Facing New York is a three-piece progressive indie rock band from the Bay Area, California, formed in January 2004.
The band is currently on Five One Inc. Records and has released two full-length albums, one EP, two splits, and one single sampler.
The original five members formed from mutual bands from the Bay Area scene. Omar Cuellar and Matt Fazzi left their band, Tragedy Andy, to pursue a new musical direction, while Eric Frederic and Rene Carranza's band, Locale A.M., had recently disbanded. Eric continued to write music and along with Rene, the two began to jam with Matt Fazzi. Omar was then invited into the project and the four then began Facing New York.
Brandon Canchola was the first bass player auditioned and was soon added, completing the line up.
The band then immediately began to tour extensively over the next year, gaining a reputation for their inventive sound and style with intense and energetic live performances.
In early 2004, the group participated in the Vans Warped Tour 2004 on select dates. There, they went on to sell more than 5000 copies of the self-released EP, Swimming Not Treading, pushing around 500 copies a day. The band not only gained a wide new fan base from amongst concert goers, but from also the headliners that they shared the stage with.1
After the final tours were over, the members returned to San Francisco in late 2004, out of work. So they immediately began to write their first full-length and self-titled album, which was released on August 30, 2005.2
The band then set out on another tour to promote their new album. In March 2006, the band did a tour with fellow label mates, Eastern Youth, and then with Taking Back Sunday in the Western United States in April of the same year. The tour then lead them traveling as far as Japan, in early June 2006, to do a series of shows again with Eastern Youth and the Japanese indie rock group, toe. 3
Then in July 2006, Rene Carranza stated he would be leaving the band to go back to school:
A message from Rene Carranza:
Ladies, gents, lovely friends, I've been looking all over the place for some intangible thing called balance, and I haven't found it. End vagueness now: I'm going back to UC Berkeley on August 22nd and the Facing New Yorks will proceed without me. The tour we're embarking on this week will be my last with the dudes, so if you miss these shows, you're missing a farewell of sorts (aside from the .peace-out, Rene. show tba).
It's a bitter-sweet departure, needless to say. We are on great terms, I love them and I'm pretty sure they love me, and we'd make it out if Matt didn't have a girlfriend. Or if Eric liked guys. I've had the privilege of playing with four phenomenally talented musicians and in the course of our comradeship we've grown together like a beard on a face and the hot-sauce that drips into it. Omar is the hot-sauce. Brandon's the solid. Matt's the love and Eric is my guy. I'm sad to leave the baby-Frankenstein I helped birth together, but I'm ecstatic about the possibilities of my new life. I will keep writing and playing music and will surely collaborate with one or two of four or five of the New Brunswicks (FNYs).
To the lovely homies who have come into my life via our touring (the Minnesotans, the Arizonians, Washingtonians, New Yorkers, Japanese, San Diegahns, and every Canadian who was ever born), I truly hope to see you again and I cherish the memories that have stuck; come hang out with me in Berkeley. Thanks for the support. Fuck the world bank.
Rene Carranza played his last show on September 1 in San Francisco, and the remaining members finished off the remainder of 2006 with a headling tour throughout the U.S., with friend and label mate, Gavin Castleton filling in.
In March 2007, the band participated in the South by Southwest music festival and has begun to write new material which they debut at the festival.
Matthew Fazzi played his final show with the band on April 19, 2008 at San Francisco's Bottom of the Hill. The encore featured ex-bandmate Rene Carranza back again on keyboards for a dramatic finale. It was revealed on May 5 that Matt had joined Taking Back Sunday, after the departure of Fred Mascherino.
The band released their second full-length release "Get Hot" on October 14, 2008. They decided to stay as a three piece group during the process, however on March 1, 2009 it was announced the Brandon would be leaving Facing New York. The following is an excerpt from the announcement made via Myspace:
I'm writing with the solemnest of news. Brandon is leaving Facing New York. We are canceling the UK tour in the wake of this. We decided that it wouldn't be right to make the journey with last minute replacement players. We want to offer the sincerest of apologies to our UK fans as well as the booking agency and other people that helped set this up.
You've all grown with us, and we want to continue that relationship. You know how you have some friends that you can not talk to for months or years at a time, and then you see them and it feels like not a minute has passed?
-Facing New York"
On April 6, 2009 the band announced that it is still working on new material and would be requesting the service of several musicians to collaborate on new material.
On August 5, 2009, Facing New York's Tumblr page hinted at bassist Brandon Canchola's return:
Well, Facing New York played together last night for the first time in 9 months. Can you believe it? It's been that long. The 3 of us haven't played together since our record release shows last October. Yes, I said 3. No, it doesn't mean anything . . ."
And in a December 29 Tumblr post, Eric casually mentioned Brandon's involvement with the band's writing process, and said of the band's future:
" . . . Reading more, appreciating the weather, and anticipating a fruitful 2010. Let's play some shows.
Eric & FNY"5
The band has cited their influences as: Do Make Say Think, The Dismemberment Plan, Yes, Fela Kuti, The Police, Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, The Beatles, Can, Gentle Giant, Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament/Funkadelic, Anticon, The Neptunes, and My Morning Jacket.
On January 5, 2014, Facing New York began tracking the second-half of their upcoming full-length album at The Weed Palace Theater in Weed, CA.,
Eric Frederic - vocals/guitar/keyboard (2004-present),
Omar Cuellar - drums (2004-present),
Brandon Canchola - bass/vocals (2004-2009, 2009-present),
Matthew Fazzi - guitar/vocals/keyboard/drums (2004-2008),
Rene Carranza - keyboard (2004-2006)