The Faceless Interview: Michael Keene & Evan Brewer Talk New Album & Lineup Adjustments

by | Aug 25, 2011

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.

Veil of Maya Interview: Marc Okubo on Eclipse, Djent, & Timeless Records

Outside a coffee shop on Wilshire Blvd, Veil of Maya guitarist Marc Okubo remembers stories from the band’s first-ever tour with After The Burial. “[We played a show for] some kids in their parents’ garage that didn’t do any promotion at...

Dead Letter Circus Interview: On Building a Fanbase in the US

Awaiting an order of gourmet sandwiches at a restaurant on the Sunset Strip, Dead Letter Circus guitarist Rob Maric and frontman Kim Benzie speak of mainstream media and its influence on society. “It’s not natural to have violence broadcasted to you...

Animals As Leaders Interview: The Second Album & T.R.A.M.

Five years ago, Animals As Leaders guitarist Javier Reyes auditioned for Periphery. “He didn’t make the cut!” jokes lead guitarist Tosin Abasi. As he laughs and shakes his head, Reyes defends himself, “They were 20 years old, and I was 26. I...

Dance Gavin Dance Exclusive Interview: The New Album & MacBook Scam

A lot can change in 18 months — especially if you’re Dance Gavin Dance. Since my last interview with the band in September 2009, the group has seen a number of lineup adjustments (most notably the return of original vocalist Jonny Craig and screamer Jon...