Dear Claudia by heitzie
Welcome to the Texas of SouthFM: Where curbside evangelists
preach the Gospel as the rain pours down. Where sanity hovers "just
across the sky, underneath the waves." This is "Dear Claudia"
from SouthFM. Listen: 56k
Records and NEW Forum!!!
Hello everybody, it's been a while since we've updated
the site...things have been crazy in the world of SouthFM. We wrapped
up a three week tour on the east coast and are about to start another...
But, the big news is that we are now on Geffen Records!!! Our brief
stay as an MCA artist was great, but we're even happier to now be
a part of our new team, Geffen. To inform those who haven't heard,
and to make a long story short, MCA merged with the Geffen label.
Lastly, we've brought back our FORUM to encourage even more interaction
within southfm.com. Visit the link to discuss all things SouthFM.Go
to the source for the full story... SouthFM/ezboard
SouthFM-Bio-The Twilight World of SouthFM
Welcome to the Texas of SouthFM: where trophy wives kill themselves
after all-night coke binges. Where curbside evangelists preach the
Gospel as the rain pours down. Where sanity hovers "just across
the sky, underneath the waves." That's the twilight world masterfully
portrayed on Drama Kids, SouthFM's premiere CD released on Brando
Records last year, and now newly remastered and remixed for release
five exceptionally like-minded musicians, SouthFM habitually rips
the happy face off of normal life, exposing the roiling trauma below.
Lead singer/lyricist Paco Estrada possesses an extravagant pop voice
and mercurial perspective, while the twin guitar work of G.I. Sanders
and Chad Abbott provides perfect counterpoint.
To realize their
vision, the band enlisted producers/engineers Alex Gerst and David
Castell whose compatibility paid off handsomely in Drama Kids' expansive
approach to rock 'n' roll. The album kicks off with "Thursday
Night," a virtual passion play with a wall of sound big enough
to contain Estrada's epic vocal powers. "Seven" features
Abbott and Sanders' predatory dual guitars, while "Corporate
White America" depicts the seamy side of living large. "It's
good to bite the hand that feeds you occasionally," says Estrada,
"and let them know that as a musician/songwriter, you attempt
to avoid becoming that kind of person."
and the lullaby-like "As You Dream" exemplify SouthFM's
idea of a love song, the former a cautionary tale about a wayward
slut, the latter an acoustic reverie and vocal tour-de-force. Says
Estrada, "If you've been writing since age 14 and you've had
heartbreak, then there are no more stupid love songs."
The harder rocking
"Eve" is a surprisingly deep discourse about rationality
vs. abstraction (really, it is), while "Because It Was You"
is a deliciously scratchy blues tune reminiscent of an old Robert
Johnson side. "We recorded the song at home," says Sanders.
"The guitar was a tiny Mexican cheapo, horribly out of tune,
strings dead and crusty."
"Luis" features a plaintive solo viola intro, while "Crimson"
is an off-kilter circus waltz, complete with twisted calliope in
the background. Says Sanders, "That one was so left field for
us, very different, playful yet dramatic. It's kind of a caricature
of the band." SouthFM specializes in intense, complex arrangements,
such as on the richly melodic "Brick Layers," a subtle
metaphor about living with a faithless foundation and "Beautiful"
(featured as enhanced content on the CD).
swing of "Driving" underscores the song's intriguing Biblical
overtones, while "My Sanity" is a rocking supplication
for peace and clarity. The album ends with the relentlessly eviscerating
"Becomes Apart," a long and winding road of a tune that
recasts the crucifixion of Christ in strikingly modern terms.
those rabbit holes of faith and loss, sin and redemption are the
stock in trade of SouthFM. The band formed in 1999, but most of
the members were well acquainted prior to then. Dallas-born Paco
Estrada discovered the nascent grunge movement as a young teen,
picked up a guitar, and began writing songs.
Texans Abbott and Sanders, had formed their own Dallas band. The
band was introduced to Estrada, and, as they say, magic happened.
"I was really impressed," remembers Abbott. "Paco
couldn't tune a guitar to save his life, but his vocals were so
"We were going for something original. I don't even know if
that exists anymore; it's hard to do, but we wanted something progressive,
intense, something that from an instrumental standpoint would highlight
Paco's voice. That was the key: to take the songs we had written
and give him room to sing."
it was a long process of writing, performing, wowing audiences and
building the base. "There are a lot of greaaaaat bands in Dallas,
more than there are people who want to listen," notes Sanders.
Nevertheless, persistence paid off as the band expanded outward,
touring throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
Fans were drawn
to SouthFM's subversive style. Says Estrada, "It comes with
the territory of wanting to be more progressive. We like to do stuff
that's not your normal verse-chorus thing. Intensity, build-ups,
crescendos: it's all about audio performance." As for the band
on stage, Sanders is reflective, especially when it comes to frontman
Estrada. "Where's my thesaurus?," he asks. "Paco
is mysterious, compelling; he sings to the audience but also to
himself a bit."
hit local radio and drew the interest of start-up indie Brando Records.
Things mushroomed from there. The album was cut in April 2002 and
released that summer, fueled by the regional success of the
Claudia." Less than a year after the release of Drama Kids,
MCA Records came calling.
Now the band
is poised to take their message far beyond the borders of the Lone
Star State. Happily for them, the members of SouthFM are 100% satisfied
with their work on Drama Kids, and look forward to taking it to
the streets. "No musician wants to stop and be comfortable
where he's standing," says Estrada, "but this [album]
is the first thing I've been involved with where I didn't want to
No small praise
coming from this band of perfectionists. As guitarist Abbott says
of himself, SouthFM and the album, "What's kept me in this?
This is the soundtrack of my life."