Following the release of Fait‘s debut EP ‘Atmosphere‘, the guitarist takes a moment to discuss recording with producer Darren Lawson (MBV), life in Perth and what to expect from the new live band. Here’s our full interview… Your debut EP ‘Atmosphere’ has just been released – how long have you been working on it? Guessing you’re pretty excited? Yes, I’m very excited to finally release it! Darren and I recorded and mixed the EP in about 3 weeks, but there was one song in particular that took longer than we expected. We ended up emailing mixes back and forth for a couple of months until we finally put it to bed. The songs themselves were written over a 2 year period. How did you end up working with UK producer Darren Lawson? Did you learn a lot from him? I had worked with Darren previously with my old London band The Six, when we recorded the ‘Cinematic Post Rock’ album together (for Imagem Production Music). He did a brilliant job on that so he was my first pick for producing Atmosphere. He has this incredible knack for articulating each layer of sound and there are A LOT on Atmosphere. I definitely learnt a lot from him. We work really well together and he just gets what I’m trying to do. Was starting Fait as a solo project a matter of convenience (practically speaking)? Or did you have some creative itches you needed to scratch? It was a bit of both. I had just returned back to Perth after living in London for 4 years, I was band-less and feeling like I was back at square one. I had a bunch of demos ready to go so I figured I may as well record first and worry about a live band later. So I flew back to London and recorded the EP with Darren. Adam and Aps who played bass and drums in The Six kindly stepped in to play the rhythm section on the recordings. I couldn’t have made Atmosphere without these 3 guys. One of the thing’s I really appreciate about your music is that it doesn’t fall into the genre trappings of instrumental rock music. For instance, the predictable giant crescendo’s of post rock. Instead, it’s more melodic and atmospheric. Is that a conscious choice you’ve made? Probably. I love layering but I am also really aware of keeping space in my music. I definitely believe that the space between notes is just as important as the note itself. I don’t really listen to instrumental post rock, so that could be a reason also! Have you been tempted to include vocals on your music? No, not as yet. But I’m always open to new ideas. What are your main musical influences? My main musical influences would have to be The Cure and PJ Harvey. I take inspiration from all sorts of musicians though. What’s the Fait back story? When I moved to London in 2009 I wrote a bunch of tracks with the intention of finding a vocalist to complete them. I ended up with an amazing band, but never found a vocalist. So by default, we became an instrumental outfit. We had an absolute ball playing around London and worked with some pretty cool people like Dean Garcia from Curve. The band came to a natural end though when I decided to come back home. The video for ‘Surrender To’ received lots of love online! What went into shooting the clip? It was all very last minute actually! We started throwing around the idea of making a video clip about 2 weeks before we filmed it. It was filmed at The Bakery here in Perth, which is one of my favourite venues. It was a pretty simple set up, a few flood lights, one manic strobe and an industrial fan! We had a great crew and John Aliaga who directed the clip was fantastic. We knocked it out in 4 hours. We were really happy with how it turned out and were blown away by the 12,000 views that we pulled in the first couple of days of putting it up. That was until youtube pulled it down. What was your creative process while working on ‘Atmosphere’? Did it all start out with guitar parts? Yes it always starts with guitars (except for Halcyon which is predominantly piano!). I’ll come up with a riff first, then think about a bass line and begin layering from there. I don’t play drums, so I tend to pick really simple and dramatic drum loops. Composition and different textures play a big part in your songs. Do you often need to re-write your ideas? Yeah I do. I can go through multiple versions of a song before I finally settle on a finished product and sometimes that can takes months. It can get really frustrating! In a way it’s quite hard not having vocals, there is nothing to hide behind and I feel like I need to work that extra bit harder to keep the listener captivated. Do you play more than one instrument? I play piano and guitar. What’s your go to gear set-up? Delay, delay, delay! Throw in my Foxey Fuzz, phaser and hot rod deluxe and that’s me done. I use Logic Pro for all my other sounds. Does being a woman in a traditionally male dominated rock world throw up any challenges or road blocks? I should hope not. Not at all actually. Everyone has been really supportive and lovely. Is life in Perth treating you well? Is there a strong music community and live scene? It took me a long time to settle back into Perth. It was such a culture shock coming back from London, but there is no denying that there is an amazing music and arts scene here in Perth. The calibre is really high, it makes me proud to be from here. And it’s such a supportive community too, a far cry from the zoo that is the London music scene. What have you been listening to recently? Any tips for SBWR readers? It’s not new, but I’ve been listening to a lot of The Soft Moon lately. I love the walls of synths that they incorporate into their sound. As for Perth bands, Hyla and Methyl Ethel are amazing – and they have kindly agreed to play my EP launch! You recently assembled a full band for live shows, was that a difficult process? Did having the EP finished make it easier for everybody to learn their parts? It was really difficult when I initially tried forming a band about a year and a half ago. That’s why I scrapped the idea and decided to pursue recording first, and that was the best decision I have made. I had total control and the songs came out sounding exactly as I had envisioned it. I could then start building my name without having to rely on anyone else. After I finished the EP I met Mike (guitar) and Rob (bass) through a mutual friend. Darrell and I (drums) met 10 years ago when we briefly played together in a local band. It all came together when it was meant to, and when it did it happened pretty quickly and organically. They are excellent musicians and I’m really excited to start playing live this month. What can fans expect from your live shows? Our live show is definitely more raw sounding than the record, which makes sense as it was very much a studio album. People can expect big, beautiful walls of sound as well as some more fragile/delicate moments. We want our shows to be a visual experience too so will be experimenting with projections. Is it likely the new line-up will appear on future recordings? Do you think working with them will influence your sound? Yes, I’m definitely keen for them to appear on future recordings. We create a pretty apocalyptic sound in the rehearsal room so it would be great to catch that on record! It’ll also be nice to spend time rehearsing with a band before recording. Last time I only had 2 rehearsals to run through the songs with Adam and Aps before entering the studio, it was pretty rushed! Are there plans for a full length album? Yes, eventually. If you could work with any artist (living or dead) who would it be and why? I’d be happy just sitting in a rehearsal room with Kevin Shields watching him create warped noise. What’s next for Fait? We are launching Atmosphere at The Bird in Perth on the 31st May. And in August we’ll be heading over to Sydney and Melbourne to play some shows, which we are super excited about! * Download Fait’s ‘Atmosphere’ @ iTunes / Read the full review here * Visit Fait online @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.