by Erika Kellerman, Senior Communication and Media major.
Lucas Asher, Eric Scullin, Dimitri Farougias, and Christian Hogan make up Faulkner. The bi-coastal band from California and New York City has been together since 2013.
I was recently able to talk to Dimitri Farougias, the bass player and mastermind behind the bassline in Faulkner’s newest single “Hot Streak.” Farougias was born in a small town near Athens, Greece. He was 12 years old when he started playing music. “I was studying classical guitar when my friends asked me to join their small band” he said. He picked up a bass not long after that. “I never thought I’d be a bass player. I just grabbed one and thought okay this is it, this is what I want to do to. I’ve become a student of the craft. I’ve had to understand that there are layers to learning. You never stop learning.”
Farougias joined Faulkner in 2013. “We all met because of the LA music scene,” he said. “I knew Christian because of the Musicians Institute (music school) in Hollywood. It just so happened that Lucas hit both of us up. We started writing at the (original) Swing House and it felt really good. We had a lot of fun with it.”
His favorite part of being in Faulkner is having complete autonomy and freedom to do what he wants. “I bring what I want to bring to the table.”
Faulkner’s latest single “Hot Streak” was released on Oct. 26. The band recorded and produced the song with Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA.
The track took a few weeks to write. “We went back and forth with some ideas. Sometimes you lose track [of time]. We go in, we put some stuff down: bass lines, riffs, melodies- We don’t want to force anything. Nothing ever comes from forcing art,” Farougias said.
When asked how it was working with RZA, he replied: “He’s one of the most intelligent and incredible people we’ve ever had the chance to work with. He’s not just well versed in music, but in math, science, geography, etcetera and he applies all of it to the craft.”
RZA originally signed on to produce the song, but decided to join the entire process when he heard what Faulkner was working on. “He dropped a verse on it. We had a rough cut and sent it to him. He said nah I can do better. This can be better.” He added “ Saying ‘nah, this can be better’ instead of just letting it go speaks volumes about his dedication to the craft and his perfectionism. He’s a myth and a legend for a good reason.”
For the heavy bass line in the song, Farougias tried several. “Eric and Lucas will usually get together and make a backbone for the song. Then, I need to spend a decent amount of time alone with it. I listen to the beats and melody and see what I want to do.” Finally, they try all of the basslines live and choose the best one.
This single is different from any of the songs on Faulkner’s EP Revanchist.
“This song is a lot more happy and positive; a lot more danceable and poppy. It definitely deviates from the EP, which is darker and subversive.” The EP is retribution based, whereas Hot Take is quite the opposite. Farougias said that their songs are snapshots of their mental and psychological state at the time. The songs reflect how they felt and that is portrayed through the music.
Faulkner’s debut album is in the works and Farougias believes that Hot Streak is a teaser for it. “They [the fans] should definitely expect a sort of a turn from the theme [from the Revanchist EP to Hot Streak]. I think there’ll be a good balance between the album and the EP. The album is not a straight-up continuation from Revanchist.”
Billboard LGBTQ Letter:
Now more than ever, it is imperative that those with large platforms use their platforms for good; not taking advantage of their audience, not abusing the platform that they were given, and certainly not using their fame to exploit their fans. Without calling out the bad in our society, we don’t have a chance to see the good.
That being said, in June, Billboard asked various artists to pen “love letters” to the LGBTQ+ community. Halsey, Barbara Streisand, Brendon Urie, and Farougias were just a few that were apart of this group. “I hope it’s a guide for young people to speak up and make difference,” Farougias said.
“It was a hard for me to write,” he said. “I knew the people I grew up with were going to read it and I thought about it for a while- and there was only one conclusion- and it was,‘F*** it. I’m writing it.’” Farougias said it was uncomfortable for him in the beginning, but writing it was liberating.
“More people should not be afraid and use their many platforms to speak out on.” Farougias added, “They can make a difference and expose it now. We’re seeing it now with every single creepy guy. This male dominant harassment keeps getting worse, but I love this wave of exposure and disruption. Their reputations and bank accounts are ruined.”
Recently, there has been a wave of sexual assault allegations that came to light. Starting with Harvey Weinstein in the film industry, to Brand New’s Jesse Lacey, and now With Confidence’s Luke Rockets.
He adds,“I think it will basically have people thinking twice about doing this stuff. Just don’t do it. It’s not that difficult to be a good person. It’s called respect and consent. Look it up! It’s baffling, for me at least, to read these accounts. It’s like what’s wrong with you?”
Listen to their latest single “Hot Streak” here!
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