FAULKNER’s story involves some larger-than-life characters. This bi-coastal band (its members hail from New York, New York and Venice, California) was set on the path to success when RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan heard its demo for “NY Anthem.” Since then, in addition to collaborating with RZA, FAULKNER has worked with Royce Da 5’9″ on the single “Keep Your Enemies Closer” and recorded its debut album PARIAHS at Rick Rubin’s Shangri La and East-West Studios. The alternative band’s sound is upbeat and sleek, mixing synths and guitars with hooks that you’ll want to hear again and again. Just ask the New York Yankees, who play “NY Anthem” at home games.
Recently, we had the chance to send FAULKNER a few questions via email. In their answers, band members Dimitri Farougias, Christian Hogan, and Eric Scullin talked about everything from helicopter rides to pizza to Hans Zimmer. Read on to learn more.
TYF: Your journey toward your debut begin when RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan got ahold of your demo. How did this happen, and what has it been like to work with him since?
Dimitri Farougias: I honestly don’t remember how we first got in contact with him … after we decided to work together it was a few months before we got in the studio at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La because of RZA’s busy film/tv schedule at the time.
It was such an honor to work with him and learn so much. Some of the highlights were hearing all these amazing Wu-Tang stories at dinner.
TYF: You also collaborated with Royce da 5’9” on “Keep Your Enemies Closer.” What was that experience like?
Farougias: Well, he is one of the greatest to ever do it. Don’t know anyone who can stand next to Eminem on a track and spit better than anyone else. His verse on “Keep Your Enemies Closer” is devastating and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
TYF: You just released a music video for your song “Revolutionary.” What was the most fun thing about filming that?
Farougias: Shooting on location where Spielberg shot Jurassic Park. Heaven on earth and crazy fun helicopter rides.
TYF: Your song with RZA is called “NY Anthem.” What are your favorite places to visit in New York City?
Farougias: I feel like this whole answer is going to revolve around pizza. For some reason, the last few times we’ve been to the city, we’ve ended up at Artichoke Pizza near Chelsea. Since we play a lot at the Bowery, Mercury Lounge and Webster Hall, we tend to usually just grab a slice somewhere on the walk back to the hotel BUT be careful … you don’t want to get stuck downtown … in the Nexus of the Universe … between 1st and 1st where the same street intersects itself … near Ray’s Pizza, not Famous Ray’s … Original Rays … not Famous Original Rays … Just Original. If you don’t get that last reference, watch Seinfeld S9E19 “The Maid”… Pizza.
TYF: You created a song on Bob Dylan’s tour bus. What’s the story behind that?
Farougias: It was surreal. There was so much rock n’ roll energy in there, that you could feel it crawling everywhere.
TYF: Eric, it’s been said that you’ve “never met an instrument [you can’t] play in a few minutes of practice.” What’s the coolest instrument you’ve ever jammed out on?
Eric Scullin: A Greek bouzouki. Sort of like a mandolin but double strung and more high pitched.
TYF: Christian, I’ve heard that once, Hans Zimmer approached you with a demo, thinking you were Max Martin. Care to elaborate on this?
Christian Hogan: We were once at a party in LA and it just so happened that and Max and I were dressed pretty similarly (his clothes were much nicer, I’m sure). People were gathering around me to wait to talk to me, because they thought I was him.
Later on that night , this guy comes from behind and gives me a big hug. He said, “congrats on a great year’s work”. That “guy” was Hans Zimmer! You can guess what happened next.
TYF: Since you obviously have a fondness for rap despite your rock background, what are some of your favorite rap songs?
Farougias: “When We Ride On Our Enemies” by 2Pac, “Protect Ya Neck” by Wu-Tang Clan, “Party n Bullshit” by Biggie.
TYF: Finally, is there anything else that you’d like to say to the readers?
Farougias: Yeah! Follow us on Instagram @faulknermusic for news and show dates. Thank you for the interview.