Interview with The Faim’s Josh Raven
I love when a band has success right off the bat. That’s not to say The Faim isn’t working hard. From talking to frontman Josh Raven, it’s clear they are. But they also recognize how lucky they have been to work with great writers and producers like John Feldmann, Pete Wentz, Mark Hoppus, Josh Dun and Ashton Irwin for their first EP, Summer Is A Curse. Right now these guys from Perth, Australia, are touring all over America in support of Hands Like Houses and hit Denver’s Marquis Theater on November 13th. I really enjoyed chatting with Josh and look forward to seeing them live.
Interview with The Faim
Tell me about The Faim. How did you get together?
We started about 3-1/2 years ago. It’s the typical story where Stephen (Beerkens, who plays bass and keyboard) and I were in the same high school music class and we started a band. And then we needed a drummer since neither of us played that. And then we added the rest of the band.
Sounds like you have worked with some impressive people on your first album. How did that go?
We learned something different with each writer. It was amazing to work with all those big names, but we also worked with many other people. Each of them helped us develop the music. We were never handed a song – but they all helped us look inside to find the most natural way for the song to form. We wanted them to still be relevant in 80 years.
The video for “Summer Is A Curse” seems to have a deeper message than I would have guessed after listening to the song. What’s the story behind that?
Yeah, that’s true. The song itself is about pursuing your dreams. So the video looks at a situation that’s pretty bad … where the girl is living in a bad place or let’s say is in a bad situation. But if you plan and work and try – no matter what the situation is, you can make decisions to make it better. You can take control of it. Push your boundaries. No situation is permanent, and you should look for ways to get out.
Major influences musically?
For me, it really varies. I’m wildly diverse. I love current music, but of course, from the past, there’s Led Zepplin and Elvis and Johnny Cash. But then I still like Metallica and Biggie Smalls and Jason Derulo and Justin Timberlake … so, yeah, I pretty much like everything.
Who writes the songs?
Me and Stephen pretty much, but every person in the band contributes. We really feel like everyone’s perspective is important. That’s why it’s been great to work with all these other different people and get their input as well. We like music as a collaboration.
I know many bands here in Denver, and I think rehearsals are sometimes the most fun part. What are your rehearsals like?
(Laughs) Yeah, of course, we banter and have fun. But we’re also very focused people, and we are working hard at rehearsal. But, yeah, there’s lots of climbing up and down the drum kit and banging on the symbols and joking around. We’re lucky that we love the work that we do.
You’ll be at the Marquis in Denver, which is one of my favorite venues. Do you have any favorite shows or venues you have played?
Every show is incredible, honestly. But I have to say we are blown away by our recent London show. It was such a big crowd with people singing our songs on the shoulders of other people – it was so surprising to us. To have that kind of response on such a large scale.
I think this is your first US tour, but have you been to the United States before?
We’ve never toured in America before. In fact, my first time out of Australia was when we went to LA to work on the album. We’re in New York right now and one thing that I’m learning quickly and are there so many different accents. There’s four right here in the state of New York. On this tour, we will get to see a lot of America, which is exciting. There’s gonna be a couple of long drives – like a 14 hour and 22-hour stretch – but it’s going to be so great to see.
What inspires your creativity outside music?
Pretty much everything. Memories and dreams and hopes and anger and grief. There’s no wrong way to write a song, and for that reason, it’s a great form of expression. When you say what’s in your head and your heart.
What do you do for fun?
Fun? What’s that? No, truly we like to explore. We took a very, very long walk in New York City today. I am an avid reader, a real bookworm. I lose myself in books. We also like to play sports together – any kind of sport – even though we don’t know how to, at all. Essentially, we make our own fun wherever we go.
Any last thoughts?
Well, I probably should mention what the name of our band means.
Wait, really?! I actually had that question but struck it since bands hate it.
(Laughs) Well, “faim” means “the hunger” in French. Like how I mentioned we’re pretty tunnel-vision about pursuing our dreams. We want to follow that passion and not be afraid to do whatever we want.
Do any of you speak French?
No! I mean, just a couple conversational things. We don’t even really speak English – only Australian.
Well, I understood Josh pretty well and I think American audiences will too. 😆
Check out their tour dates here in the U.S. through the fall and in Europe into the new year.
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Header image by Hagen Wolf.