The Faint - Riding The Blank Wave
Call them what you will – punk rock, new wave, electro-dance – Omaha group The Faint are indie music pioneers. 3D’s Anita Connors caught up with frontman Todd Fink to chat about their new album Fasciinatiion, their upcoming tour and the founding of their new record label Blank.wav.
Forming in the mid-’90s, Todd Fink and his co-conspirators first found themselves in the “lite rock” incarnation Norman Bailer with then bandmate Conor Oberst (indie-folk extraordinaire). After a name change and fine-tuning their sound, The Faint finally released an album they were happy with.
“I guess I’d say that the band started off kind of trying to find something, didn’t know what it was, and ended up, at one point, figuring out what it was supposed to be and…kind of found itself,” recalls Fink. “But at the time, when it found itself, I’d say that we were on our second album. But we’ve been a band for quite a while it seemed like at that time. On Blank-Wave Arcade, I think we’ve kind of figured out the direction we wanted to go and we’ve just been playing with that direction. Nudging it one place or nudging it another place since then. And I’d be curious to see what happens next, really. But I’d guess I’d say, [our sound has] gotten more rhythmic and it’s gotten pretty planned out. Sometimes I want to rebel against that and, I don’t know… it’s tough to analyse your own music, especially over a long span. My view of what it sounds like and what it’s for – what it’s like – is probably so different to everybody else’s.”
The new album Fasciinatiion is a stronger yet more subtle effort by the Nebraskan outfit than their previous releases. Keeping their signature mix of punk, disco and electronic atmospherics, it’s a surprise to hear no hint of the layered darkness found on Danse Macabre and Wet From Birth.
“[Darkness] was more of a theme [here] and there were some really dark moments,” Fink admits. “I think those kinds of things come very naturally to the band and we tend to choose those darker melodies in general because we don’t get tired of them as fast. And sometimes it just feels good to play like that. So those come out, but they don’t always come out… I don’t know, on this one there’s nothing so overtly dark.”
Take the first single off the album, for example.
“It’s a futuristic dream-sequence,” stresses Fink. “I like to think about time travel, and I like to dream about time travel. It’s kind of pseudo-psychedelic dream voyages, they feel like a good, creative place to go. And I like that it just all came out.”
The evolution of their music on their latest album lies in part with their split with record label Saddle Creek and the foundation of their own, blank.wav.
“I think we’re more involved in making the decisions as far as which things will be a part of [the record],” Fink says. “I mean it’s easy to say ‘we don’t want to do this and we don’t want to do that’ – like promote the record out of laziness and just wanting to be not comfortable doing whatever it is. I think we’re doing a pretty good job of actually giving it a fair shot.”
WHO: The Faint
WHAT: Fasciinatiion through blank.wav / Pod / Inertia
WHEN: Out now
MORE: inertia-music.com / thefaint.com