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Interview: The Faim - Stephen Beerkens & Samuel Tye on their debut album 'State of Mind'

Interview by Kelsey Hyde & Yising Kao, Photos by Yising Kao

Photos of The Faim at their Anaheim show: https://www.galaxy-mag.com/the-faim-chain-reaction


From Perth, Australia, The Faim is a Rock/Alternative band who recently released their debut album, State of Mind through BMG. With Josh Raven as lead vocalist, Stephen Beerkens on bass/keyboard, Samuel Tye on guitar, and Linden Marissen on drums, the band has toured with bands such as Sleeping With Sirens, Against The Current, and PVRIS. On their new album, they’ve collaborated with songwriters such as Ashton Irwin, Pete Wents, Mark Hoppus, and Josh Dun, aspiring to step out of their comfort zone and expand their range. Every track is diverse and expresses the band’s talent and influences, and ability to connect with people. Make sure to give State of Mind a listen and stay tuned for more of The Faim’s upcoming projects!


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You released your first EP, Summer is a Curse, last year. What was your favorite part of releasing your first full album State of Mind this year?

Stephen: I think one of the best things about releasing the album is: 1. It has more songs and 2. I think this is definitely like a big step forward from the EP musically and as a band where we are heading with our sound and you know, we’ve had a lot of progressions since then and that is one thing that is really exciting about the album in comparison to the EP.


Was it hard to pick what songs to put on it?

Stephen: I don’t think we needed to cut too many songs. A lot of the songs were actually written at the end, one of the songs on the album was written on the tail end of the album writing cycle, or the pre-album writing cycle, whatever that is. I think it was more of a case of, we figured out what we wanted to be doing and what sound we wanted from the album. It was more of a case of working really hard to get what we wanted onto the album. So songs were cut, but not ones we wanted to be there in the first place, if that makes sense. We were like, we saw what we wanted and we made that happen, and then those replaced other songs that we had in mind.


With State of Mind, you wanted to get out of your comfort zone, so how did you find the missing piece to what was missing from your music before?

Sam: I think when we write music, we constantly searching for something that challenges ourselves musically and just is different and cool and challenging. I guess the first song that we wrote we were like, “ this is the direction we want to be heading in”, and that track was State of Mind, the title track. It was done back in a rehearsal space back in Perth, Western Australia, where we are from. When we were writing our song, it was the first time we kind of collectively felt like this is where we wanted to head, and it felt good. It just felt like a really fulfilling experience and I don’t know if I can comment and say that the album is like, exactly what we wanted, because like it never turns out exactly how you imagined it, but that’s a good thing. It turns out to be something you wouldn’t be able to imagine, which is cool.


How did your collaboration with Ashton Irwin from 5 Seconds of Summer, on “Summer is a Curse,” come about and what was the experience like?

Stephen: That one sort of came about because we were just hanging out with Ash, having a fun time, having a few yawns, and we were just like, “We should write a song together.” So, we did, and that was a really good session. Ashton is a really down-to-earth bloke and it was really easy writing because we all had the sort-of same thing in mind. Like when we were in the writing session, it was just a really good vibe. The song was written in 45 minutes to an hour or something like that. It went pretty swimmingly, and it was a good one. Everyone was really open in that session. He’s a great writer, very easy to work with and it was a lot of fun.




Is it cool to see some of their fans become some of your fans as well?

Stephen: It’s all part of it, you know. It’s definitely great that people that like their music translate across which is what you want, and it gives a bit of diversity to the fans that wouldn’t have known us beforehand.


How has your sound evolved from your first EP to your album? What did you explore with musically or lyrically?

Stephen: I think one of the main things we wanted to do was translate our live performance into the songs on the record, instead of the other way around. Like we had written the EP, and we hadn’t actually toured before, like we had only played shows in Perth. You can sort of hear that in like the case when we play it live, we are translating the recording into the live performance and you know, after playing like, after this tour and the UK and Europe it’s going to be like 237 shows in past 18 months. So, like you are playing a lot of shows and in that time you sort of realize what goes well live and what we like playing and what people like hearing. And it’s like translating what we like doing in a live-sense and then putting that into the recordings to make the recordings have more of a band feel and capturing that vibe a little bit more. So, I think that’s like the big difference, instead of having the recorded version and having to translate that live, having that preempting thought, and vision of what this will be live, and put that into the recording so they both will be like, gelling.


So, when you are writing music, do you play it live first and then see how that works, and then if that doesn’t translate well, do you change the song?

