Faith and The Muse have been going for 15 years now. Mr William Faith and Monica Richards along with an assortment of musicians have brought some of the darker, moodier edges of sound to our ears.
Well loved by the gothic scene, but also appreciated by a world of enthusiasts who like their music tangible, eclectic and somewhat serenely evocative, they have been on an extensive tour with a merry band of musicians to promote their new album “Ankoku Butoh.” Glasswerk had the joy of seeing a London show(and were quite blown away by the effort that went into the sound they have organically engineered).
Faith and the Muse are very hard to describe to a general modern audience without doing the band a dis service, so we thought we’d let the band doing the talking. Musical enlightenment, taikos drums, and taking time out are on the agenda.
The new album is in some part being described as a return to your origins. Are you seeking to re-discover the past musically or artistically, or is all this just co-incidence?
Monica: We made a conscious effort to move away from electronics, back to true percussion and live strings. On other albums, we didn't have access so easily and were forced to create the music using samplers, whereas, Elyria, we were locked in a tiny storage room without a sampler, we had to create most of our songs organically…
William: It's not so much a conscious decision to do this or that – more just using what suited the music best, and in this case, we felt we needed to use the actual instruments to capture the sounds and performances we wanted. We never want to go backwards with our music — always forward
I saw you guys in London with your quite extensive set of musicians. Was organising that many people difficult for such a long tour?
William: In short, yes, it is definitely hard to organize and manage something of this size, but ultimately, it was necessary to do this show the way we had it in our heads.
And I'll bet it was costly too?
William: Yes, it is.
Monica: It is, but so beyond worth it.
So what do you think has kept you going over the past 15 years?
Monica: Loving what we do, plain and simple.
How much time do you spend outside the band doing other projects, William I know you lend yourself from time to time to bands like Collide?
William: I like collaborating with other artists, be it through production or guesting on other albums, as it helps to give perspective and experiencing the way other people work is most enlightening.
Do you actively pursue these side projects, or does the bat phone ring and someone is on the other end crying for your help cause they can't take the pressure anymore?
Monica: No, the phone does ring or the email comes in, For me, such as when Steve sent me the music for the future Eden House album, I loved it and the lyrics came to me rather quickly. Viva-Death called me for a certain style of female vocals they were looking for… If it's good music and I like the people, I'll go for it.
Looking at the new album. It's quite extensive in feel as well as variety (Not to mention the quantity is quite large too), were you planning on this being such an epic journey into sound?
Monica: It was epic and indeed, quite the journey! Hard to put into words… we both had song ideas and brought them to the table, each song had its own tale to tell. I think when the taikos came into the studio, that lent its own inspiration as well.
This is also the longest time between albums you have had. Do you think there is any specific reason(s) for this?
William: Honestly, we needed some time to regroup after The Burning Season. I think it's essential that an artist wait until they have something to say before offering another work — there's nothing I dislike more than the idea of putting an album out simply because you know you can sell a bunch of copies. We waited until we had something we wanted to communicate, and then moved forward with it.
Are there any aspects of the work that came as a surprise to you when you pulled the album together?
Monica: The finished works compared to the original demos were so amazing, from electronic drums for the demo, such as “She Waits by the Well” to when William recorded the drums, it was night and day. I personally went, “oh this may be a nice little ditty” to “Wow, this is my favorite song!”
William: The whole work, once completed, was a very pleasant surprise indeed.
So where to from here?
William: We have a considerable amount of touring planned on the back of this album — we're going to be on the road most of next year, all over the world.
After all this time there is surely some boundaries you have yet to cross. Are there talents out there that either or both of you would like to collaborate with?
Monica: New talents spring up all the time, but if Bowie needs some female vocals, have him call me!
William: The only boundaries are the ones we create — the future is yet untold, and limitless in our mind.
Find the band at their officially website: link
“Ankoku Butoh” is now available.