Faded Paper Figures have been hanging out on CMJ’s Radio 200 chart for the last seven weeks with their latest album, The Matter. This is the L.A. band’s third LP of high-energy, drum-and-synth-fueled indie rock. We fired away a few questions at John Williams and expectant parents Kael and Heather Alden about headlining at home, living bi-coastal and plans for 2013. Find their answers below the full album stream.
You’re headlining the Satellite this month in Los Angeles. What’s it like playing a hometown show?
Los Angeles is where we’ve played more than anywhere else. In fact, our first gig ever was at the Viper Room, and our last gig was the Bootleg Theater. We’ve toured around some too, but it always feels good to come home to L.A. Something about the combination of ocean air, fro-yo decadence, demoralizing traffic and dreamy urban weirdness makes us glad we’re doing what we do here.
What sets The Matter apart from your first two albums?
The Matter is more ambitious than our previous two albums, perhaps a bit riskier given what our fans have grown to recognize. It’s a bigger sound, the lyrics are a bit more playful (seriously), and the instrument-to-song ratio went way up! We’re happy to report, however, that most everyone seems to dig it.
You all seem to be doing great things in your personal life, with Heather going to med school and John teaching English at Yale. How do you guys get together to make music with such busy schedules?
A lot of what destroyed the traditional music industry (file sharing, home recording equipment, non-centralized channels of music distribution, etc.) is what makes our music possible. With John living in New Haven, CT, and the rest of the band in L.A., it’s the only way we can write and record most of the time. And it all seems to happen while burning the midnight oil on each coast—late at night, everyone always drowsy. But once every few months we fly John to L.A. and get back in the studio and actually record or do shows. So it’s mostly a slow, incremental process online punctuated with bursts of frantic activity.
What are you looking forward to in 2013?
We’ve got a lot going on this year. The breaking news of the moment is that Heather is pregnant and due in March (right during SXSW actually, so we’ll have to sit it out this year). But we hope to do an East Coast tour during the summer and start on a new album later next year. Then, world domination (or its gentle equivalent).