Tuesday, November 12, 2019

INTERVIEW: The Faim on State of Mind, honesty on tour and what’s to come

INTERVIEW: The Faim on State of Mind, honesty on tour and what’s to come

There’s been an Australian take over as of late here on our site and we’re living for it. The latest? Perth’s The Faim who are coming to the close of their US co-headlining run with fellow Aussies Stand Atlantic, ending on Saturday. 

Both bands have been keeping busy stateside this year but The Faim were definitely a band I wanted to take the opportunity to talk to considering how new their latest album, “State of Mind”, is. The new record is an absolute beaut and is clear something that is bound to bring the band to a whole other level here in the States. 

An album that is rebuilding for the band who lost two of their original members just before really breaking into the writing process, but new members Sam and Linden have only been of good use as new cooks in the kitchen. In talking to Josh Raven and Stephen Beerkens from the band just a few hours before their show in Somerville, the band talked about how this is the true beginning of The Faim and seem to be jumping at the bit to continue the good vibes with plans of starting writing again very soon. After a well deserved break for the holidays, that is. 

In our chat below, the band breaks down the best advice they could give to new to touring bands, a huge look into the debut album and what’s to come from this beyond talented crew! 

Just from talking to Josh, I know the show tonight is very close to selling out. It’s going to be exciting, going to be a good vibe. 

Stephen Beerkens: Yeah, it’s going to be sick. They’ve even asked us to pull all the merch tables back because they don’t think there’s going to be enough space.

Josh Raven: Soon we’ll have to get rid of them altogether.

Just won’t even be able to sell merch tonight.

SB: That’s always a good sign when you’re squeezing yourself up to get in everyone we can fit in.

Then you’ve been on this tour for about eleven days. Obviously the album is still so new in the states, being released on September 13th. Maybe how have these shows been going. Out with a fellow Australian band, Stand Atlantic, who have been touring the states as well pretty heavily. Maybe when did this tour come to plans.

SB: The tour came to plans awhile ago.

JR: It’s been in the works for a while.

SB: Definitely since the start of the year. Even maybe before. I can’t really remember the initiation date.

JR: I don’t think there was an initiation date. Obviously there had to be an initiation date but I think it was Stand Atlantic wanting to do a US headline tour with us and we kind of wanted to do one as well so we thought it was better to kind of join forces. Stand Atlantic was doing Sad Summer Fest and we had just toured with Andy Black. Not enough to be like, “Hey! We can headline and do really well all the way thru the US.” But I think Matt is good friends with our manager Rob as well which definitely helped organize things. It’s been going great so far isn’t it Stephen?

SB: Oh yeah, it’s been killer.

Then how have you been planning these sets? I know you just did a UK/Europe tour for this album. If so, maybe paring it down for these shows. Obviously the album is so new so you want to make that a focus.  But you had plenty of songs that were out before this album, with the EP as well.

SB: We’re pretty much shoving in all the songs that we can. This is the first time that we can actually fill out an hour because we actually haven’t had enough songs in the past to fill out the time we need to. These are the biggest sets we’ve ever played. New York was the first time we actually played the fifteen song set and it’s the biggest we’ve ever played. The fact that we have the opportunity to play that now is great. It’s our own headline tour which means we have more time and the album is now out so we can play all the songs from the album. We’ve played some of the songs from the album live before, to help keep things fresh. We have been touring for a long time with just an EP. So we’ve been playing some of the songs to keep things interesting for the live show. Now that it’s all released, we’re playing them all and the response has been really good.

JR: Yeah, it’s been great.

Then just from looking at your history, you’ve been playing music together for so long. You came over to the states to work with John Feldmann, so many people in his corner like Pete Wentz, Mark Hoppus. Maybe how was that experience? Maybe the first big moment in those writing experiences, where you realized this could be something?

SB: I think it’s always one big progression while you’re doing the writing. When you’re writing with someone, you’re both there to just kind of write songs. You have that sort of freaking out, when you’re writing with someone that you’ve only seen on album covers, social media, something like that. But then that very quickly goes because they’re just there to write a song, same as you. So it was pretty crazy in that sense.  But I don’t think there were many massive pinch yourself moments, this is a thing. Because even when we were writing those songs, that was to try and land a record deal. Then once we did that, we were working to have enough to tour. Then on these tours, were working on getting people to engage with us and find out what we do. So every big moment isn’t like a sense of we’re here and we’ve made it. We’ve taken that big moment and using that to further yourself in your career. So, it’s taking advantage of that. And implementing what you need to do, each step, to keep everything moving forward. And capitalizing on all the amazing opportunities that we get to get.

Perfect, then obviously you were playing together before you came to the States, even in another band. When did you really start buckling down on this record, when did it really start coming to fruition?

