Growing up in a musical family, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Darren Farris’s path seemed to be cut for a musical life. Darren's mother, Lois Faye, was the lead singer of The Waylighters, a popular touring band in the 70's. A young Farris was never left out of the band. "Oh yeah, I really had little choice but to love music," Farris explains, "There was always practicing, writing music, and musicians [coming] in and out of our home."
Farris describes being raised in a rock band atmosphere. "Music was just all around me- acid rock, power-pop, country, and even spiritual. My mom was playing during some pivotal changes in pop music, so I was exposed to all of that," Farris says, "Every time a new single would be hot on the charts, we would have to rush out to the record store and pick up the 45 (rpm record). They would play them over and over, until they got it down."
After being raised the first five years of his life in the heart of Chicago, moving to the more rural setting of Tennessee gave Farris a wide cultural perspective to draw from. "Yeah, I have always had to deal with the ‘fish out of water syndrome’," Farris says of an early childhood of moving from place to place. About 70 miles outside Memphis, Darren was heavily influenced by the wide array of music being pumped out on the Memphis airwaves. He writes about the glory days of cutting school to hang out with local blues session musicians such as Alabama Smith on the world famous Beale Street. "I had this very small circle of friends and we were all into rock and roll and understanding the roots of it [rock music]. We did so many crazy things, it's a wonder I am here to tell the story," Farris muses of a storybook-like wild youth, including anecdotes of his growing up years and adolescence in the autobiographical song “Part of Something”.
Darren's new album “Psychopathic Issues” is a testament to always taking the road less traveled and not looking back. "It was actual therapy for me, no pun intended," laughs Farris, as he describes his experience writing the album. Consisting of thirteen guitar- and lyric-driven tracks, it completes what he describes as an "audio-ography of the past 10 or so" years of his life. "I find it very difficult to write about things that I haven't experienced first hand, so I really have little choice but to write about my life situations," Farris says of his songwriting process. "I think that is actually why people seem to get drawn to this album," Farris continues, "It all comes from real places, about real people, written at real points of raw emotion."
Starting the journey with the adrenalin-pumping "Nobody But You" and ending with a guitar-smashing, cinematic remix of the debut single "Jenna", “Psychopathic Issues” blends just the right elements of powerpop and mainstream pop/rock to secure a musical grip on the listener’s mind. This collection of stinging guitar and lyric-driven works is sure to be quintessential to any enthusiast’s collection. Farris is banking on his “Psychopathic Issues” to be the right prescription for an ailing rock and roll radio that is undernourished and in dire need of a new and exciting sound.
Album Synopsis/Review: Written by Leigh Ann Goldman of PowerPop.tv.
Save yourself some cash and skip your next therapy session- Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Darren Farris's new album Psychopathic Issues, is just what the doctor ordered. Farris offers up thirteen self-penned/produced tracks drenched in guitar and lyric driven hooks. It would be easy to just get carried away in the stinging guitar riffs and catchy melodies. However, Farris manages to draw you into his world like a rock and roll pied piper.
At first listen, track number two, "Nobody But You" could easily be mistaken as a "who's who" in lost pop culture. Once you get passed the power-pop rock laced guitar candy, you see that Farris is setting you up for a lesson in procrastination 101. Any songwriter that can manage to bring Mother Teresa, God and Rob Zombie into the same verse, deserves your attention. Track three, "Jenna" is the obvious star of the show. With mild bluesy undertones, mixed with mainstream rock riffs, this track may likely be the signature song of the album. If "Jenna" is like your favorite pair of jeans that you wish you could wear every day, then the guitar solo could be equated to the yearning for that fine wine you only drink on special occasions. On track five, Farris, temporarily brings down the glam with the up-tempo ballad "Save Me". The lyrics read as the ploy of a young man saying whatever it takes to get laid. However, the words become validated as a genuine ballad, once they are put to music. Being the closest thing to a ballad on the whole album, "Save Me" is an obvious attempt to slow down the adrenalin to prepare you for the title track "Psychopathic Issues". Farris notes that the title track is a traditional rocker, and is not likely to be released as a single. However, it was his favorite track to record and is the "anthem the record".
This collection of stinging guitar and lyric driven works, are sure to be quintessential to any rock/pop connoisseurs collection. Psychopathic Issues blends just the right elements of power-pop and mainstream rock to secure a mental grip on the mind- and may very well put your shrink out on the street!
Current radio single: Jenna
A very special message from Darren to those who have bought and supported Psychopathic Issues:
When I wrote Psychopathic Issues, I really wanted to take you on somewhat of journey. To do that you have to exorcise a piece of your soul, as well as take some artistic chances. For those of you who listen to this album- from Dark Horizon, to Enigma, I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did. Thank you for sharing this experience with me.
All the best,