For the past few years, globetrotting group The Faim have been firing ideas for their second album ‘Talk Talk’ at each other from Australia to LA. Working via remote sessions, the distance has only strengthened their bond. “[It’s] mainly because we’re all in the places we want to be,” founding bassist Stephen Beerkans explains. “There’s only so long you can write and work somewhere that your heart isn’t.”
Since they formed, the four-piece have wrangled ambition and drive and turned it into a bonafide job to afford themselves such opportunities. Following the release of their debut album ‘State Of Mind’ a few years ago, it’s been a constant focus to continue their upward trajectory.
Having undergone a lineup change in 2019, these days, the band are tighter than ever. With Sam Tye (guitar) and Linden Marrisen (drums) joining Stephen and Josh Raven (vocals), despite the long range of its members’ hearts, The Faim are armed and ready. Similarly, egos are left at the door. While the bits and pieces that make up ‘Talk Talk’ spawned from the minds of each breathing component, the ritual of bringing them together allowed this second iteration of The Faim to establish ground.
“We’re all adding to the songs that we think represent The Faim as a whole,” Stephen explains. “There’s no ego around who did what because it’s just a team effort to get them to the final spot.”
“That’s definitely a thing that I’m very grateful for with this band,” he continues. “Which I know some other bands don’t have. For a band member to have the ability to be like, ‘Oh yeah, I wasn’t a part of this song, but I’m going to bat for this song like it’s like my life’. You know what I mean?’”
Songwriting can be an intensely personal endeavour; chuck into the mix other people’s opinions, and you can easily wind up with lines drawn and members being told well and truly where to stick their views. But in true Faim fashion, they’ve got each other’s backs. And even if they don’t get near a song (“I didn’t even touch the bass on ‘The Hills’”), the fact that they only care about the bigger picture makes The Faim a watertight unit.
“When you spend as much time together as we do, you know what people are going to like and not like,” Stephen considers, mentioning that he’s written “like a million ideas” that haven’t made the cut.
A band who from the get-go have been dedicated to grabbing both rock and pop and whacking them together, it’s quite hard to pinpoint just where they belong. Of course, appearing at Slam Dunk and touring with the likes of fellow Aussies Stand Atlantic doesn’t hurt.
“Our genre is so eclectic!” he enthuses. “I was doing a profile for this website, and I had to do a one-sentence bio, and I was like, ‘The Faim is four guys that can’t settle on one genre’,” he bursts out laughing. “Everything just sounds like A Lot, but I hope that because everything is done in-house and with the four of us now, that’s the best way for it to sound like us. We’re having fewer people from outside bringing in big influences, so hopefully, this is one palette that can really show what The Faim is, and people can recognise the musicians behind each part.”
With Stephen in LA, Sam in Melbourne, and the rest of the band in Perth, it’s helped them stay grounded and grow as people. For Stephen, their remote sessions also helped him hone his thoughts before taking them to the larger table.
“You can sit with yourself, and you can get rid of all your bad ideas,” his eyes darting to the trash can icon of his computer. “When you’re in the studio, it’s a lot of pressure because if you’re putting out an idea, everyone hears it, but when you’re by yourself like you can feel free to like, really like try a whole bunch of things and then not be afraid to fail.”
‘Talk Talk’ is another manifestation of The Faim reaching higher. It’s poppier, brighter, and owes itself to the camaraderie the band has established. They’ve even done the majority of the work in-house, meaning they’re a bonafide, song-toting and producing band, which Stephen marks with a beaming: “We just feel a lot more personally attached to each song!”
Marking this change for the band comes closer, ‘Era’. The final song tracked for the album, penned by both Stephen and Josh, it encompasses The Faim’s past, ready to see them off to their present and future. The song came about when the band were drained of all their creativity due to the long recording sessions for the rest of the tracks. “In classic band fashion, we’re gonna go in with a positive mindset and see what happens,” Stephen recalls. “So we just wrote the song. We wrote a chorus about it being the final song of the album and the era, and this crazy ride over the last few years. We were feeling strong as writers at the end of that process, so it feels like the start of another era, like we’re only just getting started. It sums up the process of recording that album, but also, we’ve got more left in the tank.”
The tank does appear to be filled up and ready for the next long-haul grind. The Faim are back, and they’re hungry for more.
Taken from the August issue of Upset. The Faim’s album ‘Talk Talk’ is out now.