FAULT Magazine Exclusive Fashion Editorial – Benjo’s Arwas’ FAULT

Photographer: Benjo Arwas

Model: Emilia Vucinic @ The Lions

Stylist: Jordan Grossman

Hair and Makeup: Nicole Chew @ Art Department

Video Production: Tribe Federation

Daphne Guinness Launches Second Album at London’s BFI IMAX

Album cover on BFI IMAX screen

Last night saw the launch of British fashion muse and musician Daphne Guinness ’ second album as Daphne and The Golden Chords, It’s a Riotat the BFI IMAX. As what can only be described as an extravagant homage, the heiress to Guinness – yes, the Irish stout – was the main focus of the night from the start to finish, complete with glass sculptures of the singer at the entrance and projections of her mirage covering the walls as drinks were served. As an air of nepotism swept the room, the event was bustling with friends and confidants of Daphne. From old rockers in leather jackets to big names in the fashion industry, the crowd was an eclectic mix of all ages, some of which wouldn’t have looked out of place 50 years ago.

Once ushered into the cinema for the screening with bags of popcorn, glasses of prosecco and merchandise, FAULT was treated to a sensory eye bath. With the help of Tony Visconti, the American record producer who helped the likes of Bowie and T. Rex, Daphne’s music – set to visuals created by artist Nick Knight – made an instant impact, leaving the audience mesmerised.

Over a collection of arty clips and kaleidoscopic visuals of the singer herself, the music poured out poppy, Lauper-esque hooks with ethereal lyrics taking influence from Marc Bolan and Bowie – Visconti definitely left his mark on the album. The self-proclaimed autobiographical record visits her recent near-death experience and her life as it has progressed in last few years. Using her classical training, penchant for poetry and love of Wagner (thanks to hours chatting with Bowie in the studio), Daphne has created her own unique style of glam rock – think a lot of spoken word and catchy repetition.

The unashamedly self-assured Daphne was soon interviewed on stage by music journalist Will Hodgkinson, who’s written for the likes of The Guardian and Vogue. However, as the Q&A progressed, her coquettish facade transformed into a timid, more vulnerable persona, speaking about her fears and anxieties both in her personal life and musical career, before mentioning her new relationship with her bandmates who are, of course, also big names in the music industry, including keyboard player Terry Miles.

The singer’s 80s-inspired sound and alias is a perfect partnership and, in Daphne’s own words, completes her world. Tour? She doesn’t know. But, if she does, make sure you bring your glitter platforms and leave the Guinness Toucan Tees at home.

Words: Flora Neighbour

Flora Neighbour with Daphne Guinness

Flora Neighbour with Daphne Guinness

 

Flora Neighbour with KC and Jordon Wi-Fi from Last Night in Paris

Flora Neighbour with KC and Jordon Wi-Fi from Last Night in Paris

 

Flora Neighbour with Daphne and The Golden Chord keyboard player Terry Miles

Flora Neighbour with Daphne and The Golden Chord keyboard player Terry Miles

 

Flora Neighbour with music journalist Will Hodgkinson

Flora Neighbour with music journalist Will Hodgkinson

Get transported to another world in Amsterdam duo CUT_’s music video for “Trick Me”

Amsterdam duo CUT_ takes you through their cinematic pop universe in the music video for their single “Trick Me”. The minimalist clip features glitchy tight framed cuts of Alice, performing an interpretive style of dance that mirrors the frenetic energy of the track. Her almost animal-like dance qualities combined with her androgynous beauty shines through in the video.

Take a look below!

Tour Dates:
April 20th: Luxor Live @ Arnhem, The Netherlands
April 21st: Grenswerk @ Venlo, The Netherlands
April 28th: Muziekgieterij @ Maastricht, The Netherlands
May 16th: Ancienne Belgique @ Brussels, Belgium
May 18th: Paradiso @ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
May 19th: Mezz @ Breda, The Netherlands
May 26th: Dauwpop Festival @ Hellendoorn, The Netherlands

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LANY Exclusive FAULT Magazine interview

Interview: Kee Chang

Photography: Catie Laffoon

LANY just played their first arena concert in the Philippines earlier this month—a show that sold out within a matter of 24 hours. Sitting down with the Los Angeles outfit backstage mere moments before they’re to take the spotlight in South Korea—FAULT the only approved interview and backstage access on their third trip to the peninsula—Paul Jason Klein, Charles “Les” Priest, and Jake Clifford Goss are as calm, cool, and collected as they’ve always been. It’s hard to believe that these guy are still infant, having only formed in 2014. That year, the trio uploaded their first track “ILYSB” to SoundCloud. Six days later, Polydor was calling. There’s been no slowing down LANY’s good fortune. If there ever was a dream scenario for any band, you’re looking at it. So after four EPs (including the re-release Make Out), a self-titled debut album, two headlining tours, and having gone truly global with fans in virtually every market, what do they have their sights set on? A sophomore album, of course, but so much more. FAULT goes in for a closer inspection.

