That's right! Meet Faintly, the perfect band in a world of perfection. Or maybe not in the end. As lead singer Ian Ketterer asks, "Am I ruining my own career in music by writing this article?" Find out for yourself and learn to love the beauty in imperfections.
It’s Friday night and Faintly takes the stage in front of a sold out crowd. The lights dim, and the music starts to emerge, when suddenly out of no where…BLAM, a wrong note. Has it happened before? Yes. Am I ruining my own career in music by writing this article? I certainly hope not. But if that happens to be the case, please ignore the first few lines of this paragraph. What I really meant to say was…Hi, my name is Ian. I am the lead vocalist and keyboardist of my band Faintly and I am perfect in every single way imaginable. Or at least, that’s what the general public is suppose to think…right? More often than not, beauty flies right past us because we’re only judging the imperfections. And that goes for everything in life.
There is something about the Diana and Diana Mini that is so wonderfully wrong that it’s right. My goal with my band, is to document everything we do using Lomography cameras.. Whether it be pictures from shows, pictures with fans, or just plain crazy photos that don’t make any sense. The Diana Mini allows us to make happy mistakes, and we absolutely love that! My band and I love the lo-fi image quality and oh don’t even get me started on the light leaks and the vignetting! It’s all so amazing. The Diana brings life to an otherwise dead photograph. I made a pact to myself to document everything with photos from now on, because I have already missed out on significant events in my life due to not having a camera.
Two years ago (when I was 23 years old), I underwent open heart surgery which would have been nice to save not just in my own memory, but also in picture form. I feel photographs are the best way to preserve moments in time. Our band is originally from a small town in Wisconsin called Mayville. But in October of 2009 we relocated half our band to Seattle, WA to further our career in music. There have been so many crazy moments and experiences since we’ve been in Seattle which we only wish could have been documenting with the Dianas. (You can read blogs all about our journey since we arrived in Seattle on our official website, which is provided at the end of this article).
I think what really drew me in to taking photos with the Diana Mini in particular, was the fact that I could relate it so much to music. As anyone who has used a Diana before would say, “Expect the unexpected!” It’s amazing to take a photo, and see how the Diana perceived the subject’s beauty. It’s always just a bit different than what you’d expect. Which goes hand in hand with music and in particular, the writing process. One of Faintly’s strongest songs “History,” came from a mistake that our previous guitarist had played during the rehearsal of some of our other material. The minute I heard those few wrong notes, I immediately started writing a new song around them. All of our focus and energy was quickly shifted to finishing that song right then and there. To me, flaws are so inspiring. I love watching a really successful band hit a sour note. To me it just signifies that for one, they are actually playing live, and two, they’re only human.
Another huge reason I am so excited to be using the Diana Mini is for the fact that it brings us back to the analog days. Remember the days when there was no texting and driving, where cell phones didn’t even exist? We live in such a technology-driven society nowadays that I felt the need to go back in time and do things “the old fashioned way.” Don’t get me wrong, I love technology just as much as the next guy. I mean, how do you think I typed this article? My handwriting is about as slow as a snail stuck to the pavement with super-glue. I just think there is something so enjoyable about taking a snapshot of a subject, and not being able to see it instantly on a perfectly lit LCD display. We need more suspense in our lives. It might be hard to imagine but, taking your 35mm film to a developer and waiting all day to get it back just to find out you forgot to take the lens cap off…is actually fun, and funny, and a bit annoying. But none the less, you’ve at least learned what not to do (shoot an entire roll of film with the cap on). The truth is, when you shoot from a digital camera, the average person goes through and deletes every single photo they think isn’t perfect, leaving only the ones they feel are the absolute very very best quality. When shooting from a toy film camera like the Diana Mini, you don’t have that “luxury.” Instead, you are forced to see what turned out good and what turned out weird. And more times than not, the weird are better than the good!
Analog is the way to go if you want the most honesty and rawness. We found an 1889 Pump Organ at a Goodwill store right down the road from our house for $100. So of course, we had to buy it. The first time I played it I fell instantly in love. There is no digital replication in the world that sounds as good as a true all-analog instrument like a pump organ. We are currently writing and recording a song entitled “Diana.” The inspiration is from the organ itself and the passion we share for music and photography. I wanted to portray how nice it would be to reverse time and start life all over again with a loaded Diana in hand so there would be no moment in my life that would ever be forgotten. The song “Diana” will be available for purchase on iTunes very soon along with our first EP from 2009 called “The A B Theory” which is already available on iTunes.
If there is one piece of knowledge that everyone should know and come to terms with before they die, it’s that there is absolutely no perfect anything, period. Imperfections are perfection.
Thank you all for reading, now go take some pictures!
-Myself (Ian), Justin, Jon and Mark
Now Read and see more on FAINTLY and Ian Ketterer in their LomoAmigo Interview