This year seems to be one of re-releases and anniversary tours, and The Faint has followed suit. After taking a few years off to experiment with new endeavors, the Omaha-based kings of dance rock are not only releasing a deluxe edition of their famed 2001 LP, Danse Macabre, but have also embarked on an eponymous tour in which they play the album from start to finish.
Though this is technically an "Anniversary" tour, the quartet looks at it as a chance to play new material and hopefully write enough on the road to release a record in the foreseeable future. Ahead of their show at The Glass House on November 21, keyboardist Jacob Thiele took some time to chat with us about how the Dance Macabre tour came to be, the excitement of playing new music, and how the band's side project, Depressed Buttons, has helped shape The Faint's future sound.
OC Weekly (Katrina Nattress): You're currently on your Danse Macabre tour. How does it feel to play an album in its entirety live?
Jacob Thiele: It's fun! We usually just play our favorites, but it's been a fun and enlightening challenge to force ourselves to play songs that we normally wouldn't. And actually, those songs have been some of our favorites to play this time around. Maybe they'll make their way into regular rotation in future tours. But we're also playing our favorites from our other albums and a handful of new songs, which we're really excited about!
A lot of bands have been re-releasing their classic records and touring behind them as of late, what made you guys decide to follow suit?
[Laughs] I don't think we were really trying to jump on any bandwagon, pun intended. We just realized that there were a lot of outtakes and stuff from that era that our fans never got the chance to experience. When Saddle Creek approached us about doing a re-release with all this bonus material, we thought it would be a great opportunity to share it with our fans!
Talk to me about Depressed Buttons. What made you decide to start this side project?
We were always trying to push The Faint into a more dance-oriented direction. We wanted to make tracks that were ready for the dance floor, but we knew that we were a rock band at heart, and we want to be able to perform the songs live in a concert setting. Depressed Buttons was a foray into making music that couldn't really be performed live; the kind of technical stuff that requires too many hands to twist too many knobs! Really we just love techno and electronic music and had a real desire to make some tracks that were unlike anything we'd ever done before!
The Faint hasn't released an album since 2008's Fasciinatiion. Are you working on new material?
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Yeah, like I said, that's what we're really excited about. After taking this hiatus we got a fresh perspective on things, on our band, and what it's really all about. Producing techno music helped us learn some new tricks and ways to actualize our fantasies of what the music of the future will sound like. We're really excited to make new tracks, and we've got a studio in Omaha that we love putting to use.
When can we expect a new album?
That's a good question. We have four new tracks on this limited edition tour-only 12" and we have a lot of ideas of what other kinds of tracks we'd like to make. We're planning to work on some new stuff on tour, so ideally we'll have a whole album's worth of material within the next several months. But we never really know when things will come out, or who will release it. There are too many variables to consider that make it really impossible to give an accurate prediction. I guess the short answer would be, "as soon as we can!"