A Conversation with Trixter/Ra Bassist PJ Farley

 Few musicians have had a 30-year career like PJ Farley.  Beginning with the 80’s-style rock of Trixter into the modern rock sounds of Ra, PJ has combined the best of both into his second solo record Accent The Change.  I recently caught up with PJ to talk about his solo career and get updates on both of his other projects.

Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws Conversation with PJ Farley:

On making a solo record after so many years in a band – I just had the first record, which is a collection of songs that I had written and recorded throughout a bunch of years. I felt that once we got done doing the Trixter Human Era record I realized there’s a place for these songs now. Because when I recorded those songs there was no YouTube or cloud or anything like that and I did not want to take those songs and try battling with record labels and trying to get a record deal. I just didn’t have that fight in me. That’s not why I did those songs and I didn’t want to deal with that bullshit. So I’m like, You know what? Now, this is our second Trixter record (since reuniting), I don’t know, maybe I’ll bring it to Frontiers, who put out the Trixter records, because I want to do it, get somebody to just kind of deal with the hassle of releasing a record. I really just wanted to get the songs out, up on the cloud, and into YouTube and into people’s homes, basically. So I thought that that was a good time to do it. I mean, I believe that the songs that kind of a timeless quality to them, so I wasn’t worried about them sounding like, old beat-up songs. so it just happened organically. I was like, you know what?  We’re still kind of wrapping up Human Era here, I’m in the studio bang out a couple of extra tunes and then  I put together Boutique Sound Frames, and it was mission accomplished. So people got to hear it kind of got a different side of me and were able to just enjoy those songs that I was sitting on for so long. So then I kind of…kids were taking up a lot of the time during the day and gigs so I wasn’t really focusing on writing for myself at that point. Up until about two years ago, I started again. And, long story short, I wasn’t planning on making another record, but started writing and slowly started recording. And then before I knew it, here I am. 1:00
On using other musicians on this record – I really kind of wanted other players on it.  Because from the first record. I did everything because everything that I wrote is pretty simple. I’m a jack of all trades, Master of none. I always say that, but it’s true. I could play the drums good enough to get what I need out on them, the same with guitar, the same with bass and everything. I hear the parts. I know what I want, but sometimes I want someone that can maybe elaborate a little bit more on that. So I mean, there’s a couple of songs on this record that I played everything top to bottom, but a large majority of it I didn’t have to.  Maybe I just have to do the guitars and bass or maybe just the bass and the vocals. But that was good for me, I was working with people I trusted first and foremost to understand where I was coming from, so that helped, too. I worked with my singer from Ra (Sahaj Ticotin ) on a bunch of this, like, four of the songs, and I didn’t have to explain too much to him because he knew exactly what I was looking for. I gave him the kind of bullet points, and he knew exactly what to get and what to do. 4:35
“Let It Rain”
On the possibility of touring during the pandemic – I’m actually in the process of booking a couple (of shows) now for this year. Probably just be like solo acoustic stuff, or maybe have somebody with me. But start off kind of slow and the social distance guidelines and whatnot and then hopefully next year I can get a full band out and do some shows. Yeah, man, I got two records out, now I want to go out and play…people are just like fuck it,  I’ll go see this band in my car. Fine. Or I’ll go and do what I gotta do because tired of not seeing music, for now, they’ll do it. It’ll have to work. It’s not ideal. It’s not great. But it’s the only thing that you can do to see music and enjoy and be with your friends. Then people do it, so it’ll have to work. But hopefully, this gets wrapped up, or within some realms of control, you know, relatively soon 7:17
“Wait & Fade”
On a new record from Ra –  I think it’s gonna be coming out in…I’m gonna say maybe in March, maybe early April next year, with a single to come out within the next couple of weeks, next 4-6 weeks, I think.  Ra’s evolved, it started out and  kind of  it was lumped into the nu-metal kind of sound, but with definitely a more exotic, stand-alone type of sound. We weren’t Disturbed, we were more exotic than that. People liked it, but it didn’t go..it wasn’t huge because it wasn’t mainstream. But the band has evolved over the years and it still has an exotic feel and sound, but it definitely has evolved into a more mature, kind of (sound) but maintaining that’s still hard rock kind of down deep riff digging and rythmic feel. 8:50
Ra  “Brutiful”
On future plans with Trixter – We’re working on re releasing Hear, our second record, and New Audio Machine and Human Era. So I mean, as far as the first record, nothing set in stone just yet. 12:00
On Trixter’s popularity after 30 years – It’s a surreal thing. It’s always surprising to me when anyone is interested in it because it’s just something, it’s our band. So it’s like it’s always the treat when someone has interest in it, let alone 30 years later. God in the 30 years since that records come out have done so much,  it’s amazing to me, but I get it. It’s gonna be 50 years, and people are still gonna have thesame effect, because a record is a record. It’s a tattoo man. Once it’s in you, it’s in you. It doesn’t leave. 12:30
Trixter “Rockin’ To The Edge Of The Night”
On his memories of Eddie Van Halen –  I was lucky looking up to be a part of some of those gatherings and times where it’s just me, Steve (Brown, Trixter guitarist), and Ed hanging out in the room for all day. Just watching him warm up and hanging out and being normal with the guy. It’s a gift when you get to be in the presence of someone like that who left such a mark on you as a child and then you get to meet the person and say hello and whatever, even it’s a quick meeting, that’s one thing. But to be able to be in a room with the guy and have him be normal with you and have conversations with you as a person and kind of a peer as opposed to just someone who’s just happy to be there. We were introduced through Matt Brook, who was his tech and who basically runs EVH now, so we kind of got in, we came in the right door, you know? So it was just like, “Hey, here, meet these uber fans.” He took a liking to Steve and to us and so any time he came to town, we were able to just go and hang out and really get some real quality time with him, Steve in particular.  Steve’s been to his house in Malibu and he’s got some great memories with him.  For him, that’s his  guy. So yeah, nothing, nothing better than that. 14:15
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