Omaha's apocalyptic electro quintet The Faint were responsible for one of Joy's favourite albums of the past year. Sythn meister Jacob Thiele took time out to talk to us about quitting cigarettes, nearly working with The Chemical Brothers, and those ever present 80s comparisons.
"We roughly formed a while ago, or Clark, Todd and Joel did anyway. Dapose and I, joined later on. Clark and Todd are brothers and Joel was a friend from their skateboarding days. Dapose, Clark and I went to the same high school but didn't hang out much then. We all knew each other from being part of the local scene."
And the local scene
has been an important inspiration for the band ever since,
"We want everything we do to be considered part of what our band is. The way we look, the videos on stage, the artwork and layout of our albums, the designs on our shirts and stickers and all that. The music always comes first though."
The Faint released
their first album 'Media' back in 1998, but it was 'Danse Macabre' that
truly thrust them into the spotlight,
"When we did 'Danse Macabre' I remember I had quit smoking and after two or three weeks of it, I stormed out of the studio to the liquor store across the street for some cigs and some beer. Somebody asked once if we'd rather never again set a foot on stage or set a foot in the studio and I answered that we'd rather never set a foot in the studio. playing shows is pretty much always a blast, even if things are going terribly wrong."
"I'm not totally conscious of it's reception. I only read so many reviews and whatnot. I read some that I disagreed with, and some that I thought were spot on. I get a little irked when people write us off as Duran Duran or Depeche Mode clones, but that stuff happens to everybody these days, and I'd definitely rather be compared to those bands than some others. Being associated with Electroclash was also frustrating, but I think that blew over, right? Sometimes reading reviews helps you realize some of your weaknesses that may not have been apparent. I don't think I would have realized how many people think that we're really dark and overly serious, because we don't feel that way ourselves."
Blank Wave Arcade Remixes
Me All Over
success of 'Danse Macabre', allowed the band to collaborate with a number
of high profile acts, such as Jacques Lu Cont, Paul Oakenfold
Junior Sanchez on a remix album,
"It's a part of the process that we really enjoy, because we tend to learn a lot about our music, hearing it through somebody else's ears. But it's more than that because it's not just somebody else's ears, it's a producer or musician who is really good at what they do, whose work and opinion we respect. It's a great feeling to hear your song remixed, restructured, and even made better by somebody else."
The band are no strangers
to collaborations, having released a similar collection of remixes for
their 'Blank Wave Arcade' album, and working with Conor Oberst for a single
'Dust', which also featured a cover of Sonic Youth's 'Mote',
Anyway, that's the
past, what about the future,