- Have any of you played in other bands?
We have all played in various bands previously. The only one you might have heard of though is On The Rise. Our bass player Malla
recorded an album (On The Rise, Frontiers Records 2003) with them way back when!
- How is it that you started playing music?
I think we all have different stories of how we got into music. For me personally it started the first time I saw/heard KISS & Paul Stanley at the
age of five, and thought “I’m gonna do that!” Btw…I was five…they were maybe a bit older!...
- What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
Mr. Hansen – Drums, Malla – Bass, Flame – Guitars, Marcus Greenway – Guitars, Marc Farrano – Lead vocals & lead pouting.
We’re all over 21!
- Have you had other previous members?
The line forms to the right…So, yeah!...a few!
- Did you make music even when you were young?
I remember “writing” songs as a child/teenager…nothing I would pull out live today! But I still recall the moment when I finished
my FIRST real SONG! A very proud moment!
- Where are you from?
We all live in Bergen, Norway. I’m not quite sure where we all were born. You have to ask the other guys.
- What year did the band form?
We started out in 2005, but the first line up got signed in 2007, to Kivel Records (US).
- What's your style of genre?
Rock ‘n Roll/hard rock works for me! Although other people might call it AOR/Melodic/classic rock! You be the judge!
- What inspires you?
Albums released before 1991! And of course my (previously) tragic love life! Now it’s all peaches!
- How often and where do you rehearse?
That depends on whether we have gigs coming up…usually a couple of times a week…just to keep things tight.
- How have you developed since you started with the music?
Stylewise it’s basically the same…although we all need to change things here and there to keep it interesting enough for ourselves to continue.
- Do you have other interests of work outside the band?
I have no interest in “work” in any shape, or form!
- Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that?
I think all bands can benefit from having people around who are willing to help you reach a wider audience. We are talking to several companies.
- Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that?
Well, we have a label, MelodicRock Records in Tasmania, run by Andrew McNeice. I think he runs a website as well. ;o)
- What made you decide to make this music?
I really didn’t have a choice! It found me…
- What are your songs about?
Love, lust, sex, love lost, life, good times, girls, girls, girls, etc…
- Who does the composing and writes the lyrics?
That would be yours truly!
- Do you start with the music or the lyrics?
That depends…sometimes I might have a title (always helps), sometimes a riff/chord progression…
- Do you compose in a certain inviroment?
Not really…but it has to come naturally to me…I can’t force it out! Well, I CAN…but it won’t be the same…or as GOOD!
- Have you done any covers live?
We only do ONE cover song in the FAITH CIRCUS set, and that’s a song written by the late, great Eric Carr of KISS. “Can You Feel It”!
- What language do you sing in?
English. Although my teachers gave me crap for speaking with an “American” accent!
- What ages are most of your concert attendants?
All legal I hope!...or some of my on stage moves have been really out of place!!...
- Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary?
We try to mix it up…to make it interesting…but certain song just has to be in the set.
- What was your first gig like?
Maybe like losing your virginity at a late age…you just want to get it over with?!!
- What was your latest gig?
Well, we just did three support gigs for Robin Beck here in Norway. Hectic, but FUN!!
- Have you had to cancel a gig?
No, but sometimes I wish I could.
- Where have you played live this year?
- Where do you plan to gig the coming year?
We have some things in the work…maybe even add a few shows outside of Norway.
- When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale?
We usually sell T-Shirts & CDs at gigs.
- Where can people buy your merchandise?
- What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records nowadays?
As long as they PAY for the download it’s OK! I still think they’re losing out on the whole experience of buying and holding a piece of ”art”
in their hands…that someone has created from “nothing”! But hey...that’s me…
- How do you think the music industry have changed because of this?
A lot of people lost their jobs. Also I think the quality of music has deteriorated because there are hardly any filter bands have to go through anymore!
- What do you think of my work?
I think you are very thorough! You obviously spend a lot of time doing this! How’s your social life?
- How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business?
Who says it will? It might have the opposite effect and drive people away from the band! But I’ll take my chances!
- Do you have any role models or idols?
- Why do you think that they exist?
He was the best!
- Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today?
I think it’s the same for all musicians…we all draw inspiration from the bands we were into growing up. I can’t name ONE, new band in the
past 15-20 years that really blew my mind!
- What have been your biggest obstacles?
For me it has mostly been internal…but I found my way around it!
- What advice would you give other bands or artists?
If they’re up & coming?…LOVE what you do (or get out!), and it will never feel like “work”!...if they’ve been around for 30-40 years…check
yourself on youtube now and then!…you might wanna reconsider charging people a lot of money for a crappy performance!
- How do you get psyched for a gig?
I try to get as much rest as possible...no talking…drink water…do scales/sing softly (then more intense as stage time draws near…).
I usually go through the first 1-3 songs mentally in my head…to get an overview. After the first two songs I’m on “autopilot”!
