THE IAN FAYS are a Northern Californian indie pop-rock group composed of identical twin sisters, Lizzie and Sara.
The Fays released their first album, The Damon Lessons (Homesleep) in late October 2003. In the years to follow, the twins toured the US and Europe multiple times after their subsequent releases, Dylan’s Lost Days and Jensen’s Camera. On Halloween 2013, in celebration of their 10-year anniversary as a band, The Ian Fays released The Most Spectacular Party, and again toured extensively before taking a hiatus to foster a new generation of little Fays. On October 31st, 2023, in celebration of their 20-year anniversary as a band, The Fays released the title-track single from their upcoming album, Viola. The song offers a sneak peek of what is to come on the record, with nods to the color purple and love, and musical layering to fit the mood.
What does your music say about you?
That we have an affinity for writing songs about karaoke, holidays, games-of-chance, and haunted stuff.
Are you finding the isolation of the pandemic conducive to your writing, or is it hindering the experiences about which you can write?
We started writing songs when we went off to college at age 18. Lizz went to the Francisan University of Steubenville in Ohio, and Sara went to Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. We had played music since we were young teens (our family band performed regularly at retirement homes). Moving off to college was the life experience – and the time period – where we started writing our own songs, and we both started doing it independently without really consulting with one another about it. One of the first songs I wrote was called “16 Weeks” and one of the first songs Lizz wrote was called “4 Months” – that was a pretty wild twinly moment right there.
What is your current music project about?
We’ve been chipping away writing songs for this new record, Viola, for the past handful of years. We took a hiatus from songwriting as we entered the world of parenthood, so to come back to it is extra special for us. Viola has turned into a string of upwards of 17+ songs offering a glass-half-full perspective on life, loss, and love.
Where was your current project recorded?
Foghorn Studios in El Granada, CA. A magical place.
Was anyone else involved in writing, recording, or producing the songs?
Absolutely! Us twins (Lizzie and Sara) wrote the tracks, but collaborated with friends (far and wide, new and old!) in regard to instrumentation. Samuele Palazzi produced, arranged, recorded, and mixed the record — he is also the drummer in the band and played a bunch of instruments on the album! Samu truly is a jack of all trades and brought so much life, love, and creativity to the record. We wanted to present a variety of song styles (songs you can dance to, songs you can sulk to, songs you can hum to, etc.) — and Samuele was the driving force behind helping present/capture/translate that kind of dynamism.
Another incredible contributor was our friend Alessandro Paderno (Le Man Avec Les Lunettes). His ability to create feeling and build with guitar absolutely changed the record. We are so thankful for Ale!
Our friend of 20 years Julia Cupp (also the first original keyboardist in the Ian Fays!) was an incredible input who killed it with her keyboard parts–adding that lo-fi, electronic sparkle that is so dear to our Fay hearts. We also had a lovely family friend, Daniel Moskovits, record cello on a number of songs–a dream we have had since we started playing music! Daniel added so much beauty to Viola, and his contributions go right to the soul. Lastly, our friend Ruben Lopez came over one sunny Sunday and recorded some saxophone on two songs–that was the awesome cherry on top of the recording sundae!
What is the most useless talent you have?
We are freakishly good at Tetris. Wouldn’t quite call it a useless talent, as it is a skill that has impressed many party-goers in the past. But for all practical purposes I suppose it could be categorized as rather useless (although we take great pride in it!).
What was the last thing you dressed up as for fancy dress?
12th Annual Bowie Bash The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars Night at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. And an Ian Fay’s photoshoot where we wore floor length purple sequins gowns to the beach.
You are a new addition to a crayon box. What color would you be and why?
An excessively vibrant shade of purple. Our hearts beat purple.
Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?
We live for lucky objects and special traditions. The first special object that comes to mind is a pair of matching purple dice earrings that we both bought when we went to Las Vegas this summer. Whenever we record or practice songs for our upcoming record “Viola” we sport head-to-toe purple, so the earrings come in handy.
Are you a valuable asset on a Pub Quiz team?
Absolutely not. However, when it comes to celebrity baby names, we are an off-the- charts asset.
On October 31st, 2023, in celebration of their 20th anniversary as a band, THE IAN FAYS ofﬁcially return to the scene by releasing their new single Viola, title-track from their upcoming long-awaited album to be released by WWNBB.
A neofolk ballad highlighting the ﬁne whispered vocals of twin sisters Lizzie and Sara Fay, Viola offers a faithful anticipation of what is to come on this record. Incorporating delicate arpeggios, reﬁned harmonies, acoustic guitar strums reinforced by slide guitar accents, punctuated keyboard brushstrokes, minimal drum beats – all tied together with a lo-ﬁ ﬂavor. The result is an interplay of vibrant musical nuances, where each individual instrument embellishes the overall atmosphere giving that distinctive touch to a perfectly designed sound.
«I wrote this song in the shower, after an 8 hour drive ﬁlled with wildﬁres’ smoke, blood moons, and an overwhelming sense of inevitability. It’s about picking up and packing up to show love, seeing the world with purple eyes, and celebrating people through their sacred, favorite things».
The Ian Fays — Band:
WWNBB (We Were Never Being Boring) — Label:
Scintillarte — Press Office: