Tag Archives: Faith No More

Ep. #216: Russell Mael & Alex Kapranos of FFS

Russell Mael and Alex Kapranos are talented musicians who are part of a new band called FFS. Mael originally hails from Culver City, California. Along with his brother Ron, he formed the pioneering electro-pop and prototypical new wave band Sparks in the early 1970s, which went on to achieve chart success and develop a loyal following. Musicians in particular have been drawn to the instrumental and lyrical daring of Sparks, who frequently set trends just by operating outside of the conventions of rock music and experimenting with sounds and theatricality. Kapranos originally hails from Glasgow, Scotland. In 2002, he co-founded the band Franz Ferdinand who remain one of the most popular and influential rock bands in the world. Among their fans are Ron and Russel Mael of Sparks and this mutual admiration has led to the remarkable collaboration FFS, whose self-titled debut came out this past June via Domino Records and will certainly stand as one of the finest albums of 2015. FFS are on a world tour that brings them to Toronto’s Phoenix on September 30. Here, in separate interviews, Mael and Kapranos discuss the Tokyo to Zurich commute, playing to a festival audience instead of a Sparks audience, the reception to FFS, how this collaboration was executed, the song “Piss Off,” mutual admiration, past collaborations with bands like Faith No More, overcoming boring music, working with Giorgio Moroder, making unsuspecting new fans after releasing 23 albums, the scene in California when Sparks began, how we know too much about the music business now, metrics, the Mael’s theatrical backgrounds, their upcoming musical and feature film projects, the long-rumoured Tim Burton/Sparks collaboration on a cinematic musical, infusing music with humour and the perception of such music’s substance, love songs and clichés, “Johnny Delusional,” the FFS Glastonbury performance and performing with Franz Ferdinand, Russell’s impressive singing, finding common ground with Alex Kapranos and Franz Ferdinand, unreleased FFS songs, the song “Johnny Delusional,” seeing Nardwuar the Human Serviette, trading song ideas with Sparks, secretly making the FFS record, unsuccessful super groups, the song “Collaborations Don’t Work,” how music with humour is regarded, the song “Johnny Delusional” and capturing the light and darkness in life, self-seriousness, discovering Sparks at a flea market in Glasgow, why Sparks isn’t as big as they should be, fortunate collaborations, singing with Russell and performing with FFS, the song “Police Encounters,” and then we piss off.

Related links: ffsmusic.com vishkhanna.com


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Ep. #206: Faith No More’s Billy Gould

Billy Gould is a musician, songwriter, and producer who originally hails from the state of California. Throughout his life, Gould has played in bands like Brujeria, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Fear and the Nervous System, and more, and he also started his own label, Koolarrow Records. But Gould’s most impactful work to date is in the band Faith No More, an idiosyncratic and subversive rock band he co-founded in 1981. After an 11 year hiatus, Faith No More reunited in 2009 and have toured the world sporadically ever since. This past May, the band released Sol Invictus, their first new album since 1997 and the first on their own imprint, Reclamation Records. They’ll continue to tour over the next few months, including Canadian stops at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto on August 7 and Heavy MTL in Montreal on August 8.  Here, Billy and I discuss life in San Francisco with little sun and lots of tech, the city’s wild political and civil history, travelling to Austin and touring as much as possible over the past six years, getting Faith No More back together, meeting fan expectations and being better, starting a record label and working with cool international bands, Faith No More’s new record label, creative control, whether or not general audiences today are more open to being challenged by music, music festival globs, how we entertain us, the reception, writing and producing Sol Invictus, band geography, tapping into sounds he doesn’t hear, darkness and reality in a shiny city, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, heavy and catchy, Faith No More and a tipped over potato truck, fate no more, tension forever, it’s business time, fan demand, boxing, knowing one’s limits, touring with Refused, the song “Separation Anxiety,” and this is it.

Related links: fnm.com vishkhanna.com

photo by Dustin Rabin

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