FAULT Music

Fault meets Dan Croll

Upon the release of Dan Croll’s third single ‘Away from Today’ taken from his yet untitled upcoming new album, Dan sits down with Fault Magazine to discuss studio life in Georgia, and his past struggle with anxiety but coming out the other side stronger with a new label and a renewed drive to succeed.

Hey Dan, how are you?

Yeah, good man. Bit tired, but good.

You enjoying the campaign so far?

Yeah been up and around today, things are good. We’ve decided to pencil in the release date and to get things going. So now I guess the PR wheels are turning and there are a lot of interviews and stuff, and its great. It’s this part that I like, when you start to get people excited, you know?

It’s the start of something much bigger isn’t it?

Yeah definitely, and to remind people that you’re alive.

You’re doing a lot of social media, for the likes of pancake day!

Oh god yeah, that was such a depressing one! [Laughs]

So you’ve got this new single out, ‘Away from Today’?

[Pause] Oh yes! [Laughs] it’s been really busy. I’ve been trying to keep up with what’s going on! The single has been doing well; it’s been fun to see it out there. It’s a different sound but in a good way I think, it’s something that is probably the first track really that has revolved around a heavy sample; so its been quite fun from the whole writing process to people hearing it.

Did it make a big difference with the sampling?

Yeah I think the sampling is typically considered something hip-hop scene and Rn’B and stuff so it’s quite weird to bring it into a different element.

Brings a different vibe to your music, would you say?

Absolutely yeah.

With the horn section included, is that something you’re hoping to bring across to the live performance?

Oh god I wish yeah [Laughs], I’m already broke so I’d need to find some trumpet players to come with me and break me even more! But no, I think we’ll find cleverer ways to do that but I would love to don’t get me wrong. Maybe there are some fans out there who would want me to do it, but yeah.

It would be awesome to see! You’ve got the video for the single that was recorded within a deep forest, where was it filmed?

Its funny that actually, when the director Greg rang me and he was like “Oh Dan we’ve got the location for the video”, and I was like “Wicked!” because I knew what the idea was and everything so I was like “Oh amazing, where are we going to do it?” and I had a few ideas, like we might be going up to Skye in Scotland or something like that. He was like “you’re going to Portland” and I was like “you’re fucking kidding me? We’re going to Portland?” And I was absolutely buzzing. Then I asked “Portland, Oregon?” and he was like “no, Portland in Dorset”. [Laughs]. So we just ended up in Dorset which wasn’t as cool as Portland Oregon but it was good, it has a major (going really geeky now) but it has a major port from the war – batteries, big long range guns so it was quite…

…a historical site?

Yeah definitely. It had been battered itself so it’s quite a rough and ready environment to shoot a video in, so it was quite cool.

Did that sort of fit the theme of escapism?

Yeah it sort of was, it was all about escapism and being your own worst enemy, all of that.

It comes across that you’re washing your hands with the events of the past?

You got it, I’m glad [Laughs]. You nailed it.

You’ve got the new tour coming up in May, what’s your plan before that? What is your tour preparation?

Just stay busy, lots of interviews to do and sessions and hopefully radio, just keeping very busy. Rehearsals and I’ve just recently built a little home studio in my house. So I’ve actually been writing a lot so it’s been quite nice. Trying to keep busy.

More tracks for the new album?

Just whatever comes, yeah. All sorts! Like I say, I go mad when I’m not busy so I’ll be keeping very busy.

Especially with the tour, you’ve got the likes of Glasgow, Manchester on the bill…

Yeah just the kind of standard little UK run just to kind of test the water I guess before the album comes out and then we’ll hopefully go from there and visit more places afterwards.

Does that mean the setlist will be more of a mix?

Yeah definitely, it’s been quite weird and it’s the first time that I’ve ever had too many songs and it’s quite a weird sensation to have to axe some of them. I’m obviously attached to them all because they’re my songs, so it’s been weird.

Will it tell a story?

Yeah, a lot of it is to do with just the basics of pace and tempo, I like the kind of science behind it. I really like the phycology behind a setlist I think; it’s kind of an artful thing. So yeah I’d like to spend a bit of time doing that. Tried a few ways out and I think I’ve got the right way now.

To help perfect it?

Yeah, it’s like do you start with a bang? Do you build? Do you dip in the middle? Do you finish on a high? Do you do one of those pretentious sort of encores where you walk off and prepare for it.

What do you do in that kind of situation?

You know what we’ve done it a few times I think it’s so; I get why people do it but at the same time it’s like you’ve know you’ve got another 2 songs to play. Unless the gig is bombing just play them all [Laughs].

Do you try and gage the vibe in the room?

Yeah, it’s weird. Its just kind of an egotistical slap on the back you know? You’re going to get a cheer. So between now and the tour I’ll be working on the perfect setlist.

Who is supporting you on the tour?

