Hello, friends and rock stars! Welcome to another METAL interview!!!
I first ran across Faith in Failure’s music in the Facebook group ‘unsigned metal bands’. (That group is an absolute treasure trove!) So I checked out their music on Spotify, and WOW!!! It’s as raw as Pantera, and as polished as NightWish. Truly amazing stuff!!!
So, naturally—being the inquisitive/nosy soul that I am—I reached out to the band, and founding member Cole Kaluger was kind enough to give me an interview. So let’s all give him a big ROCKSTAR welcome, now!!!
Welcome! I see Faith in Failure is based out of Columbus, Ohio, USA. Can you tell our readers a bit about the members and their roles, and how y’all got together?
Yes we are in Columbus, OH. My name is Cole and I play guitar. Our other members are Chad (vocals), Aaron (guitar), Matt (bass), and our newest member is Nathaniel (drums). The band originally started as an idea I had back in 2014. At the time I was finishing graduate school, and I had been playing in a few bands. Mainly cover bands, but I was really wanting to either join or start a band that just did original music. Where I was living at the time I knew it would be difficult to find the right people. The area was big into country music and 80/90’s metal. I was wanting to do something more modern like my favorite bands. So I decided I’d just get a head start on things by writing music. I ended up coming up with the name Faith in Failure while hanging out with my sister one night and coming up with bad band names. I had a name, music, and the first idea for a logo after that. I looked at the potential band more as a business so I wanted to have as much done and in place as I could so I could present the band to perspective members. Eventually I had the idea of moving to Los Angeles, CA which I made the trip out there in the beginning of 2016. Saved up a bunch of money, quit my jobs, and started driving across America. After being out there for some time I was really struggling to get my feet planted as far as a job that could help keep me from being homeless, and I was starting to run out of money. I had a fork in the road type moment where I could either stay in L.A. and tough it out for the meantime, or I could head back to Ohio to regroup and try again. I made the decision to go back to Ohio. I woke up one morning in Oklahoma City to finish the trip and I called one of my best friends Matt. Him and I tried to do some cover bands over the years but they didn’t work out like we had hoped. I told him I was coming back to Columbus and I wanted him to play bass in this band. That was the official beginning of the band in my eyes. We started going online to try and find other members however we could and we spoke with a lot of people in the beginning, but they didn’t work out for one reason or another. We decided to try filling out the band with friends of mine I had in older bands which worked for a few months, but the issue was they were on the east side of Ohio on the boarders so it wasn’t easy logistically. Eventually it was back to just Matt and I. We kept at it, but eventually I met Aaron one day when he came into the guitar store I worked at. We talked for a little bit about our bands, and became friends on Facebook. I messaged him a few times over the course of a few months seeing if he was interested in filling the other guitar spot, and one day he messaged me asking if it was still open. We met up and talked. Things went well, and he offered to introduce me to a friend of his who would become our original vocalist, Sergio. Then we met our originally drummer, Nick through Sergio as well. Time went on and we wrote, recorded, did a music video, and played our first show in 2019. After that Sergio would be heading to Florida for school which we knew about. We ended up searching for a new vocalist and found Chad on Craigslist of all places. Brought him in for an audition after we hung out and it was a perfect fit. Back in the spring of this year Nick decided to step down as our drummer so the search was on. We found Nathaniel through a recommendation of a friend’s band. I went to message him and it turns out back in 2018 before Nick we were talking to Nate about potentially being our drummer hahaha. Small world. At the time he was in a few bands like most drummers tend to be and he respectfully passed. After I spoke with him this time he was stoked about it. We all hung out and had him come for two auditions. Another perfect fit.
So who plays the piano? I love that element in the music. Lends a certain elegance to it …
That would be me. It was something I had to learn while in music school as an undergrad student. It’s a beautiful instrument. I love incorporating it in our music as much as I can
Which music school did you attend? Was metal something you always wanted to play, or did that evolve over time?
I went to West Liberty University in West Virginia for undergrad. I got a bachelor’s in music for guitar from there. For graduate school I went to Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts where I got a master’s in music production. I grew up with parents who were very into music. My parents were pretty young when I was born too. They are children of the 80’s so they were into hair metal, thrash metal, my mom was also really into pop music of the time. My dad also started playing guitar as a teenager and was in a lot of bands. He was playing in bands into the early 90’s. So growing up I was always listening to stuff like Metallica, Ozzy, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Black Sabbath, Pantera, Guns N’ Roses, but also Duran Duran, Tears For Fears, for example. So I had a nice background of music growing up. The first music I discovered on my own was punk rock. I bought my first CD when I was 10 which was MXPX’s “Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo.” That morphed into finding other punk bands like NOFX, Green Day, Bad Religion, Blink-182, New Found Glory, The Offspring, The Ramones, The Misfits, etc. Going with the times I got into Nu Metal with Korn, Papa Roach, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit for example. I really grew up on the mid-late 2000’s metalcore. That’s my first love musically. Avenged Sevenfold is my hands down favorite band of all time, but I love all of the bands from that era if we are being honesty. It’s harder to find a band I don’t like.
Going through music school and learning about a lot of different music I’d say my taste has become way more eclectic
Wow! I suspected someone had formal musical training. If I had to describe Faith in Failure’s sound, it would be ‘spans the entire history of rock plus some classical’. How do your songwriting sessions play out? Does one person write and the whole band arranges, or is writing a group effort?
Hahaha thank you. I try to wear my influences on my sleeve. I’d say that’s a pretty spot on description. I always struggle to find like a word or two to describe our sound because we do so much. Nothing is off the table and we aren’t afraid to try something crazy, or buck current trends in metal. Every song is something we are very proud of and we don’t release things until we are 100% behind it. As far as song writing goes I’m the primary song writer. I typically send demos out to the guys that have all the guitar parts, drums that I had been writing with which are more for ideas since I’m not an actual drummer, and any extra things like piano, strings, and choir. Chad and Matt write all their own stuff for the songs. Nate and I as well as Nick and I before will talk about drums because I’ll send things I liked for the vibe or maybe there’s a certain part I’d like to keep. Ultimately they are drummers and I’m not so I trust them and we go with their ideas. From time to time I’ve written with Aaron on songs. Our original vocalist came to the table with 2 older songs that we worked together on, and recently we have an unreleased song that was something Chad had wrote most of, but it wasn’t finished. So we finished that song together as well.
I’ll present songs, and the guys will do their own thing with it. Once that is done we’ll add extra little touches. When we are recording we’ll sit with our producer and work on ideas to fill up the song sonically with stuff you’d notice or maybe never notice but it’s there.
I LOVE Faith in Failure’s percussion! In hard rock, it’s very easy for the drumming to just end up sounding like a machine gun. FiF’s percussion is very tastefully composed, and meshes perfectly with the other instruments and vocals. So where can our readers find a gig? Do y’all tour, or do you stay around the Columbus area?
Thank you very much. Nick was not a metal drummer when he joined. His favorite band is Rush which they are known for having crazy and unique parts/songs. So he always had ideas that I wouldn’t have had and so we’d just make things work, and it always worked well in the end. With Nate he’s a more modern prog/metal drummer so he also has a lot of cool and crazy ideas that again I wouldn’t have come up with. So we make things work. I think they both bring a really cool and different element to the band which helps not only their drumming stand out, but it helps our music stand out as well. Very fortunate to have that element from them in this band. Currently we are booking for the fall/winter of 2022-23. We played our first show with Nate back on August 20th here in Columbus at The King of Clubs. Couldn’t have asked for a better first show with him. One thing we are focused on now is getting out of state. We’ve played all over Columbus, and a lot of different places around Ohio. Covid threw a wrench into our plans previously for getting out of Ohio but that’s life sometimes. That killed a festival in Florida we were a part of which would’ve been our first out-of-state festival. Still, we were up for some of the bigger rock festivals this year, but unfortunately didn’t get on them. So we’ll be shooting for them next year too. We are looking to play in West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. So hopefully we’ll be getting out to a lot of new people soon.
Indeed! I was always a Rush fan. I also love your singer. It’s remarkable to find a singer who can balance ‘clean’ vocals with snarling and screaming, and make it all balance out. And your bass player meshes perfectly with the drummer. And the guitars … well, just DAMN!!! Is there anything else about Faith in Failure that you’d care to share with our readers?
Chad is definitely talented and one of a kind. All the vocals are him too. He nails the same stuff live which is always impressive. He’s got a super wide range which tends to surprise people. We always joke that Matt is a bassist who wants to play the bass hahaha. He’s a big fan of amazing bassists like Justin Chancellor, and Ryan Martinie. So he’s all about playing the bass to his full potential which means he comes up with killer bass parts that stand out and get compliments. I’m very thankful to have all of these guys in the band honestly. We’ve been able to put together something special and everyone is vital to our sound and success.
It’s been an honor having you on today, Cole. I’m super excited to see what the future has in store for Faith in Failure!
We’ve got more music coming out here pretty soon as well as a new music video. We’ve recently launched a full-service online merch store as well. We like to offer a lot of cool designs, and we are constantly coming up with more merch. We love to talk with fans and meet new people so you can reach out on your social media platform of choice. We always share anything people tag us in as well. We are just thankful and humbled by any and all support we get from fans and we want to connect with them however we can
Thank you so much. It’s always fun to talk and we are honored that you asked us to be a part of this!
You are MOST welcome!
So, yep … FAITH IN FAILURE, Y’ALL!!! Check ‘em out!!!
TO CONNECT WITH FAITH IN FAILURE: https://linktr.ee/OfficialFaithInFailure