UTG is very pleased to bring you this exclusive (postdated) interview with tech-death juggernaut, The Faceless!
The band recently released their highly anticipated third studio album, Autotheism, and this interview will reflect a time immediately before that release.
Founder/guitarist Michael Keene took a moment to speak with UTG about Autotheism, the Summer Slaughter tour and the numerous member changes within the band. Read through and take a look back into some quick insight from Michael Keene of The Faceless.
What can fans expect on Autotheism that differs from your previous releases?
I think fans can expect to hear the things they’ve come to like about The Faceless with addition of a bunch of new elements. The music is more diverse and adventurous. This is also the best record from a sonic perspective that The Faceless has had.
How is Geoffrey Ficco fitting into the mix?
Astounding. He is the most powerful vocalist I’ve ever recorded or worked with in any capacity. He’s a great front man and reflects the sentiment of the band perfectly on stage. He’s also a stand up guy and a pleasure to be around.
Do you think the bath salts “zombie” that ate that guy’s face is a fan of the band?
(laughs) I have no idea, but the final toxicology report came back and said that the only drug in his system was marijuana, so maybe he just had REALLY gnarly munchies.
Your music seems to be evolving into more of a group effort rather than “The Michael Keene Band.” If this is the case, do you feel that it makes the writing and end product stronger than before?
For Autotheism I actually had most of the music completed on my own before the new members came in and then Geoff and I wrote the lyrics together. Everyone is very motivated in terms of writing and putting in work in the band, which makes me very happy and optimistic about the future of the band being way more of a collaborative effort. I’m really excited for it.
How has this year’s Summer Slaughter been compared to its previous years that you’ve played?
This was by far the best. It was probably the funnest tour I’ve ever been on in fact. I think Summer Slaughter will keep growing and improving every year.
Who are you the most excited to share the stage with this year on Summer Slaughter?
Well for me, it was Between the Buried and Me. I really like their music, I really like them all as people and it was fun to watch them every night.
How have all the member changes affected The Faceless?
This is the best and strongest we’ve ever been in all capacities. The band is tighter than ever, the professionalism is higher and everyone is just stoked to be making music and hanging out with one another. It’s a very refreshing thing to have in an industry that is so easy to get jaded and cynical towards.
How permanent does the current line-up seem to be?
Very. I think The Faceless has finally found the chemistry it has always needed.
Any touring plans after Summer Slaughter in support of the new album?
We’ll be out again at least one more time this year and we have a tour planned for early 2013 as well.
What albums releasing this year are you looking forward to the most?
Devin Townsend Project’s Epicloud and Between the Buried and Me’s Parallax II: Future Sequence.
What has been the biggest obstacle for you as a band?
Probably balancing our home lives and careers. It’s really hard to get five people from different ends of the country, with different things going on in their lives together to work on things as often as we’d all like.
What influences The Faceless’ writing process musically and lyrically?
Tough question. Personally, I guess I try to draw influence from things outside the realm of metal and then put them into the metal format. It makes for fresher ideas. You can also trick metal fans into listening to something influenced by Steely Dan or Depeche Mode like that.
What has been the biggest blessing when it comes to being a part of The Faceless?
I get to do what I love for a living. Not a lot of people get to do that and I am eternally grateful for it.
Written and conducted by: Brian Lion – Follow him on Twitter