Wizbe/ Stan Farrell Electronic Music Press Kit
This press kit includes:
- Wizbe Bio
- Questions & Answers
Wizbe is the stage name for Stan Farrell who is based in Manchester, Maine. The band was founded in 2000 while Stan Farrell was in college. Starting in 2020, Stan Farrell has also started releasing music under his name, Stan Farrell, as well as continuing with Wizbe and another band called With Yourself.
Wizbe has released four albums since 2018 plus a multitude of singles. His style is rock, indie rock, and folk.
Formation and Early Years
Stan Farrell was born and raised in Maine and New Hampshire. He started playing guitar when he was in college while pursuing his Mechanical Engineering degree (B.S.) and a Masters of Science in Material Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (same school as J. Geils).
Wizbe’s first public release was 19 years after finishing college.
The name, Wizbe, was based upon a story written by Farrell in his elementary school years. The story was about a worm who could speak, worked at a restaurant, and was an inventor.
Stan Farrell: Drums, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar, Keyboard, and other various instruments
All music is independently released. Wizbe’s first album released to the public was Cows Growing Ambient Flypower in 2018. Followed by Music in the Mist in late 2018, You’re Swell in 2020, and Do You Dare? in 2021. In 2020, Wizbe also released 4 singles plus 4 songs under the band name With Yourself. In 2021 Wizbe released another 10 singles, plus 8 songs under With Yourself, and 6 songs under Stan Farrell.
- Do You Dare? Rock – on 6 Nov 2020
- You’re Swell Rock- on 6 Dec 2019
- Music in the Mist Rock – on 30 Oct 2018
- Cows Growing Ambient Flypower Rock – on 1 Jan 2018
- All out of Beer, Covid Cry Rock – on 6 Oct 2020
- Better with You on 29 Jan 2020
- Got My Guitar Rock – on 5 Jun 2020
- If You Dare Released by Eddie Farr Music on 1 Feb 2021
- Montana Nights Released by Stan Farrell Music on 30 Jun 2021
- Can I Marry You? Released by Stan Farrell Music on 15 Nov 2021
- Hey – Released by Stan Farrell Music on 5 Jun 2021
- Don’t Be Surprised If I Love You – Released by Stan Farrell Music on 26 Oct 2021
- Make Music – Released by Stan Farrell Music on 3 Sep 2021
- Crazy – Released by Stan Farrell Music on 31 Aug 2021
- Dream Killer – Released by Stan Farrell Music on 5 May 2021
- One Step – Released by Stan Farrell Music on 14 Apr 2021
- Today Is the Only Day I Understand – Released by Stan Farrell Music on 15 Sep 2021
- It’s Okay to Rock with Him – Released by Stan Farrell Music on 1 Jan 2022
Stan Farrell was born in Maine in 1973 and spent much of his childhood in Vassalboro Maine. From 1978 to 1982 his family moved to the University of New Hampshire Campus while his father, Robert, was completing his graduate work. It was in New Hampshire during his 2nd and 3rd grades that Stan wrote his stories about Wizbe the Worm. Wizbe is likely taking from the nickname of the University of New Hampshire’s school of business at the time (Whittemore School of Business and Economics or WSBE).
He attended Winslow High School (Winslow, Maine), graduating in 1991, and college for a bachelors of arts (1995) and a masters of science (1999) from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He played multiple sports including football, wrestling, and track while in college.
After obtaining his MS in material science, Stan left the engineering world to open a cafe in Farmington Maine. From 1997 until 2000, he ran a small 30 seat coffee shop/cafe, called Wizbe Cafe. The restaurant is still in operation, called Java Joe’s Corner Cafe.
After selling the cafe, Stan Farrell moved back into engineering with a job in Biddeford Maine. He married Helene Farrar in 2002.
In 2003, he moved to another engineering position in Monmouth, Maine and moved to Manchester, Maine.
In 2006, his daughter was born.
