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 100k 300k


SouthFM   " Drama Kids "   

Geffen Records and NEW Forum!!!
by gi_southfm

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 on Brando/MCA.

Comprised of 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."

"Dear Claudia" 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."

The rhapsodic "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).

The acoustic-flavored 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.

Running down 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.

Meanwhile, fellow 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 different."

Adds Sanders, "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."

From there, 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."

"My Sanity" 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 single "Dear 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 fix anything."

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."