“There’s a little dot of blue in Nebraska, now we’re Obamaha,” The Faint’s singer Todd Fink points out proudly as he describes Omaha’s standing in the US election a few weeks ago.
Although the city sits snugly in the largely rural expanse of Nebraska, the state was one of few divided into two for the recent US elections.
“If I dreamed of moving anywhere in the last eight years it was nowhere in the States,” he continues, “but now, I kind of want to stick around and see what’s going to happen.”
“Although I may need to move somewhere a little sunnier. I dream about it sometimes,” he chuckles before stopping to think for a moment.
“Our studio is there and it’s hard to move a whole band anywhere else and it’s cheap to live there. The Faint will always be based in Omaha,” he finally declares.
Fink is in reflective mood on a black leather couch sipping beer, looking half awake from last night in Manchester and looking forward to a Thai meal before his band headline the London date of their European tour.
It’s been four years since their last album Wet From Birth which has seen the band part ways with long time label Saddle Creek, forming their own label blank.wav.
“It might be partially a control thing or just want to be doing it ourselves, but it also just makes financial sense to put out your own records. At some point the label is more like a middleman that can be skipped.”
Going it alone didn’t just mean skipping the middleman. The Faint decided to renovate a warehouse to build their studio and workspace where their fifth album Fasciination was written, recorded and produced by the group.
“Recording the album that’s a little different because it was just us,” recounts Fink. “I think that some of us felt that Wet From Birth sounded a little bit slick, a little too polished in a way. We’re still finding our own production style. It’s a little tighter, not in playing necessarily but in the ambience.”
If a desire to be independent was a driving force behind their new album, futurists and questions of existence pottering in Fink’s head were elements behind the new songs.
“I think I’m addicted to learning things right now. I went through a lot of my life as a skateboarder (a lot of us were skateboarders) and I wasn’t really into school.
“But now that I’m a little older any knowledge is something interesting to me and it helps me see how everything makes sense or is connected which is something I love now, and I’m always asking questions. The natural world especially is amazing,” he says picking at the couch.
Conversation shifts to Finks thoughts on the Faint’s decade-long existence which saw them survive electro clash movement tags and get the heads up on new rave.
“We didn’t set out to do anything really. The only goal I can really remember having was just to be able to travel and know that were going to be some amount of people there to see you and know the music. That came true pretty quick at one point.”
Part of the Faint’s ascendancy in the early noughties owed much to their spectacular live show, which still proves one of their biggest draws, synthesising energy, fluidity, and flamboyance.
“We can recognise we’re entertainers, in some sense, and a lot of musicians avoid that realisation,” explains Fink.
“You want to project something, you want to be as real to yourself as you can, but at the same time it is a show and we pay attention to what’s being projected behind us. The mood of the room is kind of our responsibility because it’s our show.”
Talking to Fink you get the sense he still wonders how and why the Faint’s path has wound up where it has, but the journey is one which he and his cohorts fully appreciate and now have complete direction over.
“I certainly don’t have any regrets. We’ve made a lot of good choices and had a lot of good times. I hope it continues.”