Symphonies of Sickness

The Faceless’ Michael Keene Discusses Struggles with Addiction and Solo Music in New Interview

  • Axl Rosenberg

Faceless fans are gonna watch this new interview TheMetalTris conducted with Michael Keene — ’cause it comes with two fairly major revelations.

For one thing, early in the discussion, Keene publicly discloses, for the first time, that he has struggled with drug addiction. Asked if some online fans’ interpretation of the lyrics on The Faceless’ new album, In Becoming a Ghost, are about recovery, Keene says:

“I obviously was in a pretty dark place when I was writing lyrics… I am a recovering drug addict, and a lot of [the lyrics are] about drugs. I had a few rough years… [writing the lyrics] was a very cathartic process, I think. I needed to get it out. I think I needed to verbalize what was going on in my head and all the mess in my head, and actually verbalizing it made it real to me, and I realized, ‘Okay, I can lock this away here and move forward.’”

That gutsy admission alone would make this interview newsworthy. But perhaps even more importantly, during the chat Keene also opened up about creative plans for the future.

After asserting “I think I probably have at least another Faceless album in me, maybe two, maybe three,” the guitarist/vocalist goes on to discuss a solo project he’s been fine-tuning, Slaves and Masters:

“Another project I’ve been working on, which I haven’t talked about just because it hasn’t been ready… I’m trying to decide if I want to release it as an EP — I have five songs ready right now — or if I want to just continue writing more songs and make it a full-length album… but it’s just like a solo project i’m doing, and it’s called Slaves and Masters.”

Unfortunately, there was either no follow-up question or the follow-up question was cut from the final video, so we really have no idea how Slaves and Masters will sound. Since Keene is very much in control of The Faceless, I have to imagine he wouldn’t wanna just do a Faceless record by a different name. But The Faceless have a diverse body of work as it is, so it’s debatable what “it doesn’t sound like The Faceless” would even mean, other than “not proggy tech-death.” In any case, it seems like a safe bet that this is different from the solo album Keene was talking about making back in 2012, since he says he’s never discussed Slaves and Masters before.

(Side note: still dying to hear the stand-up comedy album Keene said he was making around that same time.)

You can watch the entire interview below:

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