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THE FAIM (JUNE 07, 2022)


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INTERVIEWS
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ROCK



Summer is a Curse? Not really when you consider the success of this summer 2019 hit that brought The Faim to the forefront, who return three years later with a new album "Talk Talk"...
STRUCK - 24.06.2022 -
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The Australians of The Faim who exploded in 2019 thanks to the hits that are 'Summer is a Curse' and 'Humans' come back in this summer 2022 with a new album "Talk Talk". If they don't have any particular expectations, let's bet that this album will once again gather the votes of a public who opened their hearts to them.





What is the question you have been asked too many times and that you are tired of answering?

Linden Marrisen : The question we are asked almost every time is the origin of the band's name: we are passionate about food (Laughs)!


Still today?

Linden : Of course! But I wouldn't say we're sick of it, it's just that it's the most common question... but in general, we're happy to answer all the questions we're asked. But on a promotional day, you can bet that we will be asked this question, especially in France (Laughs)!


And we won't ask you... On the other hand, we'll talk about your first album "State of Mind". Precisely, what was your state of mind when you released this first album on a big label: apprehension, joy?

Josh Raven: I would say it was a combination of feelings. Obviously there was excitement: we were very young and everything was new to us... But I would also say that in a way, everything went so fast that we didn't have time to think about anything: we just kept on touring... To this day, we are grateful that this album was released under these conditions!





And afterwards, how do you explain the enthusiasm provoked by this album and the reception reserved by the public, especially in Europe ?

Josh: It's just inexplicable but if I had to give an explanation I would say it's a combination of luck and a lot of hard work! We are very grateful that the audience loves us and we give it back to them a hundredfold... Europe is a special place for us and we can only be grateful because we don't know exactly how it happened: we were in the right place at the right time!


On the other hand, after the great critical and public success of "State Of Mind", how did you live the frustration of not being able to go all the way to defend this first album, especially because of the pandemic?

Linden : We were lucky unlike other bands who released their album just before the pandemic. In the end, the timing was not so bad for us: we were at the end of the cycle of "State of Mind" and we had planned to write the next album in 2020. We spent those two years working on this album which I compare to a bit of a journey with ups and downs... Anyway, we are happy to be at the end of this process with the release of this album "Talk Talk" scheduled for July 8th. We are also very excited to play this album live (Smile).


And still talking about state of mind, considering the success of "State of Mind", what was your state of mind when you started writing "Talk Talk"?

Linden: Looking back, it's interesting that at that time we weren't thinking too much about the past.


At no time did you have in mind the success of 'Humans' or 'Summer is a Curse' and therefore have the temptation to reproduce their magic recipe?

Linden : That's not really the case. When we write, we focus on ourselves and what each of us wants to do... We're not trying to recreate anything, we just want to bring the best of each other and see where it takes us.

Josh: But it's true that it's a trap to recreate these hits because in the end, it's not about success but about feeling, a feeling that you can't manufacture to a certain extent. 'Summer is a Curse' is an enigma for us! It's all about the feeling and when you compose, the goal is to find the next feeling...





You are finally the antithesis of another Australian band -the legend AC/DC- who recreate the same success with each track?

Josh: In their case, they have an image and a story but we're all different and they certainly must love writing this kind of music... and ultimately, it's about what you like to write, what you want to give...
From the outside, you can only speculate on why they write this type of song. In our case, it's not exactly what we want to do: we don't want to recreate anything... And finally, I'm glad that AC/DC is still around and that they write such music because they are incredible (Smile)!

Linden: I personally wouldn't say they're recreating the same track. There's a very fine line between recreating the same song and having a sound... I couldn't answer the name AC/DC but they have a certain sound...


You're telling me that they have such a trademark that it overrides the tracks?

Linden : That's right, but again, it's a very fine line and ultimately it's a very subjective question...
All bands are different but for us, we don't want to follow the same recipe that we've used in the past and recreate what we would have done before because we know that it doesn't work for us. We follow our instinct by doing different things rather than copying a formula: that's what The Faim is all about!


So "Talk Talk" is your second album. For "State Of Mind", you had indicated that you had more than thirty demos...

Josh : I would say more like a hundred...


... did you use these old demos for this new album or did you take the opportunity of the confinements to write some real new songs?

