Wet From Birth
Author: Amy Meyer
06/07/2007 | UNLV Rebel Yell | www.unlvrebelyell.com | Feature
Attending a Faint concert is more than just watching a band play music - their shows are an experience. The Faint transformed the House of Blues into a dance/rave party on Thursday, June 7. With the synthesizers pumping, the lights flashing and crazy, artsy videos playing in the background, audience members put their dance shoes into motion and I got to catch up with the band's lead singer, Todd Fink.
The Rebel Yell: How long have you been working on the new album?
Todd Fink: It's hard to say, we've been working on it for quite awhile, but we're not so much working on the album, but more on what the album is going to be, just putting together songs and eventually we can have enough songs that we feel like we can make something that is whole. We're building a studio now in Omaha and we'll be able to record all the songs, for better or for worse.
RY: Are you going to just record your music or other bands too?
TF: We'll record ourselves, mostly that's what it's for. People can come in when we're out of town and record for other bands.
RY: How come you're out touring and playing new songs now?
TF: Really to get to know them and figure out what is working about them. Certain parts don't happen right and we change it. The songs that we're playing on this tour aren't necessarily how they're going to go. The song will be represented somewhere on the album, well it might not make the album, but a lot of them will.
RY: Are you constantly writing while touring and taking time off or do you usually work on new album material in one long block?
TF: We've been working on the record for awhile now. I don't really know. I don't keep track of it in months or weeks, I don't know why I haven't maybe it would bum me out if I knew it was taking so long.
RY: Do you start with the music and incorporate lyrics to that or do you usually start with lyrics and build songs based on those lyrics?
TF: Usually the music or some melody comes first. We build things around vocal melodies and most of the time there are not vocal melodies unless there are some lyrics already. I won't have the lyrics done, but I know how I want them to go into the music. There are missing parts here and there that come later.
RY: Who is the primary writer for the band?
TF: I do the lyrics and melodies for the most part.
RY: Where do you find inspiration for the music you make?
TF: I've always tried to look no where for it and hope it comes out. I collage different things that have happened or I've heard in my life and my reaction.
RY: Are there usually themes to your albums?
TF: I think that themes, well so far, just come naturally. We might write a record and may not know what the theme is, but the more songs we write their topics come up over and over again in unrelated songs.
RY: What was the storyline for the last album you came out with, Wet From Birth?
TF: Well, it didn't have a storyline, but it's about birth and experiencing life as a tourist.
RY: Like a tourist, you mean from touring all the time and different cities?
TF: No, no, it's like being one of billions of humans that are observing the patterns of how things work and what there is to look at and experience on earth mostly.
RY: Who designs the visuals to go along with the live shows?
TF: The band does, but I think that mostly we've had to give credit to Dapose (guitarist) and Jacob (synthesizers), they do all the editing at this point, as of lately.
RY: How do you decide what the video will be composed of?
TF: We're concerned with how bright the videos are, what colors we use, how quickly edits are, what is being shown on the screen and how it relates to what we're talking about in the song.
RY: How long have you been touring with the visual show, was that around since the beginning?
TF: We've wanted to do that since, I guess probably since 1998. That was when we were sure that we wanted to be surrounded by videos. We had to save up to get the equipment. Every song, we've thought about how it's going to go and thought about what type of video we would have. While we're making the songs we're thinking about what will the video for this look like. Those videos that we have behind us while we play aren't always the ultimate version of what our vision of the song is, but they represent it to a degree. We don't have the kind of money to make videos, its not like they're rock videos that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We do them very quickly and kind of come up with what we can.
RY: How would you describe The Faint live to someone who has never seen you play before?
TF: Have they heard the music?
RY: Yes, listening to the band is kind of different than seeing them live. I'd say your show is an experience beyond just listening to the music or watching other bands play live.
TF: We set a mood as best we can wherever we're playing and sometimes it's tough. The mood we're going for is kind of a dark dance club sort of. We try to make the lights as different as we can, but still functional so people can see the show.
RY: What would you like people to know about your band?
TF: I hope that people would come see the show because I think you can understand what the Faint is through the show better than anything else. Or you can listen to the band with headphones and close your eyes; with your eyes closed you can tell what's happening a lot better. Closing your eyes is an incredible technique to create visual art.
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