A toast to an iconic career, “Faithless 2.0” is a special record. It is a record that signifies longevity, success, truth, and innovation in music. 20 years ago, in July of 1995, British trio Faithless’ debut single “Salva Mae(Save Me)” was released. It peaked at #9 on the UK charts and #1 on the US Dance chart. Since then, Faithless has been responsible for a number of undeniable classics such “Insomnia”, “We Come 1”, “Mass Destruction”, and “God is a DJ”. They have sold over 15 million records in their career.
With “Faithless 2.0”, Faithless is connecting the dots between the past, present, and future. Featuring remixes from massive acts like Tiesto, Avicii, and Armin Van Buuren to newer faces like Autograf, and British band, Until The Ribbon Breaks.
Driven by the bands massive draw and international success, the trio sold out Alexandra Palace (10,200 capacity) in 50 minutes. No small feat in any scenario. This is part of a 7 date run which will be the groups’ first European performances in 4 years. They also headlined BBC Radio 1’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations in Ibiza.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Sister Bliss to chat on the groups’ success, inspirations, and collaborations.
DB: First of all congratulations, and its an honor to be chatting with you on your release. This is a special year for you and your group after an iconic career. How does it feel?
Its been an amazing journey so far, and fantastic that the album has gone in at Number 1 – it seems we were missed!
DB: Excited to be back on the road?
Very much so – the show feels really revitalised as we have some new musicans in the line up, and feels as fresh and relevant as ever – as we have also drawn inspiration from some of the remixes on the 2.0 album for our live versions.
The crowds have just been phenomenal at all the festivals we played – we even won an award for ‘Best Live Electronic act in Ibiza” at the World DJ Awards, and one of our performances – this summer at Exit festival – was immortalized in the new video for Insomnia 2.0 so you can get an idea of how fantastic the shows have been and the reactions to them right there!
DB: I want to touch on the past a bit. “Insomnia”, “Tarantula”, “Bombs”, “Don’t leave”… What strikes me most is the incredible and substantial lyricism of these songs. “So much more than I thought this world could ever hold” “I drain the color from the sky and turn blue without you” What was your lyrical process? Any particular inspiration you’d like to share?
Lyrics for anything Maxi raps are his domain- and they are often influenced by his Buddhist perspective and philosophy on life.
We always felt there was space for great lyrics in the context of dance music, and it was a bit of a neglected area within the genre, given how affecting and emotive much of dance music, and the club experience can be. We were very lucky that Maxi’s poetic vibe, and versatility meant that he was up for infusing his words with meaning, and it fitted so well with the genre- crossing music we make – in fact, when I am writing music I often have Maxi in mind and think about how his voice and style of lyrics would work over it.
DB: It’s safe to say “Insomnia” has become a massive track. The synth bit at the end is heard at almost every festival worldwide. Did you foresee the success of the track at the beginning?
No we absolutely had no idea it would capture people’s imaginations to the global level it did – it was almost naive – as these early days of music making often are. The track was written to ‘balance’ the other big club track on our first album ” Reverence” – that song was “Salva Mea’ – the first track we ever recorded together -which was very epic and uncompromising and probably quite undanceable!
“Insomnia” was intended as a sister track to that, for the “B” side of the album.
DB: I really love Armin’s remix of “We Come 1” as well as Until The Ribbon Breaks version of “ Don’t Leave”. Are there any particularly special tracks to you on the record?
I think Above and Beyond’s remix of Salva Mea really honours the original, and puts a cool contemporary twist on it – and they have played it to thousands of their fans including Madison Square Gardens who seem to agree! I also love Purple Disco Machine’s take on ‘ Miss U Less, See U More” – its just so funky!
But it is hard to pick a favourite- its all about the mood you’re in!
DB: Tell me more about the “Don’t Leave” remix. Very different sound, how did you go about picking the artist?
We love Until the Ribbon Breaks fresh sound, and have collaborated with him on some music, and they suppported us on a couple fo European shows just after coming off the London Grammar tour – so we felt they could really bring their Future r&b twist to this song – they are getting some real radio attention in the US now so we are very proud! And they are coming to support us once again on our sold out UK and European Arena Tour in November.
DB: In your downtime you’ve performed as Faithless Sound System, Can we expect any stripped down performances in the near future?
Not as far as I know!
DB: Obviously you’ve seen and been a part of many stages and evolutions in dance music. Where is it going next?
Its impossible to say – the future is moving so fast!
I think people have such incredible creativity, and technology is only getting cheaper and more accessible – so almost anything is possible – perhaps there will be some crazy hybrids involving 3D printing and music making technology- maybe you will be able to print your own turntables, and soundsystem, even printing your own pop up club venues to appear at ??!
Incredible ideas from an incredible mind. I can only imagine what more is in store for this trio. You can purchase “Faithless 2.0” Here.