Faithless Town with Gene Owens - 10 Questions Music Interview
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
Faithless Town is an American rock band led by singer-songwriter Gene Owens. Formed in Atlanta and now based in Los Angeles, the band has consisted of several line-ups. Current members hail from both the East and West Coast. On the East Coast, the band is made up of Owens (lead vocals, guitar), Matthew Smith (guitar, backing vocals), Geoff Goodwin (keyboards), Tyler Sant (bass guitar), and husband and wife Padrick (drums) and Kristine Handley (backing vocals, percussion). And on the West Coast, the members are Owens (lead vocals, guitar), Andy Meixner (guitar), David Walker (bass), and Thomas "Tommy" Zamorano (drums, backing vocals). Funded by fans through a successful Kickstarter campaign, their first full-length album, American Refugee (2012) featured the single “Ghosts of my Hometown” which received FM radio play throughout the American Southeast. Branching out from their Americana Rock roots, Faithless Town’s new record, EMPIRES, is an eclectic album ranging in music styles as diverse as 80’s Pop and New Wave to Folk and Grunge. EMPIRES was released Feb. 21st 2020 on Spectra Music Group.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
When I was in middle school someone gave me a copy of the first Doors album. It blew my mind and I would spend hours listening to the dark, weirdness of that record. That, combined with seeing Nirvana's MTV Unplugged performance inspired me to start writing and performing music.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Getting signed to a record deal with Spectra Records and then a month after our album drops (February 21,2020) a global "pandemic" strikes causing live entertainment and the music industry to come to a screeching halt. Yikes!
What has been the high point of your music path?
Getting to play both the Viper Room and Whisky a Go Go. Those were both bucket list venues for me and we've been fortunate enough to scratch both of those off the list.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I usually start writing on an acoustic guitar. The chords and rhythm come together and then I start hearing a vocal melody. That melody then takes shape with lyrics and the song begins to reveal itself. Songs are mysteries. They want to be solved and the songwriter acts as detective to put together the pieces. Sometimes, like in the case of our new single "What I'm Dreaming Of", I will set out with a specific theme or narrative in mind. For that song, I set out with the goal of writing a modern day unity song, something to bring people together and spread a message of love and understanding to combat this state of extreme polarization that we currently find ourselves in.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I think the internet promised us the democratization of media and the leveling of the playing field, but really we see that the big label acts are still the ones that dominate the industry. Everyone having access to recording via their computers has led to an over saturated market and it's a challenge to stand out and grab people's attention. Though it's not realistic, I would ask the industry to go back to physical sales. Streaming services offer very little income for artists even if they generate millions of streams. I think the industry has responded to the consumers and consumers think they should be able to get music for free and that mentality needs to change.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
The Boss! Bruce! But yea seriously, I'm a huge Springsteen fan and it would be a dream come true to share the stage with him and the E Street Band. We once got to open for Jake Clemons (saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and nephew of Clarence Clemons) and that was pretty epic. Rumor has it, that Bruce was in the crowd and may caught our set. We rocked out our version of his classic "Atlantic City". Hopefully he approved.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
We usually run through the songs in our set and if there's time we will work on new material or jam on a cover song or two.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
"God's Love" off of our newest album EMPIRES was a challenge. I had the chorus part for years but I could never figure out where the song went next. Then years later, thinking I was writing a new song, I came up with the verse. I put the two parts together and voila the song was finished. It only took like ten years.
What's coming up in the future?
As soon as this Covid craziness settles we're hoping to tour in support of the Spectra release of our record EMPIRES. We also have a whole new album's worth of material written so we'll be heading into the studio eventually to record that.
Tell us where fans can access your music?