The Faim Takes the Stage at Gramercy Theatre



Josh Raven of The Faim laid it all out before the band’s gig at The Gramercy.


The rain outside on Nov. 24 was taking its toll on the moods of New Yorkers throughout my walk from Penn Station to Gramercy. I could tell by the hung heads of walkers and honking horns of taxis abounding as the sky darkened. But once I arrived at Gramercy Theatre, every trace of that attitude disappeared and was replaced by the excitement of fans lined up hours before door time.

Five bands were slated to perform that night, and Australian native Hands Like Houses was the heavily anticipated headliner of the sold-out concert. Fellow Aussies of The Faim, the second band to grace the stage, had a lot to live up to — and, based on what vocalist and frontman Josh Raven told me, they knew it. And they had something to prove.

“We’ve always sacrificed everything to pursue this band as much as possible,” he stressed. “Each day that goes by, each month that goes by, each year that goes by, that becomes more and more apparent.”

Raven and the rest of The Faim are extremely driven. Although they’ve only released one EP and three singles, all in 2018, there’s good reason for that. “We’re very careful about the music we release and how we release it,” Raven explained. “But we’re constantly working behind the scenes.” He later elaborated: “We’re always putting ideas together, always trying to keep moving forward any which way we can. We don’t stop, man, we like being as busy as possible.”

That EP, called “Summer Is a Curse,” was released just three months ago. Raven expounded on the meaning behind this name, explaining that the summer is the most important thing to him. It represents his “neverending goal to keep inspiring people around the world to do something different and to be happy with themselves — to find their own place and their own passion amongst a world of distraction.” Meanwhile, the curse is the “sacrifice,” the “tribulations and obstacles that are going to try to stop you from getting there.”

“Summer Is a Curse” has quite a few recognizable names in its credits. With songs written by Ashton Irwin of 5 Seconds of Summer, Josh Dun of twenty one pilots and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, the cherry on top is that it was produced by the legendary John Feldmann. Feldmann has worked with innumerable rock artists, most notably blink-182, Panic! at the Disco and Good Charlotte, and a few solo artists, including Avicii and Ashlee Simpson.

The passion that Raven displayed in conversation translated to the stage, as he and The Faim wowed the crowd with an energy found in few bands that perform fourth-to-last in a gig’s lineup. Several musicians in the band played multiple instruments throughout the show. Raven made the space his own, sprinting from one side of the stage to the other and often getting right in the faces of audience members. He and the rest of the band collectively captured the attention of viewers who might not have otherwise known them, as crowd reception was warm and cheers were louder than is typical for opening bands.

Raven also said that he’s looking forward to coming back to New York — in particular, Harlem. “I really, really enjoyed Harlem,” he said. I had a really good experience there. The people there are so open and so friendly … I had random people coming up asking, ‘Can I sit and have lunch with you?’ It was really cool. They had no idea who I was, and I had no idea who they were. It was a very soulful part of the city.”

While he couldn’t promise anything, he did say that The Faim will “most likely be coming back to America next year as well, at some point, which will be really, really good.”

Hopefully it will be in the summer, sans curse.