Swedish Rockers HONG FAUX
Return with HELLO NEPTUNE
Interview by The Dedicated Rocker Society
Ever since Hong Faux‘s very first recorded notes started their journey from blog to blog, to magazines, and finally all the way to the radio, people have tried to label the music and try to figure out the meaning of the band’s name. The band is made up, Nik Seren on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Johan Bergqvist on bass and backing vocals, Bjorn Billgren on lead guitar and Daniel Israelsson on drums
First things first. A London promoter called it “Old school super sludgy riffology with blues wailin’ vox”. Listening to the songs “Present Tense-Less” and “Bad City Blues” on the debut EP (released in November 2010) it would be foolish to argue against such a statement. On the other hand you’ll also find the sound that brought together four guys with very diverse musical tastes and backgrounds. One of the things the band members all dig on the same level is the harder bands that came out of Seattle in the early nineties. So, all put together, with a few added ingredients, you get the heavy stoner riff galore with strong melodic vocal parts that honor the harmonic complexity of the grunge era.
The buzz around the EP had the band members packing their bags as the first tour they ever did took place in the UK. Returning to their native Sweden, more shows were to follow, where they played venues and festivals with Sweden’s top, heavy rock bands like Graveyard and Mustasch.
The single ”Feign Death to Stay Alive”, that followed the debut EP, is a heavy rock anthem that broadens the Hong Faux concept even further. So far the song has made it into the radio airwaves in four European countries and college radio in North America, generating a strong following of fans. The single earned Hong Faux the title “Immense new band of 2012″ when British Classic Rock Magazine recently hand-picked who and what their readers should look into during 2012. The song was featured on the CD that came with the February issue.
Almost to the day a year after the first EP came out, the full length album 'The Crown That Wears the Head', pressed on heavy black vinyl only, saw its first release in a limited run of LPs. The album contains eight tracks that takes the listener on a 33 minutes long rollercoaster ride through epic sceneries, fuzzy riffarama and soaring vocals to the pounding sound of some very big Ludwig drums and heavy bass lines.
In 2014 the band signed with Swedish label Razzia Notes and two new records will be released this year. Before long everyone will know the meaning of HONG FAUX.
On April 4th the band will release new music in the form of 'Hello Neptune' a six song EP that is just the tip of the iceberg of bigger and better things to come! Hong Faux's bassist Johan Bergqvist was kind enough to shed some light on the new album, the band, their influences, Angry Birds and more. Here's what He shared with us...
Q: What was your approach, as far as musical direction, in the making of, 'Hello Neptune'?
"We kind of found out what kind of band we were with the first record, "The Crown that Wears the Head". When we went back into the writing process again after having toured with those songs, we felt that we should continue on the same path and refine our sound more as well as focus more on the production. The arrangements are more elaborate and we've wanted to create a richer sound this time around."
Q: The album features six songs. Is it more of an EP? Is there a full album on the way? By the way, what is, "ATS"?
"Well, it's a collection of songs that we wanted to get out there now. It doesn't matter whether you call it an album or an EP or a mini-album or whatever. Since people mostly tend to listen to songs rather than albums nowadays, we're not too worried about the categorization of this record. However, there is what you would call a full length LP in the works right now, and it's slated for release in October of this year. "Hello Neptune" is a taste of what's to come on the LP and the new direction we're taking. Most of the songs on this release were meant for the album, but since we've been playing a lot of those songs live already we felt that it made sense to put them out ahead of the album release and continue writing new material while we're in a good place creatively. As for ATS, the answer's right there in the lyrics :)"
Q: Where was the video for, "Coming Through The Rye" shot? Any memorable moments, good or bad, in the making of the video?
"The video was shot in a couple of different locations in and around Stockholm. Our rehearsal space served as the set for the band shots. When we were out scouting locations for the outdoor shots we were out in the woods and it was pitch dark and freezing cold. Our drummer Daniel was in charge of lighting the flares that we were planning on using. Since he didn't have any previous experience handling them got a bit careless when he was swinging them around and one of them accidentally started dripping on his hand. It burned him pretty bad and left a crater between two knuckles. The air was filled with a scent of barbecued meat! He didn't suffer any permanent damage though, luckily!"
Q: Will you be playing of major music festivals this Summer? Any plans of coming over to America for some shows?
"We will definitely visit some festivals this summer here in Europe. We don't have any plans to play in the US but it's something we'd really love to do in the near future."
Q: What goals have you set for yourselves to achieve in 2014?
"The main goal is to make the best rock album of 2014 and to hopefully continue reaching new audiences in new territories. In April we're doing eleven dates together with D-A-D, and those will be our biggest shows yet. We want those shows to be the best we've ever done so another big goal we've set for ourselves is to create a tighter and more professional live show."
Q: Who are your musical influences?
"We all come from very different musical backgrounds, which I think is a big strength. You're gonna get different answers from everyone in the band, but we have a few common denominators like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Guns N' Roses, Kyüss, Neil Young, Fu Manchu... I myself have mostly been playing and writing pop music for the past decade or so, so I'm heavily influenced by bands like The Posies, Weezer, Jellyfish, Fountains of Wayne, Mike Viola, Big Star, The Beatles and the like. What's so great about being in this band is that we're all able to bring our influences into the mix when we're writing, which makes for a fun creative process and often than not an interesting end result."
Q: For someone hearing or about Hong Faux for the first time. How would you describe the band? Where did the name of the band come from?
"We're a heavy rock band. We're mixing the heavy riffs from the 70's with the melodies and sound of the 90's and dressing the songs up in a suit from the 2010's. As for the band name, we like to keep people guessing :)"
Q: What do you guys like doing when your not recording or touring? Any particular hobbies?
"Hobbies? Who's got time for hobbies?! Kidding aside, we all like reading. I love playing computer games, even though I don't really have time to do it these days. But I play a lot of Angry Birds in the tour bus!"
Q: Any parting comments or messages you'd like to pass along?
"Come out to the shows and have a beer with us! We don't hide backstage after we've played; we love to meet people that are as passionate about music as we are."
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