Face Time Police
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Face Time Police

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2006
Duo Alternative Acoustic




"Chicago Artists Bring Their Hustle to Wizard World Chicago"

Two of the biggest hustlers at Wizard World had to be Brian and James Serra, two brothers who make up Face Time Police, a genre-defying music group that delivers “pop macchiato”. Hours before their scheduled show on the entertainment stage, the brothers were working the crowd, passing out palm cards to promote their show. The Serra brothers originally formed their acoustic group to play indie shows at various music venues throughout Chicago. After some success, however, they decided to change their focus to combine their musical talent with their love of cartoon characters. Their live show now consists of original songs developed around various cartoon themes mixed with covers from Teen Titans and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Instead of playing at traditional music venues, Face Time Police focus their performance schedule around various comic book and sci-fi conferences around the country. The Serra brothers are responsible for all aspects of their art, including music production, graphic design, and video editing. Face Time Police did not disappoint. The brothers closed out the first day of Wizard World Chicago with a performance that was full of fun, creativity and high energy. The organizers could not have planned a better way to close out the first day than with this talented pair of artists. To learn more about Face Time Police and their music, visit www.facetimepolice.com. - Halfstack Magazine

"The Daily Herald - Sound Check: Face Time Police, Villains take on Anime Midwest"

Police and Villains, together again

Two sets of brothers from the 'burbs lead the local entertainment at this weekend's Anime Midwest in Rosemont. Brian and James Serra of Schaumburg will be decked out in their Face Time Police gear as they sling original metal-speckled rock and some anime-oriented tunes at 6 p.m. Friday, July 7. Channel your darker side next when electronic industrial rock band V Is For Villains takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. The costumed Villains -- with the Brothers Santiago, Nicholas (Mr. Agitator) and Jonathon (Fallon Flynn) at the core -- will be joined by a slew of former and current Villains celebrating the release of the new album, "Murder in the Art." Also catch Kid Yuki and the Otakus at 4:30 p.m. Friday, with Deadlift Lolita closing out the day's musical entertainment at 9 p.m. Anime Midwest is at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont. $60 three-day admission; $40 single-day admission. (847) 692-2220; see animemidwest.com for tickets and schedule information. - Daily Herald

"The Daily Herald - Music Notes"

Music notes: Schaumburg's Face Time Police celebrates Anime Midwest

Face Time Police at Anime Midwest

Anime Midwest might just be the perfect venue for a band built on the idea that anime and video games have a beauty and life all their own. Enter Face Time Police, a mysterious masked duo -- actually Schaumburg brothers Brian and James Serra -- who are playing AM for the first time on the Mini Stage Friday. See them interpret the energetic sound and drive from their latest album, "Don't Believe in the Moon," acoustically. Face Time Police plays at 3 p.m. Friday, July 3, at Hyatt Regency O'Hare & Convention Center, 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont. For general information on Anime Midwest, call (847) 692-2220 or visit animemidwest.com. - The Daily Herald

"Revolver Viral Video: Masked Duo Perform Acoustic Cover Medley of Knotfest Bands"

Viral Video: Masked Duo Perform Acoustic Cover Medley of Knotfest Bands

Oct. 13, 2014

A mysterious masked duo calling themselves Face Time Police have recorded a “Knotfest Acoustic Cover Medley.” The group explains:

"This year, we’re making the metal pilgrimage to Knotfest! In celebration of the trip (and the line-up this year), we’ve prepared this special acoustic cover medley featuring interpretations of songs from various artists on the bill."

How many bands/songs can you identify?

https://youtu.be/3-_oorAfrxk - Revolver Magazine

"Chicago Now - Rising Stars of Geek Rock"

Rising Stars of Geek Rock: Face Time Police

By Lauren Faits (Geek Girl Chicago), July 1, 2015

I'm slowly, slowly, slowly becoming an anime kid again. Ever since re-watching Cowboy Bebop this Christmas, I've been getting back into the genre. I'm just finishing up Madoka Magica. It isn't really my style, but many of my cosplay friends loved and emulated it.

This weekend, I'll be at Anime Midwest. The main goal is sharing pics of cosplayers. In addition, I'd love to talk to fans about the anime I've missed.

You know who could help me? Face Time Police. These musical brothers, Brian and James Serra, will be playing at Anime Midwest on Friday. Their music combines Japanese anime covers with anime-inspired originals. One song pulls from a single moment in Hellsing. Another is named after an FLCL episode. Even FTP's look is rooted in anime. Bleach fans will recognize the style of their masks.

