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FALTER: “Darker” EP premiere & interview

7  months after their shattering split record with BOROUGHS, Milwaukee metallic hardcore band FALTER and Hydrogen Man Records, the label representing their new EP called “Darker”, are back in the pages of IDIOTEQ! We have once again teamed up to give you a full stream of this aggressive, powerviolent piece, a new interview with the band, announce its pre-orders and tease the official premiere scheduled for Octoober 30th (expect 300 quality records on yellow / black smokey vinyl with screen printed jackets)! Play it loud, read the full interview below and share!

Formed in 2012, Falter play a chaotic and aggressive brand of powerviolence. Over the past few years they have been consistently writing, recording, and touring across the mid-West and East Coast. The band has grown, and in the process begun to create a volatile mix of heavy hardcore and intense, furious punk, leading them to their latest release “Darker.”

Milwaukee has a rich history of ugly bands making uglier music. Whatever is in the water in WI, it seems to produce hardcore with a rare talent for creating bleak and unwelcoming atmosphere. Falter have assembled a collection of songs here that charge ahead at their own terrifying pace, always seemingly on the verge of coming apart entirely. It’s as harsh and atonal at times as any record in the genre, but more dynamic than most, blending frenetic stomping rhythms with heavy breakdowns and truly memorable riffs. The comparisons to other current heavy bands are obvious, but Falter are really entering their own territory here. It doesn’t fit squarely in any one style, feeling at times like blown-out Japanese d-beat, dissonant metallic hardcore, and crushing death-metal. Despite the mix of elements, it’s no patchwork, the feeling is seamless, and the style feels coherent all the way through. You don’t think about the varied influences that come together to make this record work, you simply feel you are hearing the sound of a descent into total madness.

Recorded July 2015 by Matt Russell at Minbal Studios in Chicago, IL. Mastered by Carl Saff / Cover artwork by Matt Stolzenberg.

Hey guys! Thanks so much for taking some more time with me and IDIOTEQ readers. How have you been doing since our March double interview with BOROUGHS? Has this year been busy for FALTER?

Lenny: Hey! Not a problem. Thanks for having us again. We’ve been great! We did a 3 week tour in April and then took the summer off to write and record an ep. We also had a lineup change; our guitarist, Zach, left the band to pursue other ventures. Our friend Rob took over on guitar duties so “Darker” is his debut record with us. He’s also here to answer some questions today.

Ok, so you’re about to unveil your new EP later this month. Sonically, what made you go explore darker side of metallic hardcore?

Lenny: I think we’ve slowly moved that direction since our demo. Each release has always been a little faster, a little heavier, and more abrasive than the last. Everything we write is just a reflection of our attitudes and experiences at the time. I think we started with a bit of a fresh slate too, having a new guitarist, and he comes from a hardcore, grind, and death metal background.

FALTER live by Ryan Rogers

Photo by Ryan Rogers.

Don’t you think music, including hardcore and metal, has been overcomplicated with all these subgenres and hybrid styles? Have we essentially lost sight of simplicity?

Lenny: I love subgenres and I love hybrid styles. I think subgenres are a great way to find more music that you like, especially with all the niche styles that fall under hardcore.

Rob: I think subgenres are necessary, but I could also see how it can get to be too much. We have way too many influences to be labeled as just a grind, powerviolence or hardcore band. However it’s sometimes easier explaining something as metal or punk.

Ok, so you have once again teamed up with Matt Russel to produce this new record. When you caught up again were there any ideas you knew you wanted to attempt for this EP?

Rob: There wasn’t really anything crazy we were trying to do going in to the studio. Matt proposed a few ideas while recording that I think really helped give the record the sound that we wanted.

Matt recording

Are you fully aware of it when you write and compose, or is your creative process spontaneous? Do you write from inspiration? How does it work for you guys?

Rob: Our writing process for this record was super organic. We all get together to bounce ideas off of eachother and make shit happen.

Can the writing process act as a release of dissatisfaction? Do you feel fulfilled by your work once it’s ready to be released to the public?

Lenny: It is purely a release of dissatisfaction. This band has always been a way to release negative emotions. I feel fulfilled after playing live but it’s never enough and that’s why we keep doing it.

Ok, so content-wise, did you stick to personal topics in writing your lyrics or do you introduce new type of topics this time?

Lenny: The lyrics are mostly personal. I focused a lot on feeling useless, worthless, and disconnected from my peers. These are themes I visit frequently but this record had more of a focus on being antisocial than previous releases have.

FALTER

Can you tell us the idea behind this demonic cover art?

Lenny: The cover art can only be explained by the artist Matt Stolzenberg. He’s a local tattoo artist and friend of ours from Milwaukee. We told him the title of the record and that was it. The artwork is entirely of his own creation. We’re really happy with how it came out and I think we’ll be working with more artists this way in the future.

Ok guys. You’ll be doing a string of shows in support of “Darker” EP in late October. Please tell us a bit more about this trek, the places you’ve decided to visit this time and the other band that will join your ranks on the road.

Lenny: We’re visiting a lot of places we’ve never been on the east coast as well as a few spots we’ve really enjoyed playing in the past. We’ll be hitting the road with Mellow Harsher from Madison, WI. They play incredibly fast grindcore and are some really hilarious dudes. Check them out if you haven’t.

The full tour route can be found at this location.

FALTER dates

Which places have been your favourite venues and local scenes so far and why?

Lenny: My favorite place we’ve played is Binghamton, NY. Both times we’ve been there were the wildest shows we’ve played, kids were jumping off tables and hanging from the ceiling and shit. Springfield, Il is also incredible. We have a lot of really awesome friends there and it really feels like a second home. The south has been really great to us as well. We love the gulf coast and Florida a lot.

FALTER December show

How about your plans to go further? Any chance to see you in Europe in 2016?

Lenny: We’ve talked about touring overseas and we definitely want to do it. If people want to see us there we’ll figure out a way to make it happen! I think we need to hit the west coast of the U.S. first though.

MIDWEST Fest

Cool! Thanks so much for your time! Feel free to share your final thoughts and take care! Till next time!

We made a video for “Captive” check it out below!

Shout out to Hydrogen Man Records for putting out our stuff and being super supportive of our music.

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FALTER Bandcamp
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