Nothing says “Rock and Roll” like an unpermitted rooftop performance and trademark fashion statements. Combine that with a willingness to consistently experiment musically and you have the alternative rockers simply known as Faulkner. Despite being a group of harmonious New Yorkers, the band now resides in Venice, California. After their formation, they quickly compiled a demo that was posted on Sound Cloud. This managed to attract the attention of The Killers’ Mark Needham, the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and The Strokes’ JP Bowersock which paved the way for the production and release of their debut EP, Revanchist featuring the single “Revolutionary” and the suitably titled New York ode, “NY Anthem”. We had the chance to speak with lead singer Lucas Asher about the group’s previous accomplishments, musical intentions and future endeavors.
When the topic of the band’s simplistic name came up, Asher quickly confirmed that they were not named after any person in particular. “We were high on mushrooms and it came to us from a shaman…we were really high and were just like [to the shaman], ‘One-word band names’,” he said.
Experimentation and a refusal to conform are key factors in the band’s musical compositions. Combining heavy electronic keyboard with rock guitar and pop vocals, Faulkner possesses a quality reminiscent of The Killers while maintaining a sound that is very much their own. Self-described as “melodically super accessible and lyrically super confusing”, they continue to give their fans something that stands out from each individual track. Infusing different elements into their works, it is tough to define any one distinct sound. With the band’s 2016 single “Halo Me”, they decided to dive into the world of contemporary pop. However, it was their rebelliously memorable premiere that put the song out to a public audience.
He admitted, “We premiered it [Halo Me] on top of a skyscraper…that song is more of our experimentation into pop. Even though we are an alternative band, we really love big strong melodies and big pop production…that was like 60 stories high and we shut down the top of this skyscraper and performed on a helipad without getting permission. Half way through it, the fire marshal tried to shut it down and it was pretty rock n’ roll. We refused to stop playing and you can imagine what happened.”
With an accessible yet varied sound and a major public stunt, Faulkner continues to leave an impact. But in order for a band to really stand out, it never hurts to create a bold and defiant look. When the band makes public appearances, Asher can be seen in a red leather jacket while the remaining members are covered in black clothing. Their song, “All I Wear is Black” was specifically written to reflect this stylistic choice.
“I’m wearing black right now from head to toe. That song speaks for itself…everyone always wore black. We never even really discussed it, we all just showed up wearing black…With the red jacket, whenever I am performing I always have a red jacket on. I’ll be doing it for the rest of my life. It’s one of those pieces of style that I can’t live without…every time I wear it, I like the reaction I get from it.”
Because of Lucas’ admiration for scarlet-clad jackets, he is currently manufacturing a variety of different styles for his own personal collection ranging in the hundreds while making many of them available to the fans for purchase on the band’s website. With the band continuing to grow in popularity through the constant use of their song “NY Anthem” at every New York Yankees home game and various city events, it would be no surprise to see some New Yorkers sporting a red jacket of their own. And with the song being a collaborative effort with hip-hop legend RZA, it is no wonder that this anthem serving as a love letter to New York found a wider audience.
“I reached out to RZA and he wanted to collaborate after he heard to our music. We produced the music at Rick Rubin’s studio in [Shangri La Studios] in Malibu. It’s where Eminem recorded and a lot of other great acts. Then before we know it, the song is taking off. It was used in all the New York Yankee home games. It was used recently at the U.S. Open. It’s a huge honor that whenever there’s a huge cultural event in New York, someone reaches out to us and says, ‘Can we use New York Anthem for the soundtrack?’” he said.
Despite this recent success, Lucas and the band want nothing more than to continue striving forward. In the span of four years they have worked with some of their musical idols, booked a multitude of stage performances, premiered a song on a rooftop, shot numerous videos and released a debut album. While they refuse to slow down, they are currently anticipating the upcoming release of their single “Hot Streak” as they plan to hit the road shortly for various shows. Faulkner has come to play.
New single "Hot Streak" available 10/27/17 on Spotify.