COURTESY NIC SHONFELDBritain’s The Horrors play from their fourth album “Luminous” at the Fillmore this week.

COURTESY NIC SHONFELDBritain’s The Horrors play from their fourth album “Luminous” at the Fillmore this week.

Horrors frontman sketches and paints, too

Faris Badwan, the 6-foot, 5-inch, black-clad Horrors frontman, isn’t sure when his unique artistic vision kicked in, but it was probably back in childhood when he found unusually imaginative ways to amuse himself on cross-country holiday drives with his parents.

“We’d set off on this long car journey, and it would always be raining. So I’d always try and see things in the raindrops being blown across the window, and I imagined these titanic battles being fought between the different raindrops. And that’s how I’d keep myself busy – for hours,” says the Brit, who brings his band to The City this week to promote its fourth recording, “Luminous.”

Wisely, Badwan’s folks bought him a tiny writing desk. “I would wake up really early and go sit at my desk and draw pictures – it was the first creative thing that I became obsessed with,” he says.

These days, Badwan, who studied illustration in college before forming The Horrors in 2005, carries a sketchbook to capture fleeting images. His art has come to the attention of British and European galleries, which have shown and sold his work, including complex cubist and surrealist paintings.

“I’ve always been interested in human form, and finding different ways of describing it. I just see things differently, things that are real to me, that may or may not be there,” he says.

Musical themes also are rooted in his notebooks – both “Luminous” lyrics and concepts for Cat’s Eyes, his spinoff duo with his girlfriend, Canadian opera singer Rachel Zeffira. (The couple just finished the soundtrack to Peter Strickland’s new film “The Duke of Burgundy,” and will soon wrap its sophomore disc.)

But the genres rarely overlap. “The same things that appeal to me as an artist appeal when I’m making music, too,” he says.

Horrors albums hinge on one breakthrough composition. The quasi-psychedelic “Luminous” has the shimmering seven-minute “I See You,” which leads to the ethereal “Sleepwalk” and two oddly jubilant tunes, “Falling Star” and “First Day of Spring.” It's a quantum leap forward from the quintet's goth-garage-y 2007 debut “Strange House.”

Any Horrors completist will want to own at least a Badwan print.

“If people only realized, they could save themselves some money,” he says. “Whenever anyone asks me for a photo, I say, ‘no, I don’t like taking photos. But I will draw you a picture.’ Then they can get a drawing of mine for free!”

IF YOU GO

The Horrors

Where: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 16

Tickets: $32.50

Contact: (415) 346-6000, www.livenation.com

artsFaris BadwanHorrorsLuminousPop Music & Jazz

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A sign about proposed development of the bluff at Thornton State Beach in Daly City on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Retreat center proposed at popular state beach

Daly City residents oppose construction on ocean bluffs

Rev. Roland Gordon shows “The Great Cloud of Witnesses” collage mural at the Ingleside Presbyterian Church, which he began building in 1980.<ins> (</ins>
Rev. Roland Gordon preaches love in action

Pastor promotes peace, hope through art and prayer

San Francisco’s Buster Posey was back at the plate after sitting out last season due to the risk of COVID-19. (David Maialetti/Tribune News Service)
Giants struggle against Angels in first game of Spring Training

By Nick Zeller-Singh Nearly 1,000 fans gathered into a breezy Scottsdale Stadium… Continue reading

Basketball (Shutterstock)
SI alum Begovich gets his moment, but Stanford falls on Senior Day

MAPLES PAVILION — Generally speaking, Stanford’s home finale on Saturday afternoon, a… Continue reading

U.S. Attorney David Anderson announces federal firearms charges against two men for their roles in a March 2019 shooting outside the Fillmore Heritage Center in a news conference alongside SFPD staff at the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Departing U.S. attorney predicts corruption probe will continue

David Anderson shook up City Hall as top federal prosecutor

Most Read