Macklemore covershoot and interview for FAULT Magazine 28

Macklemore X FAULT Magazine

Macklemore FAULT MAgazine Miles Holder.jpg

Photography: Miles Holder | Stylist: Rachel Gold | Groomer: Lauren Griffin using MAC Cosmetics | Photography Assistant: Chloe Ackers | Fashion Assistant: Alexx Dougherty | Grooming Assistant: Bethany London

 

Words: Miles Holder

Macklemore’s road to success hasn’t been a smooth one, despite the runaway success of 2012 album ‘The Heist’ with then collaborator Ryan Lewis – behind the scenes the pressure caused the artist to slip from his addiction recovery and withdraw within himself.

In 2017, Macklemore released album ‘Gemini’, his first solo album in twelve years and for many, the first time they’d seen him without his longtime companion Ryan by his side. With a brand new track ‘These Days’ currently sitting at number one in the UK charts and the announcement on daughter number two ringing in our ears, we sat down with Macklemore to learn more about his solo journey, fatherhood and the ever present elephant in the room, white privilege.

 

Around 2012 with the release Can’t Hold Us and Thrift Shop many journalists referred to you as “new kid on the block” and as a “runaway newcomer” despite you already having a decade of music releases under your belt. Did that label annoy you?

Macklemore: It didn’t annoy me, I think that in a lot of ways I was an underground rapper and then six months later I was this international Pop Star, so it was a very different role very quickly, so I understood why they said it. People don’t see the work that goes into this stuff. I think mainly with the internet and social media; kids get famous quickly now, and for a good bulk of my career the internet wasn’t a thing that was accessible to a lot of people as it is today. It happened extremely quickly when it did, but it was a good decade before that that I was honing my craft.

Macklemore FAULT MAgazine Miles Holder.jpg

You’ve been active in trying to explain your white privilege, even releasing a song of the same title onto your 2005 album ‘The Language of My World’. While commendable, why do you feel it’s essential for you to get the message across (possibly to the detriment of your fan base)?

Macklemore: To me, it’s the truth, and I want to acknowledge the systems in which we operate under in America. We are all under the system of white supremacy, and I do benefit from the colour of my skin in numerous ways, and that plays a factor in how I have an advantage regarding my art and concerning my career. To take from specific cultures and not acknowledge what’s going on is disingenuous. If I know the truth about it, it’s crucial for me to speak on the subject matter.

 

In that vein, why aren’t more artists doing it?

Macklemore: I think in a lot of ways some artists find it easier to stay quiet and think it’s easier for them not to say the wrong thing if they’re ignorant of the matter. There’s a lot of unpacking to do, and it’s not a subject where artists can say “oh I get it now” you’ve got to have conversations and do your research first. You’ve got to go back to the origin of America to see how this isn’t a philosophy or an ideology but that white supremacy has a history and has impacted the laws and systems in place today. For some, it’s easier just not to educate themselves.

Musicians and other media personalities often get called out for taking a political stance or are told to “shut up and dribble”, why is it essential for you as an artist to make your political opinion known?

Macklemore: I think that we as artists have platforms and we have the opportunity to engage with our fan base. I also don’t believe that it’s essential that all artists do that. Often people ask me “do you think that more people should be speaking up?” I feel that if you’re compelled to, and it comes from a real place, and it’s in your heart then that’s amazing. Music has always been a weapon of resistance for the people. There are songs that I wrote for Gemini which are much heavier but ended up not making the album because I didn’t feel like I was hitting it from the right angle. The songs weren’t saying what I wanted them to say and I don’t think that anybody should ever think that “ok now we have to have a political song to hit that quota”. These songs should always come organically should not feel contrived, or like you’re pandering. If it feels like I’m pandering, then I stay away.

 

What has been the hardest moment of your musical journey so far?

Macklemore: Adjusting to the fame in a condensed period and not staying sober has been the worst. There was a rapid transition and to have the world’s eye on me all at once with back- to-back number ones, and all the accolades that came with it – I didn’t know how to deal with it. I didn’t know how to adjust, so I escaped. I think a lot of that peak season when I was around a bunch of people, doing sold out Arenas across the world was me isolating and using drugs. I used drugs to cope it and to get out of my head. Dealing with the love, criticism and outside public perceptions is a balancing act. Over the years I figured out how to deal with it, and it’s by not giving a fuck. People always say, “I don’t care what people think of me” but we all care! We are all insecure, and it’s a human fault that ties us all together, but when you can acknowledge that, you can work consistently in a spiritual practice that lessens how much you care. When you realise who you sincerely are, and not through somebody else’s eyes but through your soul and your spirit, all of a sudden there’s inner peace. It takes work and maintenance, and if you’re paying attention to the media and you’re on social media all the time to look for validation, it’ll never come. There will always be somebody that’s disagreeing with what you’re saying; you have to be at peace with yourself.

Is it a lot of pressure to have a newborn child and suddenly having to leave to be on tour?

Macklemore: I don’t know if pressure is the right word, but it’s strange to spend eight days with my newborn and then to leave and go on tour. It’s tough to look at pictures, and O feel like I’m missing something, and in a way, I don’t even know my baby yet. I’ve been away from her more than I’ve been there and it’s hard, but FaceTime is a beautiful thing in the meantime. My baby wasn’t planned so we’re adjusting, and people have been doing this forever so I am looking forward to eventually slowing down and just honing in on family life and being a dad for a good while.

 

What is your FAULT?

Macklemore: Addiction. I think that’s the thing that always reminds me that I could lose all of this at any minute. If I stop prioritising the daily recovery program that I do to maintain sobriety – I will lose it all. It’s bigger than my career and more significant than record sales – it’s my family. It’s my happiness, my life. A lot people at the beginning of the recovery wish they were normal and asked, “why can’t I just drink and do recreational drugs like other people?” I don’t think like that anymore; I think my program has been a way for me to get closer to god and for me to figure out who I am. Recovery helped me discover my character defects and my shortcomings and how I can progress to become a better version of myself. It’s there to remind me that this life isn’t permanent and I can lose it if I don’t work to maintain that sobriety on a daily basis.