In 2009, he left his job in research and development in textiles, and opened up his own business, Wizbe Innovations and then Wizbe Industries Inc. He performed research and development and product development, and sold art supply materials under ComposiMold.
Since 2000, Stan Farrell has been recording music. His first release to the public wasn’t until 2018. Earlier recordings were shared with family and friends. His first outside the house performance occurred in Brunswick in 2019. This was followed by multiple performances in Belfast, Hallowell, and Gardiner, Maine.
|Birth name||Stan Edward Farrell|
|Born||June 5, 1973, Maine, U.S.A|
|Occupation(s)||Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter, Record producer, Material Scientist, Business owner, Cafe owner|
|Instruments||Guitar, Vocals, Drums, Bass Guitar|
|Associated acts||Wizbe, Stan Farrell, With Yourself|
Tidbits on Stan:
· Is a pilot with approximately 200 hours of flight time. He currently flies a powered paraglider.
· Has s favorite food: crepes. Typically with Maine maple syrup
· If a favorite color is needed, it would be blue. But green is good too.
· Is married to Helene Farrar.
· Has a daughter.
· Has 1 dog, 1 cat
· Pastimes include: hiking, biking, listening to local music, playing music with friends, and is part of a beer brewery co-op.
· Owned a café called Wizbe Cafe.
· Has two patents for ballistic protection headgear and a vent control for parachute fabrics.
Press Questions & Answers
What Does Your Band Name Mean? …
Wizbe is from a story I wrote in 4th grade about Wizbe the Worm. He was a scientist and inventor. I tried to call my dog Wizbe, my daughter Wizbe (Wizbette?), and I have named my businesses Wizbe Innovations and Wizbe Industries.
Who Are Your Biggest Influences?
My biggest influences depend on the day. The great thing about music is that every song is relatively short so each song can have a different influence. So I can make one song under the influence of the Beatles and my next song influenced by the Violent Femmes. I can be Tom Petty for 3 minutes and then Barry Manilow. Even within songs, I may mash a Johnny Cash with a Bob Dylan or steal a chord progression from the Grateful Dead and sing Aerosmith on top of that. It’s really fluid. And it all comes down to being open and listening to as much music as possible.
How Did You Start Your band?
I’ve had Wizbe since my college days. I put out albums for myself for years. I used tape decks, and then tiny little 4 tracks. Moved to a 4 track and then 10 years later, a 16 track. Wizbe has come out as a fun way to make my music style…fun, entertaining, music. The whole process has really helped me figure out who I am as a musician and start answering the why questions.
What’s Your Songwriting Process? …
The songwriting process is evolving. It varies and very few songs are written the same way. Recently, it’s been starting with song titles, but not always. Sometimes the song will start as a song about “closing time”, but end up with a different title. This always annoys me because I save my written songs on my computer with the title of the song, but my working title and the final title may change, so then I can’t find the song when I look back to find it. Ok, that’s not that hard to do, but I suffer so… Suffering is important as a musician right?
Who Do You Sound Like? How would you describe your musical style?
I’ve been told that when I’m live it’s a lot like the Ramones or the Violent Femmes, maybe talking heads, but I think what they are saying is that I can have a chunky first beat that I like. I used to try to move towards these certain types of music, but I could never get there. Once I spent a lot of time trying to make a cover of Tom Petty’s Free Falling. I sounded like a really bad version of Tom Petty. I couldn’t pull it off, so it was a good moment for me to see that I make a better me than I do a Tom Petty or Barry Manilow. If I could sing better, I’d go more towards Queen music. If I could do better metaphors I’d move towards Bob Dylan. So I’m me. Isn’t that what we all want to be?
What first got you into music?
