Prior to their triumphant Coachella performance, Fuse caught up with Todd Fink, singer of Nebraskan dance-rock outfit the Faint. Fink said the Faint are working on new music for a hopeful 2013 release and he explained why the band needed to take time off for a DJ-centric side project. And stick around until the end of the Q&A: Fink tells us one of the most bizarre stories of onstage antics we've ever heard.
You put out an EP last year after a hiatus. Are you planning on releasing any new music this year?
That's what we’d like to do. We asked our manager, "If we want to have something come out this year, when do we have to have it done by?" And it seems we have to make this album up insanely fast compared to what we’ve done in the past. So I don’t know if there is actually going to be an album, but the goal is to have some kind of release. It doesn’t have to be an album though. We don’t know if we’ll have enough songs to do a full-length. We're writing like maniacs but we’re not far enough along to put out any of them.
Might it be an EP?
Yeah, or a couple of EPs. The idea is to have something out around October or November.
You were also doing a club music side project called Depressed Buttons. Why did you take a break from the Faint to do that?
I think we were more interested in music that wasn’t song based. Music that’s more balanced and sample based, you know? There’s a different kind of person that listens to that. You put on a certain kind of band if you want to hear a song, but you put on a whole different kind of music if you want to rain dance or groove or whatever. I was kind of burnt out on songs at the time when I was doing Depressed Buttons, so we started doing that as a side thing. I like abstract music a lot. I consider the kind of music that doesn’t rely on lyrics or vocals to be the purest form of music. Like Beethoven or the conceptual music of the 20th century. I like classical music. I’m not that into jazz, although those are, of course, related. And as far as club music goes, I like it minimal. I like things that don’t rely on layering but just rely on the ideas themselves to bring your brain around. In the Faint, it’s a pretty dense band and there's a lot of stuff happening a lot of the time. I was over that and not inspired. I didn’t feel like making new songs. I felt like making new music, but I didn't feel like making new songs. I felt like making more abstract music. And I’m a sucker for a drum beat or music that makes you want to move, so that’s how we ended up going in that direction
Is there anyone in the abstract music scene today that you dig?
I find myself agreeing with a lot of the choices in the Radiohead camp. It seems like the same artists are exciting to both of us. Obviously our music doesn’t have a whole lot in common, but our interest in electronic music is almost identical. I find that pretty interesting, and I like the direction of Atoms for Peace. I also like James Blake: I think he’s a really good producer.
You guys did a song for the Yo Gabba Gabba! TV show. Did they reach out to you?
They were like, "Hey, you’re going to be coming through Los Angeles. Do you have a time to do this? Do you want to do it?" We thought, "It would be a memorable experience and it seems like the coolest kids show." Sometimes you do things just to see what happens, you know? Just to make life more memorable. It was cool to see the environment they make that show in. They had a calendar and each day there was a dress code. The day we were there it was [construction themed] so everybody had orange reflective gear and hard hats and everything. It looks like a good place to work.
What's the weirdest thing you've seen on stage?
Well, the thing that pops into my mind is a masturbation scene from a girl.
That was at one of the Faint's shows?
Yeah, I don’t think it was a fan of the band or anything. We were playing at some club in the South and people there just know how to party, I guess.
Was that out in the open?
I think the band noticed but no one else had the right perspective.
Must’ve been a good show if that happened.
I don’t know if she was watching the show. But that was still interesting.