Lottie Moss Style section cover for FAULT Issue 28

Lottie Moss x FAULT Magazine

Lottie Moss FAULT Magazine Issue 28 Style cover

Photography Stephanie Yt
Fashion: Ozzy Shah @carol Hayes Management
Hair: Diego Miranda @bts Talent Using Oribe
Makeup: Emily Dhanjal @bts Talent Using Charlotte Tilbury
Nails: Naima Coleman Using Chanel Ballerina
Fashion Assistant: Keeley Dawson
Words: Adina Ilie
Special Thanks: W Hotel, London

In the era of the social media supermodel, Lottie Moss is carving her own niche. With the mammoth ‘MOSS’ legacy name behind her, Lottie appears utterly unfazed by the pressure that comes with it. Rather than picking up her older sister’s mantle by strutting the catwalks, Lottie revels in the freedom of being a campaign model. To have such a significant social media following at such a young age is nothing new. Indeed, given her background, it’s little wonder that other young and aspiring models see her as source of advice. By contrast, the sense of responsibility she clearly feels for curating her digital platform is refreshing for someone at her stage in life. In striving to speak out for the portrayal of healthy body image online and in the media, not to mention her unflinching honesty and directness in interviews, Lottie epitomises the new breed of young, socially conscious online influencers.

We spoke to Lottie after our Style section cover shoot at Soho’s W Hotel to discuss her plans for taking over the fashion world – one campaign at a time.

FAULT: You decided to pursue modeling in favour of going to university. What led you towards that decision when many of your peers went into a different direction?
Lottie Moss: I never felt like school was for me. Modeling also kind of landed in my lap a little bit, and I’m so happy it happened. It’s not something that happens to everyone, it’s a very rare thing ever. I’m lucky to have the opportunity.

What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve encountered after diving head first into a cut-throat industry?
Lottie Moss: It’s been hard with the media knowing what you do all the time.

Lottie Moss FAULT Magazine Issue 28 Style cover feature

 

What is the main thing that you choose to promote with the help of your platform?
Lottie Moss: I usually use my platform in a body-positive way. I post pictures where you can see lumps and bumps, just to show that nobody’s perfect and that it’s okay if there are parts of yourself that you don’t like. I strongly believe in body-confidence. I do it to show that you can do whatever you want – I’m a model and I’m not even remotely tall enough to be one. You can do whatever you want if you just try hard enough.

There are many young girls who look up to you at this point. How do you take that responsibility and react towards it?
Lottie Moss: I always try to post positive things and I’m very careful with what I post on my social channels, especially when I go on nights out. You have to remember that these girls are young and that they’re watching.

Lottie Moss FAULT Magazine Issue 28 Style cover feature

 

Have you ever tried to educate them in a certain direction?
Lottie Moss: Not intentionally, but I do try my best to give out advice when people ask. Girls always DM me and ask me how to become a model and I reply to them in that sense. I would love to get involved in something bigger though.

Do you have any insecurities from when you were young that you’d like to share with your fans for them to learn and grow from?
Lottie Moss: It has to be my height and weight. When you’re younger, you don’t really put on any weight when you eat, and then I obviously started to gain weight when I got older. Growing up with social media, I used to get quite sad over the girls I saw on Instagram. But I realized that I’m special in my own way and that’s what matters.

Many young models have gone through phases of body dysmorphia and anxiety caused by the industry’s unrealistic standards. Is this something that you’ve experienced at any point? And if so – how did you counteract it?
Lottie Moss: I haven’t actually experienced any anxiety as a model, as I’m usually portraying myself so I wouldn’t know what advice to give in that direction. Everyone gets stressed, but I’m lucky as I rarely do.

Lottie Moss FAULT Magazine Issue 28 Style cover feature

What individual aspects do you want to bring to your work to set yourself apart?
Lottie Moss: There are so many directions that I want to take. I’m currently working on my own label. It’s going to be amazing – very LA vibes.

You’re very good friends with a lot of models in the industry who come from a similar family background rooted in entertainment. Do you ever feel competitive against each other?
Lottie Moss: I’ve never felt like I’ve ever competed with anyone, but I’ve also never felt like I was a proper model. I’ve never done runway shows or anything like that. The girls who do catwalks probably do feel a little bit of competitiveness, but I’ve never had.

Do you think this is a good way to differentiate yourself as a model?
Lottie Moss: I feel like I’m more of an influencer rather than a model. And I try to be a good role model and stay relevant through the content that I create on my platform.

What’s your FAULT?
Lottie Moss: I have literally no self-control. And I’m really messy too, so untidy!

Lottie Moss FAULT Magazine Issue 28 Style cover feature

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 28 – THE STRUCTURAL ISSUE –  IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

 

Isaac Gracie for FAULT Issue 28

Isaac Gracie X FAULT Magazine

Isaac Gracie for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Photography: Joseph Sinclair
Styling: Gary Salter
Grooming: Charlotte Kraftman
Words: Jack Lloyd

For Isaac Gracie, the last two years have been nothing more than a journey of self-discovery and introspection. It just so happens that along the way, Isaac has caught of the ears of millions of listeners and radio stations worldwide. After selling out many of the UK’s most prestigious venues, Isaac is about to embark on an even bigger journey after the release of his eponymous debut album on 13th April.

Whilst formulating a series of songs with poetic precision and articulated with such devastating beauty, Isaac has pieced together a record that he claims is a physical representation of a heavy and formative time in his life and as a result unveiled to the public the unravelling of a bold new voice.

We sit down with one of Britain’s most sought-after artists.

FAULT: First of all, how are you and how has your year been so far?

Isaac Gracie: It’s been good – I’ve been good. I just came back from Europe where I finished off the record which is coming out next month. It’s all kind of coming together nicely.

Talk to me about that moment you submitted your demo track ‘Last Words’ and how it got picked up by BBC. Where were you when it all started?

Isaac Gracie: I was on my summer holiday between first and second year of university and I was spending most of my time at home or working in a coffee shop. It was there that I started getting a strange amount of interest whilst I was washing dishes and cleaning tables. I was getting emails from record labels which I had never even thought about and all the while trying to fumble together a decent wage at a coffee shop, it was definitely surreal.

I was also in like a strange headspace then as well. It was summer and I was in the middle of university so I was in a lot of places at one time, so the music felt definitely like an abnormal thing to blow up.

