The Faint. Uttering those two words instantly conjures up memories of dark dance parties and even darker eyeliner. Six years since seducing us with Fasciination, the Omaha rockers are back with Doom Abuse, out April 8th.
Why the gap between albums? The guys needed some time to feel inspired (and not pressured) by the recording process. When the moment felt right they reunited in the studio. The resulting Doom Abuse explores the psychological condition and sticks to what The Faint does best: raw, industrial rock that’s a touch nefarious.
I spoke with drummer Clark Baechle about what The Faint did with their downtime, the making of Doom Abuse, and the possibility of playing with Warren Buffett.
Sound Dessert: It’s been six years since the release of your previous album, Fasciination. With the time “off” did anyone pursue other ventures outside of music or acquire any new talents?
Clark Baechle: Outside of music, hmm, I got really into golf, oh and I learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube! We all kept busy throughout the break, but mostly still with music. Todd, Jacob and I started making electronic club music under the name Depressed Buttons. Dapose put out a rad noise album called Positive Feedback. I toured with Bright Eyes for most of 2011.
SD: Psychic phenomenon is a major theme on Doom Abuse. Were you surprised by any dark places your mind entered during the recording process? Have you noticed thoughts/worries that changed or stayed the same since recording the last album?
CB: I actually don’t remember my mind going to any dark places during the process this time. We were having so much fun the whole time! That was really the main difference from our last couple records. We didn’t worry about anything and just tried to run with every idea we had and see where it took us.
SD: The lead single “Help In The Head” references issues of the mind in the title. Who do you think (celebrity, political, etc) needs help in the head?
CB: We could all use a little help in the head! It’s the people that think they don’t that need it the most though!
SD: The band didn’t want to release new music until the experience felt fun again. What was liberating about the recording process this go around?
CB: The process was really different this time. We booked time to mix the record with Mike Mogis before we had any idea what we would be mixing. We gave ourselves a deadline and then just started recording. We had everything in our studio set up to record at all times so anytime we came across something we thought sounded cool, we immediately started recording. I think capturing the exact moment of inspiration really made a difference. It also makes everything go faster, and when you’re getting a lot done in a small amount of time, it’s easy to stay excited and inspired.
SD: What do you perceive as the most underrated thing about your hometown, Omaha?
CB: Omaha has been changing for the better at really fast pace. I think a lot of people still imagine it as a small rural city. We have great music venues now, more and more rad restaurants, and a lot of people making music and art. It’s really cheap to live here as well, which allows everyone more time to be creative and have fun.
SD: Another famed Omaha resident – Warren Buffett – dabbles in music. Have you met? Would you invite him to play his ukulele with you?
CB: I have never met him personally, but totally! Next time we need some ukulele on a new Faint track I’ll try to get his number!
SD: There’s a Nardwuar interview with Hilary Duff where she cites The Faint as inspiration behind her album, Dignity. She also said the band remixed the track “Play With Fire”. How was that experience? Any other collaborations that might surprise people?
CB: That was actually a Broken Spindles remix, so the rest of us didn’t have any contact with her, but I thought it was cool that she cited us as an inspiration. As for other collaborations, we remixed the song “Meet Your Master” for Nine Inch Nails. I can’t really think of any others.
SD: Are there any new bands you think capture the spirit of making innovative, unconstrained music?
SD: Name a couple essentials on your tour rider
CB: Fernet Branca is a must for us. We all like to have a few drinks before we play and hate playing feeling overstuffed from dinner. Fernet is a digestif so it helps accomplish both things at the same time. Oh, and it’s delicious!
Emergency vitamin packs. Nothing is worse than being sick on tour.
SD: Pick one: dancing, crowd surfing or head banging?