BioFrom their beginnings as a low-fi pop band releasing cassettes to the release of their highly anticipated, electronically charged new Danse Macabre album, The Faint have always been a band which is in constant evolution.
The Faint are from the currently thriving Omaha music scene. Featuring current members Todd Baechle (vocals, synthesizer), Clark Baechle (drums) and Joel Petersen (bass), they began by opening coffee house shows for various singer songwriters in 1994, utilizing an off-beat hodgepodge of folk and lo-fi. Performing under the name Norman Bailer, the original line-up featured standard rock instruments as well as some effected keyboard and vocal leads. They released this material on a now out-of-print cassette on Saddle Creek (then called Lumberjack) records.
By the end of 1995, the band's sound had changed and a 7" compilation, 'Music Me All Over', was released featuring a surprising offshoot from the indie-folk noise the band had previously crafted. As the band has always been one which reacts against its surroundings, the light rock ballad track they contributed to the project was a natural reaction to the indie-pop and mathrock, with it's tricky timings and barely audible screaming vocals, that surrounded them. The band sought to make music that sounded fresh in the midst of all of this. 'Light rock' was certainly unfashionable and seemed to be the answer. The untitled song was the only song released during 1995-1996.
These two very low-key releases led to the end of a period for the band and it was time for another change. The band began using the moniker The Faint when they released a two song promotional CD featuring tracks from their debut full-length. Those songs were eventually re-recorded before they were added to ten more new tracks to form 1998's Media. The songs from Media differed greatly, not only from The Faint's previous sound, but also from each other. The styles ranged from dancy, brit-pop anthems to collaboration with an all acoustic folk ensemble. Media proved to be the album they needed to make in order to settle on a direction for the future.
Following a national tour for Media, The Faint began writing new songs, taking what they had learned from Media and the ensuing tour into account. Simply put, the band wanted more from the live experience. Heavier dance beats, more synthesizers and fewer guitars began to shape what would be their break through album. Full time synth player, Jacob Thiele joined toward the end of 1998 and by August of 1999 the new wave themed record was finished. Blank-Wave Arcade put the band on an entirely different level. Being a band relatively new to synthesizers and electronic music in general, The Faint found themselves on the same page as artists in the early eighties -- looking toward the future of music while at the same time trying to come to terms with the new technical aspects of their own work.
The album pricked the ears of the underground with their hypnotizing keyboard tantrums and unique, straight forward lyrics, which explored the intricacies of personal interactions. With song titles like, 'Worked up so Sexual', 'Sex is Personal', and 'Casual Sex', The Faint were often sited as sex fiends at worst and sex symbols at best. Upon closer investigation it is clear that Blank-Wave Arcade's lyrics deal more with social and ethical observation than with the actual deed. They band began to tour once again, amazing audiences across the nation with their explosive live show.
After filling a year with numerous tours in support of Blank-Wave Arcade, The Faint have returned with Danse Macabre. The new album showcases The Faint in a slightly darker, more developed form. The sound is still very melodic, but this time the electronics are richer and more pronounced. The Faint sought a dance club production quality rather than the live basement type recorded atmosphere of the previous album. Danse Macabre is a contemporary album of dance driven electronic music with the exaggerated accents of a rock band. The rock element has recently been augmented by the addition of new member, Dapose, in January of 2001. Dapose began playing guitar for the band after recently dissolving Omaha's premier death metal band, LEAD.
The Faint look to make sounds that point forward, escaping the constraints of traditional guitar sounds in favor of less chartered (electronic) aural waters. Fusing punk urgency with the gadgetry of technology, they are changing the landscape of the underground. As The Faint's unique sound and artistry continue to mature, the compelling new Danse Macabre proves that The Faint are truly the rock band for the new millennium.