Dancing Macabre with the Faint
Q&A with the Nebraskan quartet's singer Todd Fink
By Abby Johnston, 2:03PM, Wed. Nov. 28, 2012
You’d be hard pressed to find a band I listened to more growing up than the Faint. Its 2001 masterpiece, Danse Macabre, recently got the reissue treatment via label Saddle Creek, cleaning up the electro-goth freak-outs to match modern sonics. For the band's show tonight at Emo's, I spoke to vocalist Todd Fink, my schoolgirl heart thumping audibly.
Austin Chronicle: How's the tour going so far?
Todd Fink: Good. Surprisingly great, actually.
AC: You sound surprised.
TF: I mean, I expected it to be good, but it’s been more than that. Maybe it’s the great reception of the tour, or maybe I’m coming to it with a different attitude, but it’s been really great to be back out.
AC: Any reasoning behind the timing for the reissue of Danse Macabre?
TF: No, not really. It’s not really a clean 10-year mark, and we never broke up or anything like that. I moved back to Omaha after some time in L.A. and the L.A. area, and we’ve gotten together and have been working on some stuff. We wanted to tour, but we don’t have a full album yet, so after some discussion we decided to reissue Danse Macabre.
AC: Should we expect any new material anytime soon?
TF: We just released a 12-inch EP with four new songs on it. It’s a limited-edition and only for sale at our tour stops.
AC: What about a new LP?
TF: We’re still working on stuff right now, and we haven’t really discussed what format it will be in. Maybe a few EPs, maybe an album. We’re not sure. But we’re itching to get back to work on stuff.
AC: As a Francophile, I have to ask: Is there any particular reason for choosing the French translation of Dance of Death?
TF: I don’t exactly remember how it came about, but we did take the name from the Camille Saint-Saens piece that’s similar to the album. Not melodically, but in the tone and themes.
AC: There are six bonus tracks on the reissue, why were those chosen?
TF: Those were all tracks that kind of got lost that we thought represented our best material from that era. “Take Me to the Hospital” appeared on a Saddle Creek compilation, but the rest never really made it anywhere, so we thought it was time for them to get on the re-release. It’s stuff we were really proud of.
AC: Many critics and fans would note Danse Macabre as one of your best works. How do you think it would be received now that dance and electronic music has become such a huge staple of the music industry?
TF: That’s a good question. I don’t know. I don’t think it would be received as a new album at all. When we released Danse Macabre there wasn’t really anything like it, and I guess there still isn’t anything quite like it, but dance and electronic music is definitely more prevalent. Hopefully it will bring in younger fans. I know that there are still people out there who got it back in the day from Napster or a CD burn, but hopefully this will open us up to some new fans.
AC: You noted on your website that you’ll be playing other songs since the album is only 35 minutes long. How’d you piece together the rest of your set list?
TF: Honestly, the first one that we made wasn’t very good. Obviously the songs from Danse Macabre go well together in the order they appear on the album, but we didn’t really want to start with that. We wanted it to build up. We’re playing songs before and after the songs from the album. It’s definitely one of our longer sets, especially since we err on the side of a shorter set. I’m really pleased with how it came out.
AC: What were you and the rest of the band up to before this tour?
TF: Dapose was doing electronic stuff with a few different projects. DJing and doing some things like that. I actually spent some time getting caught up with some of the aspects of music that I always left up to the other guys in the band, production elements and things like that. We’re just living life.
AC: Do you think that your time away from Omaha has given you some fresh perspective with recording new stuff?
TF: No, not really. The world is pretty much on the Internet now. I guess the people you’re associating with change it, but I don’t really think the place does. I spent a lot of time indoors and learning more about music.
AC: Any new artists you’re listening to presently?
TF: We’re actually working with two of my favorites: TRUST and Icky Blossoms. We’ve been on the road with TRUST for the tour, and Icky is joining us in five days.
AC: How did you hook up with them?
TF: Icky we’ve worked with for a while. We actually do an annual New Year’s party in Omaha called Goo Together. Derek Pressnall is also a member of Tilly and the Wall, so we’ve definitely known him for a while. Good dudes. They actually just remixed one of our new songs “Evil Voices.”