Isaac Gracie for FAULT Magazine Issue 28 srcset=

Was music not a priority at that time?

Isaac Gracie: I was just getting on with making a little bit of money so I could have some spending cash at uni, focusing on studying as well and finding a place to live. I had all of these things going on that were completely not related to music – the music was just a personal hobby and a passion – I really had no intention beyond that. It was definitely part of my life – but large notions of success were completely out of the picture.

Is your family musical at all?

Isaac Gracie: No one played necessarily, it wasn’t a run in the family type thing. I was raised on music only in the way that my mum loved music. Bob Dylan was always number one with my mum and when I was growing up, my dad used to play The Bends in the car when we were driving. I can remember going along listening to The Bends when I was like four years old and really digging it.

Where did you record the album?

Isaac Gracie: It was recorded in a few places, we did a big bulk of it at RAK Studios and then we did some at Westpoint Studios in Shepereds Bush and Crouch End. It was recorded over a long period of time in a lot of different set ups so it really does represent the journey of that time. It isn’t just one singular block of experience or creativity but more of an evolution and a reflexion of the changes that happened over that period of time.

Do you find it easier to write a particular song more than others or did you ever struggle at all when writing the album?

Isaac Gracie: I struggle with it all the time. The nature of the songs is kind of like you’re wandering along a beach trying to find a treasure trove and you can walk for hours and not find anything. Obviously, sometimes things are buried closely to the surface and very easy to uncover and other times you really have to dig for them. That’s just kind of how I relate to it, there is no one way or one experience that I have in relation to songwriting.

Are there any songs on the album or on your previous EP’s that have really pushed you out of your comfort zone?

Isaac Gracie: My relationship to songwriting is pretty much on its own terms. I have a diverse and wide appreciation for music and by no means want to restrict myself but it’s purely for the time being based on the situation that I find myself in and in the songs that I still feel I have yet to write. I think right now it’s all based within that frame.

Isaac Gracie for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Talk to me about being on tour. Do you have any highlights?

Isaac Gracie: I just love being on the road, it’s pretty awesome to turn up in a different city every day and have like a new crowd of generally speaking, really lovely interesting people there to hear you play your songs. I love the opportunity to travel and see new places but also just driving and looking out the window and being with other people.

It’s also in many respects a bit of a vacuum because you don’t necessarily feel responsible for anything other than the tour so you can kind of switch off a little bit.

What would be your dream if you weren’t a musician?

Isaac Gracie: I’d love to be in film. I’m fascinated by movies and how they’re acted, how they’re directed, how they’re written, everything about them. Obviously, right now music is without doubt the focus but If I get to a place where there was any relative level of comfort or sustainability, then anything in that world would be a dream.

Who would you most like to go and have a beer with?

Isaac Gracie: I saw Bon Iver the other day, I actually saw him twice in one week and he’s always been such a mastery of melody. Also, someone like Jonny Greenwood and be able to discuss the stuff that he’s doing at the moment with his film scores.

What’s 2018 looking like for you?

Isaac Gracie: Well I’m going on tour next month and touring the UK and Europe then I’ve got the album coming out next month as well, April 13th. Following that I’ll be playing festivals throughout the summer and then going on another tour in the winter. Being on the road and making the most of every opportunity to introduce my music to people and play to crowds who enjoy it. It’s a cool experience and the build-up to this record has been a long time coming so I just want to make the most of it when it comes out.

Isaac Gracie for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

The eponymous ‘Isaac Gracie’ album was released on the 13th April.

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 28 – THE STRUCTURAL ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

FAULT Exclusive: Exitmusic interview & photoshoot

Interview: Kee Chang
Photography: Alix Spence  (Aleksa in L.A.) & Toran Spence (Devon in NYC)

The February announcement of EXITMUSIC’s (potentially) final album The Recognitions and its subsequent release this week has been overwhelmed by critics’ inordinate fixation on the dreamscape duo’s break-up narrative. The ins-and-outs of their relationship lifecycle so much in the foreground in fact, the extraneous details threaten to overshadow the music itself.

The latest addition to Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church’s at once haunting and ethereal sonic catalogue is a thing of rare beauty. As with their self-released The Decline of the West debut, The Silence EP and Passage LP, The Recognitions is something to be discovered and tightly embraced. So is this really their exit music? Will they tour the record and give it a proper send-off? Whatever becomes of the remnants of Palladino and Church’s creative partnership remains to be seen. There are two sides to every story—and there’s also the music.

 

Q&A WITH ALEKSA PALLADINO

So is The Recognitions EXITMUSIC’s final album?

I mean, there are a bunch of other songs. Few of my favourites didn’t even make it onto this record just because of theme, really, and there’s one that I’m crazy for. I keep doubting the decision to not put it on the record. So it’s possible that we’ll release The Recognitions 2 or something like that. I would love for those songs to come out in one way or another, maybe as another record or an EP. It’s this weird thing: when you really love a song, you want it out there.

A lot that has been written about EXITMUSIC and this new record has focused on the lifecycle of your relationship—the marriage and divorce. How do you feel about that being so much in the foreground?

It feels unavoidable because our relationship was so focused on EXITMUSIC. I think for a long time it was the thing that really held us together because, it sounds silly to say, but we really believed in what we were making. It feels natural to talk about it, especially because so much of the record is lyrically based on that need to become individuals again. It doesn’t feel intrusive or anything like that. Also, we’ve had time since it all happened so it doesn’t feel like it’s too personal anymore. It’s already a couple of years ago now that we got divorced so it feels like another life.

You’ve been asked before whether there was ever a question that The Recognitions would get made.

