length album, ‘‘Upside Down,’’ in November.
Although Farehaven has been successfully bringing people to venues to see them play, Sizemore said it has been difficult to sell the debut CD.
Also, last summer, Jamison quit the band to be an EMT. He was replaced by a bassist Corey Glass.
Nonetheless, after a mass demo mailing caught the eye of entertainment attorney Owen Sloan, Sloan introduced Sizemore to Capitol Records exec Don Grierson, who worked with Sizemore with his songwriting.
And Sizemore said the band is still pushing their debut album, while still working toward writing and recording a new album.
“I think we should always being working on the writing and the music because that is the most important part.”
North Jersey Notes: Farehaven, Killcode, Wildstreet and more!
Yes, I know, I know! Cincinnati, Ohio is nowhere near North Jersey, but my lawyer recently sent me a press kit of a new band he’s working with, and I actually thought they were pretty good. In fact, I’d love to see these guys perform in the NJ/NYC area very soon! That’s the reason why I am choosing to write about some out-of-towners because eventually, they will be performing in North Jersey and you can’t say that I didn’t tell you so! The name of the band is Farehaven and for a three-piece alternative rock band, they sounded pretty damn good! I got to hear songs like “Nobody Knows You”, “Caught In Your Trap”, “The Black Heart”, and the rifftastic “Upside Down”. Their hooks are infectious, and their songs are pretty well-written.
Farehaven was only formed a couple of years ago by singer and guitarist David Sizemore, drummer Dan Durrant, and bassist Rob Jamison. Right off the bat, the band garnered much local radio airplay with their first demo, and they have since received airplay on about 40 different radio stations around the country. Towards the end of October 2010, Farehaven decided to head into the studio to record their first full-length CD, Upside Down, which is currently available on iTunes, CD Baby, target.com, and wherever else CDs are sold. Not bad for a bunch of rookies! In July of 2011, bassist and co-founder Rob Jamison left the band due to personal reasons, and was replaced by Dan’s high school friend and former band mate, Corey Glass. After getting Corey caught up with the music, last November, Farehaven was given an opportunity to perform as an emergency back-up band for 90s Alternative rock group, Blessid Union Of Souls in Stanford, Connecticut. On extremely short notice, the band learned a 15-minute set and set out on what they deemed an awesome journey to Connecticut!
Farehaven has since continued playing through the holidays, and plan on playing as many clubs and shows as they can to promote their catchy music. If there is an opportunity to bring these guys to the Tri-State Area, it should be done! This is a talented three-piece band that rocks hard! Any club owners or promoters looking for some out-of-town talent, give these guys a listen at reverbnation.com/farehaven.
North Jersey Notes Updates:
My bro, Tom Morrissey from New York City’s Killcode, recently emailed me two brand new tracks—the anthemic “Hands Up” and the infectious “Opium Dogs”, off of the band’s highly-anticipated self-titled CD. If these songs are any indication of how the CD sounds, I would have to say that you better put your orders in now for it. Killcode is set to be a sure hit and 2012 should be very interesting for these guys! Check them out now on reverbnation.com/killcode.
Speaking of NYC bands, my bass brother, Ali Hassan from the band Wildstreet, recently posted a brand new video for their latest single, “Easy Does It”. I have to say this proves that sleazy glam rock is alive and well in NYC, and once you see this video, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The video was filmed in a go-go bar ala Mötley Crüe, but the vocals reminded me so much of Faster Pussycat. The song is catchy as all hell! “Easy Does It” is available for download on iTunes and amazon.com. For more info on Wildstreet, log onto reverbnation.com/wildstreet.
And finally, just a reminder about a few local shows this weekend; if you’re in the Allentown, PA area this Friday night (2/17), you can catch my boys from Filter Effect opening for my bros, Steel Panther at the Crocodile Rock. Steel Panther will then head to The Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ the next night (2/18) with my new buds from Lords Of Mercy opening. Personally, on that Saturday night, I hope you’ll come to see my new band BlackOcean with Exit 117 at the new Lucky Seven in Keyport, NJ. It’s a great weekend for shows, so go out and support your local music scene!
That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140, Little Falls, NJ 07424, or you can email me at email@example.com, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next!
