Interview: The Faculty

It’s a dark, cold winter’s day in Camden. Tired and hungover after playing the Tramshed in Tooting (a warm-up gig for January’s upcoming tour), members of The Faculty arrive at the Man on the Moon in dribs and drabs to meet iShotTheDeputy’s Nathaniel (N) and Theo (T) for a chat. The interview begins with singer Lex talking about the band’s Cocteau-inspired track “Messages”.

The Faculty are:

Lex – vocals, guitars
Nikki Sheppard – guitars, vocals
Koops – bass
Ovetti – drums

N: Just basically chat shit and we’ll try and make you look good.

L on Koops: I’m glad he’s not here yet; in interviews he’s just like an incessant talker, he won’t shut up.

N: Gig on Thursday (upstairs @ the Garage) was cancelled…

L: Good of them to tell us at the last minute. Ned’s were playing downstairs as well.

N: Christ.

L: Exactly.

[b] Indie Nights [/b]
N: The Garage is like a Mecca for past-it indie bands… Shit club night on a Saturday night.

[Koops and Nikki running late; Lex’s phone rings]

L: Where are you you cunts? Why can’t I call you a cunt? Did you think I was kicking off? I’m not kicking off…

L: We went to a night at the Garage called Kosmiche; it’s a kraut-rock night, some really good music, problem was it was full trendy, indier-than-thou wankers.

[T & L discuss the worthiness of using keyboards, anorak-like…]

[b] The Strokes [/b]
L: The problem is with the Strokes is they have no depth. Lyrically they’re just appalling. The vocals have that ridiculous effect on them, the WHOLE TIME..

T: I saw them support …Trail of Dead a while back, way before “Is This It” came out. Remember thinking “this is very dull.” Rocket From the Crypt came on, and they played the same song for sixty minutes, then …Trail of Dead came on and they were brilliant. Predictably two weeks later when the review came out it was like “The Strokes blew everyone else off the stage….” That sort of level of shit journalism. Anyone who said that was just so full of shit.

L: Saw this article in the Guardian, “Call that entertainment?” I think it was, attacking all the sacred cows. The Strokes – just like “Why??” Another one was the Sopranos…

T: Okay we don’t actually have any set questions so if there’s any you’d like us to ask you…

NS: How horny are you? Very. How much of a sex symbol are you? An extreme one.

N: Are we getting this on tape?

[b] “Messages / Sombre Honeymoon” [/b]
L: It was a very inspirational film, all about being freed from life; it’s incredibly romantic to have this person caught between life and death; an immortal in love with a mortal. The destructiveness of mortality – not unchartered territory, I know. We used Maria’s face on our flyers – we didn’t want to have band photographs…

N: Saw another advert for the new U2 album on the tube, they’re trying really hard to look aloof. The four of them sat there, moody faces. Tiresome.

K: We had some photos done, it was alright. But no-one remembers you. But like Maria’s face, it’s such a striking image…

N: Sombre Honeymoon?

L: It’s pretty basic. It’s just about being left behind, pretty crude. I aped a line from DH Lawrence: “It was like a bird which had been blown from its latitude”.

[b] The band name [/b]
N: Nothing to do with a certain American teen flick

The whole band: No, No…No.

N: Thank fuck for that…

L: Faculty as in the senses…..intelligence basically. Sadly there was a terrible film of the same name. I don’t watch American teen flicks…

[b] The NME [/b]
N: You got the feeling when this new new new wave started that there was a strong link between the fashion agenda of other IPC magazines and the stuff the NME was shoving down our throats.

L: The new journalists are basically management types with Toni & Guy haircuts. H & M chic…

T: The ‘80s style-over-substance thing coming back. Reviewers are like: “Oh yes, ripped jeans. Excellent.”

L: Certain bands yeah, like Franz Ferdinand were commended for coming along as a package, “We’ve got the image but HEY we’ve got songs as well,” and they were like commended for this. What was the aim of the band? “We wanted to make pop music that girls could dance to.” For fuck’s sake…

N: That sounds fucking patronising, apart from anything else. Girls have been known to dance to stuff OTHER than re-hashed ‘70s riffs…

T: Yeah but according to Franz Ferdinand, if you were a girl you wouldn’t have the taste to dance to anything good…

[b] Girl Bands [/b]
AM: Unfortunately the emphasis is always on gender..

N: ….which means a lot of poor musicianship gets easily forgiven

L: Soho Dolls

N: Saw them a couple of weeks back. Very good-looking. Instantly forgettable songs.

NS: They’re a Poptones band, though….

N: Alan McGhee seems to think stumbling across Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine gives him the right to shove ten years’ worth of shite bands down our throats in the name of “the kids”. Like he knows anything about “the kids”, he’s an old bald cunt.

[b] Guitar Bands [/b]
T: There’s this idea that like Britney’s terrible because she’s manufactured but anyone who can play guitar is okay. So the Stereophonics are better than Britney

L: Stereophonics are the epitome of that whole “Keep Music Live” thing, with the sticker on your amp; just basically Luddites.

NS: Where’s the line between Busted and the Ordinary Boys?

N: I bought the Ordinary Boys album, it was shite.

L: They’re like having cotton buds down your jap’s eye down the Sexual Health Clinic. Songs about credit cards. [sings in mockney] “I’m in debt again today/I’ve got to go to work ‘til, fucking….six o’clock.”

[b] Influences [/b]
L: Me and Koops essentially come from like the same musical heritage, main differences being Tim Buckley and The Fall; I like Tim Buckley, he doesn’t like the Fall. Koops likes Nirvana..

K: “In Utero”, greatest album of all time; they had so much trouble recording it…

NS: The revisionists will say its their finest work.

N: The year it came out, Kerrang readers voted it the worst album of that year. Which sums up Kerrang, really…

NS: People who bought Nirvana albums back then… they basically only remember “..Teen Spirit.”

N: They’ll turn up on some nostalgia show on Channel 4. Jamie Theakston on a couch, staring into middle-distance: “I could really like feel Kurt’s pain…”

NS: They’ll be like “I was there I saw them on TOTP”. And it’s like No you weren’t, you were 38 or something, fucking Phil Jupitus. That’s the only reason I joined the band basically, is to kill Phil Jupitus live on air.

K: He’s like Ordinary Boys’ number one fan. He came joined them on stage at Glastonbury. Dancing. Absolute knob.

N: I’m going for a shit.

T: What are they like? I haven’t heard them.

K: The Jam when they were twelve meets Morrissey’s shit B-sides.

NS: I can’t hear any Morrissey in it at all…

K: At the end of one of there songs there is a bit.

NS: Oh, okay.

[N returns from toilet]

NS: That’s a quick dump. That’s like a woman’s dump…


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One Response to Interview: The Faculty

  1. Anonymous says:

    [quote]T: The ‘80s style-over-substance thing coming back. Reviewers are like: “Oh yes, ripped jeans. Excellent.”[/quote]

    This wasn’t actually what I was saying…or trying to say. My point was that in the 90’s that’s all they could say hence they had to actually review some music. Now it’s about wearing the right hair, shirt, makeup…or even hair-shirt I guess, if you’re feeling particularly pious.

    Of course, there was alcohol and there were trips to the toilet…and later on a pint glass full of something that most definitely was NOT the Amber Nectar (though probably tasted better than a pint of Fosters) but I’m happy to say that was nothing to do with me!


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