Despite frequent member changes early on, the persistence and heavy stress on friendship remained throughout all of the years; Agim and Geoff being the only two original members currently in the band. Former members include Josh Witt (drums), Billy Pouch (bass), Kurt Rohel (drums), Larry Braun (vocals), and Tony Perdisatt (vocals). Jon Tummillo joined at vocals in 1998, and Arben Colaku, Agim's brother, joined at bass a year later. With a somewhat solidified lineup, Folly was able to release their first decent effort, recorded at Nada Studio in Orange County, NY. Prior efforts at recording were merely basic representations for the band to express more of a DIY attitude, with demo tapes copied over on each of their stereos and handed out at shows.
They began to get the word out, frequently playing the NJ and tri-state area, until they met up with Jesse and Alex Burton (formerly of President Lemon and currently in Paulson) who headed up their small NJ indie label New World Records. Before they recorded their first EP for New World Records, When "For My Friends" was released at the beginning of the summer of 2001, they packed their lives into a rented van to tour with their friends Face First (current members of Houston Calls), living on the road for a couple of weeks in a rented van. This was the first attempt to book their own tour, which for the most part entailed them playing for little to no one, at very odd venues, in equally as strange cities up and down the east coast. Regardless, this experience helped them gain insight to a life on the road, which they all subsequently yearned for. The acquisition of Anthony Wille behind the drums was the final step into securing a stable lineup before Folly began to journey out of their regional area and see the rest of the country. In the early summer time of 2002, Folly met up with producer Sal Vilanueva and the team at Big Blue Meenie, where they had been a year prior to mix their EP.
With the help of Sal, engineer Joe Pedulla, and Tim Gilles, Folly was able to record a three-song (unreleased) effort. The demo featured guest and backing vocals from members of Shai Hulud, who were in the studio at the time, labeling Folly as "Death Ska." A couple of tours ensued, and following an intense show presented by the Stevens Underground Music Awareness Committee (SUMAC) at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ with Converge, The Survivors, and A Life Once Lost, the band was approached by Fred Feldman, owner of Triple Crown Records. Insanity Later was recorded in late 2003 at Big Blue Meenie under the production of Sal Villanueva (Taking Back Sunday, Thursday) released on April 6, 2004. The album detailed the transition from Folly's ska-pop-punk-influenced style to integrating a more hardcore-metal approach. The lyrics dealt with issues such as institutionalized education (Discussion is for the Pigs) and punk scene unification (Please Don't Shoot the Piano Player...) to name a couple.
The release of the album proved to be a metaphor for the band's acceptance, most people simply didn't get it or understand it, while others seemed to appreciate and proudly endorse it. Insanity Later features guest vocals from Joey Southside of The Banner, Eric Gunderson of Killed By Memories, and Erin Farley. The album includes a montage music video for the unreleased song "Broken," edited by Robbie Tassaro. The band's second full length, 'Resist Convenience', was released on March 10, 2006. This follow-up featured the further encorporation of metal and hardcore, while still embracing elements of ska, indie rock, and melodic punk.
Resist Convenience dealt with issues such as homogenization of culture (Brooks Was Here), posturing and "underground fashion" (Bonfire of the Manatees), and drug addiction (We Still Believe...) to name a few. Once again guided by Sal Villanueva and recorded and mixed at Big Blue Meenie, Resist Convenience features guest vocals from Tyler Guida of My Bitter End, Logan Laflotte of Paulson, and Eric Gunderson. Folly has since reached 48 states, touring with such bands as Senses Fail, Moneen, The Beautiful Mistake, Paulson, We're All Broken, My Bitter End, Anterrabae, The Banner, Underminded, One Dead Three Wounded, The Break, Look What I Did, Drop Dead Gorgeous, The Human Abstract, The Forecast, The Static Age, and more... They have also shared the stage with such acts as Converge, Dillinger Escape Plan, Stretch Arm Strong, Catch 22, Big D and The Kids Table, Dragonforce, With Honor, and countless others. They have been part of such festivals as Hellfest (NJ, 2004), Skate and Surf Fest (NJ, 2003-2005), New England Hardcore and Metal Fest (MA, 2005-2006), and Saints and Sinners Fest (NJ, 2006). Their last CD was released without any ties to the music industry.