- Do you have any new material?
We have two (!) new albums coming out in the fall!
- What are your web sites?
- How can people reach you?
They can contact us through the Facebook page, or via the e-mail adr. on our website.
- What are your plans for the future?
Stay alive! And enjoy EVERYDAY as much as possible!
- Do you have something to add?
Thank you for reaching out!
It was my pleasure to answer your questions!
And I hope you & anyone who reads this have learned a bit more about FAITH CIRCUS.
Interview by: Robex Lundgren
FAITH CIRCUS - Melodic Rock from Norway. Find out everything about their sophomore release, "Turn Up The Band". Here's their lead vocalist: Marc Farrano
Marc: So far the reception has been over whelming! I don't know if people have missed us at all (not that we've been AWAY!! I mean, we've
been gigging, releasing two digital albums, started to shoot an epic video, etc. ever since the release of our debut album), but there seems to
be a craving for melodic hard rock a`la FAITH CIRCUS! We had a bit of a false start...but in all I think we spent some 18 months before it was, finally, sent off to Dennis Ward to be mastered. Keep in mind... a lot of that time were spent trying to figure out what to do with the band! We had no label, our guitarist wanted to leave (and did!), we needed a new guitarist, summer came around (and that's always a dangerous time in Circus land), etc, etc.
I believe we were going for a raw-er sound! Trying to make a more "simple" album than first time around. Especially guitar-wise... not too
many overdubs. That being said... we're not gonna release anything unless it sounds a 100%!! Or at least 98%. Everything FAITH CIRCUS put
out are basically produced by myself, FAITH CIRCUS & Thomas "Tomtom" Haugland! After working together for over 6 years, Tomtom knows us quite well, and what we're basically trying to capture on disc! We are pleased with the final outcome (sound - production wise). If we weren't,
it wouldn't be released! Of course... in hindsight there's always SOMETHINGS you wish you could go back and fix! But overall I'm 98% satisfied
...and that will have to do... or else we'll never get anything done/released!
We tried to capture each instrument as true as possible! A few reviews have described the album as "polished"... "maybe TOO polished!"... well... for many years I've mentioned that my "perfect" FAITH CIRCUS album would have to be a blend of "Slippery When Wet" (Bon Jovi) &
"Slip Of The Tongue" (Whitesnake), with a couple of table spoons of Lynch Mob, a pinch of Badlands, maybe sprinkled with some Van Halen. Albums/artists produced by people like Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock, Andy Johns, Keith Olsen, Mike Clink, etc. So you can bet your fuckin ass it's gonna sound polished!!
My favourite songs from the album would change depending on the mood of the day... but I guess "Turn Up The Band" "Into Your Heart",
"Inside The Circus" "Follow My Voice" & "Tears You've Never Cried" are among my top 5! As far as lyrical highlights go? The core of every
lyric are based on a personal experiences. Some bad, some good, but ALL heartfelt. I think "Turn Up The Band" paints a very cool picture... image-wise! All songs I write will have to grab me... give me a kick... and I never complete a song, or an idea, if I have to "construct" it! It has
to come naturally... just flow through me!
If people didn't feel a throwback to late 80's stuff then we'd really be surprised! When we say: this ain't no gimmick, or "retro-act", we're not kidding! This is the music we grew up on and it's also what naturally comes out when we write stuff! Budget-wise, we can never match what
went down in the 80's... but I think we've been able to get as much out the studio situation as we possibly can! I mean... trying to create the sound we envisioned. It's Honest. Energetic. Powerful. An album that will take you on a journey and continue to grow even after the first 50
spins! Oh!... and full of catchy melodic hardrock! I think KISS is common ground for all of us! Aerosmith, Whitesnake and Van Halen as well. Personally I also have a soft spot for Led Zeppelin, Badlands, Mötley Crüe, Guns n' Roses and more recently, Lana Del Rey!
The story behind our moniker goes back to 2007 when we first came into contact with John Kivel, and Kivel Records. We had a different name
at the time, but Kivel thought we could come up with something better. So we had a loooong process where both camps came up with list upon list of suggestions. In the end, when we HAD to come to a decision, it came down to John Kivel and myself late one night literally throwing
words back and forth until we landed on FAITH CIRCUS! We know what it means to us...but we're gonna leave it up to people to find their own personal meaning.
If YOU'd like to see FAITH CIRCUS play where YOU live it's really important to get in touch with your local promoters, radio stations, etc, and demand they play FC/have them book us for festivals/clubs/etc! We'd LOVE to come see all you Circus Freaks!!
