Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Alec Myers – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Jeremiah (Jeb) Douglas - Drums
Parker Ross – Lead Guitar, Back-up Vocals
Grayson Ross – Bass, Back-up Vocals
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Face Value? How long has the band been around?
Alec and Jeb started a band called “Out To See” in early 2012 with their good friends, Kyle Ritter and Garret Heydt. They would hang out, skateboard, play music and act like mischievous hoodlums in their hometown of Kingsville, MD. The band recorded a short EP but if you ask Alec where to find the songs he will probably laugh and smack you in the head while exclaiming, “Dude, nobody will ever hear them again…”. Jeb will just laugh and shake his head. In the summer of 2013, Alec and Jeb met Parker Ross at a mutual friend’s house party and they hit it off. By that time, Alec changed the band name from “Out To See” to “Face Value” and original members Kyle and Garret departed from the band. Parker joined the lineup and soon after, his brother, Grayson, did as well. With its current members, Face Value has officially been around since the spring of 2014.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
“Out To See” was chosen after Alec and Jeb put out a facebook poll with a few different names on the table. It was sort of a pun as it alluded to the phrase, “out to sea”, but is spelled in the context of going “out to see” your favorite band. Sometime between the departure of Kyle and Garret, Alec decided to change the name to “Face Value”. One of his favorite bands, a New York-based pop punk group (who recently broke up) called With The Punches, has a song called “Face Value” and the whole idea/message of it really hit home with him and Jeb. "From the clothes you wear, to the car you drive, to the company you keep, they’re all just worthless commodities". “Face Value” means being yourself and not judging people by their face value. Life is more than just material things and how you look and who you want to look like. Don't cover up who you really are, don't think celebrities and magazines are a good representation of how you should live your life. "Find your own personality, a heavy dose of humility, and you might not be a joke, to everyone around you."
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
About half of our EP was written before Parker and Grayson joined the band. Alec would write the guitar parts and Jeb would then come in and ice the cake with his monumental drum parts. After the addition of the Ross brothers, guitar parts have been written collectively by Alec, Parker, and Grayson. It’s really a roll of the dice with our newer songs. Sometimes Parker will have an idea and run with it and it could be the foundation for the entire song and Alec will have a riff that will fit perfectly overtop of it. Or, Alec will write rhythm parts and Parker will write leads to compliment them. Regarding drums, Jeb is an intricate maestro behind the kit and he continues to blow our minds time and time again. We will have an idea of how the song should sound and once he adds drums to it, it jumps to a whole other level. Finally, lyrics come from everyone but Grayson. He just can’t do it. Compare it to the act of trying to fly… He gave up long ago. But Parker, Alec, and Jeb have plenty of ideas and pride themselves on their ability to write meaningful and interesting lyrics to the songs.
For Growing Up Young, the main themes are pretty dark. Addiction, suicide, break-ups and betrayal are all seen on this EP but told in such a way that it would make anyone think otherwise. It’s really about the experiences we have had as we transition from college kids to young men. As we mature and grow up young, these topics will probably change and continue to reflect our experiences. But we will always write fun, upbeat songs even if they touch on topics that aren’t.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Grayson and Parker grew up with Blink 182, Sum 41, Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, and Good Charlotte. Alec and Jeb grew up with similar bands but take more inspiration from current pop punk icons such as The Story So Far, Knuckle Puck, The Wonder Years and New Found Glory. We meet somewhere in the middle.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Definitely Blink 182. Favorite band of the Ross brothers. In 2004, they saw Blink 182 with No Doubt in the pouring rain in Virginia. Then again in 2009 in Heryshey Park, PA. They have been to HFStival, numerous AVA shows, Yellowcard concerts and even a U2 concert.
A man of class, Alec has a more cultured ideology. Rick Springfield, Def Leopard, and Bruce Springsteen were some of Alec's first concerts (credit to Alec’s father, good ol’ Mr. Dave). Then, he left the dark side and saw bands like All Time Low and Good Charlotte in concert. All of our inspirations, however diverse they may be, have had an influence on us in starting and joining this band.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
Alec warms up and drinks plentiful amounts of water. He also pees like a racehorse. Also, we seriously try to arrive on-time but our efforts are pretty much futile. The majority of the time, we get to the venue seconds before we go onstage. Parker usually leaves seconds after. To add salt to the wound, when we arrive at the venue we usually realize we left something at home and when we return home we usually realize we left something at the venue. This has happened with Jeb’s drum pedal, Alec’s guitar, Alec’s guitar tuner, Jeb’s drum key, Jeb’s drum mat, and Alec’s guitar picks. If we didn’t have our heads attached to our shoulders, we would probably forget them, too.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Our recording of Growing Up Young and our first tour back in June with our good friends in “Something More”. We recorded at The Monster House in Waldorf, MD with producer/owner Michael Bridgett and lived there for 11 days straight. It was horrible. He made us clean toilets, do his dishes, wake up at 6am for cardio/strength condition, groom him, the list goes on and on. We have the scars to prove it…
That’s a lie. We had a blast and enjoyed every minute of it. Waking up, eating breakfast, recording music all day and watching Netflix was heaven. Regarding the tour, we had the time of our lives. We drove almost 3,000 miles in nine days in a Hyundai Sonata because our tour vehicle (Grayson’s trailblazer, Jefferson) broke down a week beforehand. We slept at Wal-Mart on two separate nights in our car and the rest of the time we crashed at places where we knew somebody. We saw “Inside Out” and “Jurassic World” on our off-night in Indianapolis, IN and went to the beach in Charleston, SC and the high tide tragically took the life of Grayson’s phone. We didn’t kill each other either. Those were the two greatest experiences of our musical careers so far.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Alec says, “Iron Maiden, because they have a private jet”. But definitely Blink 182 back in the day. State Champs and Knuckle Puck would be awesome bands to tour with nowadays. We recently saw State Champs at Soundstage in Baltimore, MD and it was a sick show. We’re going to see Knuckle Puck on their tour this fall, too. We might bring underwear for them to sign if we don’t faint in the process.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Alec attracts men a considerable amount of the time, in a good way. We recently played an acoustic show at a venue in Baltimore which we will keep anonymous because of the fact that they had numerous art pieces on the walls depicting acts of interesting caliber. In particular, there was a painting of Batman and Robin engaging in tongue tag. In addition, there was a small model of a drive-in movie theater next to the stage and the film being played was of two dudes getting cozy. The story gets good when the male promoter/owner gave Alec his card, told him he should be a model, and gladly offered to photograph him. Alec emailed him a day later…