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The music industry needs a lot of things, but it’s always in need of surrealists. Enter Faux Real, a Franco-American duo made up of brothers Virgile and Elliot Arndt. The roving band of brothers have made a splash in the underground scenes of London, Paris, and New York for their raucous live performances. In a post-pandemic world that doesn’t cater to the barefoot bacchanals the brothers presided over, one would imagine the pair have slowed down—naturally, their as on their game as ever, releasing the chugging alt-pop storm of “Spooky Bois” right on time for Halloween. And their minds? As restless as ever.

Faux Real talked to each other for LADYGUNN. We can’t exactly follow the thread of the conversation, but it’s certainly worth a shot if you’re looking to get weird—they say the most important prophets of our times are the strangest among us, and these two are as weird and important as you might expect if that’s not evident from their eclectic sound. Think about it as looking deeply at a painting by DalĂ­. As displayed at an underground gallery. On Mars. While you’re tripping acid. A lot of acid.


ELLIOT ARNDT:  Who’s your favorite member of Faux Real?

VIRGILE ARNDT: Without a doubt our trusted mentor / road manager / executive producer and briefcase, Ferguson Videostar™.

EA: No way! I initially picked Ferg up from a beat up “Video Store” in London’s East End, and back then it was housing a VHS camera of the same name. The camera did not work so I left it on a table to age a bit. I heard that usually helps with old electronic equipment. And it sure did! Slowly but surely, the camera grew a stubby beard and a rather gentle, assured speaking tone. It eventually began filming me when I was cooking at home. Having quickly lost my patience and all my blank tapes to an illustrious cooking show, I brought it to one of the first Faux Real shows in London and it hasn’t stopped filming us since. The briefcase, in the other hand, immediately made an impression on us for its slick, futuristic and bureaucratic capabilities. Remember how we used to look at it and think it might just about hold one of our microphones?  We were wrong. It held our entire future.

VA: Ferg is always unbiased, fair, solid, and knows how to really cut through to the core of me in moments of doubt and difficulty. Where else would we keep our “life” savings, medicine, concert outfits, maps and checklists? On top of all that, Ferg has written some of our best choruses, and we’ve written a few about them, too.


EA: Speaking of which, what’s your favorite Faux Real song?

VA: My favorite Faux Real song has yet to be written. It is a lockdown love-letter, a luscious lullaby, a languid landscape, a lilting lied…or perhaps one of the brand new tunes you and I have been labouring over in the past few months? What’s your favorite Faux Real song?

EA: The one that hums and buzzes, that creeks, croaks, bleeps and bloops. It offers insight on the current and foresight on the future. It has a friction at its core and it tickles the nostrils. It bends over backwards for you and keeps the paperwork nice and sorted. It has a start but no end, three parts and a bend. Since we are debunking the entire myth of faux real right here and right now: is it true that you spent several months at an acrobatics training camp this summer? Did you really learn how to fire-breathe?

VA: I did learn to breathe fire, and I’m putting this new technique to good use by breathing fire directly into new Faux Real songs, thus making them really, really lit. Is there anything you wish I could do, that I currently cannot? Any self-help advice?

EA: I wish you could walk on water a little bit more. I wish you could turn wine into water for a change? Maybe that way we wouldn’t run out of water so quickly always. Maybe you could just be me a bit more, so that I can be you a little more. Maybe you could simply spend more time wishing? Statistically speaking, that would probably allow for a greater amount of your wishes to come true. If more of your wishes come true, you’d also probably start making more ambitious wishes, which would, in turn, probably regulate the percentage of ones that do come true back down closer to the universal average. Plus, if I give you my own self-help advice, won’t you just be helping me every time you perform it?

VA: True. I heard you were spreading rumours about being taller than me. Have you been spreading those rumours, and are they true?

EA: I measure what I measure and that’s that. You measure what I measure too. That’s that. And I say this from the peak of my existence, the longest I’ve ever lived in one consecutive go.

VA: Wait? Are you also planning on becoming older than me.

EA: I haven’t become older than you in ages, so I thought it might be worth a try just to keep the balance more unruly and the ground of our blinding success more fertile. So, tell me, you always refer to us making stuff up From Scratch™. Where does this “Scratch” begin? What layer of genesis is considered the first in any given event?

VA: Very pertinent question, thank you. Scratch begins where you want it to. In cooking, for example, making a cake from scratch means it isn’t store-bought. However, it doesn’t mean that the chef has grown the wheat and made the flour, farmed the chicken for its eggs, or grown the cane for sugar, which means “scratch” is a social construct. The same goes in an artistic context. Despite earnest claims and efforts to create something new, we mostly use old tools, instruments and patterns. So if nothing is really new, everything is new. Faux Real means to look at everything this way. Everything is an invention, from the breath you are taking right this instant to the way you sing an old standard.

EA: Speaking of old standards, who played your favourite chord ever? How and why?

VA: You! It was a C sharp major, on a Tuesday in 2018. I purposefully left out a lot of contextual information from this answer, but trust me, it was really good. I have an ear for those things: the left one. Tell me:what’s your plan for 2021? Anything I should know?

EA: Buying a motorbike, finally fucking the system, and sanitizing my entire record collection. You?

VA: Buying a sidecar, defunding the police, and finalizing the blueprints for Faux Real’s most ambitious project yet.



photos / Noah Agemo + Sarah Pardini

story / E.R. Pulgar

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