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
FIREWORKS MAGAZINE (2014)
Faith Circus may be a name not too many people are familiar with, but let me tell you, these Norwegians are a very serious kick-ass Rock band! They wouldn’t have sounded out of place
playing The Rainbow Bar And Grill, Whisky A Go Go, or Roxy Theater on L.A.’s famous Sunset Strip back in the eighties. They’ve just released a fabulous Melodic Rock album called ‘Turn Up
The Band’ together with their re-mixed stunning AOR debut and I was more than happy to get acquainted with band leader and vocalist Marc Farrano who brought drummer Baard Nordvik and new guitarist H.K.Rein along for the ride. Here’s what transpired…
This sophomore release almost feels like another bite of the cherry for you guys. What caused the initial break-up of the band and what prompted Baard (Nordvik - drums), Marius (Mörch - guitars) and yourself to re-form the band under the Faith Circus banner?
Marc: Funny you should say "Cherry", 'cause that was actually our original name, "Cherry Red"! (laughs)
Going back to 2009, when the break-up happened, I think we have to divide the "blame" between band members and the business side of things! Coming from two rival bands (Quaaludes: Lasse + myself & Repomen: Baard + Marius), as the bio states, it's not always easy to agree on certain things...especially when you have a handful of strong-minded individuals trying to work together!
So there were a lot of inner tension, and disagreement on how things SHOULD be done. Also, there were some things going on with the label we didn't feel too comfortable with. We felt we lost too much control over the whole "process", and that is something, at least I feel is important to maintain, in any situation. But hey(!)...no hard feelings...and there's nothing we would like to have undone!
Why wasn't Lasse (Koester - bass) involved in the 2010 re-formation?
Marc: Well, actually he WAS involved...for about a week!!
We had a meeting at my place (after 11 looooong months apart!) where we discussed the whys & hows of a reunion. I made a point out of the importance that we all had to be more supportive towards each other if we were gonna do this again...myself included...I was as guilty as the next guy bringing in the bad vibes.
Anyway...we even managed to get together for a jam before it all fell apart when Lasse contacted us a few days later to tell us he had decided
to concentrate 100% on his own projects. So that put an end to the reunion and we had to switch to "plan B"!
I believe you found H.K. Rein (guitars) playing in a cover band on YouTube. What was it you saw in his playing that encouraged you to get in contact with him with a view to having him in the band?
Marc: Correct! We came across some videos of him earlier this year and were blown away!
He played great, he looked good...& he played GREAT! Did I mention he played GREAT?! (laughs)
He just had all the elements we needed as far as presence & skills, and as we got to meet and jam with him we also learnt that he had more to his arsenal than just being able to play covers.
It turned out he wrote music and also handled lead vocals in one of his projects. Which can come in handy in this band...our backing vocals always seem to get mentioned!
H.K Rein: I did in fact play in a cover band which covered most of the big names from the 70's and 80's rock scene.
My influences are broad, but I categorise myself as a rock 'n' roll guitarist with an aggressive approach.
My main influences are Slash, Joe Perry, Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde and Ritchie Blackmore.
I wish to treat Mörch's work with respect, although I want to keep my own signature.
I'm also thrilled to get the opportunity to get together with an already established band at this level.
Baard: The chances of us getting a guitarist with both the skill, the attitude and passion needed for this band, was initially quite small.
At least finding that guy within our area.
But with determination and a dash of luck, (and YouTube), H.K. descended on our computer monitors.
The rest is history in the writing…
And how did you find Christer (Ottesen - bass)?
Marc: When the reunion with Lasse didn't work out back in 2010 we only had ONE other name on our list!
I/we have been aware of Christer’s contribution to the Bergen music scene since the early 90's!
And he has earned his reputation playing with "everyone" from Black Metal bands to stepping in live with Savoy (A-ha's Paal Waaktor Savoy's solo project!). Also, he was a friend of a
friend, and when we FINALLY got him to jam with us (he was a bit reluctant at first!) I think all four of us realised then and there that this could be "the shit"!!
There were a number of guest musicians on your debut album, most notably a number of ex TNT members including a certain Mr Tony Harnell alongside Morty Black and the sadly departed
Dag Stokke as well as the ever reliable Tore Moren. Are you all friends together in the Norwegian Rock and Metal scene and what guests have you used this time on 'Turn Up The Band'?
Marc: We all live in different cities, some of us even on different continents (Hey Tony!), but when we opened for JORN (w/Tore Moren) it was very cool! We sat in on their soundcheck and they on ours. We also had the pleasure of opening for TNT a while back.
And let me tell you...you haven't tasted REAL pressure until you've had to do vocal check with Tony Mills standing six feet in front of the stage! (laughs)
Backstage after the gig we had a great time, drinking and bullshitting...sadly it was the last time we got to meet Dag (Stokke) as he passed away some three months later! An amazing, talented guy who will be deeply missed! RIP
We didn't want to "sell" this album on the back of any guest (stars!) who might appear on the disc!
But given that the album has already been released by the time anyone reads this I think it's safe to give you some names...