Linden : We had a few demos but the ones we had left weren't great but hopefully they will resurface in the future...
There are a lot of factors that go into it and especially in this band, things have changed a lot: in the beginning, we all lived in Perth, Australia, but since then Sam (Sam Tye, the guitarist) moved to Melbourne and Stephen (Stephen Beerkens, the bassist) to Los Angeles...
There were a lot of little changes and under these conditions, the composition process and millions of other things changed and impacted the songs...


For the previous album, you had collaborated with John Feldman. What did you retain from this experience that served you for "Talk Talk"? Do you still need a bit of an outside eye or do you trust yourself a bit more?

Linden: Actually, John only did two or three songs on "State of Mind". There were a lot of producers who worked on that album but Josh in particular learned a lot from John on the vocal part...

Josh: John is an interesting guy, I have a lot of respect for him, he allows you to get to the heart of things... But the most important thing he did for us and helped us the most was his knowledge of the music industry, sure, you're in a wonderful place, surrounded by wonderful people but you have to work hard and think hard too: you have to be the best version of yourself! We really learned a lot from him and how things work.


For this new album, it seems that you wanted to go back to the basics of indie pop rock with tracks that rarely exceed 3 or even 4 minutes, is it a deliberate choice or did things happen naturally?

Linden : Things are as they should be... We don't try to reach a certain song structure or length... Everything is done in service of the songs! I remember when we wrote 'The Hill' which is the longest song on this album but as it was the first single, people wanted to shorten the bridge a little bit but in the end, it didn't have the same impact anymore so we decided to keep that song in its original configuration. We try to do the best for the song!


Precisely, this first single of the album 'The Hill' seems to follow this royal way because the composition is very memorable, how do you get these melodies that seem to match from the first bars?

Josh: It's funny but this song comes from a stream of ideas... This song was written by Sam and myself but the original idea for the sound came from Sam, he sent me the sound and I did some vocal demos on that idea... It's not a scientific process, again, it's all about feeling like the idea of the song came from a phone conversation between Sam and myself about what we enjoy in life especially when you're away from home and how we feel... The concept of this song is the feeling of home, the experiences and the memories that we have built...So yes, this song itself is the stream of conscious ideas, it's really not a scientific process...


And about this feeling of being away from home, how do you experience it concretely?

Linden : It's really nice to be able to travel again. Personally, I was in Perth for the whole pandemic, which was two and a half years... compared to 2019 where we were shooting for nine or ten months of the year: the change was brutal!





Let's be optimistic, the pandemic is behind us, but how do you feel about being away from your family nine to ten times a year? You're young, maybe you're married?

Josh: No, we're lucky that way (Laughs)!

Linden : We don't have any commitments, we're married to the band!

Josh : We are married to each other...


But your mindset will inevitably change when you have a family life...

Linden: You're asking the killer question!

Josh: It's the game of life!

Linden: We'll see what happens... but we're open (Laughs)!


In general, the question is how do you balance your personal and professional life as a musician?

Josh : It's a trap!

Linden : Personally, I'm happy to be able to travel again especially in Europe and France which are super nice to us : we love the people here, we love your cultures... Of course, we have a lot of love waiting for us back home between our friends and families who we miss and we try to stay in touch as much as possible. But in the end, we've been stuck for so long that we're glad to be able to travel again.

Josh: But you're right, it's complicated to find the right balance knowing that balance is vital to our lives because we can't make too many sacrifices for too long...


Given your ages, I guess that's not the case today...

Linden : Today we are only making small sacrifices, even though Sam and Stephen have girlfriends waiting for them at home and they are making "real" sacrifices... But you are right in the sense that today we are not making big sacrifices...


Justifying the fact that it's now or never to embark on The Faim experience without a second thought...

Josh: Absolutely!


Your influences are multiple, from Audioslave to Midnight Oil and maybe Panic! At the Disco, maybe Imagine Dragons for the pop side...

Josh : It's such a fun mix but it's great!

Linden : We get compared to Panic! At the Disco but we're not influenced by them but it's because of the vocals... which I totally understand! We have different influences in the band...





... explaining my previous question that it's complicated to put a label on the music of The Faim...

Linden : It's true and it's especially the case on "Talk Talk", The Faim has always covered a wide musical field : we have a pop side, another rock side, another alternative side... The people we are individually are reflected in our music and hopefully we will do it even more in the future : we will hear more of each of the four of us in the next albums...


