Faiides describe themselves as a ‘collective of wild men and women from a cave in Glasgow’ (writes Andy Wood). But thankfully it is a cave equipped with electricity which allows them to plug in their instruments and play some fine, fine music, particularly on their lovely debut album Accelerate which was released a few months ago on Two States Recordings.
I was aware of them from early on as Chris and Scott made up two thirds of Cool Cat Club favourites, the much-missed Deathcats. Deathcats lived fast, played fast, crashed on my floor on several occasions before burning out in the stratosphere. Well more they went on a hiatus of sorts after releasing an excellent debut album when singer and guitarist James departed for another hemisphere (New Zealand). Still, you can all dry your eyes and smile again as the Faiides are another great band to thrill your ears.
While Faiides sound very much a different beast to Deathcats they also deal in raw, melodic songs, full of catchy hooks and sweet melodies. They’ve gigged, mainly around Glasgow on a pretty regular basis and maintained a steady flow of quality releases culminating in Accelerate, a lovely collection of eleven perfect pop songs.
They have a dreamy feel to them but with a tough edge to them. ‘Oceans’ has a pretty ace, noisy extended section, tinges of garage punk and psychedelia run through the album while ‘Birthday’, which was previously released as a single, is a sweet, seductive pop song. ‘Fear And Loathing In The Gala Casino’ is a high octane, panicky sounding song which anyone who has ever made the unwise decision to have that last drink in the only legal place left after hours in city centres across the nation and the song is much more fun than the desperate reality of being stuck in a Casino in the wee, small hours.
Accelerate is a fine record. It doesn’t attempt to re-invent the wheel but uses its template of influences to develop a coherent sound that is the Faiides’ own. It has a lovely, raw feel to it, combined with a bright, pop edge and it always brightens up my day to listen to Faiides. It feels summery at times but with an autumnal feel, the sun is out but the nights are drawing in but, for now, everything is good. And with Faiides on the stereo it will all be good.
For various reasons too dreary to list fate has conspired to stop me from catching them live so far. So basically, if I can’t make it to a Faiides hometown show then I’ll invite them to come to me. And so, on Saturday 24th September they will play their first show in Dundee at The Cool Cat Club.
Ahead of the gig, Chris ‘Harv’ Harvie kindly answered some questions for us about life in Glasgow’s premier Garage-Cave-Dreampop band.
“Hey, we are Faiides – Ben Mathew Smith (Vocals/Guitar), Scott Whitehill (Lead Guitar), Caitlin Mckenna (Bass), Chris Harvie (Drums, Vocals).
“Me and Scott were in Deathcats since 2012 and I think mainly Scott missed playing guitar in a band and had loads of ideas with his mate Ben. (They guys had also played in bands before). Once they ideas formed into songs, Scott asked me if I would like to drum, I knew Ben and Caity pretty well, so I thought Why Not?! I’m always happy to hit drums in a band and I think, for me, this was just something different to what I was used to.”
Why did you choose the name Faiides? What inspired it?
“I think Scott, Caity and Ben initially just thought it sounded nice and it coincided well with the sound of our music, especially the guitars.”
What are your influences, musical or otherwise?
“I think a main influence on our music is bands like Ducktails, Real Estate, Diiv and loads of others. I think the general idea was that Scott wanted to do something a little more guitar driven with his music with sort of band influences like that in mind.
“At the start of it all, we just wanted to play as many gigs as possible, and bring out as much music as we could. In Glasgow there always seems to be someone to help you and I think people coming to the gigs, and listening to the music we put out online always influenced anything we did with this band.”
How would you describe your music to someone who has yet to hear it?
“Dreaaaaaaammmyyyy with a raw punch now and again. I never really know how to answer that question as (especially with Faiides) some of the songs are so different from one another, that it’s difficult to pinpoint one definitive sound on the band.”
What motivates you all to be in a band? Isn’t it just lots of grief and hard work for little reward?
“It can be a lot of work and our mate James would always make the point that a lot of people like the ‘idea’ of being in a band but can’t actually be arsed with the work it entails at times.
“I guess what motivates us is the fact we are all pretty close with one another and we enjoy each other’s company so practicing and bringing new ideas into the equation never seems too stressful. The reward for us is always to just bring out music and play shows to as many people as we could- which is pretty cliché but I don’t care, it’s pretty true.”
You released your debut album recently. Can you tell us a little bit about the recording of it?
“I think the recording of the album took about a year. We recorded some of it at Shady Lane studios with Chris McCrory and some of it at Green Door Studio with Stu and Emily. We had been playing some of the songs on it ever since we started so it was weird putting them on a new release but I think we all still enjoyed playing them live so it wouldn’t have felt right with them not being on it.
“I never mind recording anything as long as we all collectively know what sound we are going for. We were all happy with how it turned out so they guys that recorded and helped with everything did well!”
How has the response to the album been so far?
“The response so far has been good! Everyone seems to be enjoying it. I think we sold all our tapes on the launch night, which is always a good sign.”
To date, what has been the best moment about being in Faiides?
“There have been loads of good times however I think releasing the album was a really good feeling. The launch was a fun night and it was just so good have the album just finally out there after a year.”
And the worst / most awkward?
“There have never really been too many awkward moments, everyone has a bad gig now and then, but generally we’re all quite a happy bunch. You always get the odd moment where a string snaps, and Caity starts launching into a Stone Roses song. Yeah, that’s always fun…”
If you could organise and play your ideal gig who would play and where would it be held? (Time, finance and mortality need be no barriers).
“Ha ha for fun we would play with FIDLAR and the Jesus and Mary Chain at the Hacienda. Afterwards we would have a Techno night.”
What would you like to achieve as a band?
“I think as a band our main goals are just to (again) bring out as much music as possible, and play some great shows with other bands we also love. I think that is and always will be what we strive to achieve as a band.”
What are your plans for the coming months?
“In the next month or so, we have a few more Glasgow shows planned and we are also playing Dundee with your good self which we are looking forward to. We are in the Studio again at the end of this month to record our EP which we are excited about. It’s really refreshing playing new music again, especially at gigs. “
Anything else that you would like to add?
“I miss you Andy and the others over there and I am very much looking forward to catching you.”
You can listen to Accelerate here – or better still purchase it at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/accelerate/id1122549496
Faiides play the Cool Cat Club on Saturday 24th September with Kid Canaveral and Book Group at Beat Generator Live in Dundee. More info here. Advance tickets online here or in person from Groucho’s in the city.