First of all we got (Hans-Olav) Solli, who made his name playing with Norwegian Sons Of Angels, 21 Guns (with Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy),
and Psycho Motel (founded by Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden) doing backing vocals on "Inside The Circus", next we see the return of Mr. Tony Harnell on "Sunshine Radio", and to top it off we've got one of my all-time idols, the one and only, James Christian (HOL) putting his magic
touch on the backing vocals for "Tears You've Never Cried"!
Less known, but equally talented we have Trond Foss on acoustic 6 & 12 string guitar on "Into Your Heart" & "Tears You've Never Cried".
I think the album artwork is stunning. Who created it and what involvement did you guys have in how it was achieved and what you were aiming for?
Marc: Thank you so much! The album artwork, as with most of FC visual concepts were created by yours truly. This goes back to the point of having as much control as possible...control over how we want to be perceived!
It's based on our backdrop design with a few elements thrown in to tie it all together with our previous releases (the remixed debut album in 2010 & the "5.l.i.v.e." EP in 2012) on iTunes.
In some ways it's the completion of a thrillogy, or you can see it as a passage from FC Mk I to Mk III.
We're gonna leave it up to each and every one to "see" what they choose to see in it...and we've heard some pretty bizarre things so far!!
The next cover design will be TOTALLY different altogether!
Was Christer more instrumental than either Baard, Marius or yourself in going in a faster more Rockier direction as I believe you were all involved in the writing process?
Marc: I pretty much had the first album written by the time I met Marius and Baard.
So all they had to do was basically learn the songs, and of course put their swing on it!
I was going through a pretty rough time when the songs for the debut album were created, also I was listening to a lot of Journey,
so that might explain the sound & vibe of the album! (laughs)
But for this album we just said "Anyone got any riffs/songs?"...and slowly we started to pile up new ideas as well as re-working some old ones.
Baard brought in the music for "Restless Heart" which I came up with the lyrics for. Marius brought in a lot of riffs/ideas, and I wrote some of the tunes on my own.
The "new" rockier direction came natural as we're all pretty hard rocking guys, but with a soft core!
Baard: Early on in the process of writing a new album, I think we all wanted songs that were more guitar oriented
and riff-driven. We felt the need to also show the more heavy side of the band, that maybe the first album didn’t offer.
You have a great chest thumping Metal anthem in 'Born With The Power' and a punchy, pacy and very catchy 'Inside The Circus' as two acknowledged faster songs that really got my attention. What can you tell me about these two, from their genesis to the final version that made the album?
Marc: ..."Inside The Circus" could very well end up being our "Here I Go Again" somewhere down the line! It describes my views on this band! The price we've had to pay to get here, why
we're here and where we're going! I'm not sure, but I think we played this one as far back as Mk I! "BWTP" was an idea that Marius brought in. He pretty much had the music written, and all
I had to do was fill in the blanks! It sounded cool in rehearsal, but it wasn't until we had recorded it in the studio that we actually FELT the
power of this monster track!! Everyone seems to get the same reaction from this song! Can't wait to play it live!!
There are also some breezy Americana style songs such as 'Sunshine Radio' with its harmony backing vocals that's begging to be played loud in an open top car and 'Into Your Heart' with background banjo giving it a slightly unusual flavour. What's the story behind these two songs?
Marc: "Sunshine Radio", "Inside The Circus" and "Tried 'n True" (from the debut) are all related in some way! It contains a lot of my "trademark" riffs...and are cool/easy to sing over!
That being said...I think I'll let these riffs rest for an album...or two! (laughs)
Lyrically it (SR) speaks of someone you wish was here, but for some reason, or another, can't or chooses not to be!
Sometimes life gets in the way...but you always have the memories!
"Into Your Heart" was written during my last serious heartbreak...a few years back! For your information it did the "job"!...but then I fucked it up again soon after! (laughs)
I couldn't possibly write a song like that NOW...as I'm happily in love! (laughs)
The banjo was something I heard in my head already when I was working on the demo! So, I had to find a guy who could do it justice...
Mention must go to the ballad 'Tears You've Never Cried' as occasionally they can come across as too sentimental and break up the flow of
the album. However, I happen to think it's a very well written song, and I'd like to know whether it's personal to yourself and who the female vocalist is at the end of the song?
Marc: Thank you so much! This track was actually written as far back as 2006! Around the time we were getting ready to start recording the
debut album. As with all my lyrics they are based on personal experience, and this one could easily have been on the first album, thematically!
It draws from the same experience that "Back On Love", "Half The Man", "Hold On", "Without Me", "Temporary High" & "Tried 'n True" came from.
For the most part I can NOT remember writing ANY of my songs , even though I have demo versions of them all! True story!!
But for "Tears" I can vividly recall picking up my acoustic guitar and playing the chorus from start to finish with the melody and title ready to go!
The icing on this track came when we utilised one of the oldest churches in Bergen and had a choir set up to sing the chorus!
