On June 28th (my birthday, yay!), Minneaopolis experimental rock band FALLING (est. 2012) will release their debut album ‘Out of Sight’ on Minnesota label Northern Isolation and have recently unveiled a single called “I Can’t See” with perfect garage/psych/fuzz/stoner rock proportions. To celebrate, they have teamed up with IDIOTEQ to share some interesting thoughts on their creative process, inspirations and the importance of not limiting yourself. Launch the new track, grab it for free and read the full interview below.
FALLING is: Jackson Catton, Lars Oslund, and JJ Monroe.
Hey guys! So, your long awaited record, written over a span of 2 years, the very child of your 4-year existence is here. How does it feel? :)
Lars Oslund: It feels amazing, considering the process it took to get here. I’m very ready to release this record!
Jackson Catton: It feels good, of course! It’s very positive to put so much energy into a project and then be able to let go of it to some extent. It’s very gratifying to release it to the “masses”, whatever that might entail for us.
JJ Monroe: We’ve also had a pretty smooth transition from finishing the record to writing for whatever comes next, so we’re looking forward to that as well.
Ok, we’ll get back to the record a bit later on. First, let’s learn more about FALLING. Can you talk about you all first met each other and what prompted you to start this project?
JC: I met JJ around 6 years ago through a performance program here in the Twin Cities called School of Rock. We clicked pretty much immediately. Lars and I met through JJ and definitely didn’t click quite so immediately, but eventually we became much tighter on a creative and personal level.
LO: I met JJ in a high school science class and I wanted to play music with him. He was the only guy I knew that played bass! The first time all three of us played together I was playing guitar and Jackson was playing drums, we did one shitty BILLY TALENT cover. That didn’t work out. We’ve played together for so long, a lot has changed.
How exactly did you go from early interest in music to running an experimental rock band together? Please tell me more about your background, other project you’ve been in and the source of your urge to create something more than just a standard rock band.
JC: I had an obsession with music, particularly rock music, from a very early age. My initial exposure was to 70’s and 80’s classic rock through my dad. This gradually led down the rabbit hole to better music over time, thankfully. Growing up in the information age has been a blessing in terms of music discovery! Our tastes have collectively grown in depth and variety, so naturally we seek to reflect an eclectic sensibility.
LO: I consider my favorite music to most often have some sort of experimentation. I view the term “experimental” as not limiting yourself and going outside of your comfort zone, and I feel that’s what we strive for.
JJ: I grew up listening to some good music and a lot of bad music, then I met these two and we listened to good and bad music together, eventually realizing a lot of it isn’t so great. We found things that were special in particular music, the compositional and emotional aspects of music, how there are feelings that music can evoke and articulate that normal life doesn’t have.
What are some of the biggest inspirations for writing such tracks? Who are some of the artists who are really influencing and inspiring you currently?
JC: Personal experiences, a pretty wide variety of musical influences, and a general obsessive need to create something that excites us. Also, we definitely quasi-jacked a VELVET UNDERGROUND tune on one song (bonus points if you can figure out which one). I’m really into Sufjan Stevens and Father John Misty as of recent.
LO: I could talk for hours about specific parts on this record. Various influences appear in vague or more obvious ways. Some of my favorites are 12 RODS, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, THE LOCUST, THE SMITHS, PRINCE, MBV, MEDICINE, and NICK DRAKE, just to name some. Recently I’ve been on a big Bowie kick as well.
JJ: THE FLAMING LIPS (especially The Soft Bulletin) are also a big one. Currently I’ve been listening to Nina Simone, Father John Misty, and Leonard Cohen.
What do you do to keep your ideas for song structures fresh and non-standard?
JC: I don’t think we necessarily strive to be non-standard at all times, as that would get convoluted and contrived very quickly. We love a lot of pop music like anyone else! We mostly just try our best to push ourselves and stay true to our collective sensibility without regard for what might be in vogue or appealing to others. Obviously we dive pretty heavily into the sonic side of things, that’s huge for us.
JJ: Standard can be good! There is nothing inherently bad about familiarity, it’s all in how you present it.
LO: We do change the songs a bit for live shows to keep us on our toes. We go by a theory that just because a song is recorded, doesn’t mean it’s complete.
For me, experiments often mean adding abstraction and surrealism to standard forms of art. Was it natural to extend it to your lyrics? What do you write about?
JC: I think with this album, lyrically, I didn’t necessarily write about anything in particular. The lyrics are pretty abstract and at times repetitive, more achieving a textural and melodic goal than a narrative one. Which is probably just a reflection on my lack of lyrical prowess, though I’m continuing to develop that. They’re more meant to evoke a mood or a loosely-defined emotion, though there are plenty of moments that harken to very specific events and a timeframe in my life that had a profound impact on me; I’ll leave the specifics out. I hope to shed off a lot of the abstraction as we move forward, though. Less vagueness, more vulnerability!
We know a thing or two about the process of recording this debut full length, but getting into the details, how was it? Was it a 2-year struggle, or rather 2 years of smooth development?
LO: There were highs and lows but it was all necessary. We just wanted to make it the best we could.
JC: There was certainly struggle in the process, but I’d hope any band would have that! A band without some friction and personal sacrifice probably won’t make very good records. It wasn’t like 2 straight years of pain and stress or anything! We’re not complaining.
JJ: It sucked at some points and was better at others. Disagreements happened, music happened, a record was made.
Ok guys, so what next? Do you have any plans to support the record on the road?
LO: We’re playing a lot of shows and touring and seeing where this record will take us! We’ve got some touring in June, July, and August. Our album release show in Minneapolis is also July 14th.
Jun 10 – First Avenue & 7th Street Entry Minneapolis, MN
Jun 16 – Studio 25 Faribault, MN
Jun 17 – The New Direction Fargo, ND
Jun 25 – Studio 15 Duluth, MN
Jul 14 – Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, MN
Aug 21 – Northern Isolation Fest II Duluth, MN
Where do you see yourself going with FALLING?
JC: Making better art, pushing towards conveying higher-quality musical statements.
JJ: Exploring what music has to offer on a deeper level.
Lastly, how would you describe the music scene in Minneapolis today and how do you fit in?
JC: The music scene in Minneapolis is very diverse and passionate, running the stylistic gamut. It’s great! There are a lot of separate scenes with a certain extent of overlap. I don’t think we fit into any pre-determined niche at all, and we prefer it that way.
LO: There are cliques and friend circles for sure, but I tend to hang out with all of the circles and see what’s interesting to me!
Cool, thanks so much for your time. Feel free to wrap it up, add your last words and take care! Cheers from Warsaw!
JJ: Keep on rockin’ in the free world.
LO: Thank you for the time. :)