by Francis Andrews in New Music on Tuesday 14 October 2008

From the outskirts of Omaha, Nebraska, The Faint burst onto the scene with a genre defining album — Sine Sierra — in 1995. Since then they’ve released five more full length recordings (and a couple of remix albums for good measure), including their latest, the beautifully subversive Fasciinatiion, which is out now on Pod through Inertia. We interviewed keyboardist, Jacob Thiele: All I know about Nebraska is the endless farms and ranches. How well does a crunching blend of punk and electro fit into the environment there? ‘Quite nicely I think, mostly by being away from the coasts and ‘real’ cities, it has allowed us to create the kind of music we wanted to hear rather than the kind what might have been in our immediate surroundings. It is also a really cheap place to live, which alleviates some of the financial pressure of being in a band, so we can really put everything we have into the band rather than working all day to pay rent on a rehearsal space’.

Your sound went off in a whole new direction after Media, with heavy guitars replaced by synth and vocoders. Was it a mid-career crisis in the band or a natural progression for you guys?
‘Natural progression, we have never had the talk of “ok guys, how do we make our band cool?”. For most of us, this is our first band, so it took a little while for us to find our voice and to find out what interested and inspired us collectively’.

You self-produced the latest album. Did you feel the personal touch in the final stages was lacking in your previous releases?
‘Not necessarily lacking, but it seemed more appropriate with the material we had to stay on track with our own vision’.

Your sound caters for both the serious pursed-lip head nodders and all-out body gurners. Any signature moves you guys are busting out on stage?
‘Nope. Just letting our bodies do what they do’.

By the sound of it, Todd Fink has quite a preoccupation with the future. Anything coming around the corner that we should know about?
‘Oh, that is the question isn’t it’.

Download The Faint song, The Geeks Were Right.