It was arranged & conducted by the same talented girl who did all the backing vocals with me on our debut, Bergen’s own Queen of Rock 'n’ Soul, Myrna Braza!
And to really get that "Foreigner" feel in the outro we had one of the singers, Christina Undhjem - go check 'em out both on Youtube! - soar
over the top!
Marius Mörch lays down some really strong guitar work on this album, plenty of crunching riffs and melody-infused lead breaks. I particularly like his solo on 'Firesign'.
What were his influences growing up and what guitars/equipment does he use? He's really tapped into that 80's sound.
Marc: Marius should really have answered these questions himself...but since he's no longer in the band I'll give it a shot!
I know for a fact that he was a huge fan of RATT growing up, and that Warren De Martini played a big part in shaping him as a guitarist, as well as George Lynch. As far as equipment goes...all I can say is that I saw Marshall JCM 800/Jet City 333 amps, and everything from Les Pauls to Strats, to Charvel guitars and a truckload of assorted pedals! He always had a mean tone with the chops to back it!
I notice you guys seem to be quite keen on Rock legends Kiss. How much would you say they influence your sound, if at all, and what other
bands do you like to think have shaped the Faith Circus aural experience?
Marc: Speaking for myself, I discovered KISS at the age of 5, saw Paul Stanley, and knew right there what I wanted to do with my life! I know KISS has a special place in all our hearts so I guess it's always "there" in our writing & performing...to some degree.
I guess seeing KISS was the spark that ignited the dream in all of us!
Thomas “Tomtom” Haugland recorded the album with you guys helping to mix it, and then you gave it to the incomparable Dennis Ward to
master it. Did you feel that Dennis would give you that extra percentage in the quality of the sound, from what you and Thomas had achieved,
to raise it that extra level?
Marc: With a professional like Thomas "Tomtom" Haugland by our side it's real easy to make the band sound like we want it to on record.
We've worked together for the past 7-8 years now and he's well aware of what we're after! “Tomtom” usually sets up a mix for us to check out...and 9 out of 10 times it's usually minor adjustments we have him perform before it's as "perfect" as we need it to be!
Dennis has worked with some of our favourite artists, and when we got the chance to work with him ourselves it was a no-brainer to have him
put the finishing touch to the product! You know...he can't possibly make it any WORSE! (laughs)
I know you signed with Andrew McNeice's Melodic Rock Records as you truly believe in the guy and that he will put you, as an artist, first in all matters. How much does having someone like Andrew fighting your corner energise the band and inspire you?
Marc: Let me tell you...we haven't been this inspired in a long time! Having H.K. in the band as well as having a brand new album ready to go doesn't suck either! (laughs)
But just the fact that Andrew believes in us enough to take us on - and trust me...we contacted a lot of labels! - is great honour. Hopefully this will be the start of a looong and fruitful partnership! And believe us...we won't spend 5 years coming up with the next album!!
What can you tell me about the cover of Sheena Easton's hit song 'For Your Eyes Only' that you've recorded as a bonus track for the re-mixed debut album and how did you get Robin Beck to sing on it?
Marc: That song was actually recorded when the band had split up! I already knew, upon leaving Kivel Records, that I wanted to remix and re-release the album. And in order not to "cheat" the fans who already might had bought the debut we needed some bonus tracks. "Heroes" was already there, a left over from the original session, and why I came up with "For Your Eyes Only" I can't honestly remember! Perhaps it's
because it's my favourite James Bond tune?...All I knew was that IF I were to record it, it would have to sound like I had written it myself!
And I envisioned it as a duet...I just needed an amazing female singer!
I think I contacted Robin through her website and we started talking. It was a great moment the morning I received her files!
Who were your vocal heroes growing up and who or what inspired you to take up singing? Is there anyone you try to emulate or model yourself on today?
Marc: Like I mentioned...KISS & Paul Stanley were a HUGE inspiration on me early on...but if I should name a few singers?...Stanley, Joe Lynn Turner, Plant, Coverdale, David Lee Roth, for the swagger & sheer coolness, & Sinatra, for the whole package!
Also, I'm too lazy to sit down and really rehearse the art of guitar/bass playing, or drumming.
I'm skilled enough to write songs...which gives me something to sing over! (laughs)
It's been many, many moons since I've purposely tried to sound like anyone else!
It's real important, if singing is your passion, to listen to as many different singers as possible...or "study" the few you really like!
I found out while trying to sound like Sebastian Bach, Sammy Hagar, or whoever, that I discovered my own limitations...but at the same time I
got to stretch my voice!
Something 10 years in various rehearsal spaces with shitty PA also will help you accomplish!...trying to scream over amplifiers that are way too loud!!
The 'Youth Is The Party' iTunes single - is that an entirely separate release from any album - and if so why?
