Words by Grant Wentzel
Photos by Sonja O’Steen
Throw twin brothers together in a rock band, and you’ve got a movie-ready setup for total disaster, or in the case of Watertown rockers Full Force Face First, the recipe for musical magic.
“We obviously have our moments, but we’re brothers, you know what I mean?” jokes Jordan Amdahl, vocalist and bass player, “but we just gel so well together. We’re 30 but we’ve been playing together in a band since we were 14 years old. It just makes sense when we’re playing together. We feel each other, and it feels good.”
Jordan and his brother Jared started singing together when they were little kids, just goofing along whenever their folks tuned in to CMT on the TV.
In their 20s, they started The Odd Life, a melodic punk-pop band that got some traction around the region, opening for The Spill Canvas back in the day.
After that project wrapped up, Jordan began working on new tunes with his drummer buddy Luke Abbott-Wilson, but soon his brother was back in the band. With the addition of their old friend Jason Keltgen on guitar, the new line up was complete.
With new six-stringers in the band, Jordan was able to switch back to bass. “I’m a bass player at heart, 100%,” he says. “Once my brother came in, I was like yeah, I should probably stick to bass. That’s my comfort zone.”
All they needed was a name. At a gas station one day with his family, his little daughter “just bolted at her mom, smacked right into her. I said ‘Wow! Full force! Head first!’ and it stuck with me so I wrote it down in my notebook.”
At first Jordan had the totally random thought to call the band The Jack Dawsons, after Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Titanic. “But when Full Force Face First came into my head I thought, yeah, that makes a lot more sense,” he laughs.
Without much of a scene in Watertown, the guys have focused on recording and releasing singles as the best strategy to get their music out, road-tripping to play places like Sioux Falls a few times a year.
They recorded three singles at All Poetic Audio studio with audio engineer Jeremy Schaeffer who also leads the band Earth Groans. They’ve been releasing the tunes on Spotify and all the streaming services once a month.
They’ll be back at All Poetic Audio in June to record three more. “I love Jeremy, he’s one of our favorite people, he’s a good dude. He’s very welcoming in the studio, such a good environment there,” Jordan says.
The new songs will drop once-a-month through the end of the summer. Having that constant drip of new music “keeps people coming back, builds up some consistency and gives people a reason to come back and check out our stuff.”
Your next chance to catch Full Force Face First’s top-shelf emo-laden punk-pop will be at Four Winds Music and Art Fest on July 29 at Icon Lounge in Sioux Falls. Stick around for Sunday’s show too, which will feature a reunion of The Odd Life line-up.
Get your ears warmed up by checking out Spotify and streaming their latest singles like “Stuck In My Head” and “Tonight.” Also be sure to check out their YouTube page for super-fun videos from their last round of tunes, including the epic “Good Vibes in Bad Times.”