You know what, we’re just about to chat about that today. Yeah it’s good because when you usually do your tours, it’s everyone’s names in the hats. So the booking agent will throw in names, the manager will throw in names, I’ll throw in names and band members will throw in names. It all goes into a big pot and it’s nice to have some fresh music after a while. People you’ve not really heard of, people you’ve heard of with new material, it’s exciting. So we haven’t confirmed anyone yet but there’s a lot of great people I think. People are really up for it, lots of talented bands.

Any favourite venues on the upcoming tour?

A favourite? Well London is usually the big gig.

Heaven this time around…

Yeah, I’ve never been so I don’t know what to expect there. I like The Thekla in the ship, I’ve heard a lot of good stories and tales from Thekla. Actually the last time we were at Thekla, the last time we were in Bristol we ended the gig in A&E, which was quite mad.

Do I ask?

We had a freak accident on stage with my sound guy so we had to run to A&E during the gig. Something always happens at Thekla, that’s the thing.

Is Thekla cursed?

Yeah, it’s quite like exciting to go there though; there’s also the Great Escape Festival that is in the mix as well, as part of the tour. I love Brighton.

Always a good line-up there!

To tell the truth I haven’t checked out the line-up for this year yet but when I go its always good, it’s my fourth time probably there now so I enjoy it.

Do you try to check out the other acts that are playing?

Yeah all of that, to be honest I’m a sucker for a seaside town.

Well Liverpool is a seaside town I would say!

Yeah you can go across to New Brighton and stuff but a bit depressing than traditional do you know what I mean? That sounds bad but you know.

It’s like, can you get an ice cream or not?

You know I think places like Brighton or even Blackpool have got a weird charm about it than other seaside towns I think.

Yes, great reputations.

Yeah definitely!

When you go to these places, do they inspire you through the writing process?

Not so much Brighton and Blackpool [Laughs]. But definitely new places do massively; massively. Especially if they have something about them in terms of [Pause]

…atmosphere?

Yeah I guess so, kind of green cities, which are usually quite a nice thing. Places that are immersed in kind of a natural beauty; they are quite nice. That’s why I love going to America, it’s not like we haven’t got it in the UK but when you go there it drastically goes from desert to city or forest to city. That’s also inspiring.

It’s crazy how 2 vastly different ecosystems work well together like that.

Yeah it’s very steady, all over the shop! It’s mad.

It is, so the campaign is going well?

Yeah I can’t wait for it to get busier to be honest, looking forward to really getting going!

Have you got a name for the album yet?

I have but I’m not allowed to say just yet, this is the thing. I don’t know so for safety reasons I’m going to say no for now.

In terms of a release date?

I know that we’ll be aiming for the very end of June, start of July. But I think we’re just confirming that today. Today is my London day for things like that so I think we’re going to hopefully announce that very soon.

Nice summer album for your fans to look forward to.

Yeah, pre-orders up soon to get people excited.

Will there be a vinyl release?

Of course!

You’ve got the likes of PULS Open Air Festival to look forward to playing?

Great, where is that? [Laughs]

Geltendorf.

Great! [Laughs]. That’s not in a snobbish way, we’ve had things flying through and so I’m trying to keep up with a lot of things especially these types of festivals where; to tell the truth I haven’t kind of done a great deal of European festivals and I’m really excited to do them.

Obviously when names come through I’m just “Oh yeah!” One went up the other day that I forgot about called Summer’s Tale festival. I’m doing that and look at the line-up; great! My previous management and my previous label they were very much centered around the UK and East and West coast America and I feel that maybe on my first album campaign that I neglected Europe.

So I’m very excited to go, I’ve got quite a bit of work to do to build back up in Europe but I’m very excited to kind of try hard this year to push for lots of European festivals, lots of European touring and stuff. UK as well but its just such a mad idea that you wouldn’t go to these places, you know.

Easy to get across to Europe from here, lots of possibilities.

Yeah it is, so yeah I think they’ll definitely be some touring and festivals in there. Where about is Open Air?

I think it’s in Germany.

Oh cool! Know the line-up?

Nope! [Laughs]

Nope, me neither! But that sounds cool, lets go there.

It’s a great difference to play there and then your home country.

Yeah we’ve done a lot of UK festivals and it’s not like I don’t enjoy them, I love them. But there is something to be said about them, a new experience of a new festival.

Yeah definitely, new friends and new experiences.

Yeah for sure!

The new album was produced by Ben Allen?

Yes so it was me and Ben Allen in Atlanta, Georgia which was great.

You got to America in the end then!

Yeah, it was 2 months living in Atlanta on my own; it was cool. It was a fun experience, very hot place for a pasty white guy. [Laughs]. It was very hot, so that was great. Loved Ben and I think we’ve done a great job and it’s been mixed by a great guy over here so I just want people to hear it. There’s obviously been 3 tracks off it already so far.

