Best known as the frontman and songwriter of the band The Hold Steady, Craig Finn has made his mark with slice-of-life songs about youth, drinking, and getting in and out of trouble; songs which built to roaring and anthemic choruses that felt universal and freeing. In his solo work Finn’s songs spin a new narrative, possibly more clear-eyed and and definitely more mortal. Songs deal with 9/11, trying to tie up loose ends, and high-school friends trapped in dead-end towns.

In the audio player below, listen to him talk about watching the Twin Towers burn from his friend’s rooftop — the genesis of the song “Newmyer’s Roof.” Craig Finn’s new release, Faith in the Future, comes out on Sept. 11. He’s on tour in the Midwest and East Coast through November.


Audio recording: Steven Kray with assistance from William Ward
Editor: Brendan Jones
Videographers: Alex Crowson, Nate Sjol, Andrew Barrick
Executive Producer: David Christensen