An Interview with Faithless.

When you think of musical legends, Faithless are definitely up there amongst the best of them. This lot have been going hard at it since 1995, pleasing the masses all over the world with their inimitable sounds that are a little bit filthy, a little bit mind blowing and completely and utterly euphoric. I remember going to see them at Princes Street Gardens in the summer of 2005 and my face almost melted off with glee. That’s why I couldn’t get no sleep when Sister Bliss agreed to do this interview for The Dog. Ladies and gentlemen, all bow down…

WHICH BIT OF GEAR WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO THE MUSICAL MASSES?

I think a Mac is pretty essential these days – especially if you’ve no particular skill on an instrument. You can still get an idea down or make a tune using only a computer.

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT MUSICAL SET-UP?

It changes depending on the context. For live shows I use 4 synths – the Roland JP8000, the Korg MS 2000, the Yamaha Motif and the Roland V Synth GT. In the studio, the list is endless!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SYNTH?

Probably the Roland Juno-106 – classic analogue gear. We used it on all our early records- but it’s a little bit temperamental to take on the road with us.

WHICH FAITHLESS RECORD ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

I’m proud of all of them in different ways but single-wise, I think ‘Mass Destruction’ was a brave and exciting record. It broke the ‘tradition’ of Faithless releasing dance anthems as our first singles off each new album, and the lyrics were a politically charged anti- war protest. We thought it would get banned – especially in America, but it actually got loads of radio play and attention over there.

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT WRITING A NEW TUNE?

It’s different every time. Sometimes it starts with a chord sequence, sometimes the beats and a bass-line, sometimes song titles or themes, or a chorus… and so on… It’s a very organic process, even though it’s electronic music.

WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR MUSIC TO ACHIEVE?

We just want as many people as possible to hear it, (without having to make it cheesy or commercial) and if they get something positive and nourishing from it, then they can come back to enjoy it over and over again. That’s as much as anyone can ask.

WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE WANTING TO EMULATE THE SOUND OF FAITHLESS?

Be true to yourself. Emulating another band’s sound may be useful to help you find your own sound in the short term (the musical equivalent of being in a covers band) but ultimately, its way more fun to discover  a sound that is uniquely your own, even if it draws from many influences. Also, I think Faithless is pretty hard to emulate.

DID YOU MANAGE TO GET SOME SLEEP YET?

Not this weekend.

IF GOD IS A DJ, WHO WOULD BE PLAYING AT THE AFTER PARTY?

I think a classic set from the late Larry Levan would be pretty damn groovy and celestial!

Questions by Roberta Pia.

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Roberta Pia is a freelance journalist for Bob'll Write It and the front-woman of musical mind-busters The Banana Sessions.

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