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Faith photo from Inside View #2
Interview with Faith from Thrillseeker 2. Thanks to Steve Kiviat for permission to reproduce it here!
On the Saturday afternoon of January 15, all five members of The Faith were kind enough to gather in the lead singer's bedroom so that we could talk with them. We are Steve Kiviat and Tony Lombardi. The Faith are Ivor Hanson (drums), Chris Bald (bass), Alec MacKaye (vocals), Michael Hampton (guitar), and Eddie Machete (guitar).
TS: How long have you been together?
Michael: We got together in July but we didn't start practicing until September, 1981.
Chris: So a year and some months.
TS: Where else have you guys played other than around here? Didn't you play in Connecticut?
Ivor: We played in Bridgeport, Conneticut. New York twice.
Michael: Three times, A7...
Ivor: A7--old and new, CBGB's.
Chris: Detroit on January 29. And hopefully Boston soon after that. That's it.
TS: What's the reaction been to you guys out-of-town?
Alec: Well, they seem glad...
Chris: They clap and dance...
Michael: They circle slam to us.
TS: How do you write songs? All together?
Chris: I write the words mostly.
Michael: I write the music mostly.
TS: What's YOU'RE X'D about? It's been criticized as being about enforcing straight edge.
Chris: It's not about one person but it's about people...
Eddie: That use it as an excuse.
Alec: People that say they like straight edge and say that only so..
Chris: They can get in with the 'cool' people.
Alec: Then when they're with people that drink and do all that shit and fuck around, then they do that. They don't want to go one way or the other.
Chris: It's something that's serious to us, so you have to make a point--take a stand, which is which. If these people aren't taking it seriously, fuck 'em.
TS: The first pressing of the record sold out, right? 3,000?
Michael: Yeah, they're gonna reprint it. Sold out in two weeks.
TS: (to Eddie) How long have you been playing with them?
Eddie: Since early November, first week in November. Debuted on January 2nd.
TS: Who came up with your name, The Faith?
Chris: All of us, sort of. We had all sorts of terrible names and then we decided...
Ivor: Explain why the name is the way it is, Alec.
Alec: It's a positive kind of sound, not negative like so many others. With the nihilistic thing, regressing and shit, we just thought it would be...
Chris: More fun to go forward, not backward.
TS: Where do you guys go to school?
Alec: Chris and I go to Wilson, he goes to GDS.
Michael: Georgetown High School.
Ivor: I graduated in '82 and I'm going to Vassar next year.
Eddie: I graduated from Wilson in '81 and I'm working at (???).
Ivor: I work at Bob's!
Chris: They're competitors. Competitors in ice cream right here within the band.
TS: What do you listen to?
Ivor: I listen to all kinds of music.
Chris: I won't say it cause they'll get mad at me... (laughter)
Alec: Goddam right.
Chris: I like Discharge, the Deviants, Siouxsie and the Banshees...uh, I wasn't supposed to say that...everything--anything that's good. Joy Division, Bauhaus, Flock of Seagulls...
Eddie: Soft Cell.
Michael: What band is Boy George in?
All: Culture Club!
Chris: I just got their new 12-inch, oh, it's good...
TS: You guys practice much?
Ivor: We practice on our own, I do...
Alec: Not me...I go into the bathroom and yodel.
Michael: The thing is we're kinda low on equipment so we have to play on other people's stuff. It's not your schedule, it's theirs.
Alec: Subject to other people's whims.
TS: Are you happy with how often you play or would you like to play more often?
Eddie: More often would be swell, if we could find a place.
Ivor: Actually, things go better if there are less shows.
Alec: Yeah, we wouldn't want to play every week or anything.
Michael: Twice a month.
Chris: Once a month would be pretty good.
Michael: At least regular.
TS: What are your favorite television shows?
Chris: "Three's Company" is real good--quality comedy.
Alec: Frolicking. It's poignant.
Chris: Intense drama. Boy, Mr. Ferly got fired from his job yesterday and they had to go up against Bart Ferly, his cruel brother...
Michael: You watched it?
Chris: Well, yeah, I did.
Ivor: "David Letterman"! 'Cept he has his off nights sometimes.
Eddie: "Private Secretary" is a great show. "Second City".
TS: What about radio? Do you listen to radio?
Chris: I listen to XTRA-104 [classic rock].
Alec: That's about the only thing I listen to.
Chris: I listen to DC-101 a lot [rock/top 40]. It's good--they play bad songs.
Ivor: The Q's alright--it depends on what kind of mood you're in, y'know.
Chris: 93-KYS [funk, rap, R&B, go-go].
TS: Are you sad about HFS [alternative rock] going all news?
Ivor: I like my news in stereo.
Alec: That sucks real bad, though. I admit I didn't listen to it that much but it was like the only station left.
Michael: They played our records. Milo.
TS: Do you read reviews of your record?
Alec: Yeah, definitely.
Ivor: People tend to compare the two sides of the record which is sort of dumb.
Chris: It gets me angered. I would have reviewed it as two seperate bands--not comparing--instead of saying "Oh, Void is so crazy and The Faith is just boring typical hardcore."
TS: Some of your songs are about people gossiping, do you still find a lot of that?
Chris: Always, you can never stop it.
Michael: There's always a lot of idiotic gossip when there's a lot of teenagers.
Alec: Not even teenagers. You ever hear your mother talk about her friends? The teachers at my school all have this big thing going on in their teachers' lounge, it's the same thing.
Michael: There's a lot of it in the punkers' scene.
Chris: A lot of it in any scene.
TS: Have you guys ever seen Trouble Funk?
Alec: Like to. They used to play every Wednesday night a block away at the Paragon II. Ian and Henry and a whole bunch of people went to see them one night and some kid got killed--an 18 year old kid got shot. Shit like that happens. Chris: I've driven through after a show.
Alec: I used to walk through that shit. A lot of those bands, like Mass Extinction, are supposed to be anti-drug in their songs but it's supposedly a big farce, they're really into it and shit. They played at my school and like four people got stabbed. So I don't know, I don't know what the deal is.
Chris: That's what happens when everything gets so big. There's no way a band can have any influence over an audience.
Alec: I know but I've heard that in their songs they say "Don't fuck with drugs" but off-stage they do it.
TS: Are you ever going to write songs about politics?
Chris: All our lyrics are personal--I don't know that much about what's going on in politics and I don't really care to know. So all I can really write about is things that influence me in my life.
Alec: It all depends on what happens, if it's something that really comes down to affect us...
Chris: Whatever influences our lives is what we write about.
Alec: Not about the other shit that happens. People going to Russia, to have a peace talk, nothing ever happens...Afghanistan--I don't know what's going on in Afghanistan...
Michael: We have a song called SALT NOW. (laughter)
TS: What are your favorite movies?
Chris: Right now - "King of Hearts", "Gallipoli" is pretty good, "Breaker Morant" is pretty good...
Michael: "Blackboard Jungle"--that's great.
Chris: "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed".
Alec: "The Trial of Billy Jack".
TS: Ever seen "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"?
Alec: Yeah, that's another one.
Chris: Great, great.
TS: "The Road Warrior"?
Chris: Yeah, he's in "Gallipoli".
TS: Mel Gibson.
Chris: Yeah, he's great. Mel Gibson is my favorite actor now. "The Road Warrior" is great.
Faith photo by Leslie Clague. Photo was used in Thrillseeker #2 and Touch and Go #21.
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