I think I always wanted it to come out. The world is a stage—you need the final act. We go through something privately, but because so much of the band and the relationship was public, it felt like it needed closure on that level, too. It was also important just for the integrity of the project. It wasn’t like two people came out with a record and then never tried again or cared enough to do it again. It’s something that we’re both so passionate about. The band itself is a separate entity from the two people in it. The band itself deserved to have it’s own closure, too. You kind of feel like it’s a child of yours in a way. The band deserves its own life. We still get emails and there are comments on social media—there’s a niche audience that really gets something from it. That’s an incredibly powerful thing for me because you make this stuff that means a lot to you, but I’m always ready for people to tear it apart. That’s what I brace myself for—that people will think it’s shit. So I’m always ready for that. When you hear that people are actually moved by it, you want to give it to them. You make music, but that’s half of it. The other half is it being heard. That people hear and respond to it is the most beautiful gift I’ve ever been given. I’ve never been the kind of person who felt comfortable in the world necessarily. I was always comfortable in my own body and in my own little groups, but I feel like I spent a lot of my youth and adolescence on guard, ready to be sort of rejected by the world. So when people feel and like my music, it’s incredible. It just makes me happy in a really stupid way. [Laughs]

There was a big lull between Passage and The Recognitions where we didn’t hear from you guys. No updates. No singles. Obviously, no shows. Is performing live something that you were itching to do?

I didn’t miss that because it gives me a lot of anxiety. But I do miss it. It’s this weird thing I have with stuff that scares me: I’m so compelled to do them, but I’m also terrified. So I do miss that to some degree. I don’t miss being on tour for months because I need to make a living. [Laughs] When I’m on tour, I can’t act and we never made money from touring. The life of a touring indie band is hard. There was a lot of reality that set in after touring Passage and after divorcing, and then also just getting older in general, too. It’s a reality where you have to make smarter decisions. So I don’t miss touring necessarily, but I do miss just playing special shows. We may try and do a couple of shows, maybe in the fall or when I’m done with my TV show. It’s always an intense experience for me. It’s not a place I’m comfortable in. But I also think that’s part of the performance. It shouldn’t be comfortable.

How do you feel about moving on from EXITMUSIC?

I feel like I moved away from it already. It’s something that I’ll always really love, but if you’re asking if we’ll ever write together again, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I really don’t know because you never know, but we both have our own projects now and I think that’s important for both of us. EXITMUSIC was a very specific dynamic and that was great for a really long time and now I think it’s time for both people to just do their own thing. That was also part of the divorce. In every way, people need to stand on their own.

I know music has always been a part of your life.

I never stopped writing music. I’ve written and recorded since I was 12. It’s just a part of me. Every real phase or new chapter of my life has to kind of come out in song for me so I have a lot of music that I’ve made in the past few years. I mean, I was recording this morning.

Is it a solo project?

Yeah. It’s how I started and it makes sense that that’s what I’ve come back to. It’s nice when you work alone because then you’re not bossy. I have a very definite style and opinion and it’s just nice to be able to execute it without stepping on anyone else’s toes. I like working alone. I will probably end up releasing the songs. Every time I think I’m not going to do something anymore, few years later, I’m doing it. [Laughs] You can’t stop. It’s such a part of you. It’s such a part of your own identity that you always wind up going back to it. Sometimes I take a break from writing for months, even a year. I’m even like, “I don’t wanna do it anymore,” and then one day you’re like, “I have to sit down and write. I have to.” It’s not even from my brain—my brain doesn’t care. It’s that something in my body that wants to hear my own voice and my own stuff. I want to see myself or experience myself again.

Here’s a hypothetical question: if you chanced on someone who’s never heard music before—they have no concept of it even—what song would you give them that’s most emblematic of EXITMUSIC?

Oh my god, I have no idea! [Laughs] What would you pick?

“The Modern Age.” But that’s so subjective and I’m not the maker, obviously.

I feel like there are so many different emotional pockets to EXITMUSIC. “The Modern Age” is definitely one of them. For me, it might just be “Passage.” There’s something about that song that I’m really happy with. When you’re the one writing it, recording it, mixing it—you always just hear the, “Oh shit, I didn’t turn that guitar loud enough.” You just wish you could go back into that session one more time to fix things. “Then it would be a perfect song…” [Laughs] I hear all the things that I didn’t do that I wish I did. “The Cold” is another very iconic, “This is Exitmusic” song. It’s just very raw and from the gut and not necessarily pretty, but somehow beautiful, you know? There’s a bunch of them.

What about from The Recognitions?

I have a couple. I really love “Crawl.” It’s just always my favourite, but it doesn’t really feel like quite a full song. It’s a little world. “Trumpets Fade” for me is a really beautiful song. But maybe my favourite, for some reason, is “Gold Coast.” Every now and then, there’s a song where the words—everything just comes to you right away and that was “Gold Coast” on this record. It just all came out and I didn’t have to work it, which is such a nice feeling because I usually have to really work on songs. “Gold Coast” is just so filled with loss, but then it’s also the hope of going someplace else and having a new life for yourself. I wrote it when I was moving back to Los Angeles so there’s something in the moment that gets captured. It wasn’t a song that I had to redo vocals on. It’s all in that moment and captured. It’s just really pure.

What is your FAULT?

Feeling too guilty to hurt anybody’s feelings even when it’s completely necessary. Yeah, it sucks sometimes. [Laughs] I always want to protect people from hard truths, but I’m realizing that that can also just stand in the way of their own growth. All of us evolve so profoundly from the things that break us open.

 

Q&A WITH DEVON CHURCH

So is this it? Is this really the end of EXITMUSIC?

Yeah, most likely, unless something changes. We do have a bunch of unreleased material and I hope that stuff will come out at some point. But I personally don’t really feel ready to write a new album from scratch. I have my own record to be coming out later this year so we’ll see where that goes. I mean, anything’s possible, but as it stands right now, I don’t see that in the near future. Although we generally take six years to make a record… [Laughs]

There seems to be a lot of uncertainties right now.

I definitely hope there’s an album of unreleased stuff because I think there are some really good songs that we haven’t released yet. Some of my favourites are from The Recognitions sessions. There’s one from the Passage sessions that I really love that never came out and could be redone to sort of fit into this. So I’d be really interested in something like that. I would be open to working on new stuff, but it’s definitely not something we’ve really discussed. This conversation I’m having with you now is about as far as we’ve gotten with it, you know what I mean? It’s not something that Aleksa and I’ve talked about, beyond thoughts about releasing unreleased material.

Is it comforting to be able to put a definitive end to it with this new album? Does it also feel uneasy?