You started off with ‘One of Us’ back in 2015…

That’s coming back around actually, there’s a re-release and a remix and stuff. So ‘One of Us’, ‘Swim’ and ‘Away from Today’ so that’s kind of 3 of 11 tracks I think, and we’ve got one more to go and then the release.

Brilliant. One more single so that means another video?

Yeah god, another video; hopefully not running this time. [Laughs] Hate running.

That was a good effort though!

Oh yeah, I don’t hate running really I just wasn’t prepared for that really. That was like one day off between America and coming onto the European tour so I was really ill. It was like “so you’ve got a video shoot.” and I was like “oh my god!”

I bet you missed that during your transition from the first album to this one, you kind of had a long break in a way?

Yeah I mean it’s been a big break. There has been a lot of hardship really being dropped and losing management and all of that. Going back to square one has been tough mentally, a very tough couple of years but thankfully I managed to pick myself up and Communion I owe a lot of thanks to for picking me up.

You’ve come back stronger, do you think?

I hope so! I just hope it’s going to see the light of day. There was a point last year when I nearly uploaded it for free just to get it out there; it’s driving me mad.

Because you’ve been sitting on it for so long?

A long time, you forget how long you’ve been sitting on it but not in a bad way. You’ve heard it a lot and you just want to get it out there.

You had the single ‘Swim’ come out just before your Village Underground show just down the road, how was that? Sold out show and everything.

It was amazing, it’s an incredible venue and I had tickets to go and see Loyle Carner there and I think he played a few weeks before me so I couldn’t make it, so I thought I’d know what the venue would be like but I didn’t.

First time you’ve been there?

First time I’ve been and I loved it. I think as a venue it is pretty spectacular. It is this almost kind of a German and European kind of venue with the big warehouse brick structure. It’s quite a brutalist venue so I loved it. So yeah ‘Swim’ came out and it had a good reception and I was chuffed that, that one came out as a single. It’s got one of my best mates on it singing, Becky from Stealing Sheep. So it meant a lot to have her on it.

You had a lot of collaborations didn’t you in the first album?

Yeah we had quite a few, this new album is definitely a bit more sheltered in a way, Becky is the only collaborator on it. This album was more me on every track with a few band members pitching in on the first one. This was more a challenge; I think I’m a very competitive person. I’ve come from a very competitive sporting background so when it came to the idea of creating an album its like how far can I push myself? So here’s an idea, I’ll play everything possible. And I’ll compete with myself in a weird way to see if I can do it, you know.

Did you gather new sounds and new ideas that way?

Yeah there was definitely a point when I was recording my drums on the track, I’m not a drummer and I had a drum kit as a kid; but I’m kind of self-taught. I’m not amazing but I know the basics so I was doing takes for my own songs and like sweating in a very hot Atlanta. Then the producers found a way to really push me in quite a clever way, they kind of realized that I was very competitive so on the talk back, if I wasn’t doing well enough it kind of subtly threatened with the idea of that he could find someone else to play it, but in a very nice way. He was like “Dan you’re looking pretty knackered, I’ve got a friend who is a really good drummer and I reckon he’d do a really good job of this.” I was like “no!” and sweating. He got the best takes out of me so it was quite a smart way of doing it really.

How did you feel in the studio with him?

It was great, the studio was beautiful; it was kind of an old railway signalling house.

They’re kind of modernized in the UK now, right?

Yeah kind of, they’re in a weird brick over there and it was hollowed out and built into a big studio; it was great. Basically it was one big live room and that suits me very well. The way that I work is kind of uninterrupted chaos a lot of time, you’ll hit record at the start of the day and take it off at the end and try to make sense of it all.

My nightmare of a studio is when there are individual live rooms where each member would stand in a separate room, so there would be a lot of start and stop. Setting up and re-mic’ing and so when we’re looking for a studio because we’d already found Ben, we’d need to find a place to house all the instruments but have them permanently set up and mic’d. So there was no touching them from day 1. They were all ready to go from day 1; uninterrupted chaos.

I guess that is why it was quite a relatively quick recording process, only 2 months?

Only two months yeah, and maybe a week’s break in the middle. So one month and three weeks if we’re being really picky. [Laughs]

Got any phobias?

Yeah! To tell the truth I have this Emetophobia I think it’s called, I might be wrong, it’s a daft one since the kind of rough couple of years I’ve had; I developed a lot of anxiety and I had a real tough time with having a phobia of actually being sick in public. For some reason that became a very big thing for me, and stopped me from taking public transport for a while and made me very sheltered. I didn’t go out a lot and for some reason I was just very paranoid about embarrassing myself in public and being sick. It’s not quite a funny phobia but I think I’m alright with everything else; no phobia of cows or anything.

What is your fault?

