Back in Form: Faithless

You guys returned to Glastonbury Festival in 2010 after an eight year hiatus—why the comeback?
After playing second headline to Coldplay in 2002 we didn’t think it could get much better, and indeed we turned down other slots we were offered at Glastonbury over the years. But in 2010 after the release of our sixth studio album The Dance, we were asked to play the second headline to Stevie Wonder, again on the main stage. To close the festival on its 40th anniversary and to play before one of the greatest artists of all time was such an honor—we really wanted to play the best set of all time.
What was it like playing just before the legend?
He has been making hit records since he was a child, has a career that spans generations, and has overcome so much in his life—a real star. So it was a very humbling experience to even breathe the same air! He is one of Maxi’s all time heroes too, so he was particularly blown away that we were asked to play that set—his mum was very proud!
What was the approach towards the making of The Dance?
It was very relaxed, and we felt very positive as our deal with a major label had ended so we decided to release it ourselves in our own time, as the creative process dictated.
This is your sixth studio release—was there pressure to emulate the success of charters Outrospective and No Roots?
This time, as it was released on our own label there was no external pressure from the label’s point of view but there is always that internal pressure to make the best music you can make, to move on with your sound, to reach as many people as possible without diluting your message or being cheap and cheesy.
Is this a return to your club roots?
We absolutely wanted to make an album that reconnected with our club roots, and to deliver the anthemic side of Faithless we know people love, as there is no better feeling than watching a crowd go nuts to your song in a club or at a rave. And we were aware that our last two albums were a departure from that sound, more mellow and reflective. So it felt like the right time to step back into the fray!
Maxi Jazz has been commended by critics and fans alike for his positive lyrics. Where does his inspiration come from?
His Buddhist faith impacts on his lyrics as it informs his whole perspective on life.
Dido seems to fit in with Faithless perfectly.
She is family, so it was really easy to work with her. She has great melodic ideas and it’s a pleasure to create music for her to write songs with. She also found her initial success with Faithless; she was on tour with us for the first tour, and has performed on all six of our albums.
Read our 2006 interview with the band
How has the band evolved over the years?
I think the same things matter even more now than in 1995; friendships, and family especially as we have had to spend so much time away from them over the last 15 years. Being in a band is quite tough on relationships, and these are the things that keep us grounded so we definitely try to build our touring schedule in a more family-friendly way now than when we started! Musically, I think we’ve always wanted to stay relevant, and my DJing around the world allows us to keep in touch with what’s going down on the club scene.
It’s the first visit for the group but you’ve been here many times …
I have been here many times to DJ at Zouk and every time I’m here, I am overwhelmed by how friendly everyone is, and how passionate and knowledgeable they are about electronic music.
What can we expect from your upcoming gig in Singapore?
It’s a full-on live experience—an eight-piece live band playing music from all six of our studio albums with energy and passion!
Faithless plays Feb 22, 8pm. Fort Canning Park, 51 Canning Rise, 6332-1302. $98, $114 and $140 from SISTIC.