It’s hard to believe that it's been 11 years since Omaha indie-electronic outfit the Faint released Danse Macabre. The group's third release, Danse Macabre was the perfect blend of danceable and accessible New Wave electro pop paired with aggressive synths and dark, ominous tones of experimental dance-punk. The album took cues from the post-punk greats of the late '70s, yet managed to create something so ahead of its time. The album spawned singles such as “Glass Danse,” “Agenda Suicide” and “Let The Poison Spill From Your Throat” that became indelible fixtures of the Faint’s iconography and have ignited dance parties ever since.
11 years later, Danse Macabre has been re-issued by the Omaha indie heavyweight Saddle Creek Records (the group’s original label). To honor and celebrate all things Danse Macabre, the Faint has hit the road to play the album in its entirety. The tour will bring the Faint to San Diego for a show at House of Blues on Nov. 20. However, this tour isn’t the Faint merely reliving its glory days. According to frontman Todd Fink, the tour is a collision of celebrating the band’s history while focusing on its future through the release of new material and the development of a new record.
“We came back together to make new music but we wanted to get out on tour and it makes sense with the reissue,“ said Fink in an interview with SoundDiego. “A handful of songs we never really played live, so in some sense it's new to us. But its been fun to learn those songs -- I think they turned out really cool.”
The show will present the tracks in order of their appearance on the vinyl edition. Although Danse Macabre is chock full of live Faint mainstays like “Agenda Suicide” and “Glass Danse,” Fink has found new life in many of the tracks that haven’t always been setlist mainstays.
“I’m really enjoying the track 'Total Job.' We’ve played it live before but it was so long ago I don’t remember who played what or what it sounded like,” said Fink. “We’ve also never played the song 'Violent' live before. That one has a different feel than the other songs that we’ve played before -- it goes through some pretty different phases. We’ve discovered it's a really fun song to play live.”
Revisiting Danse Macabre proved to be a prime experience for the Faint to not only gain new perspective on its old material, but to get a grasp on what direction the band is headed in for its new material.
“Learning these old songs and getting back together after a couple of years to relearn the stuff we had been playing, songs we hadn’t usually played live, we came back to it with a new perspective on what was working and what was not working with the older stuff,” said Fink. “Before hiatus we were too close to the material to see it, but after learning all our songs again, we had an idea about the aspects we liked of the older stuff and how to mix our current musical interest with stuff that we liked from the past.
The Faint has been relatively quiet since the release of its 2008 album Fasciinatiion, but its members have remained active in music. “We’ve spent time over the last few years DJing a lot and working on other people’s records” said Fink. The group’s collective following of rock and electronic genres as well as the retooling of its old material with the Danse Macabre tour have made it evident to Fink what is to come for the Faint with future material. “I think there is space right now for what music we think should exist. I can’t find much of it and it tells me what kind of music we should make.”
After the tour, the Faint will return home to Omaha to work on its next record. “I cant wait to get home and write new stuff. We love playing live and we are really excited to keep touring but we’re really excited about writing and recording.”
With a grasp on the past and extensive ammunition toward what the future holds, the Faint shows no signs of stopping. With this revamping of old material, it makes the wait that much more exciting to see what's to come from the next LP. To hold fans over until then, a special, vinyl-exclusive (no iTunes for this one) 12-inch of entirely new material will be available exclusively at the show, referred to as Previsions.
The Faint will take the stage alongside Trust and Casket Girls at House of Blues on Nov. 20.