WORDS : LUCA CESCON
Nothing will stop the music. This is the most important lesson we’ll learn this year: despite all the tribulations we’ve all been through during these first seven months, there’s still a beacon of hope at the end of the tunnel. This light might be represented by all the records, collaborations and initiatives that are currently avoiding bands, venues and promoters to quit music and all its surrounding world. With shows and releases’ dates being postponed, keep listening to new – and old – bands seems even more crucial nowadays, in order to keep the music’s flame alive and well. The world has been walking on a violent, discriminatory and racist path particularly in the last few months, and this is why lots of bands and artists have decided to raise their voices against racism and police brutality at a worldwide level.
Faim are one of our favourite bands when talking about American hardcore, and it’s no coincidence that this Denver’s outfit has been delivering a strong political and social message since its very beginning. “When we started this band, the goal was just to write a few songs and play a few shows. It was more about just having this outlet for personal catharsis. Fortunately, I still think that is at the forefront of what we do”, says Chris, Faim’s guitarist.
Hollow Hope is this idea that we can try and be hopeful about the future of our world by noticing the positive changes, but we end up being overpowered by a sense of hopelessness because the destruction that is happening to everything is just overwhelming
The band started its journey with a demo (released in 2017), but it definitely was their first “7 inch to help Faim broaden their fanbase. One of that record songs, called “It Follows,” seems to be even more topical today: “it has been a song that a lot of victims of abuse in the scene have connected with; seeing all these people, particularly women, sing along to that song is inspiring. It’s like a small anthem to how we won’t put up with abuse in hardcore anymore”, explains Kat (singer). After having released a split record with Discourage and Lift back in 2019, Faim are now ready to come back with their first LP ever, called Hollow Hope.
The title itself has a strong meaning, as Kat explains to us during our interview: “the title actually comes from a section in one of the chapters of The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. That book was a huge motivator for this record in many ways. The section of the book talks about the idea of superficial change happening to make it seem like those who have power care about those who do not. Yet that change is so insignificant, it really causes more harm than good to those who are fighting for change. The album is kind of built on that concept; that includes our own struggles with what thoughts we allow to be in control of our minds. Often that ends up being negative, destructive thoughts because we see how the world around us is being destroyed. Hollow Hope is this idea that we can try and be hopeful about the future of our world by noticing the positive changes, but we end up being overpowered by a sense of hopelessness because the destruction that is happening to everything is just overwhelming”.
the lyrics on this album are sad and dark, because it didn’t feel authentic any other way. My favorite songs by other artists are the sad and dark songs because they are so relatable. I want people to be able to connect to what I’m saying. From that connection, we can find ways to grow into better, happier people
With supports coming from Safe Inside Records and Version City Blues, which will take care of the physical release and promotion of the record, Hollow Hope shows us a strong artwork, that according to Kat “isn’t specifically linked to the recent protests here in the U.S; however, when we wrote this record we felt a sense of urgency with the state of our nation and all the fucked up things that are happening. I don’t think any of us are surprised at what is happening in the U.S. with regards to protests, resistance, etc. I think we all knew this time was coming”. Compared to the previously released records, the new Faim work definitely shows a sound and writing progression: “In writing this record, we wanted to push ourselves out of our comfort zone and push ourselves to write a record that was darker and more dynamic. At the same time, we didn’t want to reinvent ourselves and I think there was a collective faith that by the time we got all of us together in a studio, the final product would inherently be Faim and not something completely different”, explains Chris.
Hollow Hope’s lyrics will encompass lots of different themes: from “loss of love, friendship, people who ignore warning signs of abuse”, up to “political and protest topics”. Moreover, Kat revealed to us that “the lyrics on this album are sad and dark, because it didn’t feel authentic any other way. My favorite songs by other artists are the sad and dark songs because they are so relatable. I want people to be able to connect to what I’m saying. From that connection, we can find ways to grow into better, happier people”.
Coming back to our starting words, we asked Chris to give us his opinion about the current world’s situation: “it’s inspiring to see people organize and fight against long-known injustices in this country, especially when viewed against the total breakdown of our government’s ability to protect us during a pandemic and the other crises that are appearing. The current movements feel different, too – more intersectional, more critical, and more capable of spontaneous organization and less able to completely collapse because of single defeats”.
Listen to the track “Division Ave” here. Hollow Hope will be released next month via Safe Inside Records (vinyl) and Version City Blues (tape).