It was bothering me for years just having these songs sitting there because I think they’re really valuable pieces in our body of work or whatever you want to call it. It definitely makes me happy to be able to share them with people. As far as it making me uneasy—I guess that’s a fair question. My friend and I was joking about this the other night: it’s weird to have a record come out where every single article is about how we broke up. There are painful memories that are associated with every piece of press that comes out. But it’s been long enough now that I feel at peace with everything that happened, more or less. So that’s been interesting and it hasn’t been that bad. It is what it is and I guess people respond to breakup and heartbreak.

I read somewhere that “The Distance” and “Sparks of Light,” for example, were written many years ago and manifested from a different chapter of EXITMUSIC. How did you curate The Recognitions?

“The Distance” is from the same period as “Sparks of Light.” I remember those two songs were really close together. Yeah, it’s just been sitting around and I always liked “The Distance.” Aleksa was hesitant to release it for some reason and we never recorded it properly. We recorded a version of it that was way more guitar-based. There’s really no guitar in the new version of it and we changed some of the piano phrasings around to make it a little more suspended and dreamy. In terms of how we curated, we actually wrote about 16 or 17 songs for this record and then culled them down to the 9 that are on there. “The Distance” becoming a final song really came out of Jeff Owens’s [owner of felte] suggestion. He was like, “That needs to be the last song.” We weren’t sure at first, but then it made sense. I like that the record ends on a quiet and subtle note rather than a big climax. I like the feeling of suspension at the end of that song and the moment of backwards piano with the backwards vocals.

The Recognitions really demands a live experience. Are you going to play shows at any point?

It’s up in the air. It’s something we talked about and, schedule-wise, it didn’t work out to do it around the release of the record. But it’s definitely something that is a potential future for us. I just don’t know to what extent or if that’s going to happen, either. It’s possible. It’s been so long since we wrote those songs—I don’t know how to play them anymore. [Laughs] I guess we’ll figure it out.

How difficult was it to record The Recognitions compared to the previous ones? I know now that you guys didn’t really talk outside of those sessions. That must inevitably affect the process.

I would say it was half-written while we were still a couple and then we finished it after we’d broken up, so that would be six more months, which is kind of ridiculous. It’s an insane thing to do and I don’t recommend it to anybody. That said, in a number of ways, it kind of felt like the recording process was almost more peaceful and professional than it had been before where we’re all up in each other’s shit, all the time. [Laughs] I feel like we fought more when we were making Passage than we did on The Recognitions. Technically, it was recorded the same way in the apartment. We’ve always done everything at home. For this one, we had built a better studio at home and I’d developed better skills for recording, which I think was good since we didn’t have the budget that we had on Passage to hire a mixer and stuff. I think it came out sounding pretty good, given that we didn’t have any outside help.

Can I throw a hypothetical question at you? If you could save only one track from EXITMUSIC’s catalogue that you believe to be the most emblematic of the band, which one would you choose?

That’s tough because I feel like we have three versions of ourselves with three albums. Probably something from Passage. Actually, there’s one song that I really love that no one really listens to, which is “The Silence” from our EP. I listened to it again for the first time in probably a couple years the other day and I really like the mood of that song.

That’s an amazing track. It’s funny you single out “The Silence” because that’s the first thing I’d ever heard from you guys back in 2011 when it landed in my inbox. I didn’t even know who you guys were.

Maybe I’ll say that one just to get people to potentially revisit that song.

How did that song come about?

Oh man, I honestly don’t remember. [Laughs] None of our songs were particularly easy to make. They all took a long time. But I feel like a couple of songs reached an interesting somatic, dreamlike level. “The Sea” is also sort of like that I feel. That happened at the same time and it has this undertow to it.

Going beyond EXITMUSIC, what can we expect from your upcoming solo record?

It’s been an interesting process for me, figuring out how to make music on my own. It took me a couple years of experimenting with different styles. Initially, I just veered left and tried to write songs on acoustic guitar and played some shows that way to test the waters. I made a couple of EPs with that kind of music and just threw up my hands in disgust after the last thing I recorded. Not that it was terrible or anything—it was more that it wasn’t what I wanted. Then over the last spring and summer mostly and into the fall, I sort of surrendered and let whatever wanted to come out, come out, without trying to place a program on top of it. It turned out having more similarities to what I’ve done in the past with EXITMUSIC. There’s a lot more synth and there’s a lot more texture. Learning how to sing and finding what I feel comfortable singing has been interesting, too, and having to write the lyrics on top of writing the music. It’s cool. I’m excited about this record. I think it’s gonna be unexpected. I’m hoping it will make it out into the world in the fall, probably on the same label as EXITMUSIC at felte Records.

Was it daunting going back to vocals and now having to write your own lyrics?

It just took me a really long time to come back to it. When I first met Aleksa, I had been writing my own songs. Then we sort of joined forces. I don’t know if you’re as familiar with The Decline of the West, but I do sing on that record. I kind of withdrew and focused more on the production side of it and the instrumental side of it. At the time, it just seemed to be more coherent for the band to just have one singer. But there was a part of me that always kind of regretted that I hadn’t continued with it—a Blonde Redhead or Sonic Youth approach where there’s both a male and a female vocalist. But I definitely needed to be on my own to find the voice that I have found. I was very shy about singing before so the vocals that I do contribute on that first EXITMUSIC record was pretty understated compared to what I’m doing now, which is definitely more ambitious.

What is your FAULT?

Oh man, there’s too many. One thing that definitely pulls me back is struggling with depression, which is something I always had to struggle with. It’s a huge impediment creatively, as in anything, like relationships. I’ve been trying to learn how to make that an ally almost lately. Most of my creative work comes out of that. Depression is almost like a form of energy that’s kept undifferentiated and feels like this big weight, but if you start moving it around, it can turn into something really powerful if you harness it somehow. I feel like that’s the function of music in my life. But if you don’t do that, I think it can totally fuck you up and almost make you very selfish. I’m not saying that people who are depressed are selfish. It just encloses your world—you thinking that your problems are the most important thing. At least for me, I know objectively that I probably have less to complain about than a lot of people do so I’m trying to remember that.

 

The Recognitions is out now via felte and available to purchase here.