I think being as competitive as I am is both good and bad. Kind of at times can be a fault; I think it’s because you’re so bothered and driven about succeeding so you know taking any pleasure in succeeding or failing and learning from your mistakes and stuff like that. So I think being very competitive sometimes can bring out a bad side but trying to learn to enjoy the small things.

 

 

Dan’s latest single ‘Away from Today’ is out now on Communion, you can watch the video for the single here. Dan is on tour around the UK throughout May 2017, you can get tickets for his upcoming dates at dancroll.com

Words – Stuart Williams

Photography – Dan Wilton

 

FAULT Weekly Playlist: LEVV

LEVV is the electropop duo of Audrey Assad and Seth Jones dedicated to helping music lovers dance through life’s pain by giving voice and rhythm to their own. Together they make pop songs that meld emotional substance with electronic finesse; themes as intimate as the dissolution of Seth’s marriage and Audrey’s escape from a cult are set to a dance beat without sacrificing substance.

Recently the pair shared “Collateral Damage,” the lead single from their forthcoming EP. We had the opportunity ask Seth and Audrey about some of the songs they’re listening to currently that inspire them, including singles from Bon Iver and Agnes Obel. Take a listen below!

Frida Sundemo – Neon


“This is one of the few songs you hear in life that grab you in some unexplainable way and never let you go. There have been a number of LEVV writing sessions that were inspired by this song and other songs of Frida’s. It is the perfect example of how a song can be greater than the sum of its parts. The emotion of chorus melody takes you somewhere familiar you’ve never been.” – Seth

Haux – Caves (Samuraii Remix)


“I love this song because of how simply it accomplishes what it set out to. As a producer, many times you’re tempted by all the tools in your hands. I love tracks like this Caves remix because it reminds me that deliberate production is always better than “noise.” It’s understated but powerful.” – Seth

Banners – Shine A Light


“There’s something about this lyric that continues to draw me back to it. There aren’t any bells and whistles in the track, it’s straight forward euro-dance, but the magic is in the melody and lyric. With Collateral Damage, we really tried to capture powerful emotion in simple ideas. Shine A Light does it to perfection.” – Seth

Among Savages – Start At The Beginning


“Seth and I were both listening to this when we first started writing / recording LEVV songs. The disorienting, daring orchestration and shuffling drums were great inspiration for our first batches of orchestral pop music—it’s elegant and emotive, but not too pretty.” – Audrey

Agnes Obel – Riverside


“Agnes is a big influence on me as a pianist and a lyricist—she evokes so much about the interior journey of life through her visceral descriptions of the physical world and her delicate, yet adventurous piano and vocal work on this song. There’s a really pleasant Scandinavian sensibility to her arrangements—sparse, but lush. This song in particular has haunted me since I first heard it and I’m ok with that!” – Audrey

Bon Iver – Beth/Rest 


“Where do I begin with this song? The Chicago keyboard sounds, the saxophone weaving in and out, the aching melody—this song scratches pretty much all my 80s kid itches, not to mention that it makes me want to climb a mountain at sunset and drink til I cry healing tears! I think it’s safe to say when Bon Iver put that saxophone all over this track like chocolate sauce the rest of us felt permission to finally do the same—we certainly took that liberty with Collateral Damage.” – Audrey

Grey/Bahari – I Miss You 


“Slightly tribal, with a close and emotional vocal, I Miss You is a one-song melancholy party for all your sad dance needs. We like to think we make sad dance music (of which Collateral Damage is only our first example) and there isn’t enough of it in the world, so this track is right up our alley.” – Audrey

Manse, ft. Jantine – Time Of Our Lives 


“Even the saddest dance music nerds (hint: us) would like to let go and have a good time once in a while. This track is effervescent and fun and bubbles over like champagne, with no sad lyrics in sight. We love Jantine’s soft, sweet vocals. I don’t have a big voice so it’s always nice to hear other dance vocalists who have tender voices doing big fun tracks.” – Audrey

LEVV Socials:
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In Conversation with Australia’s hottest new export Daily Holla

We might have a little bit of a crush on Daily Holla aka Harry Deadman. The Gold Coast producer is not only a total babe, but also has recently fared out on his own to launch his solo project. His latest release is the emotionally charged single “Waves” that we can’t stop hitting the repeat button on. It’s a much needed dose of chilled out electronica that’s brimming with juicy ambience.

We had a chance to chat with Harry to talk about “Waves,” his dream collaborations and much more.

FAULT Magazine: As the producer for Gold Coast, what was it that made you want to release solo material?
Daily Holla: I moved up to the Gold Coast from my home town of Adelaide in late 2014 to study at University, and have been based here since. I have always loved to write my own music. I first got into guitar when I was about twelve after my best friend bought a blue Fender Squire. At the time I thought it was the coolest thing ever, so the next day I raced out and got a Peavey guitar starter pack. I didn’t even really like music at the time. I played in a band during high school and was always wanting to write all the music, and would often show fully completed songs at practice, rather than just a riff to jam off. So working on my own music came as a natural progression. I love being in a studio and mucking around with all forms of sound, seeing where I can take something and placing it into somewhat of a structured song.