 

Tell us about your sold-out arena show in the Philippines. What was that experience like?

PAUL: Surreal.

JAKE: It was unbelievable.

PAUL: It sounds kind of silly to say, but it was actually the easiest show I think I’ve ever played.

LES: Same.

PAUL: It just felt so natural. We play a lot of shows. We’ve played to like zero people before. We’ve played to four people. We’ve done some arenas with Ellie Goulding and John Mayer. We felt so prepared for that night. It was just really comfortable and it felt like that was what we were made for: that kind of venue and size.

Going from playing to a few people like you’re saying, then to huge arena crowds, how has your perception of LANY’s demographic changed?

PAUL: Especially with the debut album, I think our demographic broadened quite a bit. In the beginning, it was just mainly young people and a lot of young girls. It still is, which is amazing. The second there aren’t ten rows of young people in the front, I’d get a little bit worried. So I love that and I love seeing so many young people come. But when you’re in an arena, there’s a lot of people represented in there from all different walks of life. So yeah, it is broadening. That’s good because we want to be the biggest band in the world and you can’t be if you hit a niche market.

JAKE: We reach all ages.

You guys have really passionate fans. With that comes a desire to hold onto LANY as their own special thing before the entire world finds out about you.

PAUL: Sure.

I came across this cool comment under one of your YouTube videos, obviously from a LANY fan: “Bands aren’t little secrets. Be proud of them. This is what they dream about.”

JAKE: That’s super cool. That’s awesome.

PAUL: Also, sometimes I think when they say, “They’re not my little secret anymore,” it’s coming from a place of positivity and adoration—not actually being kind of bummed. I think they’re really, really proud and that’s really nice to hear. We obviously don’t see those because YouTube comments are a little crazy. [Laughs]

You played 117 shows in 2016 and 135 shows in 2017. What’s your sage advice for always keeping your head on straight and having a successful life on the road when it’s this relentless?

PAUL: Pacing yourself, and taking care of your body and your mind and your soul. You do that in a bunch of different ways. Surround yourself with good people. I think we’re really in it for one reason and that’s just to make cool stuff and make cool songs. There’s no real ulterior motive or anything like that. It’s pretty pure so we don’t find ourselves in too much trouble. We’re not causing too much of a raucous.

JAKE: You gotta believe in it with your heart and soul. That’s been true for every show.

From an outsider’s perspective, you guys had a meteoric rise. Has it felt like that to you?

PAUL: Not to us because that’s like looking in the mirror every day and not really seeing the gradual change, but everyone else sees it, you know? If you gain ten pounds, you don’t really see it, but everyone else’s like, “Wow, really? You alright?” [Laughs] When you walked in and told us that we’re experiencing a lot of milestones, I did think in my head it’s kind of like when a kid gets to be one and a half or two years old and they start walking. Then they say their first words, you know? It’s the really fun years when these big milestones happen. I think that’s kind of where we’re at right now. We’re still a baby band, but we’re kind of starting to walk a little bit and say our first words, you know? There are these big moments that we’re experiencing right now.

After South Korea, you’re off to Japan, and then Coachella. You have summer festivals and a bunch of US dates that will keep you occupied throughout the year. When will you record the second album?

PAUL: It’s already written. We took some time off in January and February. We just kind of put our heads down and wrote a lot and then looked up around the middle of February and realized we had an album two written. We haven’t been able to “make it,” if that makes sense. We’re gonna need more time in the studio to really perfect it, but we’ve set aside time for that this year. It’ll come out in September or October of this year.

How different do you think album two will be from what you’ve been putting out?

PAUL: It’s different and the same, if that makes sense. I mean, we always wanna be true to who LANY is and who we are, but we also never want to make the same album twice. We want there to be a progression and an evolution. We look at bands like U2 and Coldplay who’ve just done it for so long and found a way to reinvent themselves with every album. That’s really what we’re striving for.

Speaking of where you all respectively started and where you’re heading into the future, how has the sound evolved? Paul, you were obviously going at it solo before LANY. Jake and Les, you guys had a band called WRLDS before becoming this trio.

PAUL: When I was a solo artist, I was writing pretty crap songs. They weren’t very good. It takes a while to learn how to write good songs. It really didn’t sound like what we do now. I learned so much from these guys. There’s so much musical education, especially in the early years of LANY. Whatever they’re listening to, I start flooding my brain with. I think WRLDS wasn’t too dissimilar from where we’re at now.

JAKE: Part of how we went about it was similar, but it really is about the three of us and what that combination makes. It’s different.

PAUL: Yeah, totally.

What’s the most irritating question that you’re asked over and over again that should be put to rest? I mean, apart from “What does LANY mean?” or “What do you like better: L.A. or New York?”

JAKE: I hate it when people ask, “If you could describe LANY in three words…”

LES: [Laughs] “Each of you, give one word.”

