Elliot and Virgile Arndt aren’t your typical siblings. They didn’t connect through wrestling or hiding things from mom and dad. Since they were kids, the Franco-American duo has used their creativity as a secret language between the two of them.
Now, they make up the avant-pop duo Faux Real—and even decided to be interviewed as one entity.
The duo just released their debut EP, a self-titled masterpiece composed of five tracks that transcend any sort of genre.
“We don’t really see Faux Real as a traditional band,” the duo tells BTRtoday. “Most of these songs come from inside jokes, old catchphrases, and forgotten vocal memos. We then laugh at ourselves until it becomes a song—a lot of self-referencing is involved, like an infinity mirror or a closed-circuit soap opera.”
Faux Real isn’t only abnormal in their sound, but also in their performance. They include choreographed dance moves, coordinated uniforms, and interactive portions designed to keep the audience on their toes.
Read the entire interview with Faux Real and check out their newest EP below.
BTRtoday (BTR): So, I caught you guys in Brooklyn a bit ago at El Cortez. What a performance—so coordinated and fun! What made you want to produce a show like this?
Faux Real (FR): We don’t really see Faux Real as a traditional band. So we didn’t really think we should have a traditional show. We were more interested in trying to bridge the gap between J-Lo, Alan Vega, and Oskar Schlemmer. We failed totally at that but instead ended up with a crooked hybrid, which has been working well for us so far. The circumstances dictated a strict minimalist approach, so we embraced it.
BTR: What kind of work goes into choreographing and planning out the show?
FR: Watching hours of world-class ballets, operas, concerts, musicals, MTV, internet salsa classes, men on construction sites, religious rituals, political speeches, rubber band reviews, CPR tutorials, train robberies, mountaineering marathons, and fail compilations. And then we try to recreate all of it at the last minute, while our music plays in the background.
BTR: How are you keeping the Faux Real creative spark alive during quarantine?
FR: The creative spark between us two is a long-standing practice. It’s how we communicate with each other and express ourselves. We then keep about 1% of our best ideas and apply them to our project.
BTR: Let’s chat about this debut EP. I feel like the themes of each track are so different. Tell me about some of the EP’s inspirations.
FR: We are a pop group who can’t write real love songs, so we have to find ways around it. Like writing a love song about a love song, or using nursery rhyme patterns to describe our brotherhood. Most of these songs come from inside jokes, old catchphrases, and forgotten vocal memos. We then laugh at ourselves until it becomes a song. A lot of self-referencing is involved, like an infinity mirror or a closed-circuit soap opera.
Faux Real, “Kindred Spirit”
BTR: Have you guys had previous creative projects before Faux Real? Tell me about them.
FR: We had various musical and artistic endeavors prior to Faux Real coming into existence fully over the last decade, both in Paris and London. Our creative projects have been ongoing since we were children, individually and collectively, learning acrobatics, arithmetics, robotics, and playing in various bands. All of those experiences and personal revolutions then fed directly into Faux Real.
What creative path brought you to form Faux Real?
FR: Faux Real is the child of our brains singing in unison. It is the natural yet accidental chord progression of our existence. The union of our inner gene genies.
BTR: If Faux Real had a life motto, what would it be?
FR: Adapt, Overcome, Underestimate.
BTR: Other than the debut EP, what else should we be keeping an eye out for in the future of Faux Real?
FR: Holograms, harnesses, pyrotechnics, power tools, lasers, live streams, green screens, rollerblades, happenings, and maybe even an LP.