FAULT: What can we expect from the forthcoming EP?
DH: ‘the HYPERCOLOUR collection EP’, as the title suggests, is a collection of tracks that I have made over the past year. I am still at a stage where I am experimenting with lots of different sounds and ideas, to see what sits in the Daily Holla universe. Not that I ever want to have a ‘sound’ that I am limited to. At a basic level, the EP delves into the combination of guitar and electronic production. I am not the greatest guitarist in the world by a long stretch, so I like treating the guitar as a tool to either create washy pads or grab small samples. I feel that my biggest strength is recognising the potential in a sound, whether it’s a mistake on a guitar or synth, or something I have recorded on my phone, most of the time it can all be used!

FAULT: Who are some of your dream collaborations?
DH: There are so many people I would love to work with! I follow so many musicians, producers and artists on Instagram, all of whom inspire me to create more work every day. People like Bonobo, Jon Hopkins, Trent Reznor and Kaytranada all inspire me in different ways, and I would love to sit in a studio with any one of them and try to just take it all in! If I was pressed, I’d have to say that the artist I would most love to work with, would be John Gourley of Portugal. The Man. Again, I would love to sit in a room with the whole Portugal. The Man guys and watch them create their music.

FAULT: What do you hope people take away from listening to your music?
DH: I am so focussed on making the next song, or the next video for a track, that I sometimes forget the music I make is for people to listen to! I still don’t know if people really do listen to it yet haha. Maybe I will believe it I ever hear it played somewhere and I’m like ‘Oh, I made that!’

I hope that people can enjoy it and want to listen to it again, or show their friends. That may sound silly, but I myself am still working it all out, and what I want the music to represent. I hope the EP will provide people with something that feels real and genuine, as all six tracks were written to represent different events or situations in my life over the past year as I’ve finished up University and progressed into the big, scary ‘real world’.

Daily Holla Socials:
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Lovebox back with a bang in 2017

 

As you might have seen from our 2017 festival guide, this summer is set to be a wild one with organisers filling their bills with massive international talents. Returning once again this 14th and 15th of July – Victoria Park will once more let open it’s gates to some truly amazing talents. If you missed our previous coverage, you can find out how we got on in 2015 HERE but by the looks of things, that hasn’t got anything on 2017!

Lovebox have now announced Solange and Frank Ocean as headliners for 2017 and we are more than excited. Both performers released critically acclaimed albums respectively in 2016 and fans will sure to be excited for the release of these details. Being the eclectic festival that they are, there’s truly something for everyone this year. Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Jamie XX, Mac Miller, Chase & Status and many more FAULT Favourites will be there.

As they enter their fifteenth year, Lovebox has made a name for itself with lineups featuring taste making-headliners and need-to-know acts from Britain and around the world.

First release tickets on sale now from £49.50 (+BF) at www.loveboxfestival.com

#Lovebox17

 

Lovebox on the web

loveboxfestival.com // twitter.com/loveboxfestival // facebook.com/loveboxfestival // instagram.com/loveboxfestival

John Legend X FAULT Magazine Issue 25 Covershoot

John Legend discusses La La Land, Trump’s America and family values in FAULT Magazine #25 ‘US Special’

 

 

For this special edition issue, we’ve teamed up some of the USA’s most talented migrant photographers with popular stars in entertainment who have managed to excel despite growing racist, homophobic and sexist sentiment in the land they call home.
 Check back with FAULT Magazine next week for our second reveal!

 

Casting my mind back to 2005 and the re-emergence of outlandishly dressed musicians and over-the-top performances that had to be done for a fleeting spot in the top 20; it’s humbling that one shy man and his piano have stood the test of time. Fast-forward to 2017 and John Legend is now a household name with six albums under his belt, a family and most recently starred in and executively produced the Oscar-tipped blockbuster movie ‘La La Land’. I caught up with John to discuss music, family life and fears to discover if “Legend” is more than just a name.

Words by Miles Holder

Photography Lionel Deluy @loveartistsagency | Styling by Cat Wennekamp at Celestine Agency| Grooming by Juanita Lyon using Baxter of California at Celestine Agency | Retouching by Julia Idiar | Special Thank You to US Alteration for use of their location

How do you think you’ve changed as a person since your debut all those years ago?

I’ve grown up a lot in the last twelve years and had a lot more life experiences. Getting married and having a baby have added new perspectives and depth to the subjects I sing about too. Just from living in the world and seeing more contemporary issues have added new layers to my music which weren’t there before.