PAUL: Yeah, I mean, how good are you if you can just describe it in three words?

JAKE: I hate those questions.

Watch me ask you a really annoying question next…

PAUL: [Laughs] Your next question! The most basic question.

What’s been your toughest moment as a band? Maybe early on before all of this felt real.

PAUL: I don’t want to say there’s one season more challenging than another. I think looking back on it, I would never wanna do the first year again.

JAKE: We look back on it fondly, though.

PAUL: Oh yeah. The back-end of that first year—

JAKE: We crushed that.

PAUL: But it was tough. At the time, it didn’t feel tough, you know? I’m sure even the season that we’re in right now just trying to grow and evolve as a band, whether it’s with the creative direction or just being on the road a lot, there are things that can wear you down. But I think we just talk about it.

JAKE: We just wanna put in harder work to make really smart moves, and our manager has helped a ton with that. We’ve just grinded for four years.

PAUL: Also, nobody wrote a book on how to be a band and everyone’s story is different so we’re kind of flying by the seat of our pants a little bit. We’re just trying to make the best decisions every day, you know? I think we’re doing alright so far.

You’re very upfront about your goals. I mean, you literally said earlier, “We want to be the biggest band in the world.” What do you want to conquer next?

PAUL: Well, we did just play our first two arenas and that is the goal, for sure. I mean, we were talking about 2019 last night and 2020. We were about to get our tour schedule for 2019, which is just a rough outline, but you know. The world is a big place and there are markets like South America we haven’t been to yet. We want to go back and play Spain and hit more parts of Europe.

JAKE: Play Glastonbury!

PAUL: I think the goal right now is really to make album two as perfect as possible and put it out because releasing music dictates our touring schedule and basically the rest of our lives, you know? So we gotta take care of that first.

What is your FAULT?

PAUL: I’m super competitive. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so that gets the best of me sometimes.

JAKE: I probably love people a little too much.

PAUL: [Laughs] That’s such a great answer! Wow.

LES: I want to do everything myself. I’m kind of a lone wolf sometimes, but I know it’s better if we have an awesome team around us.

 

For more information on LANY, including tour dates, head over to www.thisislany.com

A special thanks to the Universal Music Group team!

FAULT Online Exclusive Photoshoot and Interview with MAX

Words and Photography: Miles Holder

Grooming: Shamirah Sairally

New York City born pop-soul singer MAX first hit our radar when we listened to the now famed hit single ‘Lights Down Low’. Currently sitting with over 30 million views on Youtube, it would seem that the love song written for his wife Emily, has now become a love song shared by many other couples around the world.

Most recently Max joined FAULT’s previous stars Fallout Boy on tour so we caught up with Max on the European leg to find out just what it’s like to pen a love song shared by so many. 

 

So you’re about to head off on tour with Fallout boy, excited?

Very excited, they’re good friends of mine, and it’s such an inspiration to see what hard work can do and the longevity that can come from it.

Do you like being on tour or do you prefer getting your thoughts out in the studio?

I think there are aspects of both, I love touring, but I also need to be careful of what I wish for because the last few years it’s been like ten months of travelling each year! This year we’ve come to Europe three times, and before that, I’d even never been before, so I’m fortunate to be able to travel so many places. Travelling also influences the writing because once you visit these different countries, you start to realise what connects in various languages and what energy is universal.

 

Is there anywhere you’ve been that pleasantly surprised you?

Paris, everyone says they can be the worst shows, but that was one of my favourite shows of the last tour and had such high energy. It’s said that the French have a lot of sass, but at the shows, they lose themselves, and that was really special.

What’s your best tour story?

Every time I stay in a hotel room I always leave the “do not disturb sign” on the door because I’m super messy and don’t want the staff to have to deal with it. We were playing a show in the Philipines, and it’s the only time I’ve had round the clock security.
So I’m in my room talking to my wife on the phone, and I look up at my bathroom mirror and see a hand-drawn message written in Sharpie on the mirror, like murder style! I’m freaking out! It said, “Hey max, if you want to see how we really party here, come up to the fourth-floor lobby”. It wasn’t a creepy message, but all I can think about is “someone has been into my room without me being here, climbed onto the sink to leave this message”. I call the front desk, and nobody comes, and I’m just in this foreign country freaking out – I move all my bags to barricade the door and don’t get any sleep that night.

As it turns out it was a fan who worked at the hotel and looked up my room number, asked the manager if this was a neat idea and the manager apparently said: “yeah, go for it”.

So you missed out on the best night of your life on the fourth-floor lobby!?

I know right, it could have been wild! I should have gone to the fourth floor, every time I tell that story people always want to know what was up there!

When ‘Lights Down Low’ was shooting up the charts, was there a “this is it” moment?

