In a world where we hear of the negative aspects of social media, one instant message can change everything. It could put you in the view of a storied producer. That’s what Australian band, The Faim did when they bet on themselves and sent an Instagram message to producer John Feldmann. Feldmann has worked with bands such as Panic! At The Disco, Goldfinger, and The Used. Just one fateful introduction set them on the path of their recently released first album, State of Mind.
The band released their first EP, Summer Is A Curse in 2018. While they’ve brought some of these songs onto their first album journey, overall, these ten tracks provide a cohesive and honest depiction of a band getting comfortable with who they are as musicians and people. The composition of music ranging from all sorts of rock influences makes for a very immersive and inclusive listen. In our discussion with lead singer Josh Raven, you’ll learn more about the band on their journey to their debut.
So my first question is that I read somewhere that you guys had a huge pile of ideas, like 30 of them, when you brought them to John Feldmann. You worked with everybody from Pete Wentz to Josh Dunn and you kind of went through this process of finding your sound. Can you just walk me through a little bit on like how you did that and how that process was? You had all the songs ideas, but you were working with all these amazing artists, as you guys are becoming who you guys wanted to be.
Of course, man. Honestly, I feel whether it was with people that Pete Wentz or Josh Dunn, there was something that we learned from every session. I feel like is that everyone has a unique perspective when it comes to approaching music or when it comes to approaching something creative in general. We were fortunate enough to sort of tap into their mentality and tap into their approach when it comes to songwriting.
At the end of the day, everyone, whether you dress will act the same as somebody else is unique to their their own inward self. You can kind of always get an insight about when they, you know, kind of put in a position to be creative.
So, that process for us is quite daunting at first, just because, whether you consciously or subconsciously do it or not, you put people like that on a pedestal. It maybe because of their level of success or their level of talent or just whatever. They seem a lot bigger than you. When it comes down to it, they are human beings like anyone else. It was just really is humbling and heartwarming to kind of meet these people face to face and really tap into that. Just tap into the fact that the end of the day, everyone has their own sort of journey and their own sort of perspective when it comes to creating. So, I think it was really fortunate for us to have those lessons because we apply everything that we’ve learned in those sessions to every songwriting process moving forward.
Now, I also read, because you know John Feldman is a huge producer, that you guys initially sent a message to him on social media to get him familiarized with your music. I think that’s pretty dope and pretty confident shooting your shot like that. Was that nerve wracking sending that message to him saying “hey, check this out and see if you dig us?”
Yeah, that’s pretty much it, man. It all came about through Instagram. He did a post saying looking for unsigned bands with touring experience. We had absolutely zero touring experience, but we thought, let’s just try it anyway. Let’s write up this massive email with all the intimate details of what you just said. We’re a band that’s willing to work hard and be willing to learn with full dedicated musicians. This is our story and here’s a couple of our songs. A month or so went past and just didn’t think anything of it. at the time, I’d recently quit everything. I quit my job, and was doing like music full-time. Even though there was no real specific goals or specific vision in mind, it was just a way to express a passion to really pursue.
So a month passed and he kind of contacted us saying, “Okay, you got some great music, but, I want to find like your unique perspective. I want to find your unique sound and what we can do with that.” Then, through a couple of conversations, we ended up on a FaceTime call. He asked us to come to I start working with him. The rest of us a very long process to get to this point, but that’s essentially how it like came in.
So how was recording the new album with Samuel (Tye) and Linden (Marissen) on this album and integrating both of them into The Faim?
It was great. Having the other guys’ perspective on songwriting was a huge benefit. Not only are we all friends, but we’ve known each other in the past. Sam’s an incredible guitarist and Linden an amazing drummer. Stephen, of course, has always been an incredible bass player and I’m simply just the wild card who likes melodies and lyrics.
We really came together in a very personal way. I feel like, at first, it was a little like, not necessarily confusing, but you know, just getting used to everyone’s sort of dynamic. We’re still getting used to that. That will be like a never ending learning process because music is just an uncontrollable base block that and we’re always learning and growing. we’ve really found a unique stream of consciousness to sort of tap into.
I feel so comfortable with these guys. I feel like I’m able to express myself in a way like I never have before. Which in turn is going to affect the music and sort of the way we kind of present ourselves moving forward. There’s a lot of incredible changes coming, especially with this album. We wrote half of the album towards about four months ago. Which is pretty big in the sense that we had songs from three years ago. So, it’s gonna be interesting to see where the second album and the future leads this in general.