Marc: "YITP" were recorded for a (Chinese) SUBS tribute album. We did it in no time...and since Marius had sort of left the band by then we recruited our good friend Tracy Loveless from another local act Malice In Wonderland.
Maybe we'll put it out as a bonus tracks at some point...we'll see.
Not having a 'typical' Norwegian name, I guess you're from elsewhere originally - my guess would be the States? If so, what's the story of how you ended up living in Norway? Armed forces father? If so we have something in common...
Marc: Well, the real short story is that both my parents were sailors, and they met somewhere in the tropics.
After my father passed away I decided to, officially, take my mothers’ maiden name!
Finally, what one thing do you think Faith Circus and Melodic Rock fans will be surprised to know about you?
Marc: Hmm...do you mean stuff like...the vocal session on "Back On Love" was interrupted by a W.A.S.P. gig (if you isolate the lead vocals you can actually hear W.A.S.P. rumbling in the background!)??...or that we're in fact time travellers...often going back to `86 just to soak up the vibe?!...shit!...hope I didn't screw up the space time continuum!!!...Cheers!
Interview by: Carl Buxton
FAITH CIRCUS is hailing from the west coast of Norway. Their style can be described as the perfect mix between of bands such as TNT, VAN HALEN, DEF LEPPARD and BON JOVI, etc.
For fans who want strong melodies, big hooks and catchy choruses, pounding drums, thunderous bass lines and powerful vocals. then look no further; this is the band you've been asking for!!
Classic-melodic hard rock stuff with attitude! It's ALL here!! Delivered with heart, soul, passion & fun!!
Heavy Paradise talked with Faith Circus' mastermind, Marc Farrano, about their debut album, the melodic hard rock scene in Norway, their forth coming album, their future plans and many other interesting things! Enjoy!
Heavy Paradise : Hi Marc! I would like to welcome you here in Heavy Paradise and wish you all the best for 2011!
Marc: Thanx my friend & A Happy New Year to you to! Heavy Paradise sounds like the perfect place to be!!
Heavy Paradise : Firstly, I would like to ask you what's the latest from the Faith Circus camp?
Marc: Oooh! There’s so much going on at the moment… let’s rewind a bit! We ran into some ”trouble” mid ’09, both personal and business related. We left Kivel Records and broke up the band!! Then 10 months later, when things had cooled off for a bit, we tried to reunite.
We had a meeting and a jam, and although things seemed fine for a while, in the end Lasse Koester (bass) wanted to concentrate 100% on his own projects, and we wish him all the best!
So, we had to find a new bassplayer, which was pretty hard the first time around! Anyway, there was only one guy we knew of who would fit in, both personally & musically, and that was Christer Ottesen! He came in for a jam, blew our minds (and ears!) accepted the offer and we got
right back to work!
In the fall/winter of ’10 we played a few gig’s (even opening for JORN) to get that live feel back, completed the re-remix of our debut album,
put the finishing touches on a live EP (both out soon on itunes, etc…), booked studiotime/started pre-production for the next album and began shooting a promovideo!
Heavy Paradise : Could you tell our readers a short bio of Faith Circus?
Marc: The REAL short version is that around early 2005 I was looking for some musicians to help me record an album. I had all the songs (except of ”Alive & Kickin”) written and demoed.
A guy I used to play with introdused me to Marius Morch (guitars) who I’de been wanting to work with for a while.
Marius brought along his longtime partner in crime Baard Nordvik (drums). And THEN we went into Spinal Tap mode, using one guy on bass to rehearse and record the basic tracks, having another guy re-record all the bassparts, and finally having Baard suggesting Lasse Koester (who I’de played with in different bands for over 10 years) to become our permanent bassplayer!
The same day as we decided and told him he was the guy, I also dropped the bomb on them about Kivel Records wanting to sign us! Kivel told
us we needed one more ass kicking song, and I came up with ”Alive & Kickin” in about 30 min. which we recorded in no time!....And the rest is history… as they say!
Heavy Paradise : I think that everyone will agree that your debut album was an excellent release. Good traditional melodic hard rock stuff with some stunning tracks.Why did it take you so long to write new material ?
Marc: Thank you so much! Well, we actually started writing new material long before the album was completed, and I had a bunch of songs laying around. In fact we were ready to record the second album around the time we broke up! A few of the songs intended for that album
stuck, but it’s mostly new material being recorded.
Heavy Paradise : So, would you give us a taste of what the new album will sound like?
Marc: Heavier songs, still melodic! More Rock `n Roll! Only two ”ballads”!
In fact Baard brought in a complete demo where he played every instrument and all I had to do was to come up with the melody & lyrics…
and it sounds like fuckin ”Badlands”!!
We’ve been labeled an AOR band, but I don’t feel that covers us completely!