There’s been a couple of moments which was like “wow this is happening”. I think an amazing one for me was playing James Corden with a harp player, the very same way I proposed to Emily with. She was in the audience, and I saw a glimpse of her, and it was my first late night show in the states, so that was a cool moment. There was another moment when I remember being in Florida with my friend Nash and I had this amazing US military soldier hit me up on Instagram and say “hey, I’m getting married the day of your show and your song is my wedding song. I’m shipping out to Afghanistan the day after, and I was wondering if there’s anything special you could do on the day”. It was awesome, they’d just gotten married, but they came to our show, and we brought them both out on stage, and that was the first couple to reach out but such a fantastic couple. It’s great to have someone out there, being who they are and loving their life reach out because that’s what the song is all about.

Do you ever feel pressure to now top it or fear that you won’t?

Every day, but I try not to give in to that pressure. Sometimes you try to recreate something, but you can’t recreate special moments in your life, it doesn’t work like that. You can’t try to make those moments; you just need to keep taking risks and telling authentic stories. It’s empowering to know that one song that will always mean so much to Emily and me also now means so much to so many different people.

 

Is it strange to share what was such a personal song between you both with so many others?

Before we put the song out and showed off our wedding video, we had this discussion and decided, “if we’re going to share this news, then we have to share it all”. I think in this day and age with social media you’re either private, or you’re open, and you let people be a part of your experience.

What don’t journalists ever ask you?

I was saying the other day that journalists rarely ask about your bad shows. It feels horrible; it feels like you’re trapped outside of your house naked, with thousands of people watching you. This gig, in particular, was a private show, and we don’t always treat them as a regular performance. It wasn’t well communicated that it was going to be in front of 5000 people though. So we didn’t have our sound person, (our mistake), we were booked as an acoustic act in front of 5000 people, and it’s in Germany, so I can’t cover for myself in the same way. It was horrible, and no one booed or anything, but it was awful.

What is your FAULT?

I’m not a very functioning human; I can’t do my laundry or other life basic skills. I’m so thankful to have my wife to balance out my life; she’s definitely the boss. We’re all flawed but that’s what helps other parts of you excel but for me, I can’t function, if you just left me in the wilderness, I’d be fucked!

FAULT Weekly Playlist: KODA

The grandson of a famous Haitian singer and a self-proclaimed vagabond, Koda channels his free-spirited personality in his music. Initially crafted as a side-project, Koda’s penchant for hook-laden ambient dream pop caught the attention of over 20 million streams and with it, calls from music supervisors all over the world.

That success led to the a one-way ticket from Colombia to Los Angeles, where Koda would spend the next few years buried in the studio, writing 100s of songs as he developed what would eventually become his? ?debut LP,? ?i? ?hope? ?this? ?makes? ?us? ?better?.? ?The project marks a return to his rock roots, a blend of vocals-driven neue-gaze, post-rock, and alternative electronica.

We asked Koda to put together a playlist of tracks that inspire him, including some music he picked up on while living on Colombia to b-sides from hip hop stalwarts OutKast. Tune in below.

Soft Hair – Lying Has to Stop

I am OBSESSED with this song. It’s pure bouncy, bubbly fun. It has this absurdist youthful Spongebob aesthetic to it- it’s actually insane, and the lyrics are so pointed and goofy. Connan Mockasin is a genius; I saw him once at UCLA, and halfway through his set he brought out Sergio Flores (the sexy sax man) and he was shooting roses into the crowd from his saxophone, it made so much sense. Everyone is sleeping on this song – it’s the only thing that makes sense in this fucked up reality.

Dámaso Pérez Prado – Caballo Negro

I was stoned out of my mind when I first heard this – It plays at the beginning of Santa Sangre; there’s a brilliant, literal bird’s eye view shot over the circus and this song choice is perfect. I don’t have much to say about this one beyond its perfection when married to those particular images. I spend a lot of my time writing music to picture and i don’t think i’ll ever get it this right.

Outkast – Prototype

Has there ever been a sadder, sexier song? I think not. It’s so many things at once and it’s one of those things you have to repeat 3-4 times every time it comes on. I’ve listened 3 times trying to find the words to describe it – it’s just so simple and succinct and the groove is incredible. Did André 3000 play bass on it?

Cibo Matto – Birthday Cake

This perfectly encapsulates the 1990’s. I’m very terrified of having children one day, and I think it has something to do with the way she’s pleading with her son in this. It’s so raw, and the kooky organ really hammers it in. It’s featured in this Japanese video game Jet Set Radio Future and that soundtrack was very formative; serving as precursor for the whole Bristol sound trip hop thing (for me).

The Mars Volta – Televators

I first heard this on a college music mag compilation CD courtesy of my dad, and I think it was the first time I really cried because of music. It was so beyond (in scope, in sound, in musical maturity) pretty much everything I was listening to at the time, and Cedric’s crooning absolutely destroyed my soul. Confession: I used to get picked on hard for my curly hair and used to either straighten it or cut it until I got into this band. It was always either too frizzy or too dirty or any number of things, and none of the bands I listened to looked anything like me. Then I saw The Mars Volta, and Cedric had this huge curly mess going, and he was SUCH A BADASS. It all clicked for me then. I don’t think I’d be singing today without them as role-models.

