When The Faceless played the Whisky in 2004 with a D.C. band called Reflux, guitarist Michael Keene recalls a misfortune. “I remember [Evan Brewer] got robbed that night,” he laughs, reminiscing on a show that marked a turning point in the band’s career.
At a time when The Faceless was playing in the L.A. local scene, Brewer was handling bass duties in Reflux, a smaller touring band comprised of then-unknown guitarist Tosin Abasi (who later formed Animals As Leaders) and Ash Avildsen (founder of Sumerian Records). Brewer says The Faceless blew him away. “For once, a local band that [was] crazy good!,” he remembers.
As the years passed, The Faceless would eventually take their chances on Avildsen’s new label, Sumerian Records, to release Akeldama, the band’s 2006 debut album that gained them international notoriety. As Keene talks optimistically of the band’s development since the Akeldama days, he assures that the group’s upcoming third studio album, a follow up to 2008’s Planetary Duality, is a leap forward in the band’s evolution.
I met up with Keene and Brewer at a cafe on Sunset Blvd to get insight into the band’s forthcoming record that is currently being tracked, to discuss recent lineup adjustments (most notably the addition of Brewer and vocalist Geoffrey Ficco this past spring), and to recap Brewer’s solo stint with Animals As Leaders and Intronaut.
A few notes about this interview: As previously mentioned, The Faceless is in Keene’s studio working on their next album, which is expected out in fall via Sumerian. The effort will be the first to feature Ficco on vocals and Brewer on bass, and according to Keene, the band will continue writing new material as they record. For now, a pre-production track called “The Eidolon Reality,” which was released in May, can be heard here. On the side, Brewer has tentative future plans to track a few demos for his project Climaxes with Barry Donegan of Look What I Did — they came to Bonnerhaus, the Ryan’s Rock Show headquarters in North Hollywood, for an interview in 2009. And to conclude with an interesting tidbit: The Faceless’ debut album Akeldama was Sumerian’s first-ever release.
Keene begins the interview discussing why the band signed with Sumerian in 2006.