Tory Lanez Menswear Cover for FAULT Magazine 28

Tory Lanez X FAULT Magazine

 

Photography: Miles Holder

Stylist: Rachel Gold

Grooming: Shamirah Sairally

 

Words: Trina John-Charles

We bundle out of the photo shoot and into a waiting car. Tory Lanez is clearly rattled by a previous incident and I believe everything he is threatening to do if the car doesn’t move promptly. Although quite intimidating when the switch has been flipped, he remains polite and quite chatty with me – revealing some amazing tidbits off mic, but sadly, we are not that type of publication. As we weave in and out of the busy central London traffic, Tory rolls the biggest blunt I have ever seen and our 20-minute conversation about the new album ‘Memories Don’t Die’, the cultural appropriation police and derogatory terms in music, begins…

 

FAULT: On the song ‘Happiness’ you talk about losing your mother. How difficult was it making a song like that?

Tory Lanez : I had to record that song like, four different times. I just kept crying every time I tried to record it. I knew it would resonate with people, because of the way it resonated with me.

 

FAULT: People always talk about stark similarities between the street culture in London and the street culture in Toronto. Having been here many times, have you noticed this yourself?

Tory Lanez : Definitely. Like, they way we talk… the way we say, ’mandem’, or when we talk about somebody we’ll say, ‘a man did this’. I think it’s the way we are all brought up. It has a bit of a Caribbean edge to it. I think that’s where the similarities come in.

FAULT: Are you planning on working with any other London, or British based artists?

Tory Lanez : Of course, I want to work with a lot of people from here. I want to do a whole project thats just with people from here. I definitely want to work with Nines, Stefflondon, J Hus, Dave, Stormzy… of course Skepta.

 

FAULT: Keeping the British theme, there is a Zayn Malik sample on the new album. It is done in a great way and it isn’t the most obvious choice. Why did you choose that particular sample?

Tory Lanez : I didn’t. I didn’t even know it was a Zayn sample until after I was trying to clear it. That’s when I found out it was a One Direction sample. The producer, Christian Lou, brought that beat to me.

 

FAULT: …And Sting’s influence on the album?

Tory Lanez : Sting specifically asked us to use his song instead of ours. We had like an interpretation that sounded like his song and Sting said, ‘no, I want them to use the real one, the real song’… so that’s what happened with that. Sting loves it… It’s dope that he allowed us to use his song and was like, ‘use the real song, I don’t want you to use something like it, I want you to use the real thing’. 

 

FAULT: When you talk about being younger and people trying to bully you, it’s almost like you developed a very defensive ‘fuck all of you’ kind of attitude. Is it fair to say you still have that now towards negative people?

Tory Lanez : Yeah. I’m always like that. I grew up like, you fend for yours and if somebody tries to take yours, you show them why they should have never tried it. So for me, I’m the type of person… I just don’t take no bullshit – with anything.

 

FAULT: You have already addressed the issue you had with an upmarket clothing store assistant being rude and dismissive towards you, because of your appearance and in retaliation you spent $35k (of record label money) with a different assistant to prove a point. There was a lot of chatter online about this not being the best way to handle the situation. It is great this conversation is being had because this is something that has been happening for years. In retrospect and if it was your own money and not the record label’s, would you have dealt with the situation in the same way?

Tory Lanez : Some of it was my own money… and yeah, I would have still dealt with it the same way. I didn’t do anything wrong. All I was doing was shopping for clothes. That store being the only store that sells high end designer fabrics, I still had to buy what I was going there to buy, I just didn’t give the commission to the person who was looking down on me.

Do you know what’s crazy… what the actual fucked up part is? The black mentality… and this is so harshly and blatantly true… the black mentality, because we have been oppressed for years, when we do feel like we are no longer second class and we have made something of ourselves, we have gotten our money and we have acquired whatever it is that we have acquired, when we go into stores, there are certain things we don’t want to happen. You don’t want to go into a store and ask for something and they bring you something less expensive. You don’t ever want them to act like you cant afford it… and because, as black people we feel so under privileged our whole lives, the fact that we are in a situation of more privilege, we tend to take more of an advantage of it, to prove to whoever the authority is, that we can do it to. It’s really stupid, but the pride and the underprivilege leads you to it.

 

FAULT: Very loosely leading on from that, Skepta recently in an interview that the term ‘white bitch’ is racist and should not be used. Some people agreed, some disagreed. I just wanted to know your thoughts on that, as you use the term on the album. 

Tory Lanez : Is black bitch the same, or no?

FAULT: Well, Skepta argued that nobody would ever say ‘black bitch’, because there would be such uproar…

Tory Lanez : I’d say black bitch, or white bitch …and feel absolutely no way about it, what do you mean? When I say ‘black bitch’ I don’t mean, black bitch. I am not calling a woman a bitch. I’m not saying, ‘Yo, you black bitch’. When I am with women, or when I am with girls, they will say, ‘I’m with my bitches’… A bitch is a female dog. My friend is my dog. If I say, ‘this is my dog’ I mean this is my dog, he’s my friend, he’s my companion. If I say, ‘I’m with my bitches’, they are my dogs too, just the female type. It doesn’t matter if they are white or black. What people should really be mad at, is the fact that I’m saying bitches. If you are mad at me calling you a bitch, then be mad at me calling you a bitch, but don’t say white bitch is more racist than black bitch, or that I would never say black bitch so why is it ok to say white bitch. If you are going to have a problem with that, just have a problem with the word bitch, don’t have a problem with the colour. If a girl is a whore and she is white, she is a white whore. If a girl is black and she’s a whore, she’s a black whore. I hate for it to sound so blatant and so rude, but you have to get mad at the word, not the colour it’s associated with. You cant get mad at someone calling you a black bitch, be mad at the word bitch… you’re black, that can’t change, be mad at the word that is derogatory.

 

FAULT: Finally, what is your FAULT?

Tory Lanez : My only FAULT is that I was cursed with like these devilish, devilish good looks. It is not the worse curse to have, but that’s my fault, Sorry. Sorry to all those I may have offended with them [laughs].

 

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Vance Joy for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Vance Joy x FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Vance Joy FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Words and Photography: Miles Holder
Fashion: Rachel Gold

Vance Joy first caught our eye back in 2013 with the release of his debut album EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing which featured his runaway hit ‘Riptide’. In February 2018 Vance Joy returned with his second album record Nation of Two which featured hits ‘Saturday Sun’ and ‘I’m With You’. About to embark on his worldwide tour, we caught up with Vance to find out more!

