The Faint

They've been described as Nebraska's answer to Heaven 17 which isn't too far from the truth. Imagine your dreams of 80s perfection with hardened beats from the new millennium and songs to die for. We caught up with lead vocalist Todd Baechle on their debut UK tour to find out about the new wave of electro pop.

Q: The debut UK single "Agenda Suicide" is out this week, you've just completed a UK Tour. Its been a long time coming since as you formed in 1994. What were hearing now isn't what The Faint have always sounded like though is it. Why did you decided to change the sound so radically?
A: We became tired with what we could do with guitars and were just kind of uninspired by that whole sound. Keyboards have much more options as to what you can do with one musical instrument. SO we bought some crappy keyboards and basically just took it from there. We wanted to be more exciting and hip, have a better live show and put more of a performance so we wanted the songs to be more upbeat.

We got the first few songs we did electronically on the second Faint album "Blank Wave Arcade". What first came out was sort of New Wavey and we thought it was fun. It definitely wasn't vogue at the time, but it was fun and brought good memories back for us. What we were thinking of was a New Wave themed album, not ignoring what decade it was but incorporating some of history as a band in the 90 with some of that sound.

I think the reason that sound came so easy to us was we had the same keyboards as what they were using in the early 80s. Since that album we haven't consciously sounded New Wave but its part of our sound after touring for years with those songs.

Q: The names people throw around are Heaven 17, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode. How does it feel to be described as an almost retro electronic band?
A: I definitely think there are similarities between those bands and the type of thing we do and we'd never deny that. But I think there is something different - its more of a rock type of thing right now, more of a harder dance. I don't think that were necessarily repeating things that those bands do. Were familiar with them but I wouldn't say that were huge fans!!!!

Q: There does seem to be a whole host of bands such as the Strokes and The White Stripes coming out of the States that seem to take as much time with their image as they do with their music. Would you say that image plays and integral part of the Faint?
A: We come from the punk underground and indie rock history as well as everything else we sound like so I think of it more as...we want to set the mood for the show and we want there to be a certain atmosphere than everybody can share at the club. That's why we have the lights that go a certain way to the music and we want it to be dark. I suppose we admire bands that just put on a I guess in order to put on a show as long as your really thinking what you're doing, what you look like naturally goes with that.

Q: How do you think the Faints sound will work on the No Doubt tour next month. I guess it takes on a whole different setting these stadium sized venues?
A: These aren't very big shows for them. They're bigger shows than what we would normally do and smaller shows than what they usually do. We will hopefully have a good learning experience going on tour as a support group because we've never done that before. I have no idea how their fans will react...I'm curious...but it didn't come into question when deciding whether or not to do it.

Q: When can we expect you back in the UK?
A: As soon as the record is released, I figure we'll be back within months of that. I would say before the end of the year. As far as I know were not booked to do any festivals....we really like to play indoors at night!!!!

For More Info

Post your own The Faint reviews / views on our Message Board