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It’s impossible to talk about Face To Face without mentioning the rich legacy it has left on the punk scene since frontman Trever Keith formed the band in Victorville, California, two decades ago. Amidst record label turmoil and line-up changes, the one constant throughout the band’s career is the way their fans have latched onto their motivational anthems. As the band has grown and developed, their fans have done so along with them. The release of Laugh Now, Laugh Later, Face To Face’s first collection of new studio recordings since 2002, both extends and expands on their already rich punk rock legacy.

When Face To Face reunited in 2008 after a four-year hiatus, making a new album was the last thing on their mind. “The idea was we would just get together to play some live shows, but after two years of doing that it developed into us writing new material,” the band’s frontman explains. Keith and longtime bassist Scott Shiflett started working on musical ideas before Face To Face headed out for a run on last year’s Vans Warped Tour and quickly realized that they had tapped into something special.

Laugh Now, Laugh Later was produced by Face To Face at The Bronx guitarist Joby Ford’s personal studio. “Joby’s studio is basically a garage. It has a vibe to it that was totally perfect for these songs. We really needed the right environment to capture this energy,” Keith explains, adding that Ford helped with some production decisions as well. The album was mixed by Joe Barresi, who has worked with everyone from Queens Of The Stone Age to Bad Religion.

Laugh Now, Laugh Later—which marks the return of guitarist Chad Yaro and also introduces new drummer Danny Thompson--sees Face To Face stripping-down their arrangements, creating a collection of raw-sounding songs that will both please existing fans and appeal to new ones. “This year is our twentieth anniversary. It’s tough making a new album because you have to straddle a fine line where you’re pleasing fans of the old material while also trying to do something different,” Keith explains. From instantly infectious ragers like “What You Came For” and “Should Anything Go Wrong” to radio-friendly rockers like “Pushover” and the band’s first single “It’s Not All About You,” Laugh Now, Laugh Later incorporates the best elements of Face To Face’s musical identity while also marking a giant step forward for the act. Acclaimed tattoo artist Corey Miller, the star of the TV series LA Ink in and a Face To Face fan, created the artwork for the album. Of the collaboration, Keith explains, “Corey and I instantly hit it off and started hanging out.” Once Miller found out about the upcoming record he started drawing images that were inspired by song titles for Keith’s still-unfinished lyrics—and eventually Miller even came up with the album’s title. “We took a really cool, creative two-way path that ties together the visions of two different artists that compliment each other,” Keith says, adding that the band will also be making appearances at tattoo shops to promote Laugh Now, Laugh Later.

“This is my favorite line-up of Face To Face ever.” Keith responds when asked about the current line-up of the band… and fans seem to agree. Last month, Face To Face launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a vinyl pressing of Laugh Now, Laugh Later. The result far surpassed their expectations, raising over $15,000 and selling out of the packages in record time. It’s not only the fans that are taking note of the band’s return, as influential radio station KROQ began spinning “It’s Not All About You” months before the album’s release. All of the pieces are falling into place and Face to Face is poised to return to the spotlight. When asked about his expectations for the next chapter of Face To Face’s already incomparable career. “As long as people are still enjoying our music and it’s still meaningful to them like it is to us we’re going to continue doing it and never look back.”

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