Hello Josh! What can people expect from your set today?
Josh: People can expect four dudes who love playing music. They can expect a bit of emotion at my end as well; I shed a tear. I also get a bit wild as well. The songs are basically a representation of our story; they come from a lot of experiences in my life, and from all of our lives, really. Just expect four dudes who really love playing music.
2017 was a fantastic year for The Faim; you were invited over to America by the legend that is John Feldmann and had the opportunity to work with big names such as Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy and Mark Hoppus from Blink 182. Can you tell us a little bit about how that opportunity came about and your experience while over there?
Josh: It all started through Instagram with John, as he was looking for unsigned bands with touring experience. We had no touring experience, but we sent him a big email explaining our dedicated position, that we love what we do, and that we were willing to learn and better ourselves in every way possible. To cut a long story short, we ended up writing thirty-odd usable songs, and then we went to LA to meet him. After that, he was open to the idea. He asked who we’d like to collaborate with, so we told him our influences and all that sort of stuff and he contacted loads of people that he knew and sent them our songs, and asked them if they would like to input. The experience of writing with all those different people was a great learning experience. I think that some people get really scared about the word ‘co-write’, because they think that the authenticity is going to be lost or they’re not going to have any control over it; but what happened with us, is that we were really allowed to collaborate. We gained new perspective in these songs. Every experience was different; for example, with Pete Wentz we sat down for two hours beforehand and talked about the music industry, our journeys and how they related. We discussed how hard it is for musicians to make it in today’s world. With Mark Hoppus, we ended up writing a very emotional and personal song for me, and it weirdly started by looking at top ten venomous snake bites on the internet. With Ashton Irwin from 5 Seconds of Summer, we hung out with him for two days before we even thought of writing anything. We really got to know him and it was interesting, because without 5 Seconds of Summer, we probably wouldn’t be a band. We looked at them; five guys from high school who started a band and wanted to take on the world, and thought ‘Why can’t we do that?’. We tried the same thing, so writing that last song with him was really special.
Following on from your time in America; if you were to work on new material with an artist dead or alive from a completely different genre of music to yourselves who would you choose?
Josh: That is a very hard choice! There are so many people that I would like to work with. I think if I had to choose just one, I would love to work with Skrillex. He has a very talented mind.
You’ve gigged quite a lot in the UK recently, including supporting Lower Than Atlantis on their tour. How to British audiences compare to those back home in Australia?
Josh: It is different, but in a great way! I think that people over here really do have a passion to learn more about music, and not just for the music, the artists behind it as well. We found that every night, more and more people were singing our songs. We’ve only released three songs so far. Even after the shows, we were at the merch desks for hours talking to people of all ages and all demographics. Security hated us on the tour, because we were pretty much just staying there until the venue closed and then we were outside for ages talking as well. For us as a band, I think that it is very important to set an example, and cement a relationship and a memory with people. I think that kids these days, and people in general, have a different perspective of what the main stream is like. I think it’s kind of lost where you see these icons instead of people who are actually there. There’s a lot more false faces that they put out on social media; whereas we just try to be ourselves, and people respond to that.
Talking about fan relationships; you recently did that special acoustic show and fan meet and greet at St Pancras Station. Gigs and social media are obviously a good way to help build a relationship with your fans. What do you think is the most effective way for a band or artist starting out to grow their fanbase organically?
Josh: I think that the biggest thing that a band needs to do when starting out is to make every opportunity to meet as many people that you possibly can. Go to shows, go out on the street, hand out flyers. Interaction is good; just start a conversation with someone, put posters up, get your name out there and really utilise social media as well. Find ways to meet new people. When people do interact; deepen that relationship by getting to know them. I think that utilising every avenue for expansion is the best way to do it. Also, you have to love what you do; you have to love meeting people and the music that you’re making. If you do, then it doesn’t become work. It’s a very beautiful thing.
2018 looks set to be another massive year for you guys. You’ve already released three singles; Saints of the Sinners, Midland Line and latest single Summer Is A Curse, and you have big gigs already booked including supporting Pvris on tour and festivals like Download and Reading and Leeds. What are you most looking forward to this year?
Josh: That’s a hard decision for me; because for me personally, as a performer and a writer, I think every show’s going to be the same. Whether there’s one person or a million people in the crowd, I’ll always give my all every single time. Of course, I’m so excited for the festivals to come. All the YouTube videos of these festivals will not do them justice, I’m sure. Being able to perform and have a positive impact on people always excites me, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.
It might be early days yet; but can we perhaps expect an album some time soon with all the songwriting that you have been doing?
Josh: Definitely an album this year, for sure. That’s the biggest thing that we’ve done; it’s all finished. We just really want to focus on giving this album the best chance possible. It’s so personal and special and diverse, that we want to put it out in the right way. We’ll release singles and we’ll release music videos. We want to hype that and give it the best chance possible.
You guys were called Small Town Heroes originally, but you then decided to change your name to The Faim. What inspired you to make that move, and was it a risk considering that you already had a relatively good following?
Josh: Yes. We always thought that it would be a bit of a risk; but I came to the conclusion that even if we did change the name, if a fan is really going to care about you as an artist that they’d understand why you wanted to do so. Small Town Heroes for us wasn’t a name that we wanted to have in forty years’ time. Especially since we’ve grown so much; not changed, but developed into different people. I’d say, better people. The sound has morphed and grown so much as well. We just felt that the name didn’t fit any more. ‘Faim’ means hunger in French; which for us, is our burning passion for music. That is all that is ever going to be relevant for our entire musical career, so we felt that the name was perfect.
The headliners for Slam Dunk are Good Charlotte and Jimmy Eat World. If you were to create your own festival and choose headliners, who would you choose?
Josh: That’s such a hard choice again! One would definitely have to be Red Hot Chili Peppers; I love them, I really do. Oh man, this is hard; I love so many bands. Actually, I have been listening to The Night Game a lot recently, so I’d probably choose them.
What’s in the pipeline for the you guys for the rest of the year?
Josh: Besides what has already been mentioned, there are a lot of things that we can’t actually talk about just yet. Very secret. As you mentioned, we have the Pvris tour coming up and a tour with The Dangerous Summer in June; that should be a lot of fun. Then there is Reading and Leeds as well. We have a lot of things planned; we’ll be going to a lot of countries, and that is pretty much all I can say at the moment. It’s all very exciting. Watch this space.