WORDS: DEC SHERRY
After being approached by Brian Baker backstage at Riot Fest 2016, Dennis Lyxzén joined Fake Names, a new project Baker had with Michael Hampton and Johnny Temple. With members having been in bands such as Minor Threat, Bad Religion, Step Forward, Refused, S.O.A, Dag Nasty and Soulside, Fake Names are definitely considered a supergroup.
We spoke to Dennis about completing the line-up for the project, their self titled debut LP and where the band plans to go next.
Speaking about the origins of the band, Dennis tells us, “Michael and Brian have known each other since they were in elementary school, they’ve been friends for a very very long time. I think Brian wanted to work with Michael because they’ve never played in a band together… So I guess they started playing music and Johnny got involved.” While Dennis isn’t a resident of D.C, the city’s key role in the early Hardcore scene had a big effect on him. “I’m a record collecting type of nerd and I grew up listening to all of their bands. I grew up listening to the stuff they put out in the 80s; that was stuff that helped shape me into the person I am today. For me it was a bit of a no brainer it was just a privilege and an honour.”
“FOR ME IT WAS A BIT OF A NO BRAINER, IT WAS JUST A PRIVILEGE AND AN HONOUR.”
With such a rich background in music, it would be hard for members not to take their previous bands as inspiration for their new projects, especially with Dennis being a huge fan of the other members’ bands. Speaking on this Dennis says, “I think it’s inevitable when you are part of something, we all have our own legacies that we carry with us, we all have our backgrounds. Everything that you’ve done and everything you’ve accomplished it’s something that you take with you into new projects.” The band’s chemistry shines through in their music. They’re a powerfully cohesive unit that while there are glimmers of the members previous bands, Fake Names is certainly their own entity. Dennis speaks on this saying “It felt very easy going, as soon as I started sending demos and as soon as we met it, it felt very relaxed and very mellow.” While he may be working with some of his earliest inspirations in Punk and Hardcore, Dennis and the others fit together perfectly.
Speaking on the origins of the name for the band Dennis tells us, “It was something that Brian said. I think one of the hardest things about having a band is coming up with a good name for the band. You can have an idea of what you wanna sound like, how you wanna look and you can even have the art direct of the album done, but to find a name for a band is insanely hard… I think it’s a little bit of a passing on the world of fake news and everything that that encompases.” The name also has a feel that echoes back to the origins of the Hardcore scene, which is a vital part of the bands sound and works well for them. While a fitting name, it doesn’t give the band’s name away as Dennis suggests a name like “Fists of Fury” would lead to conceptions of how a band would sound, Fake Names doesn’t give too much of the band away, whilst still suiting the bands style.
“WE’LL DO A WEEKEND OVER THERE, A FESTIVAL THERE, ONCE IN A WHILE IT’LL BE A THING.”
Speaking on the future of Fake Names, Dennis says “I think we wanna write more music for starters, I mean we already have a bunch of new demos. I would like to play shows, I don’t really necessarily see this as being a full time touring band but I could see us as a band that will do a weekend over here, we’ll do a weekend over there, we’ll do a festival, once in a while we’ll show up play some shows and that would be a great thing to do… It would be fun to play shows and put out more music, I don’t think our ambitions are extremely high.” While the band are unable to currently support their music due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Fake Names are ones to watch, with a vast amount of touring experience and an album drenched in energy and passion they are certain to put on a good show.
The Self Titled EP is out Via Epitaph Records Friday 8th May 2020.