We caught up with Southampton quartet Faux before their Manchester show at the Academy 3, in support of Counterfeit, to find out a little more about them and their self-branded label of dirty pop music.
BM: I know last night was only the first date of the Counterfeit tour, but was it good in Leeds?
Lee: Yeah, it was a good packed show.
James: Yeah, there had been a big build up to it and it was like ‘okay, it’s done now…’ after we played.
Lee: We didn’t really get to explore either
James: Well we had a long drive. It took five hours to get there, so we just loaded in and played.
BM: How was the venue because the Key Club is really quite small? There’s no pit or anything.
Luke: It was very personal, but it was nice though. The crowd were really nice, so it was fun.
BM: So the whole ‘dirty pop’ label that you guys are branded as, is that something you came up with yourself, or is that something someone called you and you’ve just kind of stuck with it?
Daly: Someone called us that didn’t they?
Lee: No, I think we made it up and started calling ourselves that and people started believing it was a real thing.
Luke: We should send that to iTunes as like a new genre…
Lee: We could copyright that! We’d be at the top of the dirty pop charts because it’d just be us… But we came up with it because we wanted to be pop but a bit more… pop-rock is something that’s been done, Jimmy Eat World have sort of got that covered in my opinion. So it’s just something that started floating around and we stuck with it.
BM: You realised an EP, Inhale last year, how have you found the reception for that?
James: Loads of fun.
Lee: Yeah, it’s been really good. We did a couple of music videos for it, they went down really well. Alex Baker from Kerrang!, he played pretty much all of the tracks over the course of the year. For what it was, it went as far as, or even further than maybe we expected. It really pushed us into writing what we’re going to write. It was sort of a bit different from our first EP, so it was more like a stepping stone rather than the pinnacle of what we’re going to write. We do really love it because obviously we spent loads of time on it. But it’s not an end goal.
Luke: They’re all very separate songs. Instead of writing an EP that’s cohesive, it’s four different songs that we think sound good. They don’t necessarily sound the same or fit as a whole. But people dig that.
Lee: Ultimately, until you do your debut album, you’re still just a band in development. So that’s what we think of it. We just released a single called Hot Headed, and we’re releasing another single next week, and then probably another one next month. But they’re all completely different. They’re brand new songs, but they’re all kind of a slightly different genre almost.
James: They still all sound like us though.
Lee: We’re still very much trying to find what we want and expand on that.
BM: That’s cool though, that they don’t all sound similar to each other, so you can show people the different sides of the band.
James: Yeah! It doesn’t feel like we’re a band trying to figure out what we want to do, it’s more just a slightly different vibe on each track. It’s just different elements across the board
Luke: Anyone that likes any kind of music could take something out of any song. But I think equally they’d be able to recognise that it was us from hearing it.BM: What is your writing process like?
James: (To Lee) You normally come in with a guitar or a song structure don’t you?
Lee: Yeah… More of like an idea. I’ll write a chorus or a verse, and it’s just a simple set
Luke: Then we’ll be practicing the set and he’ll go ‘boys, got a new song here’, so then we’ll stop doing what we’re doing, and we’ll start jamming, which is fun.
James: Then it’s like a team evolutionary process, we’ll write something (James and Luke)
Luke: Yeah, we’ll get drums and bass locked in straight away
James: And then the next week, we’ll forget it! Then we’ll come back with something totally different, but it’ll kind of be the same thing. It’ll grow from there, then Lee will come back and he’ll change some things
Luke: Lee just comes in and sprinkles some magic over it!
James: So I’d say it’s an evolutionary process, which starts with an idea, probably from Lee and everyone else just puts in their two cents I’d say…
BM: I know you just talked about the release of Hot Headed, but you have a video for that which was filmed in Salisbury cathedral- what was the idea behind that?
Lee: Well we wanted to do a performance video, just because we hadn’t done one for a while. The last one was us being silly…
James: We had a Faux Olympics!
