For eighteen months or so, over in Perth, Australia, four mates have been toiling away pulling fifteen-hour days in studios. Josh Raven, Stephen Beerkens, Michael Bono and Sean Tighe, who together make up The Faim, have been trying to ensure that whatever they bring into the world is the best it can be.
And it’s working out for them. While they only have one song out currently, ‘Saints & Sinners’, with the massive spotlight that’s been thrown on them, you could be forgiven for thinking they’re old hat at this. This one track isn’t just any song, either. It’s co-written with Pete Wentz after the band got in contact with pop-punk super-producer John Feldmann.
Speaking to singer Josh, who’s currently prepping for their Lower Than Atlantis support tour, he attributes all of this success to the band’s bloody good work ethic.
“[It was] about a year and a half of solid grinding, just in the studio before we had any contact really with John – and we were taking things 100% seriously,” he explains. “Just locking ourselves in the studio, doing as much writing as we can, doing as much social media as we can – just constantly being critical and finding the next step forward.”
That last part is key to the story of The Faim; they’re incredibly switched on. While Perth may be enviously hot (“I’m melting into a small puddle!”), they’re actually quite secluded.
“Oh, we’re very isolated. Very, very isolated. Especially because the East Coast is where things happen in Australia; Adelaide, Melbourne – they all have close distance. They’re all closer to America; they’re all easy airports to travel from. Perth is like you have to do a five-hour flight to even go outside the country most of the time!”
Aware that their geographical situation wouldn’t help them take over the world, the band sought greener pastures. Reaching out to John in California was as simple as an email. And gaining traction? Well, if you know how to play the social media game, it pretty much builds itself. Though the musical side of things does certainly help.
A perfect balance between new and old, The Faim are unashamed of their influences while looking toward the future. The fact that they’ve been a “studio band”, as Josh describes it, shows their focus is on the craft far more than just showing off.
“Everything’s always been pretty thought out,” he begins. “We’ve always had a pretty big game plan, but with our luck, things go wrong most of the time! But we’re the type of people who love pressure.”
It’s a good job they do because coming out of nowhere and having their first officially released song co-written by a childhood hero is certainly a pressure-cooker. On this new extreme level of attention, Josh is, as always, mighty cool and calm about it.
“We were mainly surprised, I guess. The magnifying glass we have on us right now, with people looking at the band, especially people who are intrigued about the story – some kids from the middle of nowhere who’ve just basically written songs in a studio non-stop. But we’ve come to terms with the fact that things are going to grow and things are going to develop.
“The way we see it is, we will always keep true to who we are. We love what we do so much, so no matter the amount of pressure, or who’s watching, it’s always going to be the same sort of story for us. We’re going to keep doing our same process of elimination, and our same perspective of music – we’re going to keep authentic to how we started and why we’re here now.”
Authenticity is the other key aspect of what The Faim are up to. Once upon a time, they were known as Small Town Heroes, but then they wanted more. Thus The Faim was born – a word that means ‘the hunger’.
On where this inclination to rise from the ashes came from, Josh offers: “The market is so saturated with people who do music very well, and people who are on the ball on what they’re putting out there. It seems like the market is starving for something more unique. People who are passionate about music, more than creating a ‘product’.”
As for what they are creating, well, that’s where some mystery still lies. With only ‘Saints & Sinners’ out in the world and no future releases on the horizon, the only downside to working so meticulously is that once the ball is rolling, it’s kind of hard to keep up.
“It’s still open to discussion really about what’s going on,” Josh reveals. “We’re stuck between the idea of, do we want to put everything out because our music is sonically so diverse, or do we want to put all that out at once through an album, or use an EP and kind of ease people into it?
“We want to have diversity amongst our albums [and] our songs, but the biggest thing we want to do is keep fresh because we want to stay new, we want to stay unique because people constantly develop, and music is so fluid. Genres are becoming less and less confining, and really kind of merging, and being able to stay fresh, and stay relevant, in a world that’s so merging at the moment, it’s a really important part of us.”
One thing that’s on the horizon is their UK dates with Lower Than Atlantis – their first ever tour. “It’s completely mental at the moment….” Josh marvels. “This is like the teenage band kid’s dream of being like; we’ve finally hit that moment. This is that pivotal point of becoming a touring band. It’s going to be a huge moment for us.”
All the hard work, and taking every opportunity, is born from the voice in the back of Josh’s head, which says to him, “‘Fuck it, I’m going to take what I want. I’m not going to let anyone else get in the way of that’.” He continues: “We dropped everything. We dropped our jobs; we dropped uni – all of our prior commitments.
“Everyone has that hunger and that burning passion to get creative out there. Sometimes it can be a very frustrating and angry journey along the way, but it’s about channelling that into something that’s really raw, but powerful.”
So, while the band are growing at an incredible rate, their first chapter, ‘Saints & Sinners’, will always stand as just that – those early footsteps from a band who have everything at their fingertips.
Taken from the May 2018 issue of Upset – order your copy below.