Origins is a recurring new music feature that finds us asking an artist to reveal what inspired their latest single.
On March 15th, The Faint are set to return with their first album in five years, Egowerk. The follow-up to 2014’s Doomed Abuse tackles our social media-driven modern society, turning a darkly inquisitive eye on the Internet age with tracks like pervious singles “Chameleon Nights” and “Child Asleep”. On the latest offering from the effort, “Alien Angel”, the Omaha cyber-punks wonder if there isn’t a way out of this technological mess we’re entangled in — and the answer just may be doom.
Like a panicked prayer from the masses, “Alien Angel” searches for a solution amongst a rush of driving synth lines. Unfortunately, the panacea The Faint touch upon for a world “policed by children” in which “we protest and guess and judge” takes its prescription from Watchmen. “We need an off-world enemy concept/ Someone far away to loathe,” go the lyrics.
“I guess this song is asking if humanity is worth saving,” the band’s Todd Fink explains to Consequence of Sound. “And if it is, we are probably going to need a common enemy in order to unite us. Could a real (or fake) alien threat save us from ourselves? We don’t really have much of a chance fighting aliens so I guess we’re fucked unless it’s a ‘false flag’… After writing the song I’ve realized that once this happens we will be in a one world government, a planet controlled by one centralized super power. This is also pretty scary…”
“Alien Angel” itself has a bit of that fear embedded into its anxious notes, whether Fink intended it or not. Take a listen below.
For more on the thoughts and sounds that went into “Alien Angel”, Fink has examined the song’s Origins. Read his full statement about the track below, followed by a breakdown of specific artists like The Cure, Men Without Hats, and Magazine who influenced the recording.
“‘Alien Angel’ reminds me of the songs I’d consider early ’80s ‘classic alternative’ or ‘imports’ as they were called at the record stores in Omaha. I wouldn’t say that I was hoping to emulate any particular song but after listening to songs like these for decades I’m sure the melodies have sunk into my psyche. As a band I think we’re drawn to driving melodic songs that are in a minor key. The minor key tonality and the chorus effect on the bass/guitar just create a certain moodiness that we’ve always liked but don’t actually use all that much.
The lyrics are pondering a solution to the problem that groups of humans (nations, races, genders, haves/have nots, etc.) can’t help but to fight each other and now have enough power through technology to end the human race altogether. I guess this song is asking if humanity is worth saving. And if it is, we are probably going to need a common enemy in order to unite us. Could a real (or fake) alien threat save us from ourselves? We don’t really have much of a chance fighting aliens so I guess we’re fucked unless it’s a ‘false flag’ (government attacks it’s own people to gain support for a retaliation of some sort). After writing the song I’ve realized that once this happens we will be in a one world government, a planet controlled by one centralized super power. This is also pretty scary…”
Magazine — “Song from Under the Floorboards”:
I actually learned how to play this song and even made a little demo of it around the time we wrote “Alien Angel”. Solid post-punk before the first wave of punk had even cooled down. Magazine was way ahead of their time. Beautiful lyrics about feeling like an insect.
Men Without Hats — “Antarctica”:
Only know them from “Safety Dance”? Yeah well, this song really moves. It’s VERY ’80s -> in a good way though! I love all the synth lines. The vocal melody that squeezes up at the end of each line is niiiice.
The Cure — “A Forest”:
Moody, driving, foggy chorusy. Early Cure is the best! Actually, I’ll take any Cure.
Psychic TV — “Godstar”:
I was blown away when I heard how poppy this Throbbing Gristle offshoot had become. Personally, I get tired of the my own songs when they get this melodic. It turns out that it’s not how ambitious the melody is, it’s about how satisfying it is, and I think Genesis P-Orridge really nailed it here. It’s a song about the Rolling Stones member Brian Jones’ death and how it was handled by the band. I don’t have a horse in the race on the topic. The Rolling Stones are great but this was all before my time.
Tones on Tail — “Performance”:
Hugely underrated band in my opinion. A Bauhaus offshoot (Daniel Ash). I’m not sure if it came through but I was listening to a lot of Tones on Tail while we wrote this new record. Their songs all sound really different from each other but fully cohesive at the same time. I think that’s a hallmark of authenticity.
In addition to the new track, The Faint have also revealed a run of US tour dates for spring and summer. Included are two-night stands in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and the band’s Omaha hometown, as well as stops in Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Dallas, Salt Lake City, and Denver. See the complete itinerary below
The Faint 2019 Tour Dates:
05/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom *
05/05 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park *
05/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre *
05/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre *
05/13 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
05/14 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
05/17 – Portland, OR @ Star Theater *
05/18 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile *
05/21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall #
05/22 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater *
05/24 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room *
05/25 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room *
07/27 – Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall ^
07/29 – New York, NY @ The Bowery Ballroom ^
07/30 – New York, NY @ The Bowery Ballroom ^
08/02 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts ^
08/03 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ^
08/04 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall ^
08/06 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop ^
08/07 – Detroit, MI @ El Club ^
08/09 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues ^
08/10 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave ll (Downstairs) ^
08/12 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe ^
08/13 – Kansas City, MO @ Madrid Theatre ^
08/15 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live! ^
08/16 – Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn ^
* = w/ Choir Boy and Closeness
# = w/ Closeness
^ = w/ Ritual Howls and Closeness