 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

My life has turned out pretty well so I wouldn’t change much but I would want myself to be bolder growing up. I was shy in college and I would tell myself to be more willing to come out of my shell and dare to be confident.

 

You’re married with a baby daughter; do you think the positivity they bring to your life spreads throughout the album?

I think I’ve always been an optimistic person and I think that streak of optimism runs through each of my albums. I think there is just more depth to what I’m feeling because everything means more to me now I have a wife and daughter. Everything is more significant and I’m thinking more philosophically about things and thinking about life and death a lot more. Before what I sang about were my ambitions of making money, getting girls and having fun which was a lot more selfish but now I have better perspective and depth on what’s really important in life.

 

Raising a bi-racial daughter in Trump’s America, does that scare you?

Hopefully “Trump’s America” won’t last very long and we get him out of here within the next four years. By the time Luna is old enough to be aware of what is happening, America would have elected a far better president. Trump promised to do things which are really bad for the country and some which are good and the hope is he’ll just do the good parts but I don’t have a lot of faith in him.  I’m just hoping for the best and when we need to resist and speak out, we need to hit the streets and do it. For now, I’m more worried for the people less fortunate than my daughter, people who might lose their healthcare or get excluded because of the colour of their skin, their religion and country of origin.

 

Fans have differing ideas of what a John Legend album should sound like. Is that added pressure when it comes to releasing new music?

Not everyone is going to be happy with every album and with every song but when I put music out, I do it with the confidence that my fans will love it or at least give it a chance. The feedback from Darkness and Light has been amazing and it has been my best-reviewed album to date. When I was finishing it, a lot of my friends felt like it was my best work and I felt the same so I was more excited that nervous for people to hear it. I don’t go too much into numbers and charts, what’s important is that people love it and I’ve heard they do.

From the album title, I presumed the songs would be either extremely high octane songs or heart-wrenching ballads but listening to the lyrics, for the most part, it’s an uplifting album and I wondered if that was always your intention?

I think what the title means to me is that darkness and lightness always coexist and theirs a push and pull and it’s not really about one song being dark and one being light as you said you expected, it’s about mixing it all into one song. In Surefire I talk about a nightmare but regardless “I’m surefire” and that’s me inviting darkness and light into one song.

 

What scares John Legend?

Rats! I’m really scared of rodents.

 

La La Land has received rave reviews, how was that whole experience?

I loved it and it was really fun to be a part of it. I loved working with Ryan and I didn’t work much with Emma but she’s a wonderful actress and did great in the movie. It was a really cool experience and to be part of something so special and meaningful to so many people.

 

What is your FAULT?

I don’t like confrontation. Sometimes that’s good because I’m good at keeping the peace but when in times when you have to confront things head on I’ve never been good at that.

 

Read John Legends full interview and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT’s Special #25

AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

 

‘Deciphering The Pieces’ – FAULT Magazine discuss escapism with Puzzle

 

When did you know that being a musician is what you wanted to be?

I grew up in a very musical family – my mother and grandmother were singers and my great grandfather was a composer so I’ve always been around music. I decided to have music as a career fairly early on.

 

At what point did you transition away from the standard forms of pop and begin to experiment?

About three years ago I started to really hone my voice. I was doing backing vocals for a lot of artists and trying to find a way to express my feelings through music. I started soul searching and trying to find what was important to me musically and that’s when I started writing as Puzzle.

Chevron trousers: Sewing Boundaries

There’s a strong visual aspect to your artistry too – where do you draw your inspiration from?

Music and visually as very interlinked for me. I play a lot of video games and grew up playing games like Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid and I feel like that’s where I tapped into a different world. The same can be said for the fantasy books I read too.

 

Great forms of escapism!

It’s all about escapism and opening worlds to people. The world is in constant flux which is always changing and I want people to take on those ideas when I make music. Nothing is set in stone and it’s all open to interpretation. It’s not reality, I’m trying to take people to a world of imagination.

Puzzle’s new single ‘Little Black Book’ is out now

 

When you’re a visual artist, how easy is that to transfer to the stage?

The makeup, the costumes and the presentation of my band is the first step. At one point we want to play with projections and play with people’s perceptions depending on where you stand in the room. It’s all a work in progress and for now, I want the people to come to my shows and see something they’re not used to seeing in their everyday lives.

Leather and suede jacket: Domingo Rodriguez Sweater: Oliver Spencer

Are you an artist who likes to listen to other musicians or do you try to block all other music in case it influences your unique style?

I believe strongly that every derives from something else and everything has been done to death and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with listening to people who inspire you. From there you can take inspiration from many sources and create something original. For me it’s important to go to concerts and to keep myself amerced in music – it’s something that I’ve always loved.

 

You make a lot of personal statements about love and politics in your music, is it hard to put it all out there?

I believe that for my music to resonate with people, it has to be personal otherwise, audiences can see through it. We’ve all been listening to music our whole lives and when something doesn’t sound like it’s coming from a place with truth, people can tell.

