INTERVIEW WITH FACED
Coming in strong with II COMING
By Stephanie Stevens
A Solid and strong band coming out of NY has just graced my earholes, FACED is turning up the volume with their newest album entitled “II COMING”.
The band is made up of founding members Jordan Simpson on guitar, Paul Burk on bass, Jay Matthews on drums who came together in 2017 and then quickly made Phil Loupin the energy induced singer of the band.
FACED is creating intense and driving elements with “II COMING” and were able to work with masterminds Howie Weinberg (mastering) and Sterling Winfield (mixing) who brought the vision of the band alive and that not only know their craft but have worked with many heavy hitters like Metallica, Pantera. Damage Plan and King Diamond.
‘POWER AND STRENGTH’ is the platform single off the disc and the guys just did a live performance video to display the hard-hitting synergy and fire the track has.
I had a chance to chat with Jordan about the band’s formation, working with people who have worked with his inspirations and much more.
Q: Tell me how FACED came together back in 2017 and how would you define your sound?
A: Me and Jason the drummer was writing and jamming and recording for years. We needed a front man to hold down vocal duties and that’s when we came across Phil. We met him years ago but at that time he was in another band. We crossed paths again and I showed him some stuff we worked on and he put some vocal tracks on some demo and instantly we knew he was the dude. He recruited his friend Steve to play bass on our first CD. On the 2nd one we recruited Paul for bass duties.
Q: From looking at your influences, it ranges from hardcore and punk to hard rock and metal. Two different lifestyles that also fit together. What have you learnt from each other musically when you have a broad sense of music influences in one band?
A: I learned having a frontman allows you to do more. Not just musically but live as well. Stage presence is huge. With Phil he just commands the audience. He entertains the audience which is amazing. We all have so many different types of music that influence us, so we just create this melting pot of metal. As long as we all like it we go for it. We don’t follow trends or what’s popular. We just play music that makes us feel good.
Q: “II COMING” is your newest release and I see you have posted it in entirety to youtube. Was there a reasoning for this and have you guys made actual discs for purchase or are you sticking with the digital age?
A: We just wanted to get it out there. In the middle of the pandemic people are broke and hurting financially wise. Including us. It’s a tough time because usually we play out a lot and sell merch. We truly miss it. But if it was about the money, we would have hung it up a long time ago. Faced is totally about the love of the music. We just want the music to be heard and fly the flag of metal. Carry the torch so to speak. But if someone wants to help out funding the next album, they can buy the album on any major streaming services.
Q: How do you feel your band has grown from your first release to this one and what surprised you about the growth when you all began writing?
A: I feel we have some more groove hardcore elements to the band. Also, there is a ballad on there as well which is new for us The 2nd album was pretty much already writing by me and Jason. Just as the first record. So, coming into the 3rd album we are getting all the guys to throw it into the mix and really get all 4 cylinders moving and we can already see the results and we are very excited about that.
Q: A cool thing with this album is for mixing and mastering you worked with people who have worked with your metal role models. Was that something that was focused on when looking for people or did it just happen by chance?
A: Well, I record all our band’s music at our studio. I tried to mix and master it but me being the perfectionist I am was never happy with my own mixes. The other guys were like yeah it sounds great but sometimes you have to be the bigger man and admit someone can do better. So, I reached out to Sterling Winfield who we have been friends with for a few years and he decided to take us on because I knew he was the dude who could make it come to life. He’s one of the best in the business. He’s worked with everyone from Pantera, Damageplan, Hellyeah to King Diamond. I tried not to fan boy too hard about it and just keep it real, ya know. Cause I’m sure everyone out there drives him nuts with that stuff. So, when we got the final mixes in, we needed to find someone to master it. I decided to call Howie Weinberg and I thought he would just blow me off because he has worked with some of the greatest artists in the world. But to my surprise he was very down to earth and so cool to me. We had some great conversation and decided to make it happen. Yes, this whole experience was a dream come true. But I try to stay humble and not let it get to my head. We are very lucky to have the right people at the right time making us sound the best we can be.
Q: Each studio time are you the type of band that really looks at it as another way to learn something to increase growth? If so, this time around, what do you feel you walked away from after “II COMING” was done?
A: Every day we try to grow in the studio and in the jam room. Always trying to push further ahead. This time when II coming mixed and mastered we felt very proud of this album.
Q: I loved the tracks ‘POWER AND STRENGTH’ and ‘CITIZEN ZERO’. Can you give us a small insight on how these songs came to life and what they mean to you?
A: ‘Power And Strength’ is like the anthem song. Kinda like our version of ‘Eye Of The Tiger’. I could see a boxer or even a wrestler using that song as an entry into the ring. LOL!
As for ‘Citizen Zero’ that was a total experimental song that just grew and grew. Me and Jay just jammed the riffs in the studio and Phil slapped some lyrics on it and Paul added bottom sick low end and boom it was alive.
Q: I heard you guys are dropping a new video. For which song and what kind of video can we look for conceptually with live shots etc and who shot the video for you?
A: The new video, being our first one, is for the song ‘Power And Strength’. It’s a live action shot video of us throwing down on the stage. It’s a mirror of what you would see at a live show, is the best description. It will be on our YouTube channel and our band Facebook page on Dec 1st. It was created by our awesome friend and supporter Nick Dicocco. He reached out to us to do a video and we were all onboard. He is very talented and a great guy.
Q: Back in summer you guys did a really cool livestream for CHROME tell us what that is and why it was important to raise money for it?
A: The Chrome is a great venue here in upstate New York that have treated us like family. So, when we heard they were being put up for sale we asked if there was anything we could do to help. So, a few bands started live-streaming there to help raise money to save the venue.
Q: Being from NY and seeing what kind of chaos has ensued in 2020 especially with the music industry and the community, where do you see this crucial piece of life, that is music, headed in your opinion and if fans can do anything, what would you tell them to do for the community?
A: The music industry is hurting so bad here right now. If people dont start donating to these venues to keep them open it will head to less places for everyone to play out. I know it’s a tough time but please donate to your favourite venues. The Government isn’t doing anything to help them.
Q: What made you decide a life of being a musician was what you wanted to do and has your decision on this changed through the years?
A: We all do this for the Love of the music. No regrets at all. We all eat, breathe and sleep music.
Q: When and if live shows come back to play where is the first place you wanna play and what three bands would you want to play with?
A: At this point anywhere. Just to get back out there and do our thing. We really miss it.
Q: What do you hope people walk away with after getting to know your band and your music?
A: We hope that people will enjoy the music and know we work our ass off to bring you fresh new tunes and albums. We hope they will come out and party with us when we come to town and bring their friends to check us out.
Q: Empower another artist and tell us why they inspire you?
A: To many to count. There are so many artists out there that inspire the whole band. The spectrum of music we all listen to is so wide and varies so many genres. I can speak- for myself (JORDAN) My greatest inspiration on guitar was DIMEBAG!!!! He will inspire me forever. (HAIL THE KING).
CONNECT WITH THE BAND:
Power And Strength (Official Video)
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