Native America have come a long way since their humble beginnings as the bedroom recording project of singer-guitarist Ross Farbe. Over the past few years, they’ve transformed into a real life rock and roll band, a change they recently solidified with the release of a debut full length entitled Get Well Soon. In the weeks leading up to its release, Native America set out for a two week tour across the South. Along the way they played a whole bunch of great shows, shot a music video, and received word that their Kickstarter project to help release the record had been fully funded. To top it all off, the tour culminated with a set at the Community Records ALBUM RELEASE OF THE YEAR show at The Big Top, which celebrated the release of Get Well Soon along with new records from Astronomical, All People, and Stuck Lucky. A few days after that show of epic proportions, we got a chance to sit down and talk with Ross, John, and Ray about their triumphant homecoming, the successful Kickstarter project, and the high points of their tour.
So, the record release show at The Big Top was really awesome..
Ross: That was the finale of tour.
John: It was so well run by Greg and D-Ray of Community Records.
Ross: Yeah, that’s who we can really thank for that show.
John: It was seriously the most well organized rock and roll show I’ve ever seen.
Ray: Big shout out to the bands as well.
Ross: It’s just so much for a young record label to handle, and they just do it swimmingly … is that the word you use?
John: I think something goes swimmingly, I think you say the event went swimmingly.
Ross: It went swimmingly.
Your Kickstarter project was launched a few days before you went on tour, and it was successfully funded while you were still on the road. Where were you when the news came in?
John: We were in Jacksonville, Florida at a really weird show.
Ross: John checked his phone, and was like, “Dudes, we did it.”
So then did you guys go out and play a rockin’ set afterward?
Ross: We did.
John: Yeah, and this girl was trying to take Ray home.
Ray: Wait, what happened?
John: She was so drunk, and after he turned her down she was like “He doesn’t care about me!”
Ross: And then she just started talking shit.
John: She fell down outside the bar.
Well hopefully she’s alright. In talking to you guys it’s clear there were a lot of rad shows, but were there any other memorable moments?
John: Did other things happen? [pauses] Oh yeah! That guy in Memphis who kept playing that cover of “Across the Universe” and drinking Cuban rum and smoking cigarettes!
Ross: That’s a good anecdote. We got to Memphis really late, and when we woke up the next morning this guy puts on David Bowie’s cover of “Across the Universe,” turns it up as loud as it’ll go, and leaves the room.
Ray: And then he just starts chain smoking and prancing around the house.
Ross: He goes and grabs a bottle Cuban rum, takes a swig, and passes it around to everyone in the house.
John: This happened about every four hours.
Ray: Even at 4 in the morning. It would be so loud you couldn’t even talk to each other.
That certainly is a memorable moment. You guys got to play with some super cool bands along the way. Any in particular you want to mention?
Ross: Quiet People from Tallahassee. It’s two brothers and a sister, all super talented, making some strange, groovin’ songs. XMAS from Jacksonville is a friend of ours that writes incredible pop songs and records them really gross and lo-fi. And Hello Chief from Beaumont, they make crazy technical tropical soul pop.
Ray: Milezo from Austin and that pop band from Birmingham was cool too.
John: The pop band from Birmingham was called Younger Siblings and they do rule.
How about the to’ jams?
Ross: Our tape player was broken so we actually did a lot of Grooveshark-ing through a radio transmitter when the internet on our phones was working. Otherwise, we spent our drives chatting, contemplating, writing songs, or radio surfing.
Ray: I liked that Marvin Gaye duets album and the tornado warning radio station.