But in these conditions, how do you manage to create your own personality?

Linden : That's a very good question but I see it as a journey to find out who The Faim is. Since our first album, there is a lot more experimentation but then again, we've always made sure to change... But the point is that each of us brings our own personality and can put our own stamp: the more each of us is invested in the songs and the music, the better...
I really believe that a band is a team and you have to use everyone's strength to get the best result...


And speaking of result, how do you feel about the release of this new album ? Do you think you offer the best of The Faim so far?


Josh: I would say that we are very happy with this album, we are very excited to release it... but from our point of view, it is never about "best". We are very proud of this work: we covered a lot of ground, we did a lot of different things and we tried to push our limits in different ways...
We don't realize it now but we are evolving and we still have a lot of things to discover but today "Talk Talk" is one of the steps we have taken as a band and when the audience discovers the sound they will really see the changes!
That's why "Talk Talk" is such an important step for us and why we are so proud of it because it's one of the mature steps we have taken among others...


You talked about the musical fields of The Faim and your pop and rock sides but do you understand the people who tell you that you are too rock to be pop and on the contrary the ones who explain you that you are too pop to be rock?

Linden : (Laughs) It's a funny position we find ourselves in especially on this album which is half rock/half pop but live it's more in your face!

Josh: And that's why people come to see us...


By the way, how do you manage to transcribe this rock energy in your studio albums?

Linden : Historically, our live shows have always been different from our studio recordings but most of the energy comes from the way the engineers record the albums, the choices we make in production elements... all of that plays a big role... Live we change and the live versions of our songs are more energetic because they are a little bit more raw, a little bit more aggressive... But like I said, at the end of the day, we operate the way we always have and that is we put the live and the recording on two different levels...

Josh: But I would like to add that we would have to find a middle ground at some point because to be totally honest, I think the live shows are more rock because that's just the way we are... But we don't want to be just a rock band, we have this alternative side that you find more and more nowadays and this pop side as well which is an important aspect... That's what's great about this band we can mix all these elements and still find The Faim!


And finally what are your expectations for this new album?

Linden : Honestly, we have no expectations...


Honestly?

Josh : Yes, we don't have any...

Linden : That's right, we just want to focus on the upcoming shows...


But regarding these expectations, you don't have any fear of not reproducing the success of "State of Mind"?

Linden: Honestly, not really... We're more excited than anything else and to be able to get back on the road... This album is a good excuse to get back on the road and tour and pick up the things we loved where they left off in 2019. Again, as far as we're concerned, we're happy with this album that we're putting out and we hope people like it...

Josh: Expectations are a funny thing. To me, having no expectations is the exact opposite of being afraid. In the past we were worried about what was going to happen, how we were going to be received... But what we've learned in this industry is to have no expectations, what really matters is the moment of creation and the performance on stage... It's really important not to have any expectations, not to have a vision of how things should be because it unconsciously influences everything you do and distorts the truth of what you are creating... In our case, you just have to be present and enjoy the moment because who knows if it will happen again...


This could have been the last word, as these are beautiful words, but I have one last question to bring this interview full circle. Indeed, we started with the question you've been asked too many times, instead, what is the one you wish I would ask you or that you would dream of answering?

Josh: That's a great question (Smile)!

Linden: I have no idea...


I can suggest that you think about it and the next time we meet, we'll start with that question and the answer...


Josh: I love the idea! I really love that idea!
 





Yes, everyone tells me that, but in the end, during the following interviews, I realize that the bands don't do their homework...

Josh : That's not true, I'm thinking about it because I really like the idea...

Linden: And I have some questions for you...

Josh: Yeah, we'll switch it up and I'll ask you why you got into journalism! (Laughs)


We'll see you then...

Linden: (In French) Thank you

Josh : (In French) Thank you very much, it was very interesting, you asked us some unusual questions about life balance... Thank you!


More informations on https://www.facebook.com/thefaim/
 
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LAST REVIEW
THE FAIM: Talk Talk (2022)
3/5

Second album of the Australians of The Faim, "Talk Talk" has a rather radiant pop-rock sound but lacks somewhat of originality.
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THE FAIM: Talk Talk
 
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