Catch this Fastball: Interview with Miles Zuniga

The band Fastball talks about current tour, new album

The rock band Fastball has been together for fourteen years and after a short break for the past few years, they are releasing a new record entitled “Little White Lies” this spring.

Currently they are on tour until Dec. 3 and will be close by at Jammin Java in Vienna, Va on Nov. 28. had a chance to hear more about the tour, the new album and the holidays with band member, Miles Zuniga. You are going to be in the D.C. area this Friday. You excited to be near the capital at this time of year?
Miles Zuniga: I’d be more excited if it was Inauguration day, but I’m still excited with what’s going on around the country. Where have you been touring?
Miles Zuniga: We just actually played in Annapolis, Md. And we’re headed to New York City. Fastball has been together for how long now?
MZ: Since 1994, for 14 years. How would you describe the other members of the band?
MZ: It’s evolved over time. We are all very different people and we all have individual aspects. Joey [Shuffield], he’s the drummer, he’s really organized. Just very responsible. I am more, less organized and more--I don’t know it’s hard to describe myself. Tony [Scalzo] is a very creative guy, he sings a lot of the songs. It’s kinda hard to describe but my voice is lower and the way our voices blend-- it maximizes what we are trying to do. How would you self-identify or label Fastball’s music?
MZ: At this point it’s one part Simon and Garfunkel, one part, let’s see, the Kinks and Beatles. I love stuff like AC/DC, always loved it, I gotta love the clash, stuff like that. There are so many great bands so much great music…all the classics too. I don’t know if that’s all our music, but we just digest it; you know, you are what you eat. Fastball has a new album coming out. When will it be released?
MZ: In March. We were just gonna put it out all by ourselves but, you know, we put down a distribution deal. But that means you have to have a release date. We were just gonna release it and be like, “Okay, now!” But long story short: March. What have you all been doing since your last 2004 album—just working on the new 2009 album?
MZ: No, we took a break. Joey went and played with different artists and Tony put out a solo record and I formed a band. So we were all busy doing other stuff. So it hasn’t really been much of a break?
MZ: No, we haven’t been sitting on our laurels. I tried to write a musical, but it turned out to be quite difficult. this new album, entitled “Little White Lies”, is there something in particular fans should be excited about for this long awaited album?
MZ: It’s killer. I think it’s our best record. I don’t know what to say, I’ll let the fans tell for themselves, but I think it’s the best record we’ve ever made. Well if you are endorsing it, that’s a good thing!
MZ: I am endorsing it; I’m not just faking it, I mean it. What should listeners expect musically from “Little White Lies”?
MZ: It will be similar [to older records], but we’ve stretched the boundaries of what we are capable of. We’ve gotten louder and quieter. We have songs that are way more introspective and then also songs that are more free-form. It’s cool. I mean, I thought we were really starting to hit our stride at the end of the record; I wanted to keep going. Tell me more about your tour.
MZ: We’ve been a three-week tour. To me, anything under 10 days isn’t a tour—it’s not long enough to lose your mind. Have you been losing your mind on this tour?
MZ: [laughing] No, I’m not because of all the mediation I’ve done over the years. I mean, it’s a crazy way to live: in and out of hotel rooms, sound check and then back in the van or whatever—there’s no time to stop and smell the roses or anything. It’s a pretty tight schedule, but technology has made it easier, though. Are you excited for the holidays and a break?
MZ: No. I mean we aren’t really having a holiday because Thanksgiving is a couple days away and we will still be on tour. And then Christmas, well, I’m like a scrooge, I guess. I just feel like it’s a holiday concocted so that people can shop. The original message is beautiful, but it feels like it’s really turned into this thing. I mean a gift can be anything. You can write someone a song; it doesn’t have to be something you’ve bought, that’s just the easiest way. And I’m really sick of the Christmas songs.There’s this weird period between Dec. 24 and 25 where that’s all you’ll hear, so you want to kill yourself--sorry. Plus in Texas it doesn’t snow, so [sings]“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,..”—Keep dreaming, it ain’t gonna happen. [laughs] Will you return to Texas after the tour ends Dec. 5?
MZ: Yes and I will be with my family then, so I guess for Christmas I’m really excited for my son. He’s three and he’ll be stoked. I guess that’s what Christmas really is about: family. What’s ahead in 2009 for Fastball?
MZ: Probably a lot more touring and the record will be coming out. Hopefully by then we’ll have a song on the radio, who knows. I just think it’s a great record; I can’t wait for people to hear it. So I’m excited that it will be out. When we play our songs live, people have really been responding. On your tour have you been mostly featuring your new album?
MZ: Recently. We mix and match because people want to hear some older stuff. We play about six or seven new songs. Do you have a favorite song or album?
MZ: I love this song “Always Never” from the new record. I love playing it, we always play it every night—it never fails to get good responses. It’s just really cool, it’s got all this breezy kind of feel to it but it also kicks into this really rock part but it also has this improvisational part in the middle that’s all wigged out. So altogether, it’s pretty cool and pretty different and it’s fun to play because every night is different. It’s never the same response. Is there anything else you’d want to let fans know?
MZ: I'm keeping a bed blog on this tour. I'm photographing and reviewing every bed I sleep in. Check it out on our Myspace page: Hope you do well on Friday and everywhere else on the tour.
MZ: Thanks, love this part of the country; it’s great. I like that everything’s so close. If you want to get to the next town, in Texas it’s three hours away. Well thanks for talking to us today.
MZ:Thank you and happy holidays.

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