Face Time Police reached out to me via e-mail. I hadn't featured any Rising Stars of Geek Rock lately, so I gladly asked a few questions. The below interview features only Brian, but you can hear music from James at the end:

GGC: "You boys are brothers, so I can't exactly ask how you met. Instead, what is your origin story as musicians? How did you decide to pursue music, and what made you do so as a pair?"
Face Time Police: "Music has always been around us. My brother, James, was singing (or rather, mumbling) along to Green Day since he was 3. Even back in elementary school, I would listen to the radio as well as obscure cable access music shows, just looking for anything that might catch my attention. I’ve been playing guitar since high school, but never really had any intentions of being a serious songwriter.

One day, out of nowhere, my brother and I just had the urge to write a joke rap song in the vein of SNL’s Lazy Sunday. It was so much fun to do! The music turned out to be pretty interesting and well-structured, considering the song was a joke.

Once the creative floodgates were open, waves of ideas just kept coming in. Our first serious work as a musical duo was an experimental 4-song demo EP called A Lesson in Articulation. The song titles were comprised of sections from a well-known tongue-twister: She Sells, Seashells, By the Sea, and Shore. My brother and I immediately knew that we had stumbled onto something."

GGC: "So, you became Face Time Police. Where does the name come from?"

FTP: "My brother James used to just blurt out 'FACE TIME POLICE!!!' at random times. He did it to get a laugh out of me.

When the time came to name our band, it took on a deeper meaning. It stood for the struggle between art and image. We see it all the time, especially in mainstream pop. There will be a 'face' shown to the public, while the real artists behind the scenes (the songwriters) are just album liner notes. Fake artists have had enough face time. It’s time to focus on authentic artists."

GGC: "Nice. Let's keep talking names. How did you name your album, Don't Believe in the Moon? The moon is real, after all."

FTP: "Its meaning actually lies in the song’s chorus:

So don't you promise me the stars anytime soon
Don't you even try and offer me the sky
When you yourself don't believe in the Moon

We, as human beings, have these grandiose notions of romantic sentiment linked to the Moon. In reality, the Moon is a satellite. It’s a rock. So, any significance or romantic notions linked to the Moon lie within each person. When it comes to matters of the heart, we might make promises that turn out to be meaningless later on."

GGC: "You two uphold a very specific look. Why the masks? What do they represent?"

FTP: "I made my mask around the time that Bleach’s Arrancar arc was prevalent in the manga. I loved the idea of having partial masks as opposed to covering our entire faces. We knew that we didn’t want a scary image, so we started with plain white masks and modified them.

My mask covers the lower part of my face while my brother’s covers the top. We’ve always had this sort of duality in our art. We’re different, but similar- 2 sides of the same coin. We’re a cohesive unit through and through."

GGC: "You use a few unique terms on your site. In your own words, what is 'pop macchiato?'"

FTP: "'Pop Macchiato' is the term that best describes our music. 'Macchiato' itself means 'marked.' While we may dabble other styles and genres, at the heart of our songwriting (structurally, at least) lies good, catchy, pop songs. So, our songs are essentially pop, 'marked' with other styles and genres."

GGC: "I can dig that. Similarly, what does it mean to be DIY/do-it-yourself musicians?"

FTP: "It's exactly what it sounds like. We do it all ourselves. We write and record our songs. We edit our music. We film our own videos. We shoot our own promo pictures. We maintain our website. We write our own press releases. We design all of our merch, logos, flyers, album artwork. There isn’t any aspect of our art that we aren’t responsible for."

GGC: "You seem super into anime. What are some of your favorite titles or characters?"

FTP: "Ooh, this question is tough. FLCL (Fooly Cooly) will always be one of my favorite series. It’s the epitome of anime. It can be completely goofy and off-the-wall one minute and deeply poignant in the next. It’s original, and it has EVERYTHING. There’s comedy, there’s a love story, insane mecha fight sequences, you name it. Its visual style and use of colors are like straight out of a music video. Lastly, and certainly not least, the music in FLCL is AMAZING. It’s such an integral part of the series.

Another favorite of mine that tries to be everything at once and does it well is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I love the way that Haruhi is constantly trying to make life interesting. I can relate with all the things that we do with Face Time Police."

GGC: "I love FLCL, too! How has anime helped you guys grow or change?"

FTP: "Anime has definitely impacted our art for the better. The strong visual aesthetic has inspired quite a few shots in our music videos. The inspiration from anime always seems to work its way into a lyric, full song ideas, videos, and even our artwork. There’s a certain boldness in anime- that all-in, double-down, refuse-to-fold, attitude. I’ve adopted that mindset when it comes to Face Time Police. As the saying goes, 'Fortune favors the bold.'"

GGC: "Do you cosplay, collect things, or enjoy anime in other ways?"

FTP: "I haven’t cosplayed as of yet because I love wearing my current mask to conventions. It just feels right to wear it. My mask is my identity. But if I were to cosplay, it would probably be as a slightly different version of a character. I love it when people put their own spin on existing characters.

