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FaUSt: "I’m always amazed when people say about how influential we’ve been"

Faust have been a band out of time since the 70s. Now faUSt – one of the two current incarnations of the band – are back with a new album that’s as timeless and thrilling as ever

“I was never aware that we were doing something special,” says Jean-Hervé Péron, sounding genuinely mystified when Prog catches up with him at his farm in northern Germany. We’re here to discuss the new faUSt album, Fresh Air, as well as the pervasive impact the band’s recorded legacy has exerted upon a generation of musicians since the release of their 1971 debut album.

“Even now, after almost half a century, I’m always amazed when people write about how influential we’ve been. Why are we a spring of inspiration for other people? I’ve no idea, but of course I’m very happy and proud of it.”

Though grateful for such attention, Péron admits to being utterly baffled as to why artists as diverse as John Lydon, Sonic Youth, Joy Division, The Fall, Julian Cope, Radiohead and Henry Cow, to name but a few, have praised his band’s distinctive but decidedly idiosyncratic output. If the likes of Can and Neu! assaulted the senses with the precise efficiency of a surgical strike, Faust – infused with the performance art ethos of Dada and Fluxus as much as any musical passions – were more akin to the anarchist’s bomb, whose explosive outcomes were uncertain and indiscriminate.

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