Last year when Riki Rachtman held a Battle Of The Bands at The Whisky in Hollywood for a spot to play on stage at the Cathouse Live event, one band in particular caught our attention, Faith & Bullets. What better opportunity to catch up with the guys than at NAMM 2016? And members Stevie Mayhem (vocals), Rikki Bullets (guitar/backing vocals) and Cody Sparkz (bass/backing vocals) were more than happy to sit down with Screamer for a brief chat.
Since Cathouse Live, Mayhem says “We just spent the remainder of the year finishing up Rebellion our first album and it is already to go at the end of February and now we are just waiting on the booklet and artwork and we are really looking forward to having everyone hear it. We have demos up on social media, but this is our first real full length album.” As with a lot of new bands, Faith & Bullets is a DIY band so this album was recorded, produced, the whole nine yards by the band themselves. Mayhem states, “We went from studio to studio but just couldn’t find one that would do our album justice so we just decided to do it all on our own. We wanted to have a certain sound.”
Faith & Bullets is on a mission to bring back the rock n’ roll that so many of us grew up listening to. The classic Sunset Strip vibe in juxtaposition with some modern twists is what makes this band so intriguing. Hopefully, they can revive the rock n’ roll scene and bring about a new revolution. “For us the whole thing is to help rock n’ roll become the mainstream music again,” Mayhem expresses. “I don’t know if it will happen, but it is what we want to see and it’s all about believing in what you are doing and believing in the cause. That is how we came up with our album name Rebellion. Because we are considered rebels since we are going against the grain and bringing it back to what music should be. A lot of [metal] bands are coming out of Europe lately and we want to do that, but here in the states.”
Rikki Bullets started the band because he grew tired of the bands he had been in and was really wanting to do something different so he put an ad out online and Mayhem was the first one to answer. After a few lineup changes, they finally feel that they are complete and ready to make things happen and it seems that they are receiving a lot of positive responses so far. With their newest addition, rhythm guitarist Eddie, there is no shortage of brotherhood and musical chemistry. Crediting bands like Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, Cinderella and newer bands like Escape The Fate and Avenged Sevenfold for their musical inspirations, Faith & Bullets admires how those bands have also taken things to such incredible levels and hope to do just that. Bullets says, “There aren’t a lot of people coming to shows anymore and it’s crazy. With the overplaying of songs and live streaming music, it has taken away from the live music part of the business.” Mayhem continues, “We want to make LA great again [campaign slogan?] musically and we want to put on great shows. Like KISS and other bands that know how to entertain while they play music. A lot of bands that live by us have the look, but then they get on stage and there is no energy. We have had people approach us and tell us we are the new generation of rock and it just makes my day and the reception we are getting is amazing. We don’t have that backing yet and it’s not that we don’t want it, we just want to do it the right way, that is important to us.”
In closing, Mayhem made it a point to convey how important it is to go above and beyond in your music and to always be looking for ways to stand out. While pop music seems to be the normal nowadays, rock n’ roll has never been more alive and with bands like Faith & Bullets who are young and full of life a revival may be just around the corner. “We all grew up loving rock n’ roll and I have played since I was 8 years old and while it took me a long time to get where I am, we will always take our time to be authentic and be true musicians. Something that is lacking these days. There aren’t even as many music programs in schools anymore and it’s sad” Mayhem says. “But we have been approached at times on how our sound is raw and our vocals are not necessarily right on point, but if you look at some of the great bands of the 80’s, they were the same way and that is what made them great. They were true, they are real and there is no disguise there,” Mayhem concludes.
One thing that these guys have is an everlasting dedication to their dream and to their music, it will be exciting to see how far that takes them.