Rob Farnham, the son of John Farnham, has signed a deal with Sony Music for his band Rival Fire, with a debut album out this Friday.
“I learned very quickly not to use my last name to open doors,” Rob told SMH. “One of the things I pride myself on is not doing that. We wouldn’t have signed to Sony had that been the case … I wouldn’t be able to look in the mirror if I knew that was the reason why.”
Of course, people will naturally assume this is the case, until Farnham carves out his own career – which I’m fairly confident he will.
A name can only take you so far, and Rival Fires have been playing together for four years, which suggests they have put the work in. Their sound sits in that Stone Sour/Birds of Tokyo realm: commercial-rock that the likes of Triple M should have no problems slotting onto their playlist – possibly alongside a John ’90s classic as a “Farnesy Double Dose”, although this is merely a suggested name and concept. I’ll let Triple M programmers organise the details.
As a sidenote, I recall Rob Farnham’s teenage band Nana Zhami (whose late ’90s web presence is thankfully preserved in internet amber here) performing at the televised John Farnham 50th Birthday concert, where they tore through a grunge version of John’s ‘Infatuation’.
This was 18 years ago, and if he was going to cash in on his father’s name, that would have been the time: he had a grunge three-piece, dyed Ella Hooper dreads, and more than a little Daniel Johns about him.