Talking Crime, Snootiness, and Band Loyalty with FAULKNER
written by Ariana Assaf
I’m pretty sure Lucas Asher would get me arrested if I hung out with him enough. The lead singer of bi-coastal band Faulkner gets a major twinkle in his eye when discussing the FBI files of Bob Marley and John Lennon and is absolutely fearless when it comes to illegal parking—part of this interview was done over the phone while he moved his car from one reserved space to another.
When he came back, he enlightened me with the greatest Buzzfeed-worthy life hack I’ve ever heard: apparently you can register your car as an LLC, let tickets pile up, and avoid paying them by getting rid of that LLC and hooking your car to a new one so that the powers that be chase down an LLC that no longer exists. The cheapest LLCs are in New Mexico for $49. Thank us later.
So how did this sparkly shoes-wearing wine snob (“I don’t drink domestic wine…does that sound too bougie?”) who tried calling me elitist for eating sushi exclusively at Sugarfish—until I read back an earlier quote: “I will only downgrade to Spanish wine under the threat of physical force”—become so brilliantly ballsy? Some of his loophole knowledge is a product of long hauls on the road spent searching the internet for whatever piques his interest. But a big part of his personality was cultivated after running away from his orphanage as a teenager (“like Huckleberry Finn”) and spending almost a year on the streets of Brooklyn, sleeping on couches and showering in 7-11s.
He began to turn his life around after learning computer hacking which, in all my computer illiteracy, I immediately associated with something like the DDOS attack that happened last month. “Was it you?” he asked, hopeful, but I didn’t even know what DDOS stood for until he explained it to me. “It’s interesting that I said hacking and you automatically thought of something illegal or nefarious. Hacking just means shipping code fast, it doesn’t mean you’re breaking the law.”
Though he certainly enjoys pushing the limits of rules and regulations, he channels most of that daring energy into Faulkner’s DIY ethic. A huge Wu-Tang fan, Asher reached out to RZA directly in the hopes of collaborating on a project, and he ended up producing Faulkner’s recently released six-track EP Revanchist along with JP Bowerstock (The Strokes, Is This It aka my favorite album of all time) and Mark Needham (The Killers, Hot Fuss). The EP was recorded in Rick Rubin’s Shangri La Studios in Malibu; they even did some vocal recording inside Bob Dylan’s tour bus, which was there at the time.
But Faulkner doesn’t just make great work through collaborations with others. The band itself is a collaborative entity made up of Eric Scullin’s taste for glam rock, Dimitri Farougias’ prog rock inspiration, and Christian Hogan and Asher’s hip hop roots. “Everyone brings something to the table that’s really unique, it kinda makes our band dependent on every single person. Usually you have a front man who runs the show, and our band really isn’t like that. I don’t think Faulkner would work if one of us wasn’t in it.”
The band is currently doing lots of pop up shows—with free beer!—to support Revanchist, and has just about recovered from their near death experience in a teeny tiny plane that almost went down on the way to Kauai, where the music video for “Revolutionary” was shot. “We try to do stuff for the fans that’s community oriented, not just commerce,” Asher said of the underground nature of Faulkner’s shows. “We’re also going to be constantly putting music out up until the album release.” Go here to give Revanchist a listen, and I guarantee you’ll be just as excited for their new music as I am.