Radiohead – Daydreaming

This is an obvious pick. Thom Yorke is this huge role model for me and the depth of emotion on this track is shattering. It feels like my hero’s heart is breaking into a million pieces – it’s one of those things you hear and think “what’s even left for him?” It gave me this lingering fear of love and loss that’s hard to cope with. I can’t relate with it yet, and I’m terrified now of the day I can.

Nine Inch Nails – 20 Ghosts III

This has to be my favorite mood piece – the way it washes in and out – the techy nightmare world it paints a picture of. It’s night personified. Weaving in and out of traffic. Heavy Rain. I always picture some Lynchian horrorshow. I want to direct a music video for this some day – I don’t really know how, I just want to. This is such an ungroovy playlist now.

Krzysztof Penderecki – Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima

There’s a shame to this song. Even if you didn’t know the title you’d know what it was about, you can feel it in your core – this great evil we unleashed. My connection with music is mostly emotional and rarely intellectual – so i’m not the one to reflect on this piece in writing beyond saying “oh my god”. Haunting in the worst way.

Koda Socials:
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Gundelach Exclusive FAULT Magazine Interview

 

Interview: Kee Chang
Photography: Simen Skari 

 

Norway’s Gundelach, a.k.a. Kai Gundelach, released his self-titled debut EP in 2017, which secured him a Pop Album nomination at Spellemannprisen (the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammys). Last week, the DJ-turned-solo artist unveiled his debut LP, Baltus, a thoughtful and inspired collection of tracks that continues to showcase his Nordic-noir sensibilities and haunting, falsetto vocals. It’s infused with undeniable feeling that’s sincere and melodies that are unshakably catchy. And while deeply introspective lyrics set to gloom-tinged, dreamy synth-pop is nothing new, most other artists use blunt chisels on big slabs—Gundelach is working in scrimshaw. Among the LP’s stable of uncommonly spectacular tracks, “Duck Hunting” and “Past the Building” are sonic checkpoints that seem to do this still-infant artist on the rise most justice. Just don’t expect confetti canons. Baltus is a porcelain sorrow.

 

FAULT: Is Gundelach a common surname in Norway? How often do you get asked about your moniker?

Gundelach: It’s not common at all, actually. Even Norwegian journalists ask me that same question. It’s a German/Danish name. I don’t come from a German family, but I guess there were some ancestors.

 

FAULT: Maybe we can start with your most recent single off Baltus: “Past the Building” featuring ARY.

Gundelach: That track means a lot to me. It came together quite quickly. ARY and I had just gotten to know each other in the studio. I helped her with some of her tracks and she helped me with some of mine. I feel like we make a pretty good team writing the lyrics and the melodies. The track is about relationships that are a bit toxic. I think it’s the only track that I listen to pretty regularly after finishing the album.

FAULT: So “Past the Building” came together pretty fast. Is that usually the case?

Gundelach: It’s really different for every track. When you write with another person like that, you don’t sit for a long time and wonder whether what you wrote is good or not because you get confirmation right away, you know? If you sit with someone that you respect musically and that person says, “That’s a really good melody,” you don’t have to listen to it over and over again for days, which can happen if I write alone.

 

FAULT: Going way back now, your first-ever single in Scandinavia was “Alone in the Night.” It’s another “melancholic daydream” as you’ve describe your sound in your own words. What inspired that cut?

Gundelach: I was pretty heartbroken at the time. The premise of that song is about the feeling you have when you’re in love with someone, but you don’t know if the feeling is mutual anymore. It’s that place where you kind of know it isn’t, but you’re too afraid to ask so you go around thinking all these dark thoughts. I had this studio just outside of Oslo at the time. I was just sitting in the studio by myself and I had just figured out how I wanted to make music, which I had been trying to figure out for three to four years.

 

FAULT: In every relationship, there’s one person who loves the other person more. It’s devastating, isn’t it?

Gundelach: I’ve thought about this a bunch of times. It’s not always a bad thing, though, because it can turn from one side to the other. But it is always one person that loves the other person at least a little bit more.

 

FAULT: On the second-ever track you released called “Spiders,” I know you started with long chords, improvised vocal melody, and then wrote the lyrics. Is that a natural progression for you with songs?

Gundelach: Yeah, that’s kind of my go-to method for writing because I tend to improvise in gibberish. I almost always start with the arrangement of instruments to have two bars or something and then improvise over that in gibberish English. I think that’s pretty cool because, when you sing in gibberish like that, subconsciously, you always say some words that are really good. If you let yourself improvise, you don’t have time to overthink stuff. Then I build the lyrics around those words. I really like working like that.