Stephen: Yeah, like that’s definitely what we did with some of them. Like I said, half of the album was written in the last couple months, like a month before it was sent in. So, it was gnarly. That’s what we did for those songs, which the four of us wrote together. We started off in the rehearsal studio, and others like “Buying Time” started off in a bedroom then a rehearsal studio in New York and bringing it down back to its basics and getting the feel of how it will actually sound when we are actually playing it, instead of typing it straight into a computer and hoping it comes out good.


The Faim is french for “the hunger.” How does that represent you guys and what does it mean to you?

Sam: I think regardless of the name, even though it does mean the hunger, we all are hungry and passionate about music and all different types and forms. We enjoy doing it so much we hungry to keep doing it and write more, I guess. We are lucky enough to be pursuing a dream. Writing music is something we all wanted to do as kids or at least as young adults. I personally thought it was never going to be possible but, it’s a dream come true. We are always hungry, like legit physically hungry for food and always hungry to keep going with what we are doing. So that’s what it means to me. I think Steve could probably-

Stephen: I think you should keep going.

Sam: I can talk about the same point for about 40 minutes.

Stephen: I haven’t quite grasped the one idea you’ve been trying to talk about for the past 5 minutes.

Sam: Shut up, Stephen. I’m done!


How does it feel to break out of the Perth music scene, considering how small it is, and share your music with the rest of the world?

Stephen: It’s cool. To be playing on the other side of the world is unreal, you know what I mean? It’s quite, I don’t know what the feeling is. You just are appreciative to see people in some places we haven’t even played before. We went to San Diego for the first time ever and there were still people coming out to the show to give us a listen which is gnarly. I think you are really appreciative of everyone who comes down to the shows and enjoys themselves, we hope. It is really cool to be taking what we do to the corners of the globe and being able to keep doing it regularly.


Were there any bands that you were looking up to in your area growing up?

Stephen: There’s this pretty cool band called Gyroscope that we all look up to, they are decent and well worth a listen. They give it a go. I’m joking, they are a very established band. Our manager’s band, they are very good. We like to bring them up, give them a promotion or a push. I should stop talking now. But there’s a lot of good bands that come out of Australia, especially Perth, like Tame Impala. They are huge and seeing someone doing something that’s so unique, is definitely something you respect more and is more inspiring.


How do you see The Faim progressing as a band for the next year?

Sam: I think we are just going to continue to be challenging ourselves and I don’t know if I can say it will be going in any specific direction but we definitely wanna not only challenge ourselves but each other. I think album 2 will be in the works next year. We are just going to keep touring and see what happens. We’re always writing random little things while on tour, but we never really get time to sit down and really flesh it out and work on it. So, it’s definitely going to be exciting. I’m looking forward to sitting down for a bit and really working some stuff out.

Stephen: Yeah, because our most creative environment is coming up with things in soundcheck and having other people shout at us because we are too loud in their ears while they are trying to get their ears right. And of course, the easiest one to come up with things in soundcheck is the drums, because the drums are the quietest thing. No one ever shouts at the drummer for being too loud.

Sam: Never.

Stephen: So, I think Lindon is especially looking forward to getting into his own space and being somewhere where we won’t be shouted at for playing his own instrument.




RAPID FIRE

Favorite thing about America?

Stephen: Food.

Sam: See, I would say food, but that’s definitely not my favorite thing.

Stephen: Then what is it? This is rapid-fire!

Sam: Seeing new places.

Stephen: Boom! Yeah.


What is your favorite city you have toured?

Stephen: City - Chicago and show - St. Paul.

Sam: Vienna, Austria.

Stephen: Oh, I thought we were talking about the U.S. It’s okay, it’s rapid-fire, these things happen.


What is your favorite band at the moment?

Stephen: Nothing but Thieves.

Sam: Nothing but Thieves.


What song off of your album did you wish was a single?

Stephen: “State of Mind.”

Sam: “Buying Time.”


What’s your favorite type of mammal?

Stephen: I like marsupials, which are technically mammals, maybe? Are they?

Sam: Favorite type of mammal…

It’s a weird question but we kind of wanted to throw you off.

Sam: That’s a very interesting question. Favorite mammal, I don’t even know what would be considered a mammal, is an elephant a mammal? I would go an elephant.

Stephen: A hyena.

Sam: Ah, okay. Very interesting.


Favorite song from Stand Atlantic?

Stephen: Ah, man. I think I quite like “Lavander Bones.” That’s a good one, I like playing it on bass. It’s fun. “Coffee at Midnight” would be good if it had more organ in it.

Sam: Yeah, I like “Coffee at Midnight.” Maybe that’s a basic one to like but I do like the song.