Playing music was with me forever. And that’s the case with everybody. Music is the concept that you are aware of the universe around you. At first I was told that I was terrible. Who the duck tells anyone that!? It happens. I bet it even happens when you’re Joe Strummer. But I have to make music. I do have to make. I still can’t figure out why. I don’t have any idea why I have to make music. I can make other stuff for a while. I was a business guy for some time, still am. I’m an engineer. A dad. Music is what I make when I’m sitting at an airport or bus terminal. It’s what I do that keeps me up at night. It drives me crazy. I’m laying in bed and some lyrics or a melody pops up. It’s there until I write it down. It took a long time before I talked to myself and said that I spend a lot of time on this music stuff. Why not learn to be better at it? So I started learning for real. And that’s when my music started to improve. And that’s when I started sharing with the world. Music was a way to do that. I strummed. I hummed. It wasn’t until years had gone by that I said to myself. Let’s do this for real.
Who inspired you to make music?
Over the years, inspiration has come from lots of different places. My brother and I played music together quite a bit over the years. I try to make his heavy metal but mine just comes out like a wasp in a hail storm. I had a great roommate in school, Mark, that inspired me to pick up the guitar. There’s also inspiring music from everyone around me. Lately, it’s been a group of guys getting together and talking about music and music making. But it’s worth discussing the opposite end. There’s also quite a bit being inspired to not make music. Every day there’s something somewhere telling you that you should do something else, but I can’t not make music. It’s going to happen no matter what. So I might as well make it better and the best I can. That’s what I’m hoping for and working to do. I’m inspired to make something that’s better than me.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
So my music is happy, and I go for it. I’m usually pretty blunt in my songs. And hopefully a truth that comes out in the lyrics. I like to look at things a little differently (at least through my eyes) and connect things that should together. The melodies are typically relatively simple. I usually don’t like complex music. Sometimes a song starts off complex and by the time I get a version I like it’s back to the core. I’m looking for music that hops. It doesn’t have to pop, but it has to have charisma.
Who are you inspired by?
Bob. I know so many Bobs and they are all inspiring. Bob, my dad, has been such an inspiration in terms of living his life his way, using his brains for decision making, and being open to talk about different ideas. Bob Colwell is one of the best musicians and performers I have ever seen and he’s happily making a living as a musician for his entire life. There’s Bob D. that I talk about music writing with…and keeps telling me why George Harrison is the greatest of the Beatles. And for famous Bob’s, there’s Dylan.
What is your creative process like?
I play music a lot. I play, but I wish I practiced more. Creativity is in the way we connect things together. Combining a hot sauce with a protein bar. And by keeping your mind open you can make these connections. So my process is to start with a question, a song title, an idea. A lot of the time I’ll be trying to practice something –like singing or a guitar chop and it turns into an idea. I’m learning to make changes though. It’s so hard to let a song sit. I go through so many versions that sometimes I end up with several different songs from the same start. I don’t have any problem coming up with ideas. I do have a problem stopping. I could make music all day long. Sometimes I do.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with as many people as possible who say yes. And listen and adjust. The idea of collaboration to me is to move past what one person can do. So many people have pre-conceived ideas in their heads. So if they already have the idea, then they don’t need to collaborate, they should just do it on their own. I love it when people actually give feedback. It’s surprisingly rare for people to give real feedback.
Do you collaborate with others? What is that process?
Yes, and I would love to do more collaborations. I understand the concept of collaborations, but it’s still very challenging. And scary. That’s why it’s so great to do.
Do you prefer to write alone or collaborate with others?
I want to write with others! But there seems to be a barrier. People are afraid to commit or afraid to feel dumb or are unsure how to do it. There also seems to be a fear that someone might share a good song and then they might lose it or something. I dunno
What was the subject of your first song?
I don’t remember songs from my childhood. I’m sure I used to write them, but I doubt I ever put them to music because for 30 years of my life I heard nothing but “don’t quit your day job”. So I didn’t put a lot of emphasis on song writing and playing. Although throughout that time I did what I considered at the time to be a type of poetry. I remember writing hundreds of different little diddies or Dr. Suess-type poems to a girl in college. She liked them and encouraged me, so I did it just for fun. And while talking thermodynamics, I also took a poetry class and made the poem that I still love today. “How do I love you, let’s not waste our time, it’s the placement of your hands, below my belt that’s asking the questions.”