Front texture painting tee: Songzio

What’s next for Puzzle?

My first EP is coming out in March which is really exciting and there’ll be more singles and videos towards the end of the year.

 

What is your FAULT?

It’s a daily struggle for me to stay optimistic and believe that everything will work out and that everything you do isn’t your best. Every day I try to win the battle and tell myself that everything will be okay and that I can achieve my dreams and I think that’s something a lot of people go through.

 

Puzzle’s Babylon EP release in March!  Pre-order it HERE

PHOTOGRAPHER – STEPHANIE YT  

PHOTOGRAPHER ASSIST – ERICA FLETCHER 

STYLING – KIM LATIEULE –

GROOMING – LILLIE RUSO @ ERA

FAULKNER X THE NYLON PROJECT

Eric Scullin, Lucas Asher, Dimitri Farougias, Christian Hogan

Revolutionary transcendent music with a borderless echoing frame of vibrational change, FAULT presents to you, FAULKNER. An instant draw of curiosity with an embedded foundational name, this talented mix of East and West coast four rocked statements of awareness as they joined The Nylon Project kicking off New York Fashion Week. Founded by Jordana Guimaraes, The Nylon Project refreshes and reminds us of the daily unrelenting flashes of homelessness and the pressing needs of those without on our New York City streets. The united collaboration and substantial support of fashion and celebrity influencers such as FAULKNER and Christina Milian are continuously and actively working to highlight this urgency and raise funds to donate 1,500 meals by February’s end. The leading and resonating campaign, “It Can Be You,” undoubtedly reels you in and speaks to every one of us. It plays true, cautioning us indeed, “It Can Be You” as you will find and see as we took the time to sit and chat with lead singer, guitar and songwriter Lucas Asher of FAULKNER post performance and runway show.

Educate us a bit on your origins and the band’s.

I was in Dumbo area, I’m a New Yorker but then I went to L.A. cuz I hooked up with RZA from the The Wu.

 

How did you hook up with RZA from The Wu?

I just hustled him, I hit him up like everyday for like half a year and then he finally reached out and was like, “Yo kid send me a track.” And then I sent him a joint called “New York Anthem” and he liked it and so we worked on it at Rick Rubin’s Studio and then the New York Yankees started playing it at all their home games. And then it just went from there.

 

How did you link up with the rest of the guys?

In L.A. I’m the New Yorker, they’re the L.A. guys.

 

So have you guys known each other for long?

Three years. Good chemistry though, ya.

 

What does Faulkner mean? Does it have any relation to the writer?

No, no relation to the writer. I’ve been to 30 countries and I was in Egypt and there was a shaman and he told me to name my band FAULKNER. He said it would be successful and to be honest its going pretty good so far.

 

In this journey, have you always wanted to do music? 

Always, always music. And I listen to a lot of hip hop because of the aspirational qualities to it. And that’s why I’m part of The Nylon Project, just cuz I was homeless at one point. And I’ve always just been a hustler, and just gotten stuff done. And so I always was just the kid listening to hip hop, like a hip hop madden and stuff, and now I play in a rock band, so it’s an irony.

 

What do you feel, with everything that is going on now and that we are facing, what do you hope to do with your music as far as reaching people and especially where you’ve been through and you’ve been in that position, what do you want to translate to people? 

Be an aspirational band that people can believe in. Because we came from the streets. You know And now we’re living our dreams finally, the world, working with the Wu Tang Clan. So just believe in your dreams and the aspirational of quality there’s so much negativity in the world. We just want to focus on the positive.

 

 

What are you influences as far as music aside from Wu Tang, and hip hop and specific fashion and music influences?

David Bowie, for me it’s James Dean too. I think red jackets and rebels, even Eddie Murphy had that red jacket. To me when I walk into a room and see someone in a red jacket I assume their the rebel in the room, and so that’s kinda what it represents to me, is rebellion. So ya, I love fashion, I’m always in L.A. on Melrose or in Soho looking at cool new and upcoming designers. There’s this designer in Soho called Miguel that I really love right now, he has this little shop in Soho.

 

What is he known for?

Like Mandarin collars, Asian influences. Ya, he’s dope. But I love discovering like boutique cool designers.

 

Always supporting everyone who is coming up.

Ya, ya. So musically other than hip hop, is Freddie Mercury and David Bowie probably.

 

What is the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing on your mind before you go to sleep?

First thing, I usually meditate and get into warrior mode. Cuz everyday I see it’s just like, “Let’s get it.” I usually do a quick meditation and then get into warrior beast mode and kick it off.

 

What is your FAULT? 

I think I invest so much in people and my art. I just I pour everything I have into it and when you do that and it’s the wrong person…or something, you’ve got a lot invested in that.

