Tonight, UK buzz band fiN (spelled with a capital “N”) takes the stage at the Viper Room for night one of a two-night West Coast showcase on The Sunset Strip. Backed by multi-platinum powerhouse Muse, the indie-pop quartet are poised to take the States, and the rest of the stagnant rock world, by storm, releasing one 7” single at a time.
Midway through their stateside journey to The Sunset Strip, fiN frontman Luke Joyce sent word from SXSW of the band’s musical conquests, reminisced about “drunken jams” and explained why “life is wasted on the living.”
How’s SXSW? Did it live up to the hype?
SXSW is everything we imagined and more... Playing on rooftops never gets old. It’s hot, sweaty and a lot of fun.
What I love most about it is the “walk up and play” mentality. It keeps you on your toes and pushes you to perform at your best under pressure. The most exciting moment for me was our official show case at the British Music Embassy. It’s a brilliant venue!
Going with a predominantly instrumental track as your first single was a pretty bold move. What was the thought process?
We wrote "The Artisan" in a drunken jam one night; in this old box-shaped house. It was one of those songs that just came out naturally, without too much thought. Often they end up being your best tracks.
It is one of our favorite songs on the album, and we decided that it showcases what fiN is really about. It seemed like the most logical track to put out first. We've had a positive reaction from it.
How did you hook up with Muse? What’s the back story?
Dominic [Howard], the drummer from Muse, is always looking for new bands. He's got such a large appetite for music; it's brilliant!
He came down to our first single release party and was very complimentary. Dominic is such a lovely guy.
Seems the band draws a lot of influences from ’90s grunge and alternative bands. Have you had the opportunity to meet any of your musical heroes from that era? Any good stories?
Nirvana is a huge influence on me; they are the reason why I picked up a guitar...
I was lucky enough to meet Dave Grohl four years ago, backstage at the Reading Festival. It was a very special moment for me.
The band’s website, LifeIsWastedOnTheLiving.com, not the most traditional of URLs. Care to explain?
Actually, the website is named after our song of the same title. I was trying to write a song about living for the moment, embracing those opportunities in life that pass you by. What that quote says, encapsulates that for me. I see it as a positive statement. Our record is all about positivity.
Does success in the States feel somehow more meaningful or legit than success at home?
America is so big compared to the UK... When I first got here, I couldn't get over the size of everything! To break America would be a massive deal for any band, especially us.
You’re playing two shows on The Sunset Strip at the infamous Viper Room. Does this hold any significance and/or meaning for the band?
This will be our first time in L.A. I’ve always dreamt of seeing The Sunset Strip, let alone playing The Viper Room. It’s always been seen as this place where the movie stars and rock stars hang out…
It will be an exciting experience to finally see it all in person!
fiN plays tonight, March 21, and Friday, March 23 at The Viper Room. Contact the venue for times and ticket prices. www.viperroom.com
--Brent X Mendoza, @brentXmendoza