Most 9-month-old bands are happy with a few really good rehearsals and a handful of successful gigs. The rockers of Cincinnati’s Farehaven had no interest in a lengthy incubation period when they coalesced last June.
“I think our first gig was a month and a half into being a band,” bassist Rob Jamison says while laughing over coneys at Camp Washington Chili. “We were scared, I ain’t gonna lie. I was like, ‘Man, that’s way too quick.’ ”
“I was impatient, man; I was ready to get out there and go,” vocalist/guitarist David Sizemore says.
“I felt like I was getting too old. I was like, ‘Let’s go, let’s play shows, I’m gonna be a grandpa soon,’ ” he adds, jokingly.
That same determination motivated the band to tweak Sizemore’s existing songs and come up with new ones and to start work last November on Farehaven’s debut full-length, the just-released and improbably accomplished Upside Down. The disc reveals a band that blends Classic and Modern Rock, touching on core influences like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and Creed yet moving beyond them.
“We’re going to keep progressing and raising the bar on ourselves,” Sizemore says. “I’m proud to have an album done by a full band.”
This is the second iteration of a Sizemore band with the same name. The earlier incarnation of Farehaven (named after the street where Sizemore grew up) was comprised of high school friends who weren’t interested in pursuing music as a career. With the discovery of Jamison and drummer Dan Durrant, Sizemore has bandmates that share his commitment, ambition and passion.
“These guys have the same mentality — they want to make it, they want to be serious, they want to practice and be good,” Sizemore says. “That’s what makes it work. We have the same musical interests and passion and drive. I feel like we’ve got a strong foundation and we’ll be together a long time.”
There is an element of destiny in this new configuration. Sizemore and Durrant found each other last summer through CityBeat’s musician classifieds. Sizemore was looking to resurrect Farehaven as a serious band and Durrant was dissatisfied with his band situation.
“Our guitarist was constantly changing what he wanted to do and I couldn’t wait for him,” Durrant says. “Then I found David. The first few times were kind of iffy — we were just trying to learn his songs that he’d already recorded. Then we actually did a jam and that’s where we connected.”
After several practices, Durrant and Sizemore recognized a palpable synergy between them. Durrant then contacted Jamison, a good friend and sporadic bandmate since junior high. Jamison had relocated to Pennsylvania for college and moved back, but had largely abandoned any thoughts of music.
“I’d been out of the game,” Jamison says. “I came back and Dan talked me into it. The first time we practiced, I didn’t even have a bass. It was Dan’s bass and this little amp.”
Farehaven has benefited from some interesting connections along the way. Sizemore’s mass demo mailing, prior to Farehaven’s new lineup, got him a polite refusal from entertainment attorney Owen Sloan. But Sloan steered him to former Capitol Records executive Don Grierson, who mentored Sizemore as a songwriter. And occasional gigs with a different band ultimately led to Sizemore’s introduction to Blessid Union of Souls’ Eliot Sloan, who in turn introduced the band to Chris Schmidt, who recorded and mixed Upside Down.
Farehaven doesn’t fit comfortably in any single genre, as they borrow liberally from various styles to create an energetic Rock hybrid that works within a wide range of musical contexts. That flexibility will make them an excellent opening/multi-bill act going forward.
“I’ve asked people, ‘What would you consider our style? Who do we sound like?’ and they’re like, ‘I don’t know,’ ” Jamison says. “That’s awesome. It’s just Rock.”
“Bands like Kings of Leon or Muse have a Classic Rock vibe, but they do their own thing,” Sizemore says. “That appeals to people because you’re different. I’m not saying we’re the most original thing ever, but we have our own sound.”
So far Farehaven hasn’t had many opportunities to play out of town (a Louisville show has been the band’s longest trip), but they’re planning to increase their tour radius while expanding their local fan base.
“We were less experienced as a band,” Durrant says of their Louisville trip. “We’re more in tune with each other now. When we first started, our shows weren’t at their full potential, but we’re getting up there.”
“We’ve been on stage now and we’re getting our routine down,” Sizemore says. “We keep getting more comfortable and confident with it. We’re slowly building our following. It’s just making everything stronger.”