The rebirth, the vision and the journey of supergroup Faint on Call

We had the chance to speak to members of the supergroup, Faint on Call. Scroll down to read up on what they had to say.

Hello there guys, thank you for getting with me today so we can chat about your band! Presently who are the members of the band and how long have you been together? Please tell us your background in music for each member — I know it is quite impressive!

  • FOC: Cristian Hernandez was a founding member of the band ONESIDEZERO and has worked with countless artists in Mexico, the Bay Area and Los Angeles as both a bass player and an audio engineer. Tobias Hawkins is the original drummer for the Counting Crows. He’s also fronted for bands such as Laundry, The Girlfriend Experience and Matadore. Art McConnell is currently based out of New England but has maintained a busy schedule as a drummer-for-hire doing sessions and touring for notable bands such as The New Up, Felsen and Matadore, and David Rodriguez born in Celaya, Mexico is a guitarist. We are all ready for 2023!
Photo by Jorge Cazares

Wow, you guys are busy! How did you meet and initiate the band? And what inspired you to name your band ” Faint On Call?”

  • Cris and Art have known each other the longest and have been trading song ideas back and forth using the Spire app. Once the tracks were at a point where they needed vocals. Art contacted his old friend from Matadore, singer Tobias Hawkins, and everything just seemed to click so well that Cris and Toby wrote over 30 more songs in 30 weeks! This band has a backlog of material and it was difficult for us to collectively settle on 12 songs for our debut album. The name came from just throwing some words together and this combo seemed to jump out at us.

Did the COVID pandemic inspire this band even more so? How did it affect you? I heard that the lockdown was a part of the inspiration for this band?

  • Lockdown forced musicians everywhere to look for new ways of remaining creative. We have all loved being in bands together at different points in our life and the lockdown gave Art a chance to link together his favorite musicians from over the years of playing music in the Bay Area.

Your band is releasing singles right now produced by Sylvia Massy, who has worked with Taylor Hawkins, Tool, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Melvins, and many more! Please tell us how this amazing situation happened!

  • Tobias had worked with Sylvia in his old band and we had all heard of her previous work. When Toby suggested reaching out to Sylvia we shyly sent our demo for “Pearl” and our idea of recording in a 300 year old hacienda in Central Mexico. She loved the demo and the idea of converting the hacienda into an amazing studio.

What musicians would you like to tour with?

  • All of the good ones or at the very least the fun ones! The Who, Failure, Hum would be my pick or any that would have us! We love to tour!

Being that you guys are all from amazing bands, have you ever thought about collaborations with other artists?

  • We’ve never discussed it but we’re all friendly chaps and can play well with others!

Your recording time you talked about the hummingbirds and your album cover. Will you tell us the story behind this inspiration?

  • Our studio was in a pretty rural part of Mexico. We’d awaken to the sounds of farm animals, chicken, goats, donkeys, etc. There were also parrots and bats! Right outside of our tracking room during the initial days of tracking Art’s drums we found a small nest right outside of our door. After a day or two we noticed eggs! We would check in on the nest occasionally while being careful not to disturb the tiny avian inhabitants. Around the last day of tracking, the chicks began hatching, hungry and sounded happy! It’s as if these birds were nurtured by our music and born as our album was being born!
Artwork by Sylvia Massy

Wow! What a unique experience. Which are your three favorite songs to perform that the band has created?

  • “Linda,” because it is so epic in nature and our little nod to Led Zeppelin. “The Pessimist,” it’s everything this band represents musically; dynamics, nasty riffs and crushing drums. “Pearl,” it was our first song, has a great hook and it’s the one that got the ball rolling for us. And before we even thought of involving Toby, I stole the drum beat from the Counting Crows song “Anna Begins.”

What does the future look like for the band? Touring plans for 2023?

  • Mostly more writing and trying to figure out a way to get this band in front of people in a way that makes sense for all of us and our families. Touring will happen.

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the music industry?

  • One of the most challenging things if not infuriating is there aren’t any real rules to this industry. It’s not like professionalism and ethics are rewarded or even valued by the industry. However, if you strip music making down to just making great art and sharing it with your friends that can be just as great a reward as any. We love being connected to so many artists through one way or another. What we have learned is that the really great ones are typically really great people too! Not always BUT most of the time. We have yet to meet a successful artist that did not have an unbelievable drive/work ethic along with a vision.

Watching and listening to your music and mini docs, I see how driven your band is and very centered. What is the message you would say to the world about your music ?

  • Our experiences are what make us and the times we’ve survived or grinded through are what makes us interesting and gawd DAMN this album sounds great!! Songs, sounds, words, grooves; it’s all there.

Is there an inspirational thought or words you can send to other inspiring artists out there that grind it out and want this as their career? Words of advice?

  • Always be learning, keep it fun, don’t over complicate and be consistent.

It’s exciting to see super groups come together and create something fresh and new! Their new album has evolved into this creation of awesomeness and perhaps an awakening on this new path; for all of them. Listening to their music took me away to another time, to a place I felt empowered and strong. Their album cover, designed by producer Sylvia Massy, and their logo say it all. During their recording, two baby hummingbirds were born outside of their practice space, as it was supposed to happen and became a part of them forever. Being a spiritual Meso-american myself, I had to add this; the hummingbird is a sacred bird that holds high regard to positivity, strength, and hopefulness: and the essence of a warrior. These gentlemen are focused, and ready to conquer! I can’t wait to see what is in store for these driven artists !

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