FEiN (pronounced fine) is an unsigned, alternative duo from Los Angeles with a sound similar to Portugal. the Man, St. Vincent, and Mother Mother. The members of FEiN, Brandon Woodward and Luke Walton, met while studying music at USC and cut their teeth as producers and studio musicians before forming the project. The band was created with the member’s production and studio background in mind; you may find FEiN busking on a street corner as a duo or performing in a theater with a large band often featuring strings, horns, and multiple drummers. We caught up with FEiN and got a little bit of insight on their musical backgrounds and got the inside scoop on their latest single #Grownupz.” Enjoy!
Entertwine: Could you give us some insight into your musical backgrounds? How did the two of you meet and begin creating and playing music together?
Brandon: Yeah I think we’ve both been part of a musical at some point. That life can be pretty rough, but you do what you have to do to survive. We met in college, and started playing music together in our friend’s bands.
Luke: When I was 13, I started playing music because of a girl. In order to get her to like me, I picked up the guitar. But try as I might to get her to be interested, I wasn’t able to get her to want to date me. I’ve long since gotten over this.
I met Brandon in the halls of music school and we played, together, in various studio and sideman projects around USC and around LA. We did a bit of touring (together). Wrote some songs (together). And recorded them all (together). All that worked out so we decided to start a band (together).
ET: What can you tell us about the Los Angeles, California music scene? How has the area influenced the two of you, both musically and personally?
B: LA is great, I’m from here, it’s my hometown. It can give a lot, but it can take just as much. I once had a U-Haul full of my sister’s furniture stolen while I ate lunch at a Chipotle around the corner. Musically, that taught me to always expect the unexpected. Personally, if taught me how crumby it feels when people steal your furniture and your U-Haul.
L: The music scene out here is interesting. Lots of venues. Even more bands. Even more incomplete sentences. Personally, I’ve never been as optimistically jaded as I am right now.
ET: What life experiences and events inspired the writing and recording of “Issue #1”?
L: Brandon was walking on the beach (Malibu) and found a message written in the sand. It looked scrawled together in a moment of haste. As he read with his mouth agape, the tide swelled and swallowed the poem whole; the words tossing violently into the depths of the cold, dark sea. Issue #1 is a transcription of what Brandon remembered from that event.
B: WE WROTE WHAT WE KNEW.
ET: What has the reception to your latest single ‘#Grownupz’ been like?
L: We had a massive reception from Kazakhstan actually. I heard people there were dancing in the streets to the song. There’s apparently video proof.
B: It’s been really fun. So far we’ve seen responses ranging from Borat dancing to our song, to really nice reviews, to “the chorus isn’t catchy at all.” We’re loving the ride.
ET: Who are your biggest musical influences? How do the sounds, textures, and writing styles of these artists find their way into your original compositions?
L: Mother Mother, Half Moon Run, The Doors, St. Vincent, Spoon, The Who, Everything Everything, Nirvana, Royal Canoe, The Belle Brigade, Cage the Elephant, Talking Heads, Zac Brown Band… to name a few. They provide a lot of inspiration and act like litmus tests for our own original music.
B: We were listening to St. Vincent on Spotify one day, and we saw there was another artist with that name. So we listened and couldn’t have been more pleased. Both St. Vincents were fantastic in their own way, and I hope someday they meet and are just as confused and happy as we were.