The seven song EP was a self released digital EP simply titled "These are the Names of the Places We Broke Down." The titles of the songs are from towns Folly has broken down in over the years. Interesting the last song, 'Sussex, New Jersey', their home town, is a combination of 'The Morning Song' and 'Please Don't Shoot the Piano Player', played entirely on piano. CD's can be purchased on their myspace page. The EP is also free on http://www.purevolume.com/folly Folly announced their departure with the following statement on their myspace page (myspace.com/follycore): After a little more than a decade, we’ve decided to formally resign from the music industry. Whereas obviously we would like to have an impossibly absurd reason or scenario causing the end of this run, say “Anthony moving to Lebanon to competitively knit table cloths” or “Arben pursuing his lust for bartering lion pelts and hyena hides…” We simply just want to move on with our lives for a variety of personal reasons.
It’s supposedly a very cliché reason for a band to break up, to go these ‘separate ways.’ Yet, it is as definitive and undesigning as the message in said Journey song: Someday love will find us, break these chains that bind us! Sadly, this band is no longer our raison d'être. We have other avenues to venture… other pages to turn. Luckily, we’re all on the same page with this, and it has become a completely mutual decision to break these chains. It’s also mutually intricate for us to imagine our lives without Folly. It’s safe to say that this band has created a difficult dichotomy from which pulls us apart; there’s the alter-ego us and the self-actualized us.
Both exist interdependently and cohabitate when needed, and yet they search for their own identity apart from one another. The inevitability of conclusion is tangible now, but it hadn’t been for so long. We’ve been playing together since high school, developing socially and spiritually throughout our adolescence into young adult-hood with the band as a consistent uniting factor. We created self through each other’s actions, emotions, and knowledge.
In essence, Folly is as much a part of us as we are a part of it. Folly was a hobby turned lifestyle, almost turned career. The fact that we always treated this hobby with so much respect would prove to combat the desperate lifestyle enveloping it. Hitting the road and experiencing this country was always the most profoundly informative and self-edifying attraction, as it was the most intricate and time-consuming obligation of our lives. We simply grew tired of missing out on the growth of our family, our friends… the overall state of “home.” For a while there, home was wherever we rested our drunk bodies, whether crowded Econoline, Interstate highway, Wal-Mart parking lot, studio couch, or basement floor.
There was something so comfortable and secure about being dirty rock-and-roll dudes without a worry in the world other than showing up to the venue and playing, meeting new friends and shooting the shit. Transient paths were both exciting and brief; we attempted to understand and absorb the world around us, all the while racing too quickly through it. This is not meant to insinuate that we regret touring; in fact we’ll most likely regret not touring more often. However, the demands and time needed to devote to this project are simply no longer applicable to our lives.
Touring is a huge sacrifice; although it remains unmatched in spirit and vibrancy, it is one that we’re no longer willing to make. We’ve had some amazing people help us throughout our journey, none of which we need to personally mention. “You know who you are.” From fan and family to band to studio engineer and label folk, everyone lent a helping hand for the greater good of the band. Folly was an interesting community of people, an underdog clan of weak influence and yet unrelenting force! There was always something so charitable and original about the music and the message; it seemed to be tough for someone to understand just why we did what we did… But for those who did… who GOT us, you understood that we just simply didn’t give a shit about anything besides having a good time. For those of you who got the chance to know us sympathize that we are the most modest of fools.
When kids picked up our album, screamed along to the songs, then offered a place for us to crash for the night, we were always so overwhelmed and astounded. We never understood the generosity. We just simply knew it existed, and therefore we cared nothing more but than to return the favor somehow. No amount of money or fame can compete with the abundance of great memories, friends, and life-lessons we’ve endured with such kind-hearted kin.
Zang! In addition to the greatest community of fans any band could hope for, it’s also important we mention the impact several bands had on our upbringing. Without the inspiration and encouragement of the bands we toured with, we would be a mere shell of the act we became. It is quite easy to identify the way certain bands rubbed off on us, simply by listening to our songs. The crossroads of certain styles weigh heavily on the influence of the bands we spent nearly-every waking hour with, for weeks… months at a time.