FAULT: You’re about to embark on your Nation Of Two world tour, excited?

Vance Joy: We did a short European tour last month, and it was so much fun to see the fans and reconnect with them in person. It’d been three and a half years since we’d last played in Europe, so it’ll be great to relaunch with the big shows and play some new material. IT should be a lot of fun, and everyone is really excited.

Do you find that your songs suddenly take on new meaning when you get to play them live to your fans?

Vance Joy: I’m always surprised to find that so many people know the lyrics to a bunch of songs and it’s such a warm and enthusiastic vibe when I’m playing, and it’s super encouraging. You don’t know what songs people will know and recently on tour we played some of the deep album tracks, and it was great to see people enjoying them. As we tour, I’m getting more comfortable with the songs and finding new ways to sing them and wear them in a bit. ‘We’re Going Home’, and ‘Saturday Sun’ are tracks in particular which are starting to feel good to perform on stage.

Vance Joy FAULT Magazine Issue 28

 

Is there a date in particular or festival in particular that you’re especially excited for?

Vance Joy: I’m looking forward to going to LA for a rehearsal for a few days, so I’m looking forward to the band and me having a relaxing time out there. We’ll do a couple of shows and then head to Coachella which is a big one that everyone will know. There are also dates in huge venues which will also be a new challenge and experience for us, but it’s exciting to play to bigger rooms and larger audiences. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes!

Nation Of Two released a couple of months ago now; do you ever find yourself wanting to make changes or fixes to it or do you feel like the project was exactly what it needed to be at the time and it should remain that way?

Vance Joy: I’m quite relaxed when it comes to that stuff; I think you need a deadline and know when to say goodbye. I feel like when you have a song that you feel strongly about but there’s pushback, and people say, “I don’t think you quite nailed it on this song”, then I listen. I listen to all of those perspectives and then eventually you’ve got to release it and say “that’s it”. I sometimes think instead of looking too closely and getting too stuck on the minutia you can get distracted. Certainly, after two months you might hear it on the radio and say “oh, I’m seeing it differently now” but I think you can get distracted and go off course with perfection and I don’t think there’s such a thing.

Vance Joy FAULT Magazine Issue 28

What is your favourite tour story?

Vance Joy: I was fortunate and got to play the AFL Grand Final, and I was playing with another band called Living Head, and the main headliner was Sting. After we played, we were chilling out in the green room, and I felt someone hug me from behind, and I turned around, and it was Sting! It was surreal, I just shook his hand and said: “lovely to meet you!”

What is your writing discipline, do you sit down at a writing station and try to get through it or do you just let them come to you naturally?

Vance Joy: I think there’s a bit of both and always a push and pull. If you haven’t written a song in a while, you can get frustrated. Sometimes you just have to pick up your guitar, and a song comes, and other days it feels like you’re trying to force it out. I think ultimately the excellent stuff songs happen mysteriously and catch you off guard. Some days you can write and take the chance that magic will happen again but sometimes you have to approach it with a bit more discipline. The best stuff happens when you’re not trying to force it too much.

What is your FAULT?

Vance Joy: I can be impatient, and when I’m in a bad mood, the atmosphere can be quiet and cold. I might not say anything, but people can tell! I’m learning to try and remove myself at times when I’m annoyed (or hungry) but it doesn’t happen too often, but I’m trying to notice when it does.

Vance Joy FAULT Magazine Issue 28

 

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Daniel Bruhl covers our Film section inside FAULT Issue 28

Daniel Bruhl – FAULT Issue 28

 

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Photographer – Udo Spreitzenbarth
Stylist – Ty-Ron Mayes
Groomer – Nate Rosenkranz
Imaging – Lorraine Baker
Photo Assistants – Daniel Stauch & Nate DeCarlo

Words: Alex Bee

You might call Brühl an Actor-demic: his performances as an actor are always backed up by extensive, academic-level research. For his role in American period drama ‘The Alienist’, Brühl studied. Hard. The intelligent star, known for his credits in Good Bye Lenin!, Rush and Inglorious Basterds, embodies pioneering criminal psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler in the eight-part series.

FAULT: How did you prepare for your role in ‘The Alienist’?
Daniel Bruhl: I didn’t know the book before but it’s one of those that you cannot put away. I felt like a 12 year old with a book and a torch under the blanket. I read it very quickly and was immediately fascinated by the world that Caleb Carr [the author] created, about each of the characters and the fact that it’s the beginning of so many things at the time that are so important now. My wife [psychologist Felicitas Rombold] put me in touch with criminal psychologists and I’d read a lot about these famous psychologists at the time the story is set. I also read books about New York in the late 1800s just to get an idea of how that place was back in the day.

What do you think makes the series so successful in telling the story of the time?
Daniel Bruhl: What helped tremendously was the passion that was put into that show in recreating the time because its so real and so authentic. When we were working on it we didn’t feel that it was fake, which sometimes can happen if there’s not enough energy and money and passion on a project. I come from movies, and when I was young when I would read a script for a period film and it would say there will be 500 extras and 50 characters and on the day you have one carriage, an old donkey and three extras and then you are supposed to recreate the magic – it just doesn’t work! What was very nice was the chemistry and the friendship we had. Dakota, Luke and I even spent most of our downtime together. Almost every weekend we met and I think that chemistry is something you cannot take for granted.

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

What series have you been watching at the moment?
Daniel Bruhl: ‘Mindhunter’ [a Netflix series that explores similar developments in criminal psychology] is amazing. I was absolutely blown away by ‘The Handsmaid’s Tale’, it’s a masterpiece! I was very pleased to meet Elizabeth Moss at The SAG Awards, who I think is one of the best actresses around, and I was happy to be able to tell her how magnificent she is. I also spent some time with Matt Smith who is such a great guy and interesting in ‘The Crown’ portraying Phillip – I’m hooked on that show!

How do you find the time to keep up to date with the latest programmes?
Daniel Bruhl: I always find the time! I have a couple of days where I can watch shows in my downtime or I’ll watch them when I’m travelling on the plane.