 

FAULT: When something big unexpectedly happens—when Pharrell plays “Spiders” on Beats 1–does that feel like a seismic event? Does it ripple out into other opportunities in a way that’s very cause and effect?

Gundelach: Of course it’s always cool when stuff like that happens and I remember that particular instance really well. I was in Berlin. I had been clubbing the night before. My phone rang and it was my manager saying that I had to turn on the radio because Pharrell is playing my song. Of course that’s huge. But I don’t know how much it did for me. I got exposed to new listeners, I guess. For me, and for many other artists also, when stuff like that happens—when you get confirmed for a really cool festival—it’s always cool, but you’re also thinking about the next thing. I wish it wasn’t always like that. I wish you could just appreciate the cool things that happen in your life, instead of thinking about what your next goal is. It’s like buying a Porsche and then sitting in that Porsche thinking about wanting a Ferrari or something.

 


FAULT: What do you remember from your earliest days performing live and transitioning out of DJing?

Gundelach: That was pretty intense because, even though I had been making music for quite a few years, I shared it with almost no one. I was in the Oslo club community and culture through DJing and knew a lot of music people that knew I made music, but they hadn’t heard it. I was just so nervous. You couldn’t talk to me at all for two hours before I would play. I just remember being super uncomfortable. Now it’s something I can control. And I guess I say that but yesterday I performed on live radio and chocked up on the first line of a song. It’s weird when you have to sit down to do an interview and talk in a low voice like I am now and then have only ten seconds before you have to perform. Your voice isn’t warmed up at all. It went fine, though. I didn’t stop the song or anything. I just came in wrong, I guess.

 

FAULT: If anything, I think that makes you more relatable to people listening in. It’s disarming and human.

Gundelach: They told me that same thing after the show. It’s true. I guess if you choke up and you’re unable to perform at all, that’s not very good, but if you have a bad start and you get really into it by the end, you’re golden. As you say, it’s a human thing. People see that you’re just a dude trying to sing a song.

 

FAULT: I know there was a tragedy in your personal life when you flew to New York City to record the EP in 2015. [Editor’s Note: Kai learned upon arriving in the city that his friend back home committed suicide.) Did you find that colouring the material you had already been working on in a different way?

Gundelach: It’s crazy. I had worked out the songs before I got there. When that happened, the only thing that felt right was to be in that studio and just record. It was so weird and scary and everything. Suddenly, all those songs had a different meaning to them. It definitely coloured the whole thing. When you’re emotional, that affects your singing—you hear it in the voice. That was an intense experience.

FAULT: Music entered your life early it seems. You were making music for six years by the time you went public. You sang in children’s theatre at age nine. You learned guitar at ten. As you said, you were nervous to share your work, so what opened up that possibility? Did it become a necessity for you?

Gundelach: The thing is, it wasn’t necessarily that I was nervous. It was just that I wanted to be good enough before I put anything out there. I think a lot of artists I know maybe jumped into it a bit too quickly because they had some demos and a manager reached out to them or a record label reached out. I just wanted to be good enough at the craft before I released anything so I could have control in both the production and the way it’s presented to the public. I wanted to have creative control so I waited until I felt I was ready. But then I guess I wasn’t because you’re never ready. You have to jump into it at some point.

 

FAULT: Do you think a lot of DJs have the desire—sometimes the secret desire—to make original music?

Gundelach: I do think a lot of DJs have the desire. But most of them want to make club music because they’re in that scene. That’s what was different with me, I guess. I didn’t want to make club music necessarily. I wanted to make music that’s quieter than what I’m putting out now honestly. In the beginning, my songs were just acoustic guitar and maybe one synth. It was really mellow. Then I started adding drum machines. I got more interested in analog gear and hardware. It was a natural progression to introduce that into the music. I guess I had a really different dream for myself when I was DJing because I didn’t want to be playing clubs. I wanted to play stages and nice rooms, and to have a live thing with a band. It’s different.

 

FAULT: Can you tell me about this unique work experience from your past where you, from what I understand, sang to old people as a sort of therapy? It really underscores music’s capacity to heal.

Gundelach: I felt a bit underqualified for the job. But I felt like I got enough from it on a personal level because it was really important work. I had a great time with those people. They were mostly demented people. You would be sitting there having a normal conversation with one of them and they would start over and over again. They’re just living in a loop, you know? It’s a bit scary. Music has this function where it allows the brain to remember. They suddenly “wake up” when they hear music from their past. I couldn’t play everything on the piano. I had to learn all these old songs and it took up too much time for me to continue so I didn’t have the job for that long. But it was really meaningful to me at the time.

FAULT: Do you still have ambitions to act? I know that’s been a part of your narrative as well.

I do, yeah. My synth player’s girlfriend is actually a renowned director here in Norway and she asked me a couple of times to come and try out stuff with acting. I haven’t gotten any parts yet, but I’m not really working to get them either. If the right project is there for me in the future, I would love to. It’s also a bit scary to jump back on the horse after not having done it in such a long time, I guess.