I don’t collect any anime figurines because those can be really pricey, though I’ve had my eye on the Nendoroid Satsuki Kiryuin (Kill La Kill) for quite some time now. It’s just awesome and adorable. I’ll probably break down and finally place an order for it one of these days."

GGC: "What kind of audience do you think would most enjoy your music?"

FTP: "So far, from what I’ve seen from our biggest fans and supporters, they’re very open-minded. They don’t pay attention to labels. They aren’t music snobs. Some people get so caught up in what tastemakers are raving about that they forget that you are your own tastemaker. If it appeals to you and it sounds good to you, don’t wait for other people to jump on the bandwagon. Just listen to it. Enjoy it. Share it with others. Support that artist."

GGC: "What performance or gig has been your favorite thus far?"

FTP: "In 2011, we were invited to play the big hometown Halloween show for Cleveland’s own Mushroomhead. There’s always such a great atmosphere at that event. It’s Halloween, it’s in their hometown, and everyone is in masks and costumes… everyone’s just in a good mood and ready for a full night of music.

Because my brother and I used to do a lot of web and graphic design work for Mushroomhead, some of their fans have known about us for years. It was amazing to finally play in front of those fans, and to have members of Mushroomhead in the audience there to watch our set. I still get goosebumps from thinking about it. Face Time Police would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for Mushroomhead."

GGC: "I'll have to look them up. What do you have planned for Anime Midwest?"

FTP: "I believe that we’re the first band to perform on the mini stage, so we’re aiming to set the bar really high! We’re playing a special acoustic set that will feature original songs and a few covers. We're covering the English versions of Follow Me from Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, and Shissou, the ending theme from Ouran High School Host Club. Also, if we get these in before the show, we’ll have some goodies to pass out to everyone who catches our set (while supplies last, of course.)

Here’s another teaser about our setlist: there’s a cover medley which we’re playfully referring to as Ice Ice Avril. It’s going to be a fun set.

GGC: "What should we expect from Face Time Police after the con?"

FTP: "We’re currently working on an acoustic EP that we hope to release in the Fall. We're on most of the major music streaming services, so if you're using Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, Beats Music, XBox music, etc., just search for "Face Time Police." You should be able to find us!"


GGC: Thank you, Brian and James, for telling me all about Face Time Police! You can hear much, much more from FTP on the band's Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel. - Chicago Now

"Rockin' Review at Rock In Review"

Review by Adam D.

When looking at music today, it’s easy to find music that can be labeled in multiple styles, but no bands that truly transcend genres as the “Pop Macchiato” (Pop music marked or “stained” with other elements) band, Face Time Police with their new EP entitled The Definition of Deviation! Honestly, there’s no true way to explain this EP without including some version of the word “diverse”. Each of the five tracks brings out a different style including a sort of bouncy Pop-Rock track, a thumping club mix, an acoustic ballad, etc. In my extensive arsenal of music, I have NEVER heard a band that changes so much. It really takes “play what you want to play” to a whole different level. However, it pays off; this album is great! Out of the five tracks recorded on this album, my I really enjoy “None of the Below” (Track 1), “Nothing Left to Break” (Track 3), and “Of Man and Monster” (Track 5) the most. These three tracks seem to be the ones that fit well together with “None of the Below” being a pretty heavy/bouncy Alternative Pop song, “Nothing Left to Break” being the heartfelt acoustic ballad, and “Of Man and Monster” an Alternative-Punk-Metal mix. With this mix (plus the club thumping song “Seashells” and the Alternative Hip-hop track “Minute Made”), FTP is really freeing themselves of categorization and limitation. This is a smart move as far as I’m concerned.

Overall, liking 3/5 of the songs makes The Definition of Deviation a great EP in my mind. FTP have proven to be a great band with a lot of potential! On a side note, I have some extra respect for this band because they are a 100% DIY band. These guys write all of their music, record all of their own music, design the logos, they produce their own stuff, they do all the marketing, shoot and edit their own music videos…everything. Honestly, this is the first band I’ve heard that does EVERYTHING by themselves, and I commend them for it. - rockinreview.com

"Chicago's Independent Music Review"

Face Time Police – the Definition of Deviation
Posted by Jason Petros on June 24, 2009
As soon as I see something along the lines of “this is a DIY recording” – I immediately prepare my ears for a unprofessional thrashing of recording concepts – bass that’s too loud, close to zero panning, and/or vocals that are too quiet, too loud, don’t use any compression, and are generally pitchy – and that doesn’t even get into the drums. This record surprised me – the recording quality is actually clear – and most of the elements sit in the right place. They describe themselves as “pop macchiato” – and I can’t say I disagree with the assessment. The lead vocals sound a lot like Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong, and the music doesn’t stray too far on the experimental side – songs when they push electronics (Seashells) aren’t overpowered by the studio and contain just enough ‘live’ instruments to keep you from forgetting that it’s a band playing this music, not a DJ. - Chicago's Independent Music Review

"Two horns up!"

Waylon Ford - Co-Owner of Halo Custom Guitars and Professional Bassist:

"Love it! The video kinda reminds me of early Suicidal (Tendencies) stuff. And the song is good. Two horns up!"


In the Summer of 2007, Face Time Police entered into Season 2 of the "Famecast Fenom" Contest. During the semi-final round, a panel of Industry Experts provided their feedback to all of the contestants. The preceding comments were made in regards to FTP's song/video, "A Different Road." - FameCast

"Rock Wired Feature"

Full Feature/Interview by Brian Lush

As much as people love to applaud the D.I.Y mentality, it really isn’t something that people can stick to. When was the last time anyone saw punk clothes that weren’t purchased at HOT TOPIC? To most people, the notion of ‘doing it yourself’ is a cute little three-letter acronym, but for a band like the Illinois-based FACE TIME POLICE, it is how they approach music and life. Comprised of brothers BRIAN and JAMES SERRA, FACE TIME POLICE has its heart in the right place when it comes to combating any sort of cynicism there may be with regard to surviving with your integrity intact in the music business. It will be interesting to see if the brothers SERRA can maintain this sort of muscle grip on their burgeoning careers but in the meantime we have their EP THE DEFINITION OF DEVIATION which does what most LP’s fail to do – take the listener on a musical journey. The genre hop kicks off with the thrashing opener NONE OF THE BELOW and eases its way to the epic electro pop number SEASHELLS. Also included is the lilting acoustic ballad NOTHING LEFT TO BREAK, the positively thumping hip-hop of MINUTE MADE and the manic punk slam-dunk - OF MAN AND MONSTER. - rockwired.com

"Unbelievable! Great Job!"

Drowning Pool - Professional Recording Artists:

"I am diggin' this song. Y'all made a great video with stuff lying around the house...unbelievable!!!!! Great job."


In the Summer of 2007, Face Time Police entered into Season 2 of the "Famecast Fenom" Contest. During the semi-final round, a panel of Industry Experts provided their feedback to all of the contestants. The preceding comments were made in regards to FTP's song/video, "A Different Road." - FameCast

"Best Recording (EP) - RockWired Reader's Poll"

Face Time Police's EP, "The Definition of Deviation" was named BEST RECORDING (EP) in RockWired Magazine's Reader's Poll. - RockWired.com

"Praise from industry professional"

Mastering engineer Roger Lian of Masterdisk, whose body of work reads like a who's-who of legendary artists across several genres of music (Smashing Pumpkins, The White Stripes, Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, LL Cool J, Pantera, Sum 41, Madonna, Slayer, just to name a few) lauded Face Time Police's fruits of labor:

"I didn't expect much from a home set-up, but the mixing and overall production of the pre-mastered tracks they gave me to work with were very impressive. They're definitely on the right track and know exactly what they're doing." - Quote from official bio

"The Daily Herald - Music Notes - July 7, 2016"

Music notes: Face Time Police, Villains play Anime Midwest

Police and Villains

Catch a band of brothers (or two) at this weekend's Anime Midwest in Rosemont when Schaumburg's Face Time Police and Des Plaines and Elgin-based V Is For Villains take the stage at the anime and gaming-inspired convention. Brian and James Serra will be playing an acoustic set comprising mostly Face Time Police originals, along with a few anime covers and a sneak peek at a song from an upcoming album. Creative cosplay adds fun to fan conventions such as this one, and the Serra bros are rolling out new "Neon Genesis Evangelion"-inspired costumes for the show. Later that night, V Is For Villains, an electronic industrial rock band featuring brothers Nicholas (Mr. Agitator) and Jonathon (Fallon Flynn) Santiago, Analise Rahn (Vex) and new member Mike Prost (Davrys Black), will bring their new costumes (and, um, possibly plans for world domination!) into the spotlight. They're fresh off a House of Blues show last weekend. Anime Midwest is at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont. $60 three-day admission; $40 single-day admission. (847) 692-2220; see animemidwest.com for tickets and schedule information. Face Time Police plays from 6 to 7 p.m.; V Is For Villains plays from 9 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 8 - The Daily Herald


Acoustic EP - TBA
A Face And A Name (Single) - 2019
Who Am I? (Single) - 2018
Don't Believe in the Moon - 2013
The Definition of Deviation - 2009



Face Time Police, the genre-defying purveyors of "pop macchiato" present a blend of styles that showcase their own brand of variety with a vision. Made up of Brian and James Serra (founding members), this highly visual and energetic band of brothers defies categorization and delivers songs that are fun and catchy, yet artistic and introspective.

Embracing an adamant DIY ethic towards everything they do, the Serra brothers are responsible for all aspects of their art including:  music production, graphic design, and video editing.

Face Time Police is currently performing as an acoustic duo.

Band Members