Cosmopolitan rockers shake up L.A.
Faulkner is a band that is just as eccentric as its namesake.
âWhen I was in Egypt, I met this sage in the desert, and he had a horse named Faulkner,â said guitarist and lead singer Lucas Asher. âSo I named the band after the horse.â
As an orphan, Asher has lived in diverse places that have expanded his musical and personal horizons, including New York, Northern California, London and Egypt. After making his way to Southern California, the band began to form under his guidance.
âLucas was pretty much the one who found all of us,â said Brennan Barry, the bandâs lead guitarist and a New York native.
Asher met Barry, drummer Donald Gray Jr. of southern California and bassist Dimitri Farougias, a USC alumnus originally from Greece, through the Los Angeles music scene. Although the foursome has only been playing together for a year, the bandâs cohesiveness reflects the four menâs immediately apparent chemistry.
âWe really clicked once we all met each other â musically and as friends,â Gray said.
Faulknerâs intense dedication to music has gotten the band off to a fine start in its career. The politically aware song âUnite For Workers Rightsâ resonates with listeners particularly in this troubled economy, and it earned the band the honor of being one of the first independent artists to be featured on KIIS 102.7 FM. Following the advantageous radio exposure, the band was approached by several record labels.
Before anything is set in stone, however, Faulkner has decided to focus on building up its fan base. The groupâs first official EP will be released in July, and the band will be touring up and down the Pacific Coast to promote it.
In the meantime, Faulkner has been recording new material in the bandâs own private music space, the Empyreal Studio. But making music is not the only thing the studio is used for.
âWe plan on doing community events there, like open houses with cheap tickets and free parking,â Asher said. âWe want to have a good time without breaking the bank for people.â
These events are slated to begin next month at the studio, which is located in Silver Lake, Calif. The unpredictable nature of Faulknerâs sound makes it impossible to predict what type of songs it will put together next.
âWe donât have a specific genre,â Farougias said. âWe canât really be classified as anything because we like so many different styles of music.â
Gray said that since the group has such a broad range of musical tastes, it can be a challenge to properly pay homage to each. The members of Faulkner are influenced by everyone from John Mayer and the White Stripes to Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan.
âAt a show, weâll play a reggae flavored tune, a straight up punk tune, a rock ballad,â Farougias said. âWeâre not trying to cram all those influences into one song, weâd rather separate them and write really good individual songs in those styles.â
Faulkner has already released five music videos with the help of professional director Ronnie Silos. In what Asher describes as a meeting of fate, Silos heard the bandâs music and wanted to work with them. He contributed about $100,000 worth of equipment to shoot the videos, all of which are set outdoors, which Asher says represents freedom at its finest.
Freedom is only one theme the band is adamant about expressing. While âUnite For Workers Rightsâ led listeners to assume that Faulkner is a protest band, the guys are quick to refute the label.
âItâs about the philosophy of observing and seeing what we observe in life,â Asher said. âWhat we want to do is capture the human experience and capture moments in life.â
Admirably, Faulkner shares administrative duties, such as booking and promotion, as well as creative responsibilities among its members. As self-managed musical artists, they call themselves a âworking-class bandâ and strive to relate to everyday people.
Faulkner has been able to play gigs at virtually every venue in Los Angeles, which is a price the band is more than happy to pay.
âI think the L.A. music scene is the best music scene in the country, if not the world,â Barry said.
Faulkner has had some lucky breaks along the way, but the group realizes it still has a lot of work to do. However, its professionalism and general musical know-how makes the musiciansâ future in the industry very promising.
âEverybody is confident with their skills and understands the music language,â Gray said. âOur drive and experience in the Los Angeles music scene for so many combined years is what sets us apart.â