At Home with Chris Farren

At Home with Chris Farren

In today’s edition of I’d Like to Tell You About My Friends, I’d like to tell you about my friend Christopher “Chris” Farren. Perhaps you know Chris from his past work in the band Fake Problems or his current work in the Jeff Rosenstock buddy project Antarctigo Vespucci. Or maybe you know him from the internet, where he has carved out his own little universe around himself. Or maybe you don’t know him at all.

I’m quite convinced that, were Chris not a musician, he could pull down six figures at one of those lifestyle marketing agencies that tells people they need to strategize outside the box or whatever. He is innately good at marketing himself, partly because his brain works quickly and creatively but also because he thinks about his career and his “brand” a lot.

For the last few months, Chris and I have been getting lunch and he’s been telling me about his ideas for his next album, Born Hot. He told me about his idea for a music video in which he owns an internet famous cat and then one day he sent me a cut of it and it was exactly as I’d imagined. He told me about hats he wanted to make that depict the PornHub logo replaced with the words BornHot, and then he made them exactly as described. Then one day, without warning, I was on my way to a funeral and he texted me a photo a billboard over Sunset Blvd. depicting a shirtless drawing of himself under a hotline number and I almost died myself. The Born Hotline number is still operational and I suggest you call it rather than have me try to explain it to you.

I recently visited Chris at his palatial Los Angeles estate and, since I think something gets lost via text with Chris (and because my newsletter platform has a built-in audio function and transcribing sucks), I figured I might as well just post the audio. (A newsletter that is also a podcast?! Now I’ve heard everything. Subscribe!) So, above is a casual chat with Chris Farren in which we talked about:

  • His billboard

  • Born Hot (both the album and the idea of being born hot)

  • The worst gig he’s ever played (Spoiler it was this one.)

  • His beautiful ART

  • Reluctant self-promotion

  • His wiiiiiife

  • The fine line between marketing and art

  • And more!

I believe the audio is also available wherever you listen to your podcasts. Enjoy. (All photos are by me. Do not use them without permission or frankly Chris will kick your little ass.)

A podcast companion to Dan Ozzi's REPLY ALT.