Sure, the first album had some midtempo, ”soft” tracks on it, but that all had to do with the state of mind the songs were written in. I was going through a pretty dark period in my life at the time (as well as listening to a lot of ”Journey”!lol), and it shows in the compositions. I’ve always looked at us as a rock `n roll band ala Mr. Big/Whitesnake/Bon Jovi/Aerosmith/etc…Wait for the upcoming album and judge for yourselves!
Heavy Paradise : In your debut you had some really impressive guests (Tony Harnell, Morty Black among others)! How was this collaboration
with these musicians and are we going to see some special guests on the new album too?
Marc: Although I’ve met Tony, Morty, Tore and the other guys several times in the past the actual ”work” happened through trading files via servers (thank God for the internet!). We have a few people we’ve talked to about participating… so we’ll see!
Heavy Paradise : From your first album, which are your favourite tunes? If you ask me, I would say Back On Love, Alive & Kickin and Tried `n True!
Marc: Well, the three you mentioned are among my top 5! I also feel that ”Half The Man” is probably one of the greatest songs I’ve written (together with ”Tried `n True). I really like the way it turned out… especially now that it has been re-mixed! But of course I have a special connection with ALL the songs I’ve composed!
Heavy Paradise : A record contract with Kivel Records seems a good deal! How difficult is it for a band to get a good record contract nowadays?
Marc: I don’t think NEW bands (in our style of music) are able to get ”good” deals these days! There is no money in the business anymore,
and unless you’re an 80’s band getting your second wind there will be no promotion and you’ll never see a dime!
Kivel Records, along with all the other indie lables out there, does a good job… within what they can do! But all you can hope for is to get an album out and have some minor press/reviews! Not nothing you really can’t do yourself… if you’re willing to spend a few hours in front of the computer everyday!
Heavy Paradise : How so and you decided to re-release the first album? If I'm right, it's going to be re-mixed and re-packaged with a couple of bonus tracks?
Marc: Yeah, we wanted to re-mix the album to bring the vision closer to what we actually sound like live, and also there were elements left
out of the mix, first time around, we wantedto bring back. We also wanted to be able to own our own master!
And since we didn’t want to charge people twice for an album they might already have, we decided to throw in a couple of bonustracks.
”Heroes”, which was originally intended for the Kivel release, but through a series of events didn’t make the album. And a remake of the
classic James Bond tune ”For Your Eyes Only”, which we turned into a duet with none other than the amazing Robin Beck! You can check out
the ENTIRE album on our BRAND NEW Myspace:
Heavy Paradise : Faith Circus is hailing from Norway! How is the melodic rock scene in your country?
Marc: Well, we have bands like TNT, JORN, WIG WAM & STAGE DOLLS around, and my old friend Bennech Lyngboe from OTR/Main Attraction
told me he wanted to start writing with me for a new album project!, but aside from those guys I feel we’re pretty much alone in what we do!
Or maybe it’s just me not paying attention?!lol
Heavy Paradise : How do you see the melodic rock scene nowadays? Do you see that the future of melodic hard rock is bright?
Marc: I think there are always gonna be people around who will love this kind of music! Both people from our own generation, and new fans discovering the melodic rock scene.
But I don’t think we’ll ever experience what we had in the mid 80’s/early 90’s! It has to be clear that we ’re not in this just for the money!! `Cause we hardly see any… We play this kind of music because it’s what we grew up on, and it gets US off! And if YOU want a piece of it… all you gotta do is come see us!
Heavy Paradise : Tell me the first thing that comes to your mind for these words :
LOVE: Is great when I have it… but I write better songs broken hearted… with a bottle of wine!
FAITH: CIRCUS. That was an easy one…
LIES: Something I’m bad at! The truth is a lot more fun!lol
SUCCESS: Makes what we do a lot easier (and harder in the end!) `cause you don’t have to sell half your gear and rob old people to pay for studiotime!
FAITH CIRCUS: A dream I’ve worked very hard on for over the past 5 years (actually all my life…) and that I’m very proud of!
Heavy Paradise : Which are your influences?
Marc: My first musical memories are hearing my parents Elvis & Johnny Cash, reel-to-reel tapes! But the biggest change came when I discovered KISS at the age of 5! After that it
was pretty clear to me what I wanted out of my life! Later on, bands like Guns `n Roses, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Motley Crue, Skid Row, HOL, etc, etc… caught my attention.
Heavy Paradise : If you had to choose your five top singers of all time who would that be?
Marc: The 5 singers I feel have influenced me most through the years would have to be Paul Stanley, Joe Lynn Turner, David Coverdale, Sebastian Bach, Tom Jones & Frank Sinatra! Shit! I think that was six!...
Heavy Paradise : Are you going to perform live in the near future?
Marc: First off we’ll be opening for TNT here in Bergen on january the 28. We’re also trying to book some other gig’s to keep us busy
throughout the year, in between recording the next album and finishing up the video! Unfortunatley (for our foreign fans!) only in Norway. But if you out there want us to come to YOUR country and play, let us know, maybe put us in contact with your local promoters/clubs/etc… and we’ll try to come see you!
