You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of The Faim before now. They only have two songs to their name and, up until now, they’ve only played shows in their native Australia. When, however, you add into the mix the fact that they’ve just recently signed a worldwide record deal and have been in the studio with John Feldmann, Pete Wentz, and Mark Hoppus, you get an idea of where the band could be ending up in the near future.
Right now, they’re currently at the start of their supporting slot on the Lower Than Atlantis headline UK tour. We sat down with vocalist Josh Ravens and bassist Stephen Beerkens to talk about Australia, their upcoming record, and how much coffee they drank with John Feldmann.
DP!: You’re just at the start of your supporting slot on the Lower Than Atlantis tour. How’s it been going so far?
S: It’s been so sick so far. We’ve been playing almost sold out shows every night, and the crowds have been unreal. It’s all of our first times here in the UK apart from our drummer, Sean. We’ve just had an incredible response.
D: People singing the songs back to us have been crazy. Especially considering we’ve only got two songs out and people are singing the words back at us. It’s crazy!
DP!: It’s your first time touring outside of Australia, or even in general. How have you found the British crowds?
S: The crowds have been sick! It’s definitely a different response from what we’re used to in Perth. You can tell that the music scene here is so strong. There’s people coming to the shows that don’t know any of the bands playing, and I was like “What? Who does that?!” We never see any of that back home, but over here it seems like music is just a whole different experience.
DP!: So, as you stated before, you have two songs out at the moment – ‘Midlands Line’ and ‘Saints Of The Sinners’. Tell us a little bit about those songs.
D: Well, ‘Saints Of The Sinners’ is a song that basically says “Take what you want, you deserve what you want.” It’s that little voice that says “I want that and I’m gonna make it happen no matter what. We’re gonna take over the world. We’re gonna take the world, and we’re gonna do what we want with it.” For us, the song response has been great, people have been singing these songs like madmen. ‘Midlands Line’ is a song that’s very close to home.
S: That song is written about looking back on times when we were younger, and it’s named after the Midlands train station back home which is a place we’d meet before going to school and where all of our buses would go from. It’s a pretty dodgy part of town and not the nicest place to be, but it’s a place where so many of our best memories are.
D: It’s just a place that develops character, you know?
DP!: Musically those two songs are quite different. ‘Midlands Line’ is more along the pop-punk line and ‘Saints Of The Sinners’ has a bit more of a Panic! At The Disco pop kind of vibe to it. Is this an example of you trying to find your sound, or do you guys intend to keep releasing music that sounds different from one another?
S: It’s definitely going to be a continuation of being very diverse. The next track is going to sound very different from the first two, and the one after that is gonna sound different again. That’s what we’ve been trying to do with this record. We have about fifteen or so songs that are finished, and all of them are on this spectrum of diversity. When we’re writing songs we just try and sit down with a guitar and a piano and then let the genre and the production of the track cater for itself. We didn’t go into it thinking “We’re going to make a record with this kind of sound.” We just wrote songs and ended up seeing how they sounded. We just let it happen, and it’s been really great.
DP!: I suppose that’s a much more creative experience than trying to pigeon-hole yourself into writing one style of music.
D: Absolutely, and that reflects us. If you look at music today everything is fluid. Genres are mashing together and people are doing different stuff, and we just wanna jump on that train.
DP!: You guys went into the studio with John Feldmann, and your first single was co-written with Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy. That’s so crazy for a band that’s so early in their career. What was that experience like and how did it come about?
S: It’s pretty crazy, haha.
D: It was mental. Sean was the first to meet him.
S: Yeah! So, I was in the studio and I was tracking some keys, and then I hear the door open and I thought it was one of the other band members. I turned around and it was Pete Wentz. He was like, “Hey I’m Pete,” and I was like, “Yes. I know!” Haha. He was awesome though. Before we even put pen to paper we just sat down for two hours and he spoke about the industry, his experiences in the industry, and just his knowledge.
DP!: For me, personally, John Feldmann has co-written and produced some of my most loved and most important records of all time. Good Charlotte, Story Of The Year, The Used, Blink-182 and Panic! At The Disco, just to name a few. Were you guys fans of any of the bands that he’d worked with previously, and if so did that bring any nerves leading up to the recording session?
D: More excitement to be honest! We found out when we got the studio that he’d worked with Hillary Duff, which just shows how vast his knowledge is of different genres and different perspectives on getting your stuff out there. Obviously, there were a bit of nerves being in LA for the first time.
S: It was so crazy being there, man. The work ethic and the intensity was unreal and so was the amount of coffee that we drank. You have no time to be nervous when you’re there. We literally walked into the house and John said “Right, play me a song, show me what you’ve got.” It was literally just a barrage of how we could improve things, how we could move things around to get the best out of our songs. Next thing we know he comes in and has an idea for another song. It was just absolutely non-stop, and that was just the first 30 minutes.
D: When you’re there, you just block everything out. Nothing matters but the songs. It’s a song writing factory!
DP!: After this tour wraps up you’re heading to Australia and New Zealand on the Sleeping With Sirens tour. Are you guys excited for that?
D: Yeah. We’ve never even been to the east coast of Australia before, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to play more shows in our own country. They’re also going to be the biggest shows we’ve played anywhere else, so we’re super pumped about getting to do them.
DP!: I always hear bands say that Britain have the best crowds, and maybe I’m biased but I believe that too. However, having spent some time in Australia, I went to a few shows over there and you guys really know how to party.
D: Absolutely, man. It’s all about that connection, you know? Any crowd is great to play in front of, but it’s always good to be playing at home, you know? If you know the people that you’re singing to then there’s no reason why it won’t go off.
DP!: I’m just going to throw a couple of quick-fire questions your way. If you could tour with one band, who would it be?
S: Panic! At The Disco.
D: Red Hot Chili Peppers.
DP!: What bands/artists are you guys listening to right now?
D: The Killers.
S: I’ve been listening to a lot of Don Broco recently!
DP!: If you could listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
S: Definitely ‘Infinity On High’.
D: Good choice! I don’t know how I’m going to top that one. It’s probably going to sound weird to say it, but either ‘Californication’ or ‘Stadium Arcadium’.
DP!: So, you guys are coming back to the UK in May supporting Pavements, and you have your own couple of headline shows too. How excited are you for that?
S: Oh, man. I’m so keen!
D: Two headline show in the UK? That’s so insane man! Tunbridge Wells and Glasgow is going to be so good, dude. It’s going to be a super rad time!
DP!: You guys have also just been announced for Download Festival, which will be your first festival appearance. Growing up in Australia, do you guys ever hear about the British festivals such as Download, Reading & Leeds, Glastonbury, etc.?
D: For sure, man. It definitely reaches the ears. It’s something you usually only dream about doing, you know?
S: There’s so many myths that you hear about Reading and Leeds, you know? It’s just insane that we get to be play at a British festival. Wouldn’t that be a dream? Now we’re actually playing there.
DP!: Any nerves approaching it?
S: No nerves. Just full on excitement.
D: No matter what show it is, an empty room or to 100,000 people, we give it our all every night. It never changes, man.
DP!: Looking ahead to the rest of the year, what has it got in store for you?
S: It’s all in planning. The album release will be sometime at the end of the year, but our plans are always changing. Hopefully that is the plan.
The band are expected to release their debut full-length album later this year through BMG.
Interview by Jacob Eynon (@deadpressjake)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.