BM: How did that go, did you actually do competitions and stuff?
James: Yeah! One of them was to eat a raw onion… We all tried to anyway. Daly won, he smashed it…
Daly: Yeah, I didn’t feel great after. We also did the chilli challenge, cinnamon challenge, paper aeroplane float…
BM: So it wasn’t proper Olympic challenges like javelin and stuff?
Lee: We did a blindfolded 100 metres! That was scary! We ran into each other a lot. Then the video before that was me walking out of the sea backwards.
James: I’d fucked my back at that point! We were supposed to do a performance video but I’d fucked my back up.
Lee: What were we supposed to do?
Luke: I dunno but we were all at work and you just decided you were going to shoot the video to get it done.
Lee: So anyway, we just wanted to do a performance video, and the cathedral is near us, I live in Salisbury. It’s a really nice venue and we managed to book it through some friends, and it worked. It was a cool place to do a performance video.
BM: Yeah, the video does have a very grandeur vibe to it…
James: We were a little bit loud though. There were some older fellows, 92 they were! They were a bit annoyed… and if they could hear it, it must have been quite loud.BM: You’re playing Teddy Rocks festival this month!
James: Its next week! Next Friday
Lee: We played last year as well, it’s a really cool festival and it’s only about 30 miles away from us. It’s a great festival, and a great cause. We’re really happy to be on the line-up; I think we’re main stage this year!
James: It should be fun. We have the Southampton show on this tour, it’s on the same day! We’ve got Teddy Rocks at like 3pm, then going to Southampton to play a show with Counterfeit!
BM: Do you have any other festivals or anything planned for the summer then?
Lee: The main point of interest for us now is going to be writing the new EP, so this tour is obviously something we’ve been working towards for a while- we’re playing a couple of new songs on it. We’ve got another music video we’re going to do in a month or two, it depends. Then we’re just going to write.
James: Well we’ve been this line-up for probably a year now, so we’re starting to write what we really think we all want to be writing now, it’s all settling down and settling in which is good.
Lee: I think we’ll probably do another little tour, to some of the venues we’ve done with Counterfeit. But our main focus will be new material
Luke: Write bangers, innit! Summer bangers!
Lee: Yeah! Then we probably could go on tour in like October or November really… Everyone just goes to festivals through the summer anyway so there’s no point in touring during July and August.
BM: Do you have any ideas for the video that you said you were filming next?
Lee: We’ve got one idea… We had an idea where we would have all our friends, and all our friends in bands. And the idea was that they would mouth the lyrics, but it changes person every time the light changes. That was something we thought about… But I think it needs to be a bit more summery than that. That’s a bit goth
BM: There is nothing wrong with a bit of goth!!
James: We love a bit of goth! But it needs to be like summer goth. More like Mona The Vampire, a light-hearted goth…
BM: Last question, just wondered what kind of bands you’d like to see yourself touring with?
Lee: I think everyone has got slightly different music tastes; personally, I’d like to tour with The Hunna, I really like them.
James: Jimmy Eat World. Killswitch Engage?
Daly: I’d like to tour with Foals, that’d be cool, they’re one of my favourite bands
Lee: Well I probably would have said someone sillier if I knew weren’t being realistic…
James: Fucking, Steel Panther! And I want to tour with Lamb Of God, I don’t care. I love Lamb Of God so much. It’s not their scene…
Daly: Brand New, that would be cool. And Biffy.
James: Just any band that is good. As long as they’re good…
BM: Who is everyone’s influences, as a band and as individuals?
Daly: Well as you can tell, we’re all very different…
Luke: I’d say as a band, Jimmy Eat World. And Weezer.
Lee: I pretty much exclusively listen to Brand New and The 1975
Luke: Arctic Monkeys for me, and Bombay Bicycle Club
Lee: Then James is just a massive metal head…
Photos by Erin Moore @ Forte Photography UK