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Far Too Jones Biography

Last updated: 08/13/2002 10:22:39 PM

Scott MacConnell--drums
Alan Callahan--bass & Vocals
Dave Dicke--guitar
Kyle Garris --guitar & vocals
Christopher Spruill--vocals & guitar

Over the last eight years, Raleigh, North Carolina's Far Too Jones have released their own albums, toured continually across the country and gathered an organic, fanatical following. Now, on their own label Aszams Records, they release Shame & Her Sister, their first full-length release in over two years. From the start, Far Too Jones had a plan, and, through their own musical cohesion, spit, tears and effort, their plan worked: In 1998, FTJ's major label dream was realized when they signed to Mammoth Records and released Picture Postcard Walls, a poppy, driven catalog of songs written over the course of their early years.

On the strength of that album, they enjoyed some much-deserved major market airplay, two singles, a US tour and even provided the soundtrack for some make-out sessions on Dawson's Creek. But after rising to those heights, they were lost in a corporate shuffle between Mammoth and Disney, and were left with this album to release on their own. "We're really excited about putting this record out ourselves," explains front man Christopher Spruill. "That's how this band started in the first place, and it will be good to be able to control our career again."

Now, with their heads on straight and their bootstraps in hand, Far Too Jones release Shame & Her Sister, an album of furious, melodic newly written songs produced by Howard Benson (Stir, Zebrahead, P.O.D.). These tracks are caustic, cap-in-the-ass rock tunes-unlike anything they've ever done-and they're a direct line to the band's recent experiences in love and war. They shut the blinds and bare the core of who Far Too Jones is, and what makes them work so well as a band. It's still them, but it's them schooled, tight and arrived.

"The songwriting approach was different for us on this album," says Spruill. "We came at it from a very personal and honest place this time. We didn't want to make the same record we made in Picture Postcard Walls, because we've moved forward from there, both personally and as a band, and I think this album really shows that."

With Shame & Her Sister, Far Too Jones give it all away, guts on the table and reveal everything in them with songs like the first radio single, "Julianna," the fuming "Skin Suit" and "Put Me On Your Mix Tape." The prairie-winded "Ballad of Mary" and the flirtatious "Blown Away," show their more pacified side with no lack of Far Too vigor.

These roaring choruses, stormy vocals, layered harmonies, unforeseen loops, right angles, left hooks and elaborate guitar riffs show no traces of a band who rose in the wake of southeastern jangle-pop mania. But, no matter the level of frenzy in their new musical presence, this band has never sounded so honest and brutal and rewarded.

With Shame & Her Sister, Far Too Jones have produced an album that benefits not only from perspective, but also from the honesty and commitment that only their experience can bring to the studio and to the stage. And it finds the band in a state they've never been before: fully realized.