 

I guess that is something that everybody in the artistic realm goes through. You’re going to end up investing in people and it is the heart you have as well.

Ya, you got to go for it all the way.

 

Do you have anything you want to add? About moving forward or this time that we’re living in?  

Oh ya, with culture. We’re trying to reflect that right now even in our music. That’s what “Revolutionary” is about. The first song we played. We shot that music video in Hawaii on the Na Pali Coast. People can go check out that video on Youtube. That’s kind of what we’re talking about in the song. Is how divisive ideologies can be and how inclusive ideologies can be. And you can see one leader that has an ideology that brings everyone together and then another leader that has an ideology that separates everyone. So obviously standing from one of those and not the other.

Very well said, thank you so much again. 

FAULKNER’s majestic movement of progress engages us to recall and retell musical sounds and encourages us to be the change we all so eagerly seek. No question that these four artistically accomplished and gifted gentleman, Eric Scullin on lead guitar, Dimitri Farougias on bass guitar, Christian Hogan jam rocking on the drums and lyricist Lucas Asher have just begun on an intended and predestined magically tuned ride.

The electrifying unit that accompanies FAULKNER is resounding. And with all they have to offer, they are led by the JV.Agency force who is also a consciously contributing factor with publicist, Jaz Valencia’s newest leather accessory introduction. This dazzling, economical and functional iPhone purse is ideal for those of us who live on the edge, non stop from coast to coast, with much to carry and not enough hands. Fit for rock and roll aligned with studs, in black leather, THE VALENCIA, designed in New York is now available to all. Cause for action while you shop, as your purchase will contribute to the distribution of meals for the homeless in NYC.

 

“WE BELIEVE A GIRL CAN NEVER BE TOO FABULOUS, TOO SMART, OR WEAR TOO MUCH LEATHER…”

FAULT would like to thank FAULKNER, Jaz Valencia of the JV. Agency and Amanda from A.FAYE PR for having us and taking the time. Apart from the gripping music and funk of fashion, the great story is that of an open heart and helping hand, to reach those without, because we can and we understand, and so we are charged and entrusted to take a stand. There’s no better moment than now to strike with a revolutionary artistic change.

Words and Photographer: Chaunielle Brown

FAULT attends the 2017 NME Awards with ID&C

 

 

“We have more readers today than any other time in our history” exclaims Mike Williams as he opens the 2017 NME awards to roaring applause. While NME has gone through a number of editorial shifts in lifespan of over 50 years, good music has always been at its core and last night was certainly no exception. With performances from Bastille, Wiley and The Petshop Boys – the night’s lineup was a glimpse at just how diverse the UK music scene is. Those weren’t the only performances of the night however, FAULT Alumni Dua Lipa and Charli XCX also took to the stage the latter as part of Bands4Refugees.

Christine and The Queens picked up the first award of the night for ‘Best International Female supported by VO5’ but would also later return to the stage to accept a second win for ‘Best Track supported by Red Stripe’ for her critically acclaimed single, ‘Tilted’. Moments before taking to the stage, Dua Lipa fought of tough competition from Anderson .Paak and Zara Larsson to collect the award for Best New Artist supported by TOPMAN.

Wiley’s performance was definitely a highlight of the night. Grime might not have ever gone away but it certainly has seen a huge surge in plays over the past year and who else but the ‘Godfather’ should have been up on that stage. Performing ‘Speakerbox’ and ‘Can’t Go Wrong’ from his latest album, it was great to see Wiley had finally received the recognition he deserved.

Of course, the night isn’t all about music with Louis Theroux collecting his award for Best Film for ‘My Scientology Movie’, Fleabag winning for Best TV Series and Glastonbury winning for best festival.

Best British Female Artist went to M.I.A who took the chance to speak out against the current administration attitude towards refugees before appropriately introducing Bands4Refugees – a group comprising of Olly Alexander, Slaves’ Isaac Holma, Charli XCX and more in aid of supporting refugees worldwide. [You can text REFU to 70700 to contribute £5 to Help Refugees]

NME Coverstars and winners of the ‘God-like Genius Award’ The Petshop Boys closed the night with a spellbinding set and mesmerising light show which closed the evening.

So what’d we think? We had a great time – it was wonderful to see so many familiar FAULTfaces have gone on to do such great things. From both FAULT Magazine #24’s Maya Jama and Frank Carter of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes presenting awards, to FAULT #16’s Charli XCX performing live and to FAULT #23’s Dua Lipa collecting an award – it’s wonderful to see that everyone is still active in their craft.

For what was quite a dismal year in music, it’s great to see that the arts still managed to flourish in 2016 and it’s that, that was appreciated last night by NME. We look forward to seeing what else is to come in 2017. Thank you to our friends over at ID&C, who provided the fabric wristbands for NME Awards, for inviting us along. Find out more information about  wristband for events on the ID&C website.