A Leap of Faith

Dance outfit Faithless, comprising Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and Rollo, has brought us dance anthems such as “Insomnia,” “God Is A DJ” and “We Come 1” over the years. Now, the band is back with the superior dance release To All New Arrivals. We grab Jazz for a quick chat about his religion, Faithless’s music and the split up that never happened.
Maxi, one thing that strikes us about Faithless is your lyrics. How many of the lyrics are influenced by your religion?
All of them. The two bits that I really like about Buddhism are that you can influence your own life to be better, and you can influence others’ lives to be better too.
Can we say you make music to make others’ lives better then?
I make music to make my life better! I love to do it. It gives me satisfaction. I want others to enjoy it too. To this day, music has a huge influence on my life. I learn stuff through music, I learn something when someone writes a song, or I hear someone singing. Writing a song that other people like is really the icing on the cake.
OK, one of Faithless’s hits that people truly dig is “God is a DJ.” What was the song inspired by?
The song was inspired by a conversation and the fact that you can take the word “God,” and replace it with “beauty” instead. Indeed, beauty is everywhere. Beauty, love and joy are everywhere, at all times. One of the main lines in the song is “This is my church/ This is where I heal my hurts.” The church can be anywhere where people get together and respect each other. Rather than a “proper” church, you can be in a concert, and you see a whole bunch of people, thousands of people, treating one another with love and respect. When people go to a festival, it’s because they have the same shared values in music and have fun. If we can get everybody in the world to share the same values, you’ll have exactly the same vibe you get in concerts. And I feel that’s when you have a peaceful world.
Why is the latest album called To All New Arrivals?
It’s because Sister Bliss was expecting a baby when we were making the record. To All New Arrivals could mean migrants coming to a new shore. It could refer to a new way of thinking, or consciousness if you like. We have a lot of new fans because of our greatest hits album Forever Faithless. It’s like welcoming them too. It’s a broad theme covering a lot of concepts.
And how do you personally relate to the concept?
To me, it’s referring to the new arrivals on the planet, or to humanity. I think we are not born with humanity, but we aspire to be human. Ghandi was an incredible human. People like him work on their humanity.
How is this album different from Faithless’s previous releases musically?
There’s no huge anthemic house track here. There’s no “God is a DJ” or “Insomnia.” It’s a lot more introspective. Some say it’s quite dark, but our albums have always been rather dark. It’s just that the other albums have a couple of uplifting tracks. People focus on that and forget about the rest.
We heard this album might be followed up with a tour. Is it true?
Yap, it’s true. There will be gigs. But it won’t be as maniac like our last tour. Because we think we’re getting old. We’ll play in Europe, and a few shows outside.
There was a huge rumor that Faithless is splitting up last year. Was it entirely unfound?
Yeah. We just said we didn’t want to tour so much. And our greatest hits album was out during that time. There’s this concept that people release a greatest hits CD when they are splitting up. Maybe that’s how it started. As long as we enjoy making music and we’re still got something to say, we’ll keep releasing albums. But both Rollo and I believe strongly that in life there’s a beginning, middle and an end. Once you’re overripe, you’re not much use to anybody. When the time has come, we’ll…well, let’s just say we’ll end before we get boring.