Todd Fink, the lead singer in the Faint, a veteran indie punk rock band outta Omaha that performs at House of Blues on Thursday, originally thought he’d become a pro skateboarder. But when knee problems derailed his career path, he took up music in its place. That was in 1995. Looking back on it, he says he had no idea then that the band would have such staying power.
“I don’t think I thought one thing or the other,” he says when asked about his original intentions in forming the band. “What I really thought was that I didn’t know how much longer I could ride a skateboard. I probably figured that we could do a band that we would like eventually if we kept doing it. We feel lucky to be in the position that we’re in.”
After a hiatus of sorts, the band returned last month with Doom Abuse, another collection of gritty synthesizer-driven songs. Tunes such as “Dress Code,” for example, draw upon the jittery New Wave of acts such as Devo.
“They were the first band I was impressed with conceptually,” says Fink when asked about Devo. “Their whole way of seeing and being and the thing that is Devo and all the contradictions I was fascinated with as a young record fan in the ’80s. I found out about them like everybody else—through ‘Whip It.’ It’s just a great song. Even the video for that song is amazing. At the same time, I don’t feel like we’re stylistically very close very often. I think when we’re making music, it’s pretty rare that we find something that sounds like too much like a specific band. If it’s too much like something else or too similar to a specific riff, we don’t go there.”
The band recorded the album at its Omaha studio that doubles as a rehearsal space.
“We can set up mikes and have practice and just press record whenever we want,” says Fink. “That was handy this time around. We would go, ‘That was pretty good, did you tape it? Yeah? Okay. We’ll just clean it up in the studio and that’s that.’ With this record, we were just basically starting to play again. We took so much time off and didn’t know if we would ever play again. We’d been away for a few years. Once we were all on the same page, we were excited to make new music. It was that excitement of being a band again. It was like the early days. We wanted it to feel like that. We didn’t want to get bogged down by overthinking everything and worrying about whatever bands worry about when they make music.”
The band has always toured with cool visuals and this trek, though a low budget affair since the band now self-releases its music, will be no different.
“We’re in the process of [putting together the visuals now],” Fink says. “We have a lot of ideas for things we wanted to do and realized we couldn’t afford any of those ideas. We found something that we’re going to make work. I think it should be pretty cool.”
Fink says he hopes the fans that used to attend the Faint shows return to check them out again.
“I’ve been impressed over the years by seeing the crowd stay young,” he says. “There are older fans that come out and there are always newer ones but even the older ones have a youthfulness to them. It feels about the same all the time. It feels good.”