What was it like working on the third installment in the ‘Cloverfield’ series, which unexpectedly hit devices all over the world after a surprise announcement during a Superbowl ad break?
Daniel Bruhl: It was such a great ensemble. It was interesting because you have astronauts from all over the world and they managed to get all these wonderful actors from different countries, so the opportunity to work with them all was really great. Also, it was something really different for me as I am usually always travelling back in time and this was the first time that I’d actually explored the future.

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

How does working on an – equally cinematic – series compare to a film?
Daniel Bruhl: It’s the luxury of time that you have. You don’t feel so restricted as you do when working on a movie when sometimes you feel that pressure. To have that privilege of 10 hours a day and 100 shooting days with one character and the ability to explore the character to the core is very rewarding.

As a pacifist, how do you find taking on roles that are often borne from a conflict?
Daniel Bruhl: That’s whats fascinating about our job as actors: to try and get into the skin and the head of somebody who is different.

What bands or artists are you listening to at the moment?
Daniel Bruhl: There’s a band called War on Drugs that I’m listening to lately and someone from the US called Francis and The Lights. Also Roosevelt, Sigur Ros and Alt-J. There is a lot of great music here in Berlin too with artists and DJs like Frank Wiedemann, Henrik Schwarz and David August – I can highly recommend coming to Berlin for clubbing.

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

 

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Until The Ribbon Breaks: Exclusive shoot for FAULT Issue 28

Photography ALIX SPENCE

Styling BRITTON LITOW

Grooming ALEX FRENCH

Photo Assistant ASHTON RAE

Fashion Assistant LEONARD MURRY

 

Words: Kee Chang

Hailing from Wales and now residing in Los Angeles, Until the Ribbon Breaks is childhood friends Pete Lawrie-Winfield and Elliot Wall. Straight out of a golden era when the mixtape reigned supreme, the duo’s style embraces a love of old school hip-hop, pop and electronic beats, all cleverly interwoven to create lush soundscapes, accompanied by introspective songwriting, that defy easy categorization. It’s been three years since the tastemakers’ critically acclaimed debut LP, A Lesson Unlearnt, hit the airwaves. With their self-titled sophomore album, Until the Ribbon Breaks takes their inimitable audio-visuals into realms previously unexplored, including sobriety, which Winfield found halfway through the recording of their latest effort. FAULT sat down with the frontman for a very revealing conversation.

As a concept, Until the Ribbon Breaks is genius: alluding to the literal ribbons of VHS and cassette tapes that break with too much love and play. So that you could, as you say, “lodge a pencil into the reel hole and wind the ribbon back,” takes on new meaning upon hearing about your recent journey towards sobriety. When did you decide you would need to go public with this very personal detail?

It was never a conscious decision. For me, and perhaps unfortunately, there is no separation between myself and the work. Now thankfully on the other side of an incredibly tumultuous time, I am surprised, excited, and grateful that there is even a record to speak of. Much like our first album, I had no idea what the songs were about until the whole thing was finished. I don’t write and write and cherry-pick the best. I wish I could. Instead, I have to wait for the songs to come, all in direct reference to something that has happened or is happening in my life. It really is music as therapy. I’m a British man so this is the only way I know how to talk about my feelings!

Was there any significance to self-titling the new album, maybe as a renewal for the music?

Great question. As you said at the beginning, our name originally alluded to the idea of the cassette and VHS tapes of our youth and how we would wear it out, listening and watching over and over again the magic we had discovered. This new record was born out of huge highs and lows, and huge personal shifts. Suddenly, it felt like the name meant something new. It’s about courage and strength—humanity. We keep going, keep trying, until the ribbon breaks, until we have no more left to give.

You recently gave your first live performance sober as a recovering alcoholic of fifteen years. Heading into that show you said, “You start being honest, you get honesty back.” Just how different was that experience?

If there is a therapy to relieve anxiety and its resulting depression, I have tried it, from more traditional Western forms like CBT (cognitive-behavioural therapy) and counseling to more holistic and spiritual Eastern practises such as meditation and even Ayahuasca. As better as things have become, one thing I have never learnt is that the idea of something, the build up and the anticipation, is what creates the fear. It is just your imagination running free and unfortunately choosing the worst, rather than the best case scenarios. That is an incredibly long way of saying that the show was an amazing, beautiful experience. I was terrified, but crucially, so what? I was at least present and experiencing all of the feelings that come with standing in front of a room full of people and telling them things you wouldn’t tell your mother or therapist. For the first time, I felt truly connected to the music in the moment.

You got sober halfway through the recording of this new album. Did that change the songwriting?

Drastically! It is unintentionally a record of two halves. I suppose “One Match” and “Use Me Up” are the most indicative of a dark time and written in the centre of the storm, whereas songs such as “Meru” and “Petrichor” were written during the pink cloud, the eventual and very real relief of early recovery. Sonically and lyrically, there was a hopeful uplift and an audible shift in mood.

Could you use the track “One Match” to give us more insight into how all of the ingredients came together? You sing, “Just one match to burn it all down.” It’s powerful. What does that mean to you?

There is a lyric in the verse: “A sugar cube in water, your life in your fingertips, is that all you think this is?” It was a song written when I really knew that something had to change, but I just didn’t know how. It’s a cry for help to myself, I realise that now. That verse lyric and the chorus lyric you mention allude to the idea that, in addiction, you are quite simply self-harming. And to what end? Lives can be and are ruined by the disease of addiction and it is easier than you would think to tear your entire life down.

When you’re in the process of writing and recording, how much of that is about reflecting on what you’re going through and how much of it is your way of maybe trying to dig yourself out of them?

Another great question. I have never even considered that. I think I have always been a bit of a contradiction in terms of privacy and sharing. In my private life, I keep myself to myself and reticent to talk about personal matters with friends and family. The contradiction being that, in writing and in songs and even in things such as this, I seem to be able to be unfiltered and honest, even to a fault. This interview is like some kind of strange therapy, so thank you, I think. Usually, I’m not aware that I’m writing a lyric until it’s done. They are very stream of consciousness. I often wonder where a line comes from, where it starts. The music is work. We work to mould and shape it, change it, and question it. The words flow more. It almost feels as if I just get out of their way.

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