It’s been a relentless year for The Faim. They’ve toured America, Australia, Europe and the UK, played Reading and Leeds Festival and released their second album, State of Mind. Before their Manchester show on Sunday, we got a chance to sit down with the band’s front man, Josh Raven. We spoke about the band’s year so far, Billie Eilish and how how feels inspired to write songs…
HOW HAVE YOU DEVELOPED AS A BAND SINCE YOU WERE LAST HERE IN THE UK?
Individually, we’ve definitely all grown through our own experiences, but the biggest thing that we’ve developed as a band has been our live set. Really honing in on finite details of what we want, not only how we want to present the songs, but what we enjoy playing. Things that are going to make us excited. We’ve toured so much so it’s not to say we get bored of the songs, more like, what can we do to add our own flare and own sense of development. You can rehearse in a room so much but you get much more from the crowd interaction. We have incredible fans, we have incredible people around us all the time to make us feel good. But we’re also not too complacent, I like to stay grounded. I never like to think I’ve learnt music or I’ve learnt how to do the best live set because it’s an ever-growing beast.
HOW WAS TOURING WITH STAND ATLANTIC AND ANDY BLACK?
A lot of fun. Stand Atlantic especially, they’re such incredible people and I still talk to them regularly. They’re fellow Australians and they’re doing really well. I’ve got a lot of time and respect for those people because they’re very humble, down to earth and they work incredibly hard… and they put up with my shit. Also, in my realm of wanting to develop through music and through life, I try and take things not too seriously.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT FROM THE ARTISTS YOU’VE TOURED WITH?
One thing I’ve learnt is to not only be open and be yourself but embrace all the little things. It’s so easy to focus on the negative things and get bogged down. For those tours I pretty much got rid of my phone. I was pretty much using an I-pad for four months because I didn’t wanna be near it. Connecting w people is great but the internet and phones in general, there’s a lot of crap in it. It gets in your head and I advocate for being yourself and finding the best way to be the best version of yourself. I used to teach primary school for a bit … and these 8 year old kids have Snapshat. It’s an eye opener; when I was eight I didn’t even know what a phone was, I was too busy lighting fires or climbing trees.
WHO WOULD BE YOUR DREAM ARTIST TO TOUR WITH?
It’s hard because a lot of bands I look up to I couldn’t imagine touring with. I love bands like Slipknot and Rage Against the Machine and then I love Nothing But Thieves and Frank Sinatra so it’s all quite eclectic. I’d have to say just for the sake of being able to see them again every night, a band we just toured with, Normandy. And Hot Milk as well, they’re just such great people, they’re great at what they do and I respect people are so true to their art and that’s quite diluted these days. It’s nice to meet people who are so genuine. In the sake of a dream artist I’d have to say Finneas or Billie Eilish, that would be great. Finneas is such a genius in general and Billie Eilish is such a vibe and very talented, her voice is amazing. She’s done so much for her age, you forget she’s 17, I can’t imagine the kind of pressure she has to deal with sometimes. But she seems like she carries herself in a very good way.
WHAT’S ON YOUR SPOTIFY WRAPPED 2019?
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Nothing But Thieves
WHAT ARE YOU AMBITIONS FOR NEXT YEAR?
We toured so much this year, I feel like our overall goal is gonna be developing our live set and adding production value. Our lighting, not too busy because I never like to take away from the actual performance, but a level of synchronisation. If you think of a theatre show or cinema, lighting and sound always go hand in hand, so if you can implement those in a way, they can both compliment each other in the best way. A band that does it very well is The 1975. The biggest thing we want in 2020 is just to write. We wanna smash this second album out incredibly quickly. Not rush it, but dedicate a touring amount of time to writing. We want it to be just us four, no co-writers, no people having an influence because in my mind I want it to be just us. I want us to experiment.
I feel like we want to focus on our priorities of writing in the most honest way possible and kind of lock our selves in a room and do a bunch of weird shit and write a bunch of weird stuff and not confine ourselves to anything. I need things to be different, strange, make you feel uncomfortable. I don’t care if it’s tripping off clothing or doing something crazy or being in a weird environment or putting yourself in a strange head-space. I love that idea of impulsive thought and I love the idea of what you can create when you’re in that freedom of thought. The guys are the same but I’m very much extreme. So, if I was writing something at home I’d have a glass of wine and be doing weird shit and doing something different, covered in books or whatever. I just love surrounding myself with a strange, unpredictable environment because I feel like inspiration is such an unpredictable thing.
See photos from the show…