If the Faint took a long time to make Fasciinatiion, it’s because the band wanted to get every detail exactly right
The Faint likes to take its sweet time to get things done. Fans have been waiting nearly four years for the Omaha new-wavers to release their latest record, the synth-laden masterpiece Fasciinatiion.
The quintet’s fifth disc, Fasciinatiion is so perfectly danceable that it would hardly be surprising if the Faint had carefully charted each track out on a graph ahead of time. You might expect, then, that the studio perfectionists plan their performances as carefully as they do their recordings. However, with only two days left before it takes off on its next tour, the group finds itself in the throes of overhauling its entire stage show.
“We’re at the point where you throw together whatever you got, make the best of it, and hope it goes well,” singer Todd Fink says nervously from a Nebraska rehearsal studio. “I was pretty excited about this one idea where some mechanical things were spinning to the music and having images projected on them. It just couldn’t happen, though.”
Despite the disappointing lack of certain visuals, the band’s members—keyboardist Jacob Thiele, guitarist Dapose, bassist Joel Petersen, and drummer Clark Baechle—are still beyond-excited over their latest set of songs. That’s understandable, considering how much work went into the album. The Faint won’t let a tune leave its jam space until every member is happy with it.
“Not only every single song,” Fink adds, “but every single note from every single part for every single instrument. It’s just stupid, but that happens to be the way that we do it. It definitely causes things to take longer.”
Though much of Fasciinatiion finds the group revisiting its patented electro-rock sound, a few cuts may confuse long-time listeners. A minimalist snap beat drives the ambitious, hip-hop–infused “Fulcrum and Lever”, a number Fink wasn’t sure his bandmates would be interested in playing. “I didn’t think of it as a Faint song when I was writing it,” the frontman explains. “I was basically trying to write a rap song.”
Fink’s hushed delivery updates the Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait (The Whisper Song)”, but the novice MC skips the naughty sex rhymes to spit about eating peanut butter sandwiches instead.
Despite adding new flavours and influences to the mix, the vocalist maintains that anything the quintet works on will come out sounding like the Faint. “Ultimately, we’d like to be making a completely different record every time, but what I’ve come to realize is that even if one person’s taste changes a lot, you have to have all five tastes change in that same direction in order to end up with something that sounds completely different.”
The Faint plays the Commodore on Friday (August 1).