Q&A: Further Seems Forever Drummer Talks Reunion, Hosts Cancer Benefit Friday

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In August, Pompano Beach emo group Further Seems Forever confirmed reports of a reunion featuring its original lineup -- including former (and well-known) lead singer Chris Carrabba. So far, the band is set to perform a one-off at Belgium punk and hardcore festival Groezrock Festival in April 2011.

Meanwhile, Further Seems Forever founding member Steve Kleisath, who has pounded the skins for the quintet since its inception in 1998, has lately been touring with Brooklyn-based David Stone's digitally inspired project, Comanche. Kleisath is organizing a cancer benefit show with Comanche and three other bands at the elusive, speakeasy-like 1921 this Friday, November 5. New Times caught up with the talented percussionist to learn a little more about his benefit show -- and attempt to finagle more details about the anticipated Further Seems Forever reunion.

New Times: David Stone is based in Brooklyn, and you live in Fort Lauderdale -- how did you two end up hooking up?

Steve Kleisath: He messaged me a while back through a social networking site. He was a fan of Further Seems Forever and wanted me to take a listen to his music.

So you must have really been taken with his material to now be collaborating with him and all?

Yeah, I took a listen and was blown away. It was unique, sort of out-of-the-box, but his voice had a great pop sensibility that I liked.

How would you describe the Comanche sound to somebody who has never heard it?

That's a hard one, but I'd say, its something like Björk meets R&B.

Listening to Comanche's I Heard a Bang EP on Bandcamp, it seems like his work is extremely sequenced and digital. How does your live drum playing factor into that equation?

Sonically, it's rib-crushing. He has all these synthesizers and keyboards going, and I throw in the live percussion. The sequenced-meeting-live-drums thing somehow all works out.

Was there a main impetus for this benefit concert?

I just know so many people who have had someone in their life deal with cancer at some point, and I have been impressed with the work Prevent Cancer Foundation does.

Describe what Prevent Cancer Foundation does.

It is a foundation dedicated to research, education, and outreach regarding different types of cancer.

Ok, since announcing that the original lineup for Further Seems Forever would be getting back together for a gig in Belgium, further details have been very sparse. Is there going to be a new recording to coincide with the gig?

I can't comment on that, but there is nothing as of right now.

Surely, you will have some new material to play for your gig in April, right?

Not really. Next year is the ten-year anniversary of The Moon Is Down, so it will be sort of a reunion tour of that album. That's going to be the focus.

Will there be any more gigs?

Warm-up shows, likely, especially locally. We will definitely be alerting people when the time comes.

Why reunite now?

We are all in a point where we missed the group, and since Chris [Carrabba] moved back down here from New York two years ago, we all said "Why not?" We are all very close, and it's more like a hangout thing. We get together and rehearse when everybody's schedule will allow.

Seems like the band is in the driver's seat.

Yeah, no management breathing down our necks, forcing us to go on tour or record. We are really enjoying working at our own pace.

How long has it been since you have played songs off Moon Is Down?

I still played Moon Is Down songs up until the tail end of FSF in 2006. That was probably last time.

Like riding a bike, though?

Exactly; only a little harder to put the cards in the spokes.

As it turned out, you were the only one who hung around with the band until it hung it up in 2006.

Yes, on the last couple of tours, I was the only original member that was still left. It felt more like a cover band than the actual band, so we called it quits that year.

Fight Cancer! With Comanche, the Still Voice, What Glorious Things, and Jump Back. 8:30 p.m. Friday, November 5, at Club 1921, 1921 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $5. For directions, click here.


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