So the self titled track, it was the first song that you guys had written together, but it was originally six minutes. How did you whittle it down to the composition that you have it on the album? Do you ever plan to, perhaps, in a live setting, play the full six minute version of like that song?
We would love to. It’s honestly like borderline six or seven minutes. We could have extended it to like twelve if we really wanted to. The way that song sort of came about was really interesting because I had a really strange mentality that I really went to the studio. The first thing I said to the guys was “let’s take our clothes off. let’s just do it. don’t even about it.” The main statement is the other guys kept it a little bit more reserved and we put our clothes back on shortly after.
It was more about shaking up the consciousness. Shaking up the routines. We just been rehearsing day in, day out and trying to write songs. It was getting quite mundane and we weren’t really coming up with anything new. So essentially, from that process, we kind of sparked an excitement. It sparked this new sort of passion to try to do something different. As I mentioned, you see and play a chord they never played before. That first chord was the first part of the progression of the verses of that song.
It all came about really quickly. The skeleton of it came together almost instantly.It was really a reflection of the emotions and events at the time that I was kind of feeling. I always kind of felt like no one had really known me, personally. People got an insight into a part of me. No one really kind of knew what was going on inside of my personal consciousness or the way I was feeling. That kind of came like a letter to the people essentially.
It was a very intense journey and process, but we all got to put a mark on that song. Sam got to play the guitar that he loves to play. It absolutely amazed us all. The first rift after that first verse that he played was the first thing that he actually played while writing the song. That ended up being into the actual studio track. Even with Stephen and thee drums, everything was so raw and intimate. We just felt like this day was so perfect to be named after the album and reflected the band as a whole.
Going off to that, I wanted to go into “Humans,” because there are a lot of deep themes contained within this album. Like the line, “sometimes you gotta break the know that you’re human”. I love that there’s kind of like a vulnerability to it. Like if there’s like a real like, honest vulnerability to this album. I saw that fans, along with “Infamous” really cling to these songs. What does “Humans” mean to you personally?
It kind of unintentionally became quite a universal song. It’s not necessarily about a specific event or a specific place in time or specific relation. It’s all meshed together, if that makes sense. It’s this notion that I truly believe in that, until you’re kind of faced with any intricacy or any obstacle in life, you are essentially the same as anybody else. You are all human. We’re all born the exact same. The thing is that every single person is unique. Doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, or where you come from. The way you emotionally react to the intricacies and obstacles of life are the things that truly define you. It doesn’t matter the way that you look. It’s always just about how you feel inside.
I feel like that’s sort of a sentiment that can be taken quite strongly today. A lot of kids get kind of clouded with their identity because there are so many distractions around you. There’s layers upon layers of flashy lights, colors and screens. I feel like that’s a big step away from the fact the most important thing to really focus on is is yourself. Those feelings within yourself that really make you feel unique. That’s kind of where that song stemmed from.
I also wanted to talk about “Infamous” because it’s the one song that like I’ve seen fans really love. Especially when you guys play live. Just seeing in the comments, “yay, they finally released the song.” How it means so much to them. With playing it live and listening back to it the album in full, are there songs in particular like this one that are particularly special to you specifically? Like you said, there are some that you recorded three years ago and some recorded four months ago. Perhaps the meanings may change over time.
“Infamous” is a special interesting one because that song really became for the fans, When we first played it live, I realized that and the amount of people that connected with it. Even the way the lyrics are, conceptually, there’s a lot of words like “we” that are quite inclusive.
That’s what I wanted. I wanted for people to feel part of the community and experience. I wanted them to feel like they’re part of this journey. They are the biggest part of why we’re even able to pursue this passion and be able to chase this dream. This song, even though it was wrote three years ago, it’s developed and grown. Towards the end of this album, we knew the song needed to keep true to what sentiment, which was a live track.
Besides the title track, another song that I feel really strongly about is “Buying Time.” Conceptually that song is quite dark. It’s about a very huge moment that really impacted the way that I felt towards life in general. The way that I approached every minuscule aspect of just living was changed. I lost a very close personal friend at a very young age who meant a lot to me. Then having to grow up so quickly and face certain events at an age is that you shouldn’t necessarily have to was a huge experience. Opening up about that and being vulnerable that that was challenging and was an obstacle in its own right. “Buying Time” essentially became a kind of a letter to that friend of mine that passed.