Heavy Paradise : So, the 'Circus' is here to stay for a long time?
Marc: Like I said… we’re not only in this for the money. And as long as we get a kick out of writing, recording and playing live the ”Circus”
will continue to fight for it’s place in the spotlight!
Heavy Paradise : Marc, do you want to send a message to your fans?
Marc: We want to thank all of you ”Circusfreaks” out there who have supported the band so far! It means a lot to us hearing from you, so please continue giving us feeback, both good `n bad!
Heavy Paradise : I would like to thank you for accepting my invitation for this interview and I wish you all the best for the future!
Marc: My pleasure Vasihl, and thanx for your interest in Faith Circus! Any time bro!
Interview by: Vassilis Hassirtzoglou
1. What are you doing these days, for new album, for concerts or having holidays?
Baard: We're just starting to promote our debut album so hopefully we will be doing some gigs in the near future. We are also finishing the songwriting for our next album.
Lasse: I'm rehearsing with the guys for the upcoming gigs, and we're also working on the material for the 2nd album....which will be a KILLER!!
Marius: We've actually just started rehearsing for some gigs in february. We're also working on songs for our second album, which we hope to release at the end of the year.
Marc: Writing songs for the new "FC" album! ;)
2. Let us know your latest album / demo tape. What do you want people to pay attention on it? Let us know your favorite songs from it.
Baard: The combination of classic rock and classic AOR is irresistable. I really like all the songs really well (clichè!), but as an introduction to the album, I would recomend "Tried 'n True", "Back On Love" and "Rain On You".
Lasse: It's a really cool melodic rock album!! GR8 lyrics, and choruses that will blow you away. Fav songs: Rain On You – Tried N True – Alive & Kickin' & Temporary High.
Marius: Our debut album consist of some great melodic rock songs. I think my favourites being Back On Love and Rain On You.
Marc: All the songs from our debut album has a special place in my heart, but I feel quite proud of "Tried 'n True".
3. What do you image from a word “Japan”?
Baard: Sushi, technology and "Live at Budokan".
Lasse: Sushi – Tokyo – Geisha – Ninja – Huge population & great fans.
Marius: A country I would love to visit! And one of my favourite bands which is called JAPAN. Besides that, great architecture, lots of people, great rock fans, hard working people that often sleeps in storage boxes, sushi, Mariko Mori and pretty girls.
Marc: Hm....enthusiastic people with a great taste in music!
4. What is your goal as a musician? How about as yourself?
Baard: My goal is to serve our songs with the best drumming possible.
Lasse: WORLD DOMINATION!! Ha Ha!! No...seriously...Put out some albums, tour the world, and have a GR8 F***** time!!
Marius: As a musician I want to make the best music I possible can. And I would like to some day make an instrumental album.
Marc: To release 10-15 albums, tour the world, and hopefully write a couple of classic songs!
5. Let us know your music career and what kind of music you used to play.
Baard: I've played many different rock generes over the years, but I've finally "come home" with the music we are doing in Faith Circus.
Lasse: Through the years I've been playing with a bunch of local bands here in Bergen Rock City. The genres went from straight ahead R*n*R to heavy metal.
Marius: I've played in a lot of bands. From pop music to progressive rock. Bands such as LORENZO, HIGHROLLERS, TOO FAT TO FALL & THE REPO MEN.
Marc: I've always played melodic/hard rock. Spent about 4 years in the band "QUAALUDES" before I started up what turned into "FAITH CIRCUS".
6. Let us know your taste of music, your favorite musicians and bands.
Baard: All kinds of classic rock, Whitesnake, Europe, Ozzy...the list goes on forever.
Lasse: It all began with KISS...and I was totally hooked on R*N*R!!! Along came bands such as RATT, BON JOVI, JOURNEY, SKID ROW, WHITE LION, POISON, THIN LIZZY (R.I.P. Phil)...and the list just keeps on going.
Marius: I learned playing guitar listening to DOKKEN, RATT and other L.A. Bands from the 80's. These days I'm more into different stuff such as Mick Karn, David Sylvian, Todd Rundgren. Those are also my favourite musicians right now.
Marc: I listen to everything from Frank Sinatra to Mötley Crüe!
7. A message to your Japanese fans for S-ROCK. And your autograph, please.
Baard: Buy our album, visit our myspace-site and you will be blessed! Hope to see you soon! Best regards. BN
Lasse: Thanx for your support!! Hope 2 see you in 2009 ...Keep Rock 'N Roll Alive & Kickin! LK
Marius: I hope we can sometime come to Japan and do a concert. That would be nice. Hope to see you then! MM
Marc: Thanx for supporting FAITH CIRCUS!! And please check out MF