 

FAULT: Where do you find yourself pulling a lot of inspiration from, apart from music?

Gundelach: I’m not reading so much right now, but I tend to read a lot. There’s this Norwegian author that you should check out named Kjell Askildsen. He’s the master of short stories in Norway, but he’s also pretty acclaimed worldwide. I have all of his stories. I sometimes read to get into the headspace that I want to be in—not the authors’ necessarily, but into the headspace of the literature. The same goes for Oscar Wilde and Hemingway. That’s a good way to get into the right mood to write music, for me at least.

FAULT: What new challenges did you face while working on Baltus? Did it feel very different in the studio?

Gundelach: It did because this was the first time where I was the main producer and it’s my first album. I had a technician who also co-produced some stuff, but mainly, I worked as the one producer and that was really different. We also had a kind of deadline that was long so it was really intense. It was every day, all day type of thing in a room with no windows in this huge building. We had to go up to the roof at least every third hour to get some light so you could feel that it was daytime. And since this is an album, I really wanted to make it a cool listening experience from beginning to end. I worked super hard on the tracklist. There’s one song called “Control” that we worked on for a week, but all the other songs were a lot quicker and I liked that. I hate it when you can’t figure out one section of a song and you end up changing it like 12 times. You get so sick of the song and end up hating it, you know? Sometimes it feels good to start on the right path and then you can just finish it pretty quickly. I’m happy with the result.

 

FAULT: Deadlines can be good, too, right? With anything creative, you could conceivably work on it forever.

Gundelach: That’s true. Deadlines are really important. It’s a really good thing.

 

FAULT: Are you excited to go back on tour soon?

Gundelach: I’m really excited, but I’m a bit terrified as well because we’re going to some European cities that I’ve never played before. I just hope that people come to the shows. I’m trying to have a bit of a different set-up to make stuff even more organic and depend less on backing tracks by bringing more hardware onstage. It’s an overwhelming project right now, but I think It’s going to be really nice in the end.

 

FAULT: I found a YouTube clip of you performing in the cabin of a plane. That had to be a weird experience.

Gundelach: I think that’s one of the weirdest things I’ve done in my life. If I got asked again, I would say no because it was super awkward. Those people hadn’t signed up for any concert. You’re just standing up there with really shitty speakers. But it was kind of cool as well, I guess. They paid pretty well so that was nice.

 

FAULT: And lastly, what is your FAULT?

Gundelach: Oh, shit—my fault… It’s my fault that I play too much computer games right now. I’m really into that stuff nowadays. It tends to eat a lot of my time, which should be spent on planning this tour.

 

FAULT: Which games are you playing?

Gundelach: I’m playing this game called PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. I play Counter-Strike as well.

 

Baltus is out now. For more information on Gundalech, visit www.gundelachmusic.com

Dylan Sprouse – Hollywood’s next IT Boy – Exclusive FAULT Online Cover

 

 

 

Things have changed drastically for Dylan ever since his early days as a Disney superstar – but all for the better. Dylan is currently diving head-first into his soon to be opened meadery All-Wise Meadery,  all while expanding his wings into independent film and proving to the world that he’s a multi-faceted performer. Dylan is part of a new generation of actors that bring hope to the industry. At the close of award season, we spoke to Dylan as our March Online Cover Star about all things Hollywood and the positive aspects of the #metoo movement. In spite of his young age, he’s wise beyond his years and sets the examples that we’ve so desperately needed to have. Here’s Dylan Sprouse – FAULTs and all.

Let’s talk about your newly started business – All-Wise Meadery. What do you reckon is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur and what advice do you have towards young people looking to start their own business?

I would say that the most rewarding thing for me has been the realization of this project with my friends who are now also my business partners. Particularly because they were people who believed in me and not only invested their time but also their money in the prospect that we could really succeed together. The only advice that I’ve got for young entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business is that it’s easy to think that you won’t succeed if you don’t put a lot of your own money upfront and that’s not true. The first step to actually succeeding is just starting and thrusting yourself into uncomfortable scenarios. Just learning the ropes of how to open a business and really getting in there. If you look at it from the outside and you never step in, you’ll never figure it out. And you’ll never get anything done. So I would say just start. Immediately.

 

What were the biggest challenges on an emotional level that you’ve encountered along the way?

 

The biggest emotional challenge was, on a similar level, knowing that my friends invested so much in the meadery that our futures were intertwined. If one of us slips up, all of us do. That was particularly nerve-racking. But on an emotional level, probably the most rewarding thing has come recently when we were actually stood in the space of All-Wise Meadery after nearly two years of trying to put it together. Seeing it physically, tangible – was just overwhelming.

Your latest released film – Dismissed – features quite an intense troubled young man. What catches your eye when you’re going through a script and how did you manage to identify with Lucas?

