Q + A with bi-coastal band Faulkner

The members of Faulkner come from very different areas of the world, but they are still able to create a cohesive sound within their music. PATTERN recently had the chance to sit down with Dimitri Farougias and Lucas Asher from the band to chat about working with musical legends, being independent, and the importance visuals play.

Allie Coppedge: You all hail from different parts of the country and world, so how did you meet?

Dimitri Farougias: In the LA music scene, but we’re from all over. Lucas is from New York, I’m from Greece, Christian’s from Canada, and Eric is from Newport, California.

AC: How were you able to fuse your different sounds and backgrounds to make it consistent?

DF: For the most part, everyone knows exactly what they need to bring to the table in this band and everyone’s really open minded and laid back and it’s just a flood of ideas all the time. It’s very painless.

AC: Lucas, what inspired the EP Revanchist?

Lucas Asher: It was inspired by the French terrorist event. The definition of Revanchist is ‘he or she who seeks revenge’ so it’s really a statement around the terrorist crisis in France. It’s a themed album, so if you listen to it as one piece of art, all of the songs have that same theme woven throughout them. Then we’re going to expand on new themes on our LP, coming out later in the year.

AC: Do you guys have a name for that album yet?

LA: I think that one’s going to be called ‘Axiom.’

AC: Nice! You describe your band as ‘bi coastal’, but you’re currently based in Cali. What about both places influences your sound?

DF: From New York we definitely get the dirtier, grittier, more attitude in our music. I think LA influences more laid back, pop stuff.

LA: Yeah, our first L.A. song is ‘Hot Streak’.

DF: They’re very different places, but we love them both.

AC: Do you have plans to go back to New York?

LA and DF (in unison): All the time! We’re constantly traveling back and forth between the two.

AC: Tell me about your song N.Y. Anthem.

DF: So RZA from Wu-Tang Clan produced it for us. It’s the theme song for the NFL Draft, U.S. Open, and it’s being played at the Yankees home games. The song being played so much in so many different venues has definitely helped create some name recognition and take us to a whole new level.

LA: It’s like being on the radio. You get hit up on social media by people you’ve never met saying they’ve heard us during a tennis match, sporting event, etc.

We’re not a rock band, we play alternative, collaborate with hip hop artists, and are influenced by progressive pop and punk music

AC: Hopefully you guys are into sports?

DF: I am, I’m a huge NBA fan. I love my Lakers. L.A. is still a Laker town.

LA: I’m not very athletic. So I would say no.

AC: Circling back to RZA, what was that like working with such an icon?

DF: It was incredible. The man is one of the most highly intelligent and talented human beings we’ve ever met. He took us to Rick Rubin’s studio, Shangri LA in Malibu. That was amazing. He applied himself 100%. He originally signed on to produce a track, but got into it and literally started writing a verse right in the recording process.

LA: He’s been splitting royalties ever since.

DF: [Laughing] That’s right. He dropped a ton of wisdom on us.

AC: So he’s the one that introduced you to Rick Rubin then, or to his studio?

DF: Well yeah, to his studio.

LA: Right, but Rick doesn’t let anyone come to his studio that he doesn’t approve of.

AC: Many artists recently, including you guys, have decided to go it alone, without a label supporting them. Why do you think that is?

LA: I don’t know about doing it “alone” because, nobody gets anywhere in life without partners. We’re not signed to a label, but we’re very open to mutually beneficial partnerships whenever they come along. Internet has been a game changer. We put one of our tracks, ‘I’m Stoned’, up on Soundcloud and the producer for The Strokes, J.P. Bowersock heard it and reached out. So essentially, there are opportunities to partner with whoever you want to partner with. Plus you can now connect directly with your audience – artists like Chance the Rapper, Macklemore, and Tyler the Creator, are great examples of how it can be done.

AC: How involved are you in the production of your videos? Are you into design and art?

LA: Yeah, visual arts is a really strong component of the band. I am obsessed with fashion, namely, French and Indian fashion. Film too. We love being hands on with all forms of visual presentation of the music. It really goes hand in hand, right? When you hear about a band now, you might not be able to listen to their music because you’re on the bus or something, so you look at their Instagram. You see if you like what’s going on visually a lot of times first, before you get into their music. And yeah, we directed our music video called ‘Revolutionary’ in Kauai. It looks like it’s in Vietnam because Kauai is basically an old volcano. And the island is still privately owned, so it’s really untouched and pristine.

AC: Have you found that your sound has evolved between your first EP and your upcoming album?

DF: Absolutely.

LA: To the dismay of our management, it’s changing very rapidly.

AC: In what ways?

LA: We’re exploring all forms of genres. We’re not a rock band, we play alternative, collaborate with hip hop artists, and are influenced by progressive pop and punk music. It’s all about capturing a feeling.

For more info on Faulkner and to see them live, visit their website.

Photography by Aubrey Smith.

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