It’s impressive for a band to stay together for more than 20 years. It’s even more impressive to keep the same lineup for that duration.
Remarkably, that is exactly what Fastball has done.
The Austin band saw its biggest success, three years after forming, in 1998.
Fastball’s second album, “All the Pain Money Can Buy,” stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for a year, and one of the album’s singles, “The Way,” shot up to the number five spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Just under two decades later, the Grammy-nominated rock trio has released its sixth studio album, “Step Into Light,” with the help of fans backing the album on PledgeMusic.com. The project raised more than double its financial goal.
Via email, Miles Zuniga, singer and guitarist, shared information about the new record, as well as looked back.
Ben Province: It was 2009 when the last Fastball LP was released. When did the band decide to release a follow-up and begin writing and recording the latest, "Step Into Light"?
Miles Zuniga: We did a tour in 2013. That went pretty well, so we decided to start thinking about doing an album.
BP: Maybe the best thing you can say about Fastball is that the band has stayed in its original three-member form for 20-plus years. What's the secret to having that kind of longevity together as bandmates?
MZ: Friendship is a big one. The fact that we all live in the same town is another.
Mostly, it's just that bands are unique little creatures. You lose one guy, the band changes forever. We've been lucky that everyone is still here.
BP: Did crowdfunding this album change your approach at all when crafting the record, as compared to taking the traditional approach?
MZ: The record was already recorded, so the crowdfunding didn't factor in. It wouldn't have, anyways. We've always made records on our terms, and we try not to let external factors affect what we're laying down.
BP: And I can't help but notice the presence of bunny on the album's art work and your publicity photo. What's the story behind that?
Photo by Sandra Dahdah (Pictured from left to right: Joey Shuffield, MIles Zuniga and Tony Scalzo)
MZ: Tony [Scalzo] found that image. The bunny looks like he had a rough night. He's also better looking than anyone in the band.
BP: It's been nearly two decades since "All the Pain Money Can Buy" was released. Its singles still get a good amount of airplay. I'd love to know what the secret is for creating something that holds up as well as that album has.
MZ: We have no idea. If we did, we'd have done it a lot more.
BP: Lastly, you're playing Off Broadway in St. Louis on July 26. What do you like best about coming to the city?
MZ: I love hitting the record stores and seeing what I can find.
The band's latest album, "Step Into Light," is available now, and features the single, "I Will Never Let You Down."
Tickets to Fastball's upcoming St. Louis concert are available through ETix.