Interview: Aussie alt-rockers The Faim on their first trip to the UK

Frontman Josh Raven chats about the band’s recent UK shows and what it’s like recording your debut single with Pete Wentz.

Perth, Australia’s newest export, The Faim have been making quite the waves on their recent trip to the UK with support slots on Lower Than Atlantis’ tour, PVMNTS’s tour, their own headline shows as well as festival performances at Slam Dunk Festival. Later this summer they’ll be appearing at Download Festival and Reading & Leeds Festival.

Just earlier this year the band shared their latest single Summer Is A Curse. The track follows the huge debut single Saints Of The Sinners, co-written with Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy as well as single Midland Line. All three are huge, catchy tracks which has us hooked to these lads.

Ahead of their set at London’s Tufnell Park Dome, we caught up with frontman Josh Raven about all things The Faim, touring with Lower Than Atlantis and dream festival line-ups.

How’s your day been? 

Absolutely incredible. Good day, good weather. I haven’t frozen to death so I’m loving it so far.

Yeah, you’ve been really lucky with the weather in the UK! 

Really lucky, dude! I haven’t even seen snow before, I haven’t even seen snow yet!

You need to come back when it’s snowing! 

I know, I know.

So tell me a little bit about The Faim as a band, how did you guys meet? 

We all got together basically through high-school. Stevie, Michael and I, we were in the same music class together, typical story. We never really hung out that much but we always knew each other, kind of like acquaintances sort of, and Stevie and Michael ended up writing a grunge song together at some point and they were like “You know what? Let’s start a band.” And I was singing at the time, doing my own little acoustic things every now and again. And they asked me, do you wanna start a band together, and then I was like “hell yeah!”. So we started a band and then about three or four months later we saw Sean drumming on YouTube and we were all like “We want that one!”, so then we got him down, we played a rehearsal sort of gig together just like a trial, and chemistry was there, everything was there. We had the best time. And we haven’t looked back since.

For your debut single you worked with John Feldman and Pete Wentz – what was that like?

That was incredible! Absolutely incredible. We were a little star struck at first, of course, because we love John Feldman, we love Pete Wentz, and when John told us that Pete was maybe or maybe not coming down to the studio, we were stoked. But nothing was confirmed when we found out, so he randomly just rocked up to the studio and Stephen was recording keys at the time, so he was the first one to bump into him. And I can just imagine his reaction, he just completely lost it but kept his composure, I’m sure. It was just really nice meeting him, really humble dude, really down to earth, very talented. And the biggest thing that he opened us up to was that… we didn’t actually get into the song straight away, we just sat down and for literally just two, almost three hours, just talking about the music industry, how hard it is for bands to really kind of make it out there, how you really have to push yourself, be critical and be different than the other 99.9% of bands that are out there who are trying to do the same thing that you are. And it’s basically finding every little one percent that adds up to a hundred percent. We had a really great conversation with him, really good. And yeah, that’s pretty much how Saints Of The Sinners came about. Because it was about making your mark in the world, being different from everyone else and believing in what you do.

Your recent single Summer Is A Curse, tell me more about that, what’s the story behind it? 

It’s an interesting one. It’s kind of this double-edged sword for us – it’s a song that’s very close to home for us. We wrote it with Ashton Irwin, also another Australian artist, and we were basically torn between two worlds. We were torn between this idea that it’s hard being away from home and pursuing your passion at the same time, really wanting to achieve your dreams with your best friends and all these sorts of things. It’s really just about accepting that, embracing that, and becoming the best possible version of yourself for the world. And the idea was that you’re always going to have these memories, you’re always going to have these relationships that define you, they make you who you are. But it’s also an important aspect to really kind of let go to an extend, and grow and try to go out of your comfort zone and become basically the best you can be.

With all the singles you’ve recently release, when can fans expect an album? 

*laughs* an album… well, we’re hopefully aiming around this year but plans drop and change all the time. But we’re definitely going to be releasing more singles, more music videos, definitely more touring. So there’s a lot in the works.

What else have you guys planned for 2018? 

There’s a lot of things on at the moment. We’ve got Slam Dunk coming up, we’ve got Reading & Leeds, Download Fest as well, some headline shows coming as well, Glasgow and Bournemouth. Super excited about those, the last one in Tunbridge Wells went incredibly well and we recently found out that our Bournemouth show is sold out as well, which is amazing because in the UK, it’s our first time here. Blown away! But there’s a lot of things we can’t mention that are also in the works that we are very excited for. It doesn’t really matter what type of things we get, we just really love what we do. And whatever comes, comes. But every show is the same, we give 120% every single time.

Speaking of festival season – what are you looking forward to the most? 

That’s a hard choice. That’s a really hard choice. Just because we’re so blessed to have the ones that we have now. But I think because of my influences personally, I’m very excited for Download fest. Guns n Roses and Bullet For My Valentine are basically my teenage years in a nutshell, I love those bands. But Slam Dunk and Reading & Leeds, it’s just incredible. They’re all on par with each other. All the YouTube videos I’ve watched will definitely not do them justice.

If you could have your own dream festival line-up, including yourselves playing, what would be the five bands you’d want to have on the bill? 

Oh my god! That’s a good question! Well, Red Hot Chili Peppers has always been one of my favorites, I love Red Hot Chili Peppers. Panic! At The Disco, who are awesome. Fall Out Boy, love them as well. The Eagles would be great, I mean I love the Eagles, if that was possible. Another classic, obviously this would be a very weird line-up, but Metallica. I love Metallica. And if I could through another in there – Slipknot. Slipknot have been my all-time favorite.

That sounds awesome, I’d go! 

Yeah I’d be there!

You also just finished supporting Lower Than Atlantis, how was that?

Incredible, best dudes ever. Basically Australians with different accents. It was so refreshing to hang out with people that were, of course, very successful. They’ve been a band for eleven years, they’ve released a lot of albums, they’ve toured a lot. And to just see them so genuine, so hard-working and just really down-to-earth guys was really refreshing to us. They welcomed us with open arms, they gave us advice, even critical at times but that’s what we want, we want honest opinions. Just being able to learn with them and basically become friends with them. They were mentors and friends, we were very very lucky to have that tour. I couldn’t imagine our first UK tour being better with any other band if it was the biggest band in the world, smallest band. I think that was the perfect first tour to have ever.

It being your first UK tour ever, how were you welcomed by the British crowds? 

Open arms. It was incredible. Every night we were at the merch desk just talking for hours to fans! It was incredible because we’re all about creating a relationship and a memory and an experience with people, and even the response during the songs as well. We’ve only released three songs, we were playing songs that no one knew. Yet they were still getting into it, they were still vibing, still really giving us an energy. And the fact that we were a support band and people were showing up to see us, that’s something we’ve never really experienced before, especially back at home because everyone, of course, values their time and people don’t really go out of their way to see a support band very often. To feel that love here in the UK was very special.

Now that you’ve finished your first UK, is there something that next time you come back you need to have with you? 

Ooooh.. I do regret not bringing my scrapbook. That sounds kinda weird to say but I love my scrapbook. I recently became an uncle, so I’ve got photos of her in there. And just family and stuff like that. I love my journey, I love being on the road, but it’s good to keep things. I love photos, so it’s good to keep physical things, you know.

What bands are you into at the moment? 

I’m listening to a wide variety at the moment. I’ve fallen back into Johnny Cash at the moment, but Don Broco is amazing. I’m always listening to Slipknot. The Night Game, I’ve been really stuck into them at the moment. That song The Outfield, I love that damn song at the moment. And Stephen does as well, he’s been singing it ALL day, he cannot stop.