Interview: The Faim
The Faim is an Australian four-piece set of rockers that you’d never have guessed is in its infancy after seeing them live. They don’t just own the stage, the entire venue is their playground —whether it be jumping in crowds or jumping on bars. Their presence is undeniable and is an entrancing vehicle to connect their music with the crowd. While their debut album has yet to be released, the band’s singles and EP have deeply resonated with listeners, which speaks to their authentic songwriting. The Faim’s sincerity and honesty regarding where they’re at in their artistic journey is both refreshing and endearing. We were excited to have the opportunity to chat with the guys (Stephen Beerkens, Josh Raven, Sam Tye, and Linden Marissen) before their show at Baltimore Soundstage late last month.
Your EP, Summer is a Curse, came out in the Fall. What are some things that you think went well or didn’t go well, and how did those insights shape the album?
Stephen Beerkens: I think some things that went well were that the songs were well received. The songs have been fun to play live. From our perspective, some things that don’t always go well is that we’re growing a lot in a short amount of time. We’ve had to make a lot of changes over the last year, so we’ve had to find a new way of writing, but we’re also discovering the next step for us.
Josh Raven: It’s not really a problem, but more of an obstacle that everyone goes through, creatively.
Is there any way that you’ve measured those variables?
Samuel Tye: Considering, we’ve never released an album, we have nothing to compare it to. Right now, we’re constantly growing because were in the early stages. Every band is different and measures success in a different way. To us, we’re happy to be doing what we’re doing and that’s success.
Given that it’ll be your first album, are there any pressures or even delights of being at this stage?
SB: We just want to put something out there that’s authentic. For it being the first album, it’s our first real expression to the world and show people who we are as a band. It can be daunting, but it’s very exciting to put another summation of music out there. It’ll be cool to back our live performances with our record and to keep upping the ante.
I’ve read that a lot of your inspiration is musically diverse, so how did you balance your own originality with other influences without getting too “watered-down”?
SB: I think the big thing with influences is that we’re influenced less by how our songs turn out, but more so about who and what shapes us as musicians. We’ve each grown up with different influences, which shapes us as artists, which then translates to different ways of writing, and gives us all a way to add our own perspective into the song.
JR: We really take influence from the way artists carry themselves and who they are daily life.
We have confidence in ourselves to find something unique to us as a band. We know it’s a journey, we know it’s going to take time, and it’s just us four doing the best we can.
Linden and Sam, you joined the band in the last couple of months, did you see yourself here a year ago?
Linden Marrisen: Being in Baltimore is surreal for me. I did not think I was going to be here at all, but that’s life, isn’t it? It takes you by surprise.
SB: Almost exactly a year ago, Sam was watching us playing in Sydney. We’ve been friends for a long time.
ST: Yeah, I didn’t imagine myself being here. I’m very stoked to be here.
Have you ever had another career or job? What’s the oddest job you’ve ever had?
LM: I worked a bunch of jobs while in university. I did landscape and retail. I was planning on getting a proper degree job and this came along.
SB: I used to do swim teaching for kids. Little kids grabbing onto your arms. I was more of a psychologist trying to get them to stop crying in the water.
ST: I haven’t really had odd jobs, but before this I studied acting. That was the career I was originally pursing before this came about, but still something I’m very passionate about.
JR: Sam, this is the weirdest job you’ve had. I did prime school teaching and worked at a fuel station.
What do you do to stay grounded amidst all this?
SB: I think it’s a sense of humor.
LM: Routine is a big one. Stephen is really into his fitness. That’s a sense of home for him. I like to call loved ones from home and stay in touch with them.
JR: We all keep each other grounded. We’re very honest and transparent with each other.
ST: Family really. A lot of what I’ve learned is mostly from my parents and I think they keep me grounded even if I don’t speak to them as often as I’d like to. Their teachings are always in the back of my head. We’re all grateful.
You know DJ Khalid? His branding advice was that everyone needs a catch phrase. So, if you could mix a catchphrase into all your songs what would it be?
SB: We’d probably mix something from School of Rock.
SB: Plastic in the ocean is bad, bad, bad.
JR: If we had to, it’d probably be “Chello you gotta bass, bass, bass” or “Let’s rock today”.
Have you had any “ah-ha” or “shower moments” recently? For example, I had a realization that cantaloupe are the tomatoes of fruit salad because they’re always the last to be eaten. Any realizations like that.
JR: We were talking about the point to which people abbreviate things without really realizing it. I say “prolly” instead of “probably”. Little things like that trigger us.
LM: Oh, I had one. I didn’t realize Washington, D.C. was not in Maryland or Virginia. It’s like its own little state and it blew my mind.
ST: I watched a documentary the other day called A Plastic Ocean and have become very hyper-aware that plastic is everywhere.