Hailing from Perth, Australia, Josh Raven, the lead singer for the up-and-coming punk band The Faim, hopped on the phone with me while on the road in Salt Lake City, positively zinging with energy.
“I am caffeinated, I am awake, and I am in the freezing cold,” he said right off the bat. “I’m good! I’m good!”
And it was clear that he meant it, talking a mile a minute, only stopping his animated stream of consciousness every so often to apologize for the roar of traffic in the background.
The Faim takes their name from the French word for hunger and after a short conversation with Raven, it is decidedly a perfect fit. Raven, now 21, teamed up with his bandmates, Sam Tye, Stephen Beerkens and Sean Tighe when they were all around 14 years old. Together, they worked hard and dedicated themselves not only to the craft, but to the hustle needed to make it in the music industry.
“We decided to really quit everything and sacrifice a lot really, everyone does, but sacrifice relationships and friendships and stuff like that ‘cause we just basically went into it fifteen hours a day, seven days a week,” Raven said.
“Half the time we didn’t really know what to do, but we would create things, whether it was writing or being in the studio or rehearsing or even going out into the street and meeting people and handing out flyers and creating conversation and going outside shows, any shows, meeting whoever, whenever.”
In the early days, Raven recalls a glamourless recording process that involved using a Pikachu blanket as a makeshift vocal booth and unreliable technology that kept them recording and re-recording for hours and hours on end.
“It was all very, very different and quite amateur but it was an incredible learning process and some of the fondest memories that I look back on now,” said Raven.
It wasn’t until 2016, when they reached out to music producer John Feldmann, who has produced albums in the past for the likes of 5 Seconds of Summer, that things started to really happen for the band. Feldmann solicited new talent via a post on his Instagram and the boys decided to shoot their shot.
Much to their surprise, Feldmann was receptive.
Before they knew it, they were on a plane to Los Angeles where they would begin writing songs alongside some impressive names in the business, such as Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and 5 Seconds of Summer’s Ashton Irwin.
“It really came to a reality was when John Feldmann contacted us, or when we contacted him and he replied,” Raven said. “That was a real pivotal moment for us.”
The group draws inspiration from famous punk bands who had come before them, such as Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco and Metallica to create their own bold and honest take on the genre. Their EP that came out in early September, Summer Is a Curse, is a collection of six songs that radiate with heart, that great punk-pop angst and the same raw energy that emanates from Josh Raven’s voice on the phone.
“We really love it,” Raven said. “In this industry if it was easy every single person would do it, but when you love it and it becomes your lifestyle and it’s really, it’s not work anymore, it’s always a growing experience.”
The Faim performing with Hands Like Houses at Nashville’s Rocketown venue this Thursday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. Buy tickets here for $17.
Photo provided by BMG