The first song that I still play is “Got My Guitar”. It’s slowly adapted over the years, but it’s basically the same song.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Locally, I’d love to open for the Boneheads, that would be awesome. Bigger bands like Jimmy Eats World, They Might Be Giants, would be cool. Bruce Springsteen, Queen, Jimmy Hendrix, Beatles. I’d take any of them.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Hmm one message. Do something. Turn off your television, computer, and phone. Turn off the news and try to make news. We have the most incredible world right now. Although there are a lot of frustrating things going on, really, it’s freaking amazing and getting more amazing. Take advantage of this new reality. People are more open, more talented, more inspiring. I’m not saying we’re there yet, but we Are moving in the right direction overall.
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
Are you asking whether I breathe? Yes, I sing, create, and make songs in the shower. I write songs in the shower…thus this in the shower song. The shower is the ultimate singing chamber. I sing everything from the classics to whatever song my daughter was trying to teach me. I work on my vocals. I tap out drum beats. I should videotape my showers and use those as my videos.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
Since I’m not Ed Sheeran, I do have a real job. I’m an engineer by degree and mentality and I have my own business. I enjoy product development. We make and sell art supply materials. It’s a super flexible job that has become a great creative release for making things. Every day I get to make or think about making something new. It’s super awesome. It’s a nice lifestyle business that lets us enjoy life and do something that is worthwhile. Like music, my job is a cool little extension of me.
Where have you performed?
I’ve performed very little. I’d like to perform more. As my repertoire improves, I’ll play more. I’ve played at Frosty Bottom Brewery a couple years now, thanks to it being my friend;s brewery. I’ve played in a couple churches and a couple bars. I should have something at Carnegie Hall in 2024. Stay tuned for that.
What is your favorite song to perform?
Coffee shop (by Wizbe) is my favorite right now. I like trying to make the ending fun. I like that it makes people laugh too.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
That’s hard to answer. I admire them because they are famous. I admire the ones who found a way to push the boundaries of their art. Of course that is so easy to say…push the boundaries of the art. So it pushes the boundaries without going over the edge. David Bowie comes to mind. He didn’t really push the musical envelope as much as he pushed the marketing envelope. How about David Byrne? He’s awesome, smart, and creative.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Just start. This was an entrepreneurial advice thing. Make something and then you can fix it. Good enough gets you in the game and then you can make it better. You can’t think through something without doing it.
What’s next for you?
Make music. I’d like to work on some song collaborations, so anyone interested, give me a shout. I will make more music, and I also want to start moving into videos with the music, but that’s going to be a challenge for me.
What drew you to the music?
There’s a pull when you’re making a song to always want to go one more step. First you start with a neat little lyric or an interesting melody, and then you start strumming a guitar, and then you add another line and a rhyme jumps out. It’s funny to even call music an industry. Financially, it is so tiny compared to other parts of our economy, even though it touches every single person every day. Boeing even while air travel has dropped and they had airplanes crash, has made as much money as the entire music sales. And it’s by following the money that you know where people’s interests really are.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
No. In fact, if you can’t understand my music I’m not doing what I want. If I have a message or a meaning and I’m not clear about it, then that’s my mistake. Hidden messages in paintings may make sense because you want people to dig deeper into the art, and maybe I should do that with the melody or maybe if you listen to my recording backwards I have a secret message to the faithful that I don’t want everyone to hear.
What instruments do you play and what led you to them?
I play any instrument that will help me make the song better. There is always a better musician, so my focus is on understanding how it goes together and what makes the song better. My songs are typically acoustic guitar based, but that’s mostly because it can hold a tune on it’s own. Electric guitar is better when combined with other instruments. And bass sounds just make any song better.
