I noticed when Faux Ferocious sent back answers to our queries, at the very top they listed the full name and instrument of each member of the band (even though only two of the guys answered). Probably just being nice, but it pointed towards the unspoken fact that this new Nashville quartet are most definitely a band. In an era of every other act being a solo bedroom project first, recording second, and slap together a band to tour third, upon first listen to Faux Ferocious’s scrunchy, strutting trash-pop, you get the feeling these guys have slunk down on the couch after practice, five beers in, for at least a few years. You can feel that watching the live clip below, or when they play CMJ Music Marathon in October.
Reid Cummings: drums
Terry Kane: guitar and vocals
Dylan Palmer: bass
Jonathan Phillips: guitar and vocals
Okay, first off, a little band history: when you started, where, why, etc.
Jonathan Phillips (guitar/vocals): The band started in Knoxville, TN, in 2007. We started because it was time to start a band, we had all played in uninteresting bands and together we were able to form something we all liked well enough to stick with it.
Terry Kane (guitar/vocals): We all kind of waited on each other to figure stuff out, finish school and all that, and about two years ago finally found ourselves in the same city again. That’s when it really started to click.
What bands you were listening to when you formed?
JP: Cash Money and Leonard Cohen.
TK: Young Bleed, UGK, Wire, Wendy Renee.
I know for a few years now, Nashville has had a mess of bands tour through there, but tell us about the local scene, if you feel there is one and if you feel you fit in or not.
JP: There are good bands, but I think it’s best to ignore stuff like that.
TK: We have found ourselves on some cool bills recently and the Nashville scene has always been supportive. It’s been a good place to kind of prove yourself to yourself.
What releases have you got out there so far? And tell us about this singles series thing you’re up to.
JP: We self-released an EP a few months ago, and now Mush Records is doing a series of 7-inch singles leading up to a full-length.
TK: And we have self-released two 7-inch records and a cassette. Some of the stuff from the cassette will be released on the Mush 7-inch series, but we have also recorded nine new songs for that over the past few months.
I feel like over the various Bandcamp and other tracks I’ve heard, that despite your name, you are actually getting a little more ferocious. Agreed? And if so, what’s happened to make you guys meaner?
JP: We haven’t changed personally, but maybe some of our recording equipment has deteriorated or at least gotten dirtier.
How much have you guys toured so far? If so, how’d it go?
JP: We’ve been touring a lot lately, and it’s been going well. We are on our own, so its been difficult to book, but we’ve met a lot of people and learned a lot about how to make it work.
TK: When we were booking the most recent tour, Dylan [Palmer, bass] and I had been watching a lot of Amish Mafia, so we got real into the idea of playing at one of these parties where the Amish kids go to blow off steam and live the secular life for an evening. So we decided we would give Lancaster, PA, a try. I had gone there for a family reunion and found it suitably odd so something was bound to happen.
Well, the show got cancelled so we decided to get a hotel room in the downtown of Lancaster which seems very quaint and white bread. Lots of school groups, good farm stands, Tim Tebow was there, huge groups of kids singing devotional songs at these community pianos they have all over the place. So odd, but safe. Then after 10 p.m. it just totally changes into this like void of decency. Out of the 25 people wandering around this desolate city, two of them called us faggots, this huge bouncer threw me out of a bar where I was silently watching the NBA playoffs, and this prostitute kept coming up to us outside of the hotel with a very cliché lollipop in her mouth, totally strung out.
At one point in time, the only people I saw on the street were in a huge brawl, and the cops just passed right by all this violence and debauchery. It was like living in a David Lynch movie. We took great pleasure in being able to smoke a little pot and watch all of this play out, albeit with the slight fear that you are going to catch a stray bullet. Then the next morning it was back to school groups, Greenpeace sign-up stands and farmers. It was just the oddest dichotomy between these two very different places that exist in the same two blocks.
Have you played NYC before?
TK: Yes, in May. We got a shit load of parking tickets. Just a mix of stupidity, laziness and the frustration of finding a parking spot.
What made you want to play CMJ Music Marathon?
TK: Who wouldn’t want to play it? We are really excited to do it. It should be lotsa fun.
So if you are faux ferocious, than what are you really?
TK: Run of the mill pacifists.