We’re forever grateful for the opportunity to share the stage and road with bands such as Paulson, Anterrabae, We’re All Broken, Endicott, One Dead Three Wounded, Look What I Did, The Banner, My Bitter End, Chiodos, The Human Abstract, Senses Fail, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Moneen, The Break, and Underminded to name a few. We were eagerly impressionable in the company of these fellow road brothers/warriors, and we shall carry these bonds with us no matter where we go. We would like to think that our financial woes had no bearing on the decision to hang up our proverbial gloves, but we’d be foolish to recant the claim. After all, folly is defined as “a costly undertaking having an absurd and ruinous outcome.” How ironic our likeness has become considering the financial traditions (frustrations) we’ve faced over the years! Any amount of money we made went to either buying snacks or fixing our van to get to the next show. It’s fair to say that we never did this for the almighty glamorous dollar, although we played to make money to settle our debts with merchandise companies and our record label! The ultimate paradox, huh? Fuck.
It’s a bitter dollar-starved bitch, the music biz is. I suppose this is something we won’t miss. We were never cut out for the cut-throat. The general state of music scene big-business was always so contradictory to our mission.
We don’t mean to sound like the bitter Muppets on the balcony here, but as social observers of the greater-good and bad, these changes are important to note. I think Tim of 1D3W said it best: “If this is punk rock, we’re fucked.” The music scene has changed a considerable amount since Folly’s conception and emergence. We’ve seen styles and fashions coerce message and meaning. We watched the rise and decline of certain musical genres and themes.
We’ve even experienced the convergence of media giving way to eased, rapid forms of communication. Some bands will never know how hard and yet rewarding it was to book a tour before email and myspace! Does anyone remember ‘calling cards?’ Fucking shit, man! Dually noted, as so many things have changed, so much has remained the same. The incessant need for an outlet in which to artistically release angst has remained. The underground community from which punk music genres flourish still stands strong, even in the ‘Big Brother’ face of major label/mainstream influence.
Kids are still making flyers, promoting shows, buying shirts, helping touring bands out, shelling out their allowance to drive hundreds of miles to a show… Regardless of method, it’s still fucking alive and well! We hope that in the wake of our absence, other bands take the reigns [sic] and do it for the right reasons. It’s surreal to experience the cyclical nature of this band; as our tenure wanes, we slowly revert back to the beginning. We now play solely to unite our friends, to have an arena of bro-down force smash… a general reason to hang out. There’s no desperation to make money or impress anyone, nor is there any motivation to play tighter and get “bigger.” There’s simply no need anymore to gain notoriety through this namesake. Any show we’ve booked within the last year was to release the angst of our otherwise boring social existence.
That is exactly why we started playing music to begin with, and for this very reason we’ve humbly arrived full-circle. We are living in our very own Lion King music video for “The Circle of Life.” So what’s next? We’ll be planning some “final shows” in due time, most likely in the NJ-NY-CT region abound. Ideally we wanted to get out to all the other states we love, (Florida, Texas, California, etc…) but it doesn’t seem likely we’ll do so. Also, to further extend going out the same way we came in, we decided to record some new tracks (currently doing so) and make them all available online.
It’s the closest thing we could think of that resembled copying demo tapes and handing them out in the late 90’s. High speed dubbing ruled! Each song on the finale is named after a town we broke down in, written in bitter contempt and yet grateful resolution in leaving something we love so much. It’s somewhat of a metaphorical “concept album” that speaks for the culmination of the holistic Folly experience, from start to finish- old and new. It's our requiem; the eulogy of our death.
Consider this perhaps as the sequel to the band and the prequel to the rest of our lives. We’ll keep you posted soon about the last shows and hott lickz/sick chopz trax… While walking away from this, we crave no desire to carve a niche in the history of punk music. We are completely satisfied with what we achieved within our community of friends, and we’ll move on with the satisfaction that we spent the last decade of our lives creating and inspiring each other. Our music in many ways speaks for us best.
It may be the only way that speaks for us. Alike the rings on a tree stump, our songs are chapters of our lives. They capture more accurately the emotions and ideas we shared than any other element of interpersonal communication we know of. Our songs best display the times we took a heavy blow, the times we held our heads up high… These relatively timeless stories shall remain the resource to the lineage of our spirit well beyond our years. In the end, as it was in the beginning…This was all for our friends. Love always, Agim, Anthony, Arben, Geoff, and Jon In April 2008, 3 sold out shows were played to celebrate the life and times of Folly with friends, family, and fans.
The shows took place on April 11 at the Wallingford American Legion in Wallingford CT, April 12 at the School Of Rock in Hackensack NJ, and April 13 at the Mainstage in Pompton Lakes NJ. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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