An Interview w/The Faint!

The Faint were kind enough to do an Interview for Off the Radar! I sent Jacob from the Faint some questions about a whole bunch of stuff and here are his answers... Great interview if I do say so myself. Not too shabby for my first ever! Hope you like it, more in the works!

1 - Hey guys big fans of The Faint at Off the Radar. Why has it taken so long to release this new record? Last we heard from you guys was 2004's Wet from Birth.

We're pretty slow at writing songs. We want to make sure that all five of us are happy with the outcome of each song we write. But this time took us an especially long time because we built a studio after we were done touring for Wet From Birth. We hired contractors and completely remodeled the building we practice in. The whole project took about two years, and we were writing that whole time. I think it was a bit of a blessing that it took so long for the studio to be built because it allowed us extra time to polish the songs for the record. It took us about five months to record the songs and two months to mix them. It took about another month to master it, but that's another story.

2 - Notice you guys are releasing the new record on your own label. Why is that? What happened with Saddle Creek who had released your previous records?

We've always talked about putting out our own records, and with the industry being in such a weird transitional state, it seemed like it might finally be the right time.

3- How Does your new record 'Fasciinatiion' compare to your previous ones?

It's hard for me to say. I can't really be objective about it. I feel like we've incorporated our favorite elements of each record into this one, as well as some new techniques that we experimented with in the studio. The process of writing the songs was even a combination of the methods we've used on the previous records. Some of it was written in that five-dudes-in-a-room style that we wrote Blank-Wave and Danse Macabre in, and some of it was written in the demo-and-record-as-we-go method we used on Wet From Birth. I think we got the best of both worlds.

4 - What do you think of the current state of the Music Industry? Blogs/Internet/Bands like Radiohead Releasing their Albums for Free, etc? Where do you think it's all heading?

It's exciting to see everything shifting. It seems like the heyday of major labels is over. They were so excessive with their expense accounts and A & R departments. We know first hand from having many of them take us out to fancy dinners. I think it means more artists releasing their own music and making money off of touring and licensing. At least that's the way it seems to be working at the moment.
I love reading blogs and finding out about music through the internet. But nothing beats seeing a good live show.

5 - What are your musical influences? What are some bands/artists you liked growing up?

I've listened to all kinds of stuff throughout my life, and I feel like it's all had an influence in some way. Fugazi, Gravity Records stuff, Men's Recovery Project, early Human League, Aphex Twin, David Bowie. I don't know. Tons of shit.

6 - How old were you when you first started playing music? Did you have a musical family? What was the first instrument you played?

My mom played the piano and can sing pretty well. She taught me the basics on the piano and then I kind of taught myself chords and scales from there. I never really learned proper fingering technique, I don't think. I played the French horn for a year when I was 13. I've had a guitar and a bass for the last 15 years, but I don't play them too much.
The rest of the band has all different kinds of stories about how much formal training they've had and what kinds of bands they've played in previously. For example, Dapose was in a death metal band, while Todd majored in classical guitar in college.

7 - How did The Faint members first meet/decide to start making music?

I think Todd, Clark and Joel were all looking for something new to do since Todd wasn't really supposed to skate anymore after he had knee surgery. They ended up seeing a local show where some bands that eventually became Cursive and Bright Eyes were playing and they got inspired to do the same thing. They thought, "These kids are our age and they're doing it. Why can't we do it to?" I had the same kind of revelation with hardcore bands when I was in high school. I had a hardcore band for a while that I broke up for good when I joined the Faint. I told them that it didn't matter because Black Dice was doing everything we were doing anyway, only better. That was back when Black Dice was a hardcore band.

8 - What new bands/artists have you been digging recently?

Late of the Pier is my favorite new band. I like the Whip. The new Kills record is good. So is the new Ratatat.

9 - Do you think music is better now or do you prefer older/classic stuff?

I just did an interview for NPR that was all about Yaz, so I listened to their first record again and it's really good.
In general I think that music is getting simpler and dumber, like lowest common denominator style. I guess I'm talking about pop music mostly. Like people did better work when the technology made it so much harder, and that seems really fucked up to me. I'll listen to a new band and think, "This is boring. It just sounds like Bruce Springsteen. There's no no ideas here. Now I just want to listen to Bruce Springsteen." And I'll put on the Boss's record and it's way better. But then something new will come along that totally blows me away and I'll think, "Wow, what a great time to be alive!" Like SebastiAn or Oizo or something that sounds really modern and uses new technology in a great way.

10 - You guys all still live in Omaha? What's it like there? How's the club scene there? Do you guys go out dancing/Djing alot? What do you do for fun besides music?

There is not much of a club scene here. Todd and I started a party with this kid Derek who plays in Tilly & The Wall. It was really fun for a while, but then we got busy with our bands again. There are gay clubs and the occasional night here or there but that's about it for dancing. So no, not a lot. House parties are kind of where it's at. A lot of people go to shows here now, which is great.

11 - Do you prefer recording or touring? Do you guys get on each others nerves while on tour or have you have you figured out a way to keep that from happening already?

They're both great fun and also can be very stressful at the same time. Nobody really gets on my nerves on tour, but I can imagine that I get on other people's nerves. I'm going to try to keep that from happening as much as I can on this next tour.

12 - What's your process for writing new music? Any new gear you've gotten/been working with alot lately?

We don't have one method. The best method is when Todd has a song comprised of a vocal melody, hopefully some lyrics, and a chord progression he likes. Otherwise we'll try to come up with progressions for him to build from. Sometimes just a beat and a synth sound is all it takes.
We use all kinds of stuff in the studio. I like to try my synth parts on all different synths and see which one sounds the best.

13 - I always love your guys visuals while your on tour/performing. Anything exciting for this tour? Who does the visuals for you guys?

Thanks! We do them ourselves and our sequencer keeps it on time with the music. We're switching it up for this tour, but that's what we're working on now so I shouldn't say anything or I'll jinx it.

14 - Any advice for up and coming new bands?

Get a fuel efficient vehicle for touring.

15 - Anything I've missed or you'd like to say to your fans?

Come to a show and dance with us. If you're in Florida, please be patient. We'll be there in a couple months!

Here's one of the Projection Visuals I was talking about for 'Desperate Guys', plus a couple classic tracks from Wet From Birth. Enjoy and go buy their new record 'Fasciinatiion' when it's out August 5th! The Geeks Were Right, their first single off the new album is available on Itunes now, for the backbreaking price of .99!

MP3: Symptom Finger (YSI)
MP3: Southern Belles in London Sing (YSI)


Robot Rock said...

Fugazi! YES!!!!

Victor Castro said...

grand interview skillz!!! Late of the Pier is good + original... MGMT kinda took their spot light, so i think... sorta like Wilco took it form Pavement.