What motivates you to write a song?
Songs are a part of my every day. It starts with a dream or maybe a word that jumps out at me…like this morning I heard “golden path”…so I start thinking about that more, and soon it’s a melody, and maybe some more lyrics. What does the golden path mean? Is it a path through life? Is it a path that brings me to the one I love? Maybe it’s a song about how I’ve been on a golden path or every path is golden and everyone is a treasure? Maybe it’s just a path that’s glowing in the sunlight?
How many songs do you guess you’ve written?
I’ve got around 300 songs. I’ve got about 80 recorded and available to others, and I can sing around 50 or so of my own. I keep on working on more.
Do you find writer’s block to be a problem?
I feel like the idea of having writer’s block is more of an issue than actually having writer’s block. I normally write a song or start a song or mutter some song lyrics every day. Once after I took this songwriting course where they talked about making it move and flow and grow and having “feelings”, I became very self-conscious about songwriting for about two weeks for those two weeks I didn’t write as much. Then I realized that they were full of shit and now I can write again. If you want to write someone else’s song, use their songwriting “formula ”. If you want to write your song, do that.
Has Maine been an influence on your songwriting?
Oh ya.This is my life. I’ve lived in other places, visited more, and nothing beats Maine, but please don’t move here. I think Mainers have their shit together. I like that we’re independent thinkers. I like that we have people working the land. I like that I can walk out of my house and spend hours walking down snowmobile trails that are kept in great condition by a group of interested people. I like that I can swim in the lakes and jump (and then out really quickly) into the ocean. In the winter, the cold and short days force me to rethink my days so I can get outside when it’s light out. Skiing is great when we can do it, although snow has been painfully slow to get here the last few years. Maine is awesome.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
The internet is awesome. I wish our politician that we elected would make sure it remains free, but it has been great for music. I don’t agree with the Spotify downers. I love the idea of music distribution through these services. Don’t worry, in a year or two, it will be Amazon because Amazon has a way of destroying all competition, but in terms of being a musician, Spotify and other services like it are awesome. I can find any, and I mean, any song I want. It’s not any music mogul stuffing music down my throat like the ever consolidated radio world that forces me to listen to the same radio poop. With distribution services,I can listen to anything. As a musician, I love it because I can make money from my music while I sleep for the rest of my life and beyond. That’s super cool to me. Unlike a CD or even a record, where I sell it, and that’s all I’m going to make, I’m going to make money every time you listen. Sweet! And Spotify is getting rich, and I’d like a bigger piece of the pie, but I don’t have any pie without them. Look at the numbers: If you have the $10 plan and listen to 5000 songs, Spotify won’t make any money at 0.2 cents per song. That’s 166 songs in a 30 day month. Or 7 songs an hour all day long. Or 17 songs in 10 hours. That’s a lot of music listening, so I’m sure they are doing fine.
And another way to look at this, before Spotify, 99.9% of all the money was going to the top 1% of artists and most of that was probably to the promoters. Now some of that money is going to others like me and you. It’s cool that I can compete with these guys from the comfort of my own home without signing a deal.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
I would change the fact that you haven’t listened to my music yet. If you start listening to more of my music I can make more music.
In terms of the industry. The collection of money is really annoying and confusing. There are people a lot smarter than me out there that could answer the question about what should change. I’m really excited that I can actually put my music out there. How cool is it that I, from my house, can send out a song that is being listened to in Germany and Japan? That’s so cool. I really like this Australian guy’s music “Finn’s Contingency Plan” His music is just fun. He’s not famous, yet, but I can hear him. I originally found him on YouTube, I think.
The pay system from distributors is challenging. And most money goes to the top 1% of the musicians, but since most people are listening to that top 1%, then that makes sense.
Other questions? Thoughts? Please talk with me!
Wizbe, Stan Farrell firstname.lastname@example.org
207-485-5690 Manchester, Maine