JR: Its been a bit of everywhere. We didn’t really have a dedicated six weeks or whatever to be like, we’re working on this new record and we’re going to stick to this. It’s always been in between tours. Or after tours or before tours or in-between press and primary. But I feel like towards the end of the Andy Black tour, we started recording after that tour. We really found not necessarily our direction or the perfect sound, but we definitely felt more comfortable where we are with Sam and Linden really finding our sonic identity, our conceptual perspective, and kind of putting that out into the world the best way possible. It really is the beginning of the The Faim now. This album is the first step of many to come. And we wrote half of the album in that short space of time.

So to kind of move forward from that is going to be a huge thing for us. Obviously, there’s a lot of things that have happened over the years. But I think people are going to see the best versions of ourselves, moving forward and in the future.

So it was written in a really short period of time.

SB: Literally half the album.

Maybe how did the writing process change then considering that?

JR: Well half the band changed.

Obviously that’s a huge change, but maybe for the two of you personally, you have some new cooks in the kitchen right now. Maybe something you’re really glad you tried, something new, and maybe something that’s still going to scream The Faim?

SB: I think the biggest thing that changed is that we’re writing after we toured. When we wrote the EP back in 2017, like those writing sessions that we had with John Feldmann, we had never actually toured before. We had played shows in Perth, but had never played outside of that. We were a band writing a record that doesn’t really know what it’s like to be in a proper band. You can see the progression from those songs that were written back then to the songs that we’re writing now. Probably have played 200 shows since those writing sessions. Have been around the world, done lots of touring, touring with other great bands. Leaned on each other and just have been constantly learning from everyone you’re on the road with. I think that’s one of the biggest changes but it’s one of the biggest things we flex in the new music. Is that us writing and recording, we’ve seen what does well live and what we really like playing live and what we want to be playing live in the future.

That sounds perfect.

SB: Yeah, it’s a good time.

Then to turn it back, I know it’s incredibly expensive to come here from Australia. It’s good when you have support systems here like you do with BMG obviously. Maybe advice for that first US tour?

JR: I guess every place is different. You find that the US is different from the UK, Europe and Australia. Obviously it’s still the same thing in that you drive very long hours to play shows, it’s still tbe same routine in that sense but different places are different. I think the one piece of advice, that I could give based on our personal experience, is just be honest with each other. Be honest about how you’re feeling and where you’re at. Because it’s never just one person, it’s the team. It’s not just us four up there playing. It’s Mitch up there who does all the tech-ing stuff, it’s Joe, who organises our sound and all of our team in the UK/Australia. There’s a lot of things that go in the behind the scenes. I think if you really become a unit, and that’s still something we’re learning as well, then you can be a much more powerful thing. I feel like if you’re just honest with each other, keep transparent with each other, you’ll really find the best way to enjoy your. Because it’s not easy and it  will never be easy. That’s just the reality. No matter how comfy it can be touring in busses, where you’ve got eight couches on it, there’s always going to be something that makes it hard. So it’s important to just be true to each other’s because we’re just friends on tour, and it’s important to never forget that.

Especially when it’s a whole crew of you on the road. And I’m sure you knew Stand Atlantic before it.

JR: Not especially.

SB: We met them briefly.

But you guys just hit it off.

JR:  Yeah, now we know them really.  Can’t believe it’s only been, what is it? Like 11 days?

SB: It feels way longer.

JR: Feels like weeks.

SB: At least! We’ve known WSTR for ages. It’s a big collection of friends coming together. Especially as well with the Point North boys on the second half. We’ve toured with them, we’ve toured with the drummer before. We’ve written with Jon their singer before. So it’s a big old family shindig.

And it’s only been 11 days.

SB: I can’t believe that. That’s so weird to say.

Well, are you traveling together? Maybe it’s way it seems longer.

SB: Seperated vans, but it is cool that everyone is waking up at the same time, there’s a big team effort on this one. Everybody’s getting to the venue at the exact same time, everyone’s helping each other load in, load out. It’s been a real community.

JR: It makes it a lot easier.

SB: It does. It really does.

JR: Loading in and out can suck. But now we have like 20 people doing it.

Then this tour still has a while to go.

JR: A few more 11 days.

The album is still so new, you have another UK/Europe run in November. But 2019, it’s crazy that we’re already coming up on 2020. Maybe focuses or goals for next year? Now that you’re feeling so confident in what and where the band is.

SB: Definitely more writing and I assume more touring.

JR: After this, we’re taking a little break for Christmas which is much needed. We’ve been on the road for a long time. We’ve got to re-enter ourselves and see where we want to go next. We’re super excited to start writing again and think about the next chapter of The Faim. But what’s also important is taking the time to re-center evaluate where you want to go. And you don’t get too much time to do that on the road. Just so focused on the now. We’re always looking a few steps ahead as well but it’s hard when you have so much to focus on in the now. So it’s going to be really nice to take some time at the end of the year to reflect and write down all our ideas and bring it together in the new year and write some cool shit.

SB: Yeah, especially because we never really had a break before. We haven’t had a break of more then like three weeks ever.