Indie rock trio Falling Still followed their hearts and dreams from a small Ohio town all the way to the big smoke of Los Angeles. Two albums later they have made their mark and are showcasing their unique brand of tunes all over the US. We sat down with bassist Brett Hamilton to chat their self-titled EP, searching for their sound and learning curves.
By Emma Dean
Where are you guys from and how did Falling Still begin?
We all grew up together in a small town near Akron, Ohio. It was always just kind of understood that if we moved to Los Angeles and pursued our musical endeavours that, eventually, something spectacular was bound to happen. So we stuck with it – maybe as more of a hobby at first, but it became more and more obvious that the music we made together was the most prevalent force in all of our lives, and we were obsessed. We still are.
What are three things we should know about you guys?
We’re loud, we’re fun, and we’re probably getting drunk.
You worked with producer Michael Parnin for the third time with this EP, how did you guys meet and why did you initially decide to work together?
We briefly met Michael when he was recording our friend’s band. He’s an Ohioan as well, and we hit it off right away. When the time came to record, his name came up, and he agreed to come out and see what kind of songs we had. Somehow he saw something in us and he did an amazing job helping us tap into what it was. We were a mess before meeting Michael and we wouldn’t exist now without his guidance.
What are the main influences your music and lyrics? Who would you love to work with?
We’re influenced by loud, powerful noise. Particularly the kind of noise you can pull out of drums and amplified guitars. We’re influenced by singers who aren’t afraid to unleash and sing like there’s something worth singing about. And we’re influenced by an ambition to put these influences together in a way that isn’t quite like anything else we’ve ever seen or heard. And we want to work with anyone else who feels the same way.
How have you tried to do things differently with each record? Why did you decide to release an EP as opposed to a full album?
Making our first two albums was essentially like going to school for us. We were in a great environment to learn and practice and make mistakes, and after living with those first two records and working on new songs for a while, we got impatient and went back to the studio. There were 10 or 11 songs to begin with, and we really would have liked to make a record, but we really just didn’t have the resources to do so at the time. So we just made an EP of the best of the bunch.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a band?
Don’t be afraid to play loud.
You’ve said that in this EP you’ve finally been able to create the music you always wanted to make – how is this different from your original work?
It took us a long time to trust in ourselves and in each other and start to become comfortable with the ways we all work together. An honest voice is a hard thing to find, and we’re still looking for it. We get closer each time we try though, and the EP was a great catalyst in helping us understand that.
So what are you guys up to now?
We’re in the middle of recording new songs right now. It shouldn’t be too long until you can hear them. We recently fell into an amazing recording situation, and we’re trying to reach a point where we can put out new material constantly. So until that starts to happen, we’ll just be sticking to the LA area. It’s often tough to justify fronting the bill for a tour.
What is your most amusing tour story?
The first time we ever toured, we went and got a cheap piece of shit van, got it all fixed up and running good, and figured we’d just drive it for one tour and end up scrapping it after. So when the time came, we loaded it with all our gear and snacks and suitcases and we hit the road. About an hour or two outside of LA, the van started to struggle as we climbed into the high desert, near a town called Victorville. We didn’t find this that unusual, seeing as it was an older van, and we pulled off the freeway to buy some peanut butter. Halfway through our left turn into the gas station, our new van took its final breath. The transmission was totally shot and we wound up paying $500 for a tow back to LA. It was the worst possible way to start a tour.
What are some awesome up and coming bands we should be checking out?
We’ve played with an ungodly number of bands over the years, and for the first time in a while, there’s starting to be a lot we’re excited about: 8mm, The Filthy Souls, Family Wagon, Great White Buffalo, The Bixby Knolls, Beat Club, Jules & Verne… just to name a handful. LA feels like it’s starting to rock a little bit harder.
Many thanks to Brett for taking the time to chat to us. You can check out Falling Still at: http://fallingstill.com