There are a bunch of different things. One criterion that I use is doing something that I’ve never done before. Even if we’re talking about a negative character – in the case of Lucas. But also – Do I think that the cast and crew will be good to work with? That’s huge for me. You could be doing the coolest role ever, but if you don’t like any of the cast and crew, it’s going to be a terrible shoot. And it will also show in the end result. I’ve been away for so long that I want to stretch my acting again and I want to do things that are different. When my audience sees me in a role, I want them to go like – he’s definitely got more range than I thought he did.

How did you manage to identify with Lucas or empathize with him in any way, shape or form?

I only identified with a part of him. Definitely not his actions. But with parts of him, I certainly did. The stress of wanting to succeed for your family’s sake in a classroom setting is something that I think any student can identify with. The fact that you’re potential future hinges on a single individual and their personal opinion of you can be really damaging and frightening. I think that’s the part of Lucas that I really identified with. When I was young, we were kind of a lower class family and so I was very desperate to bring things to my family and elevate them. That’s something that made me relate to Lucas. It was the struggle of having to succeed in any way and not just for yourself, but also for your loved ones and your family that made me understand him.

 

 

When looking at your acting career – it’s been Disney and then you’ve gone into independent film. How do you feel you’ve managed to find your identity outside of the Disney bubble, considering the fact that you were involved in it at a very impressionable age?

It was a little bit of everything. Diving into my hobbies, like my meadery, has defined me in a way. I also think that taking time away from the industry and letting people forget about me for a while was a good thing. Furthermore, I think I’m also trying to do different roles. The truth is that I don’t think I’ve got the angst to define myself against Disney. I don’t care that much. But at the same time, I would like to do other things. Needless to say that I played Zack for 7 years before I took my break! Doing the same thing was tiring after a while.

 

You and Cole are very distinguishable in terms of the paths that you’ve both chosen to pursue. Yet while growing up, you still had to go through self-identification – while having someone identical to yourself by your side, working in the same industry and being in the public eye. Was it difficult for you to find your own separate ways?

 

I don’t think it was too difficult. As twins do, sometimes you just try to push away from the other, in terms of fashion and hobbies. And I think we did it in college, but it was never a moment of us being like ‘no, fuck you, see you later’. We were never combative about it. We’re actually pretty tame. There are twins who go through this mental awakening whereas we were just like ‘meh, I like this, you like that’. Although we were also careful not to step on each other’s toes. At the same time, I don’t like photography for example; I don’t personally like doing it. Even if Cole hadn’t started his photography, I wouldn’t have picked it up. If I started doing photography after he did it, it would seem bizarre.

 

Would you say that you’re quite opposite characters then?

I think yes and no. I mean, we’re not super different, but definitely, enough so that we moved into different directions with our hobbies, for sure.

 

Hollywood is currently ablaze with sexual accusations left and right. Have you ever witnessed similar occurrences while on Disney?

I’ve never seen or experienced anything of that sort while I was on Disney. But my heart goes out to people who have. What’s giving me hope is that so many people are responding to it. So many people are speaking out, which is the first step in order for a major movement or change to take place. I’m hopeful, I have hope. In a way, I think it sounds bad right now, but actually, it’s a great time to be in the entertainment industry. The bad times were previously. Because people were literally being bullied into being silent. Now is the good time to be in this industry because this bullshit isn’t going to happen anymore.

 

What do you think people in the industry should do to in order to make it safe for both men and women?

I think that these occurrences are happening by and large because of individuals who are corrupt. The best thing that can be done is what’s already being done. But it’s also boycotting and taking a personal stance against artists that you don’t agree with. I hear the same thing a lot, which is ‘I really dislike them as a person but they make great films.’ Well okay – you shouldn’t watch them then. Because when you do, you support their personal habits indirectly. People are notorious for having really corrupt practices and we hold them as artists still. And without naming names, I would say – just stop.

How do you support good art and not support bad behavior if the two are intertwined?

 

You can be a good artist and not have a bad behavior. The two aren’t linked. I think people like seeing and talking about this idea of the ‘insane artist’. There were painters in the medieval period who used to cut people’s heads off and everyone went like ‘oh my god, he’s the best’. Okay, but at the same time, he’s cutting people’s heads off and you shouldn’t be supporting a guy like that. There are so many great artists in the film and television industry that don’t cut people’s heads off that you should support. It’s baffling to me how people support the movement and wear black at awards shows yet continue to support artists and filmmakers like these. It’s very hypocritical – take a stance and really stand by it. I think that way everyone can bring change to the industry from inside his or her household.

 

What’s your FAULT?

I’ve got an intense love of food – up to a point where that’s a fault. Because I’m not a chef and I’m not equipped to cook well and I’m also lazy. So I spend so much money on food that it’s becoming ridiculous.

 

 Interview: Adina Ilie

Photography: WOLAND

Hair and Make Up: Valentina Creti using Charlotte Tilbury