German Rock Pioneers Faust Talk Returning to Studio, Toning Down Live Show

Thorsten Jacobs


German experimental rock pioneers Faust plan to do more than play gigs this summer in North America. 

The Vagabondages Tour kicked off Wednesday (July 11) in Chicago, and as the tour winds west, principals Jean-Herve Peron and Werner "Zappi" Diermaier plan to be in the studio with composer Braden Diotte. "He invited us to record in San Diego (where the tour ends July 29) with him on one of his pieces, 'Dementia Tranquille,' and we're very much looking forward to that," Peron tells Billboard. "Who knows; Maybe we'll put it together with a few live recordings and put something out." That would, of course, be similar in approach to Faust's last album, 2017's Fresh Air, which had a similar mix of live and studio material.

"The live recordings promise to be interesting because it's a new lineup," Peron says of the Faust troupe, which this year includes Amaury Cambuzat on guitar and Tim Barnes on percussion, with a variety of other musicians coming and going throughout the 15-date tour. Diermaier, however, is sitting out the first two-thirds of the trek due to back issues, instead joining Faust on July 22 in Brooklyn and playing the four West Coast dates on the itinerary. "The first part of the tour is extremely rock 'n' roll -- it's 11 gigs in 12 days, and we are not 20 anymore," Peron explains. "For a young rock 'n' roll band that would be business as usual, I guess, but for us it's a challenge and for Zappi it's impossible. HIs back would not take it. So we'll see him in Brooklyn."

Peron is looking forward to Faust's run on this side of the pond, where he says fans are "much more enthusiastic" than in Europe. He adds that the shows will still be provocative, but without some of the shock value that's been Faust's stock in trade over the years.

"We used to scare the shit of people, they say, but that was not our intention," Peron says. "We were trying to bring out audience out of balance and hoping that in that state they would be more receptive to the music. It was more of a psychological thing. But we don't do this anymore. We don't use those very direct, extremely powerful explosions, fire, things like that. We're not smashing TVs or welding on stage or things like that. We try other methods now."