While working on my review of Let Them Eat Fake, I was also presented with the opportunity to send some questions to the members of False Fed. Most of the members were able to share some thoughts with me, and I greatly appreciate their time.
False Fed features musicians who have also played in such bands as Discharge, Nausea, and Amebix.
Understandably, and rightfully so, drummer Roy Mayorga wasn’t able to chime in but he’s plenty busy with a variety of projects. As a drummer myself and a big fan of Roy, I’d only hope he caught up on some rest between all the touring he’s been part of lately.
Check out what vocalist JJ Janiak, guitarist Stig Miller, and bassist JP Parsons, and shared with us all and I’d recommend listening to Let Them Eat Fake as you read. No better time than the present!
Were the lyrics for Let Them Eat Fake a collaborative effort between all the members or did one person take on the role of lyricist primarily?
JJ: I wrote all of the lyrics for the album once all of the music for each song was finished. I tend to write to the feeling of the music, so although some of the lyrics are personal, I tend to go with the vibe of the sounds that are happening and the music definitely dictates my vocal patterns and how to sing them.
There's nothing worse than starting a song by writing really good lyrics only to find that they don't fit into the music and you need to chop it up and drop out lines and words etc. So I find it a lot easier to hear the music first and write to the song.
While I understand that the lyrics can vary in meaning for each listener; are there favorite lyrics from any specific song on the record and what was some of the main inspiration?
JJ: I don’t have any favorite lines, but there’s a line in “The One Thing We Cannot Avoid” that says “we can sink or we can swim, but we all drown in the end." That was a reference to my father saving me from drowning when I was young. He risked his own life trying to save mine and he ended up in the hospital with hypothermia and nearly died. It was winter time and we got caught in a rip tide in the ocean. Luckily he survived.
“The Big Sleep” is about when I was young and I used to get sleep paralysis. It felt like demons trying to kill me and it was terrifying.
All of these songs are about personal traumas, experiences, toxicity and/or things that just aren’t right in the world. I wish I didn’t have to sing about certain things and I wish I could sit and pretend everything is great when it’s not, but that's just how it is and that's what comes out when I stick a pen in my hand.
As far as inspiration for the album, it was written during a pandemic and we were all locked in our homes and locked in ourselves, forced to face our own demons and possibly some inconvenient truths. I had a near-death experience around the same time and that was a life changer for me which definitely came out on this album.
JP: JJ has a way with words "No it's never too late to sit and Mass Debate" deserves an honorable mention. It creates a snigger from the crude part of my brain. Ultimately though we all need to reach out and talk more.
"Absorb your hatred, accept the blame" in “Echoes of Compromise” stands out to me also. I think we all have been in situations like that with people in our lives.
How long was the overall writing process for Let Them Eat Fake? Was this an outlet for material not used in some of the other bands you are all involved in?
JJ: No, this had nothing to do with any of our other bands or old bands. These songs are all songs created by False Fed. It was over the course of around 3 years, mainly because we were locked down and had to figure out how to make and record music remotely with guys in different parts of the country and the world.
We recorded and re-recorded these songs so many times that I actually lost count, but persistence was key and we finally got it to the point that we were all happy with it.
Stig: Yes, it took around three years to be completed although we really had all the demos finished as ideas in probably half that time, it was just the re-recording and waiting for everyone to be available that took the extra time.
JP: Yeah 3 years seems like a long time for 7 tracks but it was a weird time of restriction and like JJ said there was a lot of recording, and rerecording until we had it how we wanted it. We never want to be a band that puts things out that we are not all fully behind.
While I'm more than content to keep Let Them Eat Fake on repeat for a while, have you all continued to write songs or have any songs that didn't make the record?
JJ: Yeah, there's a few tracks and ideas that we started but either passed up or just didn't get around to for one reason or the other, but I’m happy to say that we’ve already started work on the next False Fed album.
JP: There are tracks and ideas that didn't make the final cut. Some will never see the light of day again and some may come out again in one way or another. The next album is an exciting prospect now we have really found our feet and are not under any restrictions.
Stig: I think there might have been a couple of ideas for tracks and riffs we didn't use in the end. Personally, I would rather listen to something with less songs but every one is up to par, if you know what I mean “no fillers.”
Turning away from the record for a moment, what are some unexpected musical discoveries you all have had in the last few years? It doesn't have to be a current band or artist, it could even be that you rediscovered a record you hadn't heard in many years.
JJ: Over the last few years I’ve listened to so much music and so many genres it’s hard to say. Currently, I’m liking a band called High Vis; great vibes. John Carpenter records, Goblin, '60s garage a lot of soundtrack-type stuff. I listen to anything regardless of genre if it’s good.
JP: I'm into anything that moves me really and I remain open to anything and everything. I'm a genre whore. I discovered Dead Can Dance through JJ whilst we were making the record. They really made me think differently about melodies and rhythms, etc. It was very unexpected but most welcomed.
Stig: I tend to listen to a lot of movie soundtracks when I'm not listening to music by bands. I think you can learn a lot from movie soundtracks about dynamics and emotion and also a bit of meditational music and frequencies.
Let Them Eat Fake is available now via Neurot Recordings.
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