Chris Fafalios plays bass in the band Punchline. Sometimes he sings, too.
Punchline is a band that never shies away from reinvention. The Pittsburgh group's founding members and songwriting team Steve Soboslai and Chris Fafalios pride themselves on musical innovation. In their earliest releases, Punchline took a progressive approach to punk rock. The band's 2004 Fueled By Ramen release “Action” set the tone for what they'd become: a rock band with extreme pop sensibility, who oftentimes paid no mind to formulaic song norms. They pushed the envelope in a genre which rarely did, and this bold approach brought with it a strong, loyal fanbase all across the world.
Several strong releases followed over the next decade, paired with a personal connection with the people that supported Punchline along the way. By the time they self-released “So Nice To Meet You” on their own label Modern Short Stories in January of 2012, their fans rallied to show their support. The EP shot to the Top 10 in the country on iTunes during it’s release week, and to #1 in Rock. With zero dollars put into promotion, Punchline sat on the charts with Adele and the like, purely off of the real love of real people.
Punchline's newest LP is called "Thrilled." The songs themselves have always been the priority with the band, and although that seems obvious, it’s not always that way in a world of music dominated by image and perception. From start to finish, “Thrilled” is yet another heartfelt journey, filled with powerful, introspective lyrics and enormous choruses. On the opening title track, the distinctive voice of singer Steve Soboslai muses “so you weren’t the chosen one...the way I see it is your time has yet to come” —a theme which hits close to home for a band that has tasted success, but not completely cracked into the mainstream. The single “Tell Me How You Sleep” is a lush and synth-heavy pop gem, which pairs perfectly with a trippy animated masterpiece of a music video. On “No Stopping Us” — a throwback to Punchline’s punk rock roots — Chris Fafalios proclaims “you can try to kill us, we’re fearless, the real us will never lose”. With “Thrilled”, the band, in fact, won. At a point in their career where many artists may lose inspiration and tend to phone it in, Punchline successfully managed to create their best album to date — a nod to both pop and rock at once.
In 2017, alongside bandmates Cory Muro and Trevor Leonard, the band continues to progress musically. Their forthcoming yet-to-be-named new album is the first that the band will have recorded themselves, and they are also taking a chance in the realm of television, as they successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign to produce their own Netflix Music Special.