With an average age of just 18 the exciting young five-piece are ruffling feathers not just on the local scene but at dozens of gig venues across the UK, steadily building a fan-base of thousands and landing a record deal along the way.
With the release of debut mini album Signals, the Watford-based metal outfit are riding the crest of a wave - a wave that shows little sign of coming to an end anytime soon. An incendiary mix of old-school metal and modern, technical heavy rock, the visceral yet thoughtful, often technical sound produced by the guys – apart from being very loud – is enough not only to wake the dead but a bring a grin to even the most unlikely of faces.
“We played in front of more than 3,000 people last week,” explains Jake, the heavily tattooed, immediately likable vocalist.
“It wasn’t a metal thing at all it was more of a community event. We auditioned, somehow got on the bill and the crowd loved us. None of them were really metal fans but we got one of the best reactions of the day.”
Nonetheless, here is FAF’s problem; they are and always will be a niche act, appealing to a necessarily smaller market than many less talented but more successful acts. Mind you, that’s not to say they aren’t bloody good (they are) and doesn’t mean they won’t fulfil they’re evidently hefty potential, because they could well do so.
After all, the Gallows – Watford’s other notable niche export – haven’t done so badly for themselves, have they?
Comparisons between the two are probably as boring as they are unnecessary, save only to mirror a very obvious talent with a boundless enthusiasm and near Stalinist work ethic.
Here is a bunch of guys (Jake, vocals; Tom, lead; George, rhythm, Lewis, bass; and Elliot, drums) formed for just one year with up to 50 gigs under their belts; a bunch of lads touring the country in a convey of knackered, cramped cars and practicing nearly every day – not for money or immediate fame but to improve as a band; to perform to anyone who’ll listen and ensure by force of will that they squeeze everything they can out of what they have .
“I’ve actually lost count of how many gigs we’ve done,” adds whippet-thin drummer Elliott “It’s between 30 and 50 which shows how busy we’ve been.
“We’ve played in London, Manchester, Birmingham – all over the place which has been great experience. It’s a bit unusual for a band of our age but everyone is totally committed to the band.
“None of us are working full-time at the moment because this is what we want to do. We’re not going to university so we’re going to give this everything we have and see where it takes us.”
Quite where that will be is hard, as yet, to tell, put it safe to say FAF, named after a moment of inspiration by a friend’s girlfriend, are on the right track.
“Obviously our dream,” adds Tom, “is to appear in Kerrang and be the biggest band in the world. Obviously the second bit probably won’t happen but we’ve at least made three words in Kerrang in the listings page.”
It’s hard not to like and admire FAF as people. More importantly, it’s hard even (speaking firmly as a 90s indie boy) not enjoy their music. They have the world at their feet and I for one wish them all the best.