The Australian Alt-Rock band The Faim (French for “hunger”) is a band that’s hard to define on first listen. The songs are obviously highly polished, with well written song structure and catchy hooks setting them up to continue the explosive growth they’re already seeing. What’s hard to define are the influences that have been combined to create The Faim for what it is now. Having worked with big names like John Feldmann, Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy), Mark Hoppus (Blink-182) and Josh Dun (Twenty-One Pilots), the modern Post-Pop-Punk (is that a thing?) influence is obvious. What separates them from bands they are compared to like Palaye Royale and Hands Like Houses is that this band could just as easily be paired with larger pop acts like Bastille or older generations of international music greatness like Interpol. Before the production brings the songs into their final form, the songwriting stands on its own and speaks to the work that these artists put in before anyone was even paying attention.
I got a chance to speak with Stephen Beerkens (bass/keys) before their show tonight at The Masquerade opening for Andy Black (Black Veil Brides).
Jason: Hey Stephen, how’s it going?
Stephen: Doing, well and how about you?
Jason: Doing great, thanks for taking the time to speak with me! How’s your day going?
Stephen: Day’s going well, we’re driving in the van right now on our way to the show.
Jason: Oh man, you guys are regular road warriors in the van huh?
Stephen: *Laughs* Yeah, but luckily we have a little TV in here with an Xbox which has been great.
Jason: That’s rad, riding in style! So how’s it been opening for Andy Black? That’s pretty awesome.
Stephen: Oh it’s so cool man, the show last night was bad (good), the crowd is insane, I’ve personally never seen such a passionate crowd. They’ve been really inviting to all the opening bands which is great, and of course they show their love for Andy. It’s just awesome! Really good laughs all around.
Jason: How long have you been doing the music thing?
Stephen: I’ve been playing piano since I was seven, and I picked up the bass when I joined the band which was just over four years ago.
Jason: Were you someone the band sought out or were you already friends with them and they were like, “Hey do you want to play bass?”
Stephen: Yeah, we’ve been mates since High School, we played some covers together and played school events and were like, “Hey we should make up a band!” We started writing songs and it was very Pop-Punk, so yeah that’s how we started.
Jason: So is being a professional performer something you always wanted, or was it something you kind of fell into since you were playing in a band with friends?
Stephen: Yeah, I mean, I’ve been doing music for so long and have progressively gotten better over time, by the time I graduated high-school I knew this is what I wanted to do.
Jason: I noticed you said you started off playing Pop-Punk, but the artists you are compared to pull from Pop, Hip-Hop, Indie-Rock, Punk… what would you consider the genre is for the music you’re making?
Stephen: Well the music we’re making is diverse, what we’re trying to do, we don’t have any one style that we feel we have to stick to and that’s something we really hold dear. We have so many different influences, like Red Hot Chili Peppers, The 1975, Frank Sinatra, classical music, and the challenge is how to take the amalgamation of all those different styles music and make it ours. I don’t really think of our music as existing in any one category. Genres these days are so fluid, their being combined everywhere so it’s really exciting to be able to reach across the aisle to different types of fans of music.
Jason: It does seem like styles of music are combining, and new genres are being created so fast that it’s hard to put newer artists into a box. It’s cool that we’re seeing more acceptance between artists and fans of different styles. As far as playing in different parts of the world, are there any surprising differences in the music cultures in the places you’ve performed or worked on creating music?
Stephen: Oh yeah, one of the exciting things is you know, we’ve had the opportunity to explore different cultures in the world, lately we’ve been to the UK, our home in Australia and the U.S., but each state within the US can almost feel like a different country which is exciting. You meet new people every single day and every night has a new experience.
Jason: Is that your favorite part of touring?
Stephen: Definitely, whether it’s the people that we meet at the shows that come out to see us or the bands that we perform with. You get to know them so well whether it’s a shorter or longer tour, it’s hard not to become great friends.
Jason: And hopefully you get to play a little Xbox when you have time.
Stephen: *Laughs* Yeah!
Jason: Do you have any advice for artists that are trying to make a jump like The Faim did? I know you worked with John Feldmann and he kinda blew it up for you.
Stephen: Yeah he hit us up and invited us to come work with him in LA in 2017. But you know for other people trying to get their music out there and pursue being a solo artist or being in a band, believing in yourself is the first step, believing in the music you’re making… if you don’t believe in yourself than no one else will. Stick true to who you are, everyone has something to offer. Figure out what your unique perspective is and how people are going to relate to it. Once you find that, work really hard to establish yourself and get your name out there.
Jason: What’s something that you want your fans or potential fans to know.
Stephen: We’re honestly just four dudes out here doing what we love to do. There’s no gimmicks, it’s really just us performing for people because it’s what we love.
Jason: That’s great to know! Thanks again for taking the time to speak with me, anything you want to leave us with?
Stephen: Come out to the show and come say hey!
The Faim will be performing TONIGHT (4/22) at The Masquerade